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A Comprehensive Listing of Dance Therapy Research

Resources By Population Or Illness

Aging & Dementia


Compiled by Lenore Wadsworth Hervey, Ph.D., ADTR,
September, 1996
Updated, 2000
Updated, 2007 by Heather Hill & Christine Hopkins

Journal Articles and Chapters from Books

Baars, M. (1996). Making the present come alive. In J. Pearson (Ed.), Discovering the self through drama and movement (pp. 244-250). London: Jessica Kingsley.

Berrol, C., Ooi, W. L., & Katz, S. (1997). Dance/movement therapy with older adults who have sustained neurological insult: A demonstration project. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 19(2), 135-160.

Caplow-Lindner, E. (1982). Dance as a therapeutic intervention for the elderly. Educational Gerontology, 8, 167-174.

Coaten, R. (2001). Exploring reminiscence through dance and movement. Journal of Dementia Care, Sept-October

DiGiammarino, M., Hanlon, H., Kassing, G., & Libman, K. (1992). Arts and aging: An annotated bibliography of selected resource materials in art, dance, drama and music. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 17(2), 39-50.

Fersch, I. E. (1980). Dance/movement therapy: A holistic approach to working with the elderly. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 3(2), 33-43.

Fersch, I. E. (1981). Dance/movement therapy: A holistic approach to working with the elderly. Activities, Adaptation and Aging, 2(1), 21-30.

Garnet, E. D. (1974). A movement therapy for older people. In Dance Therapy: Focus on Dance VII (pp. 59-61). Washington D.C.: American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation Publication.

Goldberg, W. G., & Fitspatrick, J. J.
(1980). Movement therapy with the aged. Nursing Research, 29(6), 339-346.

Helm, J., & Gill, K. (1974). An essential resource of aging. Dance Research Journal of Committee on Research in Dance, 7(1), 1-7.

Hill, H. (1992). Journey without a map: Dance therapy with dementia patients. In W.R. Lett (Ed.), How the arts make a difference in therapy (pp.89-105). Melbourne, Vic, Australia: Australian Dance Council (Victoria).
Hill, H. (1992). Dance therapy with psychogeriatric patients: Experience of a local practitioner. In R. Rawson & E. Loughlin (Eds.), Dance Therapy Collections 1. Melbourne: Australian Dance Council (Victoria).

Hill, H. (1999). Dance therapy and communication in dementia. Signpost to older people and mental health matters. Wales: National Health Service Trust.

Hill, H. (1999). Out of the cupboard . . . to the brightness. In J. Guthrie, E. Loughlin, & D. Albiston (Eds.), Dance Therapy Collections 2 (pp. 14-18). Melbourne: Dance Therapy Association of Australia.

Hill, H. (2003). A space to be myself. Signpost to older people and mental health matters, 7 (3), 37-39.
Hill, H. (2003) Section on dance therapy in chapter on Creative Care. In R. Hudson (Ed), Dementia nursing: A guide to practice.  Melbourne, Australia: Ausmed Publications.
Hill, H. (2006). A dance therapy perspective. In M. Marshall and K. Allan (Eds.), Dementia: Walking not wandering: Fresh approaches to understanding and practice.
London: Hawker Publications.
Hill, H. (2006) Dance therapy as person-centred care. In S.C. Koch and I. Braeuninger (Eds.), Advances in dance/movement therapy: Theoretical perspectives and empirical findings. Berlin Logos
Hill, H. (2006/2007). Vive la difference: Creating relationship through dance and movement. Moving on: Dance-movement Therapy Association of Australia Quarterly,5, 3&4,2-6.
Johnson, C., Lahey, P., & Shore, A. (1992). An exploration of creative arts therapeutic work on an Alzheimer's unit. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 19(4), 269-278.

Kelly, A., & Daniel, C.
(1996). Beginning to work with the elderly. In J. Pearson (Ed.), Discovering the self through drama and movement (pp. 241-243). London: Jessica Kingsley.

Kleinman, S., Dance is Life, in Bound Testimony, Aging Artfully: Health Benefits of Art and Dance, Hearing before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, U.S Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1993.
Kleinman, S., Submission for the Record, Statement of The American Dance Therapy Association to the Sub-committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives Hearing on The Congressional Budget Office’s Analysis of the President’s Health Care Reform Proposal, Volume X11, President’s Health Care Reform Proposals: Impact on Providers and Consumers, Part 3 of 3, February, 1994, Serial 103-91, US Government Printing Office, Washington, 1994.

