Preparing for the ADTA annual conference.

Every year the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) hosts a conference at a varying US city.  This year the conference is in Albuquerque, New Mexico from October 11th through October 14th.  The conference is attended by dance/movement therapists, dance/movement therapy students (ahem, myself included), and those individuals merely interested in the work of DMTs.

I wish I could say more about the actual content on the ADTA conference, but I have yet to attend one despite being a third year DMT masters student at Columbia College Chicago.  However, as alluded to above I will be attending this years conference in New Mexico.  The department has awarded me with a scholarship to attend the conference in order to present my thesis research, via the research poster session.  Receiving the scholarship was an honor, one that certainly affirms the hard work I have been doing for my thesis (note my previous blog post).  Unfortunately, without it I would be unable to attend the conference due to cost.  Sigh, so is the life of a graduate student.

All that aside, I feel very passionate about my thesis research and I am currently in the analysis/discussion portion of my process; thus I am excited to share what I am learning.  What I am most excited about, however, is to be in the presence of DMTs outside the Chicago community, as well as spend time with those who are attending too.  Even more exciting to me is to be in the presence of individuals who have made a huge impact in our field, forerunners and trailblazers if you will.

When I was signing up for seminars, picking out my first and second choices, I noticed a lot of familiar names of presenters and often found myself saying, “Hey I’ve read her book,” or, “Hey, I’ve read her article.”  Call me a dork, but it is super exciting that I may in fact find myself in the same room, as say, Suzie Tortora.

Attending the conference will also give me my first full-blown exposure to the ADTA as an organization.  Other than trolling through their (dated-looking) website, I haven’t had much experience with the organization, despite encouragement from my professors to become a member.  In fact, I have done this purposely as a way to, as a student, make up my own mind what this whole dance/movement therapy thing was without any outside influence.  It’s no secret the ADTA emphasizes the Chacian approach.  As I move towards becoming a professional, obtaining my license sooner or later, it’s about time I start plugging myself into the small-scaled world of dance/movement therapy, and of course one way of doing this is through the ADTA.

Of course I am excited to travel to New Mexico too, a place I have never been.  I have often found myself in southwest US (my grandma lives in Arizona) and I absolutely adore the desert and mountains.  I am hopefully going to witness the International Balloon Fiesta taking place during my stay, and I have been advised by a New Mexican (Mexiconian? A native, to say the least) to eat red and green chilli while I am there.

And as much as I love Chicago, it’ll also be nice to get out of the “big” city.

I am looking forward to my travels and my experience at the ADTA conference, and of course am very thankful I was chosen to represent Columbia College via my thesis research.  My new research poster came today, travel size shampoo has been purchased and I plan to get that laundry done sometime this weekend….

Stay tuned for an update about my ADTA conference experience.

About emilyadannunzio

Board Certified-Dance/Movement Therapist. Movement Analyst (GL-CMA). Researcher. Dancer. Bartender. Detroit, MI.
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