Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada
Regional representatives are the point persons for dance movement therapy in their region. They help support and promote dance/movement therapy (DMT) locally, and facilitate DMT connections and collaboration across Canada.
Tannis is a registered Dance-movement and Drama Therapist, Spiritual Director and creator of ritual theatre. Initially a choreographer, she brings over thirty years’ experience of healing through the arts to her work with individuals, groups, adolescents and adults, especially those with trauma, eating problems, and addictions. She has co-coordinated a hospital eating disorder program, taught on the university level, performed and taught in the US and Europe, and directed a theatre company of disabled and non-disabled actors.
Since she moved to Vancouver from Berkeley in 2001 she has been an Artist in Residence for the Vancouver School board, has brought Dance-movement Therapy to Tooba Centre for Physical Theatre, Main Dance and Sourcepoint School for Shiatsu; has served as Clinical Supervisor for Pacifica Treatment Centre, and a therapist and the Chopra Addictions and Wellness Center. In addition to seeing clients for therapy and spiritual direction, she teaches Authentic Movement, Ecstatic Body Postures, Moving Prayer and leads Community Movement Rituals. She also teaches with the West Coast Dance/movement Therapy Professional Training.
Karissa Martens (CCC, R-DMT, GL-CMA) is a graduate of the Creative Arts Therapies program at Columbia College Chicago, and currently resides in Winnipeg Manitoba.
While working on her Undergraduate degrees in Calgary, Karissa created a dance program for older adults at an inner-city Community Centre, where she experienced firsthand the positive influence that dance and movement offers. After recognizing the joy of movement through this outreach program, she chose to dedicate herself and her studies to the field of Dance/Movement Therapy and Counselling.
Karissa has worked with a wide-spectrum of individuals through her volunteer work, internship, practicum, and employment at a the Selkirk Mental Health Centre and Seine River School Division in Manitoba. These populations include; infants and children, older adults, older adults with dementia, individuals with schizophrenia, individuals with borderline personality disorder, and individuals with acquired brain injury. Within each of these settings, Karissa has been able to expand her therapeutic knowledge, interventions, and approach through facilitating group and individual sessions.
Emma Liisa Bryans
Emma is a special education teacher and yoga instructor based in Montreal. She completed her Alternate Route Training with 92Y and Les Grands Ballet Canadiens’ National Centre for Dance Therapy . She uses dance in her work with young children and adults with multiple disabilities and complex health conditions. She has an educational background in Health Sciences, Special Education and Human Kinetics and is passionate about making dance and movement arts accessible. She has worked in and trained in Adapted Dance instruction with numerous integrative dance companies, including Candoco, Stopgap and Propeller dance. She believes that dance therapy provides an opportunity to increase self-awareness, autonomy and expression for individuals who experience communication difficulties and multiple exceptionalities. Her favourite dance styles are contemporary, solo jazz and waacking!
Gelymar is currently training to become both, a dance therapist and a psychotherapist. Since 2004 she has been invested in the maintenance and development of spaces hosting art-making as a medium for community building and health promotion. Gelymar has been facilitating dance, movement, and visual arts workshops for the past 15 years among diverse populations, including children struggling with social marginalization, youth living with physical disabilities, adults living with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and adults living with a psychiatric diagnosis. Gelymar completed a bachelor’s degree in dance, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently completing a doctorate in clinical psychology and a professional dance/movement
therapy training at the Alternate Route program offered by the National Center for Dance Therapy in Montreal.
Meghan completed an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy in London, UK following a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Development Studies. She now works in Brooks, AB as a Mental Health Therapy Assistant for Alberta Health Services offering community mental health groups and social work services. Meghan draws on psychodynamic and trauma-informed approaches to meet and support clients to thrive.
Meghan's passion for community mental health is informed by her experiences working and volunteering in Uganda, Palestine, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia, as well all three of Canada's territories. Inspired by her participation in a traditional dance troupe in Uganda, and supporting refugees in London, Meghan appreciates the power of dance and movement to support connection across language and cultural barriers and to revive vitality following traumatic and life-altering experiences. Serving as a Community Wellness worker, a Mental Health Consultant, and in private practise, she has been honoured to move alongside a diverse range of clients, and to learn from their sagacity. Meghan is also a yoga teacher, Family Constellations Facilitator, and mindfulness practitioner. Her vision of wellness incorporates mind, body and spirit and draws on a vast range of traditional healing practices.
Lea is a registered dance movement psychotherapist currently based in Ottawa. She has completed her masters at Goldsmiths University of London and has worked with people from all ages in the UK, Jordan and Lebanon struggling with mental health, survivors of domestic violence, refugees victims of war trauma and others with special needs and learning difficulties. She is planning to continue working with children and teenagers in Canada and also provide support for the elderly who would benefit immensely from the creative Arts therapies. Her goal is to raise awareness about the importance of the body-mind connection, how it affects our everyday lives and how we can use it to improve our well-being.
You can follow Lea on @talk_move_heal on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about dance movement psychotherapy and mental health.