Leventhal, M.B. (1989) The dance of life: Dance and movement therapy for the older adult. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 4(4), 67-74.

Lindner, E. C. (1982). Dance as a therapeutic intervention for the elderly. Educational Gerontology, 8(2), 167-174.

Mason-Luckey, B., & Sandel, S. (1985). Intergenerational movement therapy: A leadership challenge. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 12(4), 257-263.

Needler, W., & Baer, M. (1982). Movement, music and remotivation with the regressed elderly. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 8, 497-503.

Nyström, K. & Lauritzen, S. O. (2005). Expressive bodies: Demented persons’ communication in a dance therapy context. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 9(3), 297-317.
Palo-Bengtsson, L., & Ekman, S. L. (1997). Social dancing in the care of persons with dementia in a nursing home setting: A phenomenological study. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 11(2), 101-118.

Perrin, T.
(1998). Lifted into a world of rhythm and melody. Journal of Dementia Care, Jan/Feb.

Samberg, S (1988). Dance therapy groups for the elderly. In B.W. MacLennan, S. Saul and M.B.Weiner (Eds.), Group psychotherapies for the elderly (Ch.10). Madison, Conn.: International Universities Press

Sandel, S. (1978, November). Movement therapy with geriatric patients in a convalescent home. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 738-741.

Sandel, S. (1978). Reminiscence in movement therapy with the aged. Arts in Psychotherapy, 5, 217-221.

Sandel, S. (1984). Creating and playing: Bridges for intergenerational communication. Design for Arts in Education, 86, 32-35.

Sandel, S. (1994). Dance/movement therapy with the frail elderly. Journal of Long Term Home Health Care: The PRIDE Institute Journal, 13(3), 38-42.

Sandel, S., & Hollander, A. S.
(1995). Dance/movement therapy with aging populations. In F. Levy (Ed.), Dance and other expressive art therapies. (pp. 133-143). New York: Routledge.

Shustik, L.R. & Tria Thompson (2001). Dance/movement therapy: Partners in personhood. In A. Innes & K. Hatfield (Eds.), Healing arts therapies and person-centered dementia care. London: Jessica Kingsley.

United States GPO, "Older Americans Act Amendments of 1992." Congressional Record, 138, 53-54. Continuation of Senate and House Proceedings of April 9, 1992, Issue No. 53; and Proceedings of April 10, 1992, Issue No. 54.

Unger, A. (1985). Movement therapy for the geriatric population. Clinical Gerontologist, 3(3), 46-47.

Watson, J.
(1997). Response to "Social dancing in the care of persons with dementia in a nursing home setting: A phenomenological study." Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 11(2), 119-123.


Beal, R. K., & Berryman-Miller, S. (Eds.). (1988). Dance for the older adult: Focus on dance XI. Reston, VA: National Dance Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Caplow-Lindner, E., Harpaz, L., & Samberg, S. (1979). Therapeutic dance/movement and expressive activities for older adults. New York: Human Sciences Press.

Garnet, E. D. (1982). Movement is life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Book Co.

Herman, G., & Renzurri, J.
(1978). Creative movement for older people. Hartford, CT: Institute for Movement Exploration.

Hill, H. (2001). Invitation to the dance: Dance for people with dementia and their carers.  Stirling, Scotland: Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling.

Hill, K. (1976). Dance for physically disabled persons: A manual for teaching ballroom, square, and folk dances to users of wheelchairs and crutches. Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Jerrome, D. (1999). Circles of the mind: The use of therapeutic circle dance with older people with dementia. In D. Waller (Ed.), Arts therapies and progressive illness: Nameless dread (pp. 165-182). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Lerman, L. (1984). Teaching dance to senior adults. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Sandel, S., & Johnson, D. (1987). Waiting at the gate: Creativity and hope in the nursing home. New York: Haworth Press.

Theses and Dissertations

Anderson, K. R. (1992). You are not alone: The use of dance movement therapy with geriatrics. Antioch New England Graduate School.

Aronson, J. N. (1979). The story of a dance therapy session with the elderly. Hunter College.

