A Moving Alternative: Dance Therapy as a Career

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by Annie Xu

Many students are passionate about their artistic and creative hobbies. However, as young adults begin to contemplate which career path to follow, very few will choose a profession in the world of art or dance. This phenomenon suggests that there are some glaring obstacles preventing young people from continuing to pursue their passion.

Dance is a physically demanding job with harsh competition; as dancers age, they are more susceptible to injuries and often cannot “out dance” younger counterparts. To compete in the world of dance, one must study from a young age and dedicate a significant amount of time to the art form. Professional dancers typically spend seven hours of their day in dance classes and rehearsals and often must work for even longer when performing in shows. As a result, dancers on average retire in their mid-30s, either due to competition, age or injuries and, therefore, run the risk of losing a significant portion of their income.

For those that wish to have a financially stable job that allows for dance and artistic expression, dance therapy is a great career choice. Dance therapy, the use of dance and movement as a psychotherapeutic tool, is rooted in the idea that the body and the mind are connected, and it is based on the idea that movement reflects one’s emotional and mental state. Dance/movement therapy benefits a wide variety of people, from those that struggle with their body image to patients that are autistic or suffer from dementia.

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