If’ you’ve ever been to an American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) conference before, you’ll definitely remember folks from past conferences. Maybe you’ll remember their name, or maybe you’ll remember their face. Maybe you’ll just remember the overall vibe of the people you crossed paths with while at the ADTA conference. It’s no secret that we have a small community as dance/movement therapists. The conference does not start until tomorrow, but today’s schedule includes/included (depending on when you read this) full-day and half-day pre-intensives, and the opening ceremony. I was at the conference this morning to attend a half-day intensive when this “rememberence” phenomenon occurred. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself as I secretly went over the dance/movement therapy archetypes in my head. I know the ADTA conference is serious, educational, and a wonderful time to feel solidarity within our small community. It’s also a really great time to poke fun of ourselves.
Below are the 9 people you’ll meet at the ADTA Annual Conference.
1. The silver fox The silver fox may or may not have grey hair; the “silver” refers to the fact that the person is a seasoned dance/movement therapist. This individual most likely has written a book, studied with a DMT founder, and makes you nervous upon entering the room.
2. The vigilante The vigilante is thrilled to be at the ADTA conference and has been looking forward to it for the past six months. This is the person that’s overly attentive and holding on to the presenter’s every word- maybe he/she is mirroring the presenter even when mirroring isn’t the topic. The vigilante is most likely the person who makes strange noises during the experiential.
3. The international The international, is well, international and has traveled a long way to get to the ADTA Conference. They most likely look lost or a bit confused but smiling all the same. They might have communication barriers, and they might ask you if the Chicago tap water is safe to drink.
4. The first-timer/student Much like the international, the first-timer/student looks a little lost and/or confused. Regardless, he/she is excited to be at the conference as evidenced by fervent note taking. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the first-timer/student is a refreshing presence during seminars.
5. The therapist-chic The therapist-chic is an easy person to spot because most likely he/she is dressed in loose-fitting clothing, scarves and turquoise jewelry from the last trip abroad. The therapist-chic most likely advocates for koosh balls and stretch bands in DMT. This person embodies what a dance/movement therapist looks like to the outside world, and is often a second or third generation dance/movement therapist.
6. The board member You’re pretty sure you’ve seen this person’s picture on the ADTA website because they recently received some award or were published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. If not, you will definitely see this person at every seminar, every meeting, and every conference event. The board member will most likely solicit your involvement in some type of a committee. If you haven’t met this person it might be because he/she is busy attending top-secret ADTA board meetings.
7. The booth-dweller. The booth-dweller is most likely there to represent a DMT educational program or selling a DMT product. They’ll give you chocolate, pens, and lots of pieces of paper with important information on it.
8. The cool-as-a-cucumber This is where the majority of ADTA Conference attendees fit in. This person is most likely a Registered-Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) or a Board Certified-Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT) who has been to a few ATDA conferences before. The cool-as-a-cucumber is the working force of the DMT world who attends most things offered by the conference, but might skip out to catch a nap or go shopping. The cool-as-a-cucumber is just trying to get Continuing Education Credits (CEs) and eat lunch at a less-crowded spot in the hotel.
9. The gentleman with the wicked mustache and cowboy hat Actually, this is just a really awesome gentleman I saw today while at the conference. I am currently figuring out a way I can meet him…