Beck, B. E. (1985). Enhancing self-esteem through dance/movement therapy with elderly residents in a convalescent home. Goucher College.

Beltran, M. (1981). Establishment of a dance therapy program in a nursing home: A two-year assessment. Goucher College.

Berkovitch, S. (1986). Dance/movement therapy - exercise and beyond! The role of dance/movement therapy in the treatment plan for the older adult populations in adult day care centers. Columbia College.

Breitenbach, M. (1987). Issues of loss in dance/movement therapy with the elderly. Naropa University.

Bridges, L. (1989). Measuring the effect of dance/movement therapy in the body image of institutionalized elderly using the Kestenberg Movement Profile and projective drawings. Antioch NE Graduate School

Broding, L.
(1987). At peace before the darkness sets in: A dance therapist's approach to ego integrity in late adulthood. Lesley College Graduate School.

Bunke, P. (1987). Therapeutic phenomena of dance therapy within geronto-psychiatry. Langen Institut Monheim. (In German)

Clayton, D. (1984). Life review during dance therapy. Goucher College.

Cohen, S. ( ). The use of dance therapy with rheumatoid arthritics: Specifically, institutionalized geriatric patients. Lesley College.

Cook-Auerbach, C. (1990). Dance/movement therapy and depression in elderly nursing home residents. Goucher College.

Crutchfield, H. C. (1994). The effects of movement therapy on the self-efficacy and the morale of institutionalized elderly. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 54 (10B), 5092.

Dubrowsky, R. L. (1983). Dancing at the Regent. Lesley College Graduate School.

Fersh, I. E. (1973). Dance/movement therapy: A holistic approach to working with the elderly. New York University.

Flegel, D.
(1977). Movement activities and their effects on the interpersonal relationships of the geriatric. Lone Mountain College.

Fleishman, E. (1977). The effect of movement therapy on the interactional behavior of geriatric patients with chronic organic brain syndrome: Three case studies. Hahnemann University.

Furcron, C. D. (1988). The socialization of the depressed elderly through dance/movement therapy. Goucher College.

Garnet, E. D. (1970). Geriatric recreation opportunity structure and intervening variable in the disengagement of people 60 years and older. California State University.

Gordon, P. (1987). Alzheimer's disease and dance therapy: A case study. Hunter College.

Harrison, D. (1983). Withering into the truth: Developmental perspectives on reminiscing in movement therapy groups with geriatrics. Antioch NE Graduate School.

Helm, J. B., & Gill, K. L. (1974). An essential resource for the aging: Dance therapy. New York University.

Hill, H.
(1995). An attempt to describe and understand moments of experiential meaning within the dance therapy process for a patient with dementia. Unpublished dissertation, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. Australia. Available at:

Hobart, J. (1989). The effects of touch on communication with geriatrics: A videotape case analysis. Hunter College.

Hoffman, H. (1979). A study of the movement patterns of a geriatric population. New York University.

Hopkins, C. E. (1990). Does physical contact lead to talking?: Dance-movement therapy with geriatric psychiatric inpatients. New York University.

Johnson, S. (1973). Case study. Hunter College.

Kalechstein, K. (1988). An action-oriented approach to Alzheimer's patients. Hunter College.

Kirsch, M. (1981). Grief-work and dance/movement therapy with the elderly: A theoretical paper. Goucher College.

Klapper, E. J. (1984). How music affects the dance therapy process and seniors. New York University.

Lashman, G. (1979). Dance therapy for the aged. Hunter College.

Lasichak, D. (1982). Dance therapy with geropsychiatric outpatients: Issues of loss/separation anxiety. University of California.

Lembeck, S. R. (1988). The role of the dance/movement therapist in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Goucher College.

Lev, A. (1989). A pilot study of the effectiveness of movement therapy in creating a positive change in self esteem for a healthy geriatric population. Hahnemann University.

Marshall, L. (1997). We've gone to another country: An inquiry into therapeutic meaning within a dance/movement therapy group for elders with dementia. Antioch NE Graduate School.

Marshall, M. (2000). Dance/movement therapy and individuals with dementia-related illness. Unpublished master’s thesis, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago.
McClellan, A. B. (1987). The role of dance/movement therapy in the treatment of persons with Alzheimer's disease. Antioch NE Graduate School.

Odlivak, N. (1988). Alzheimer's disease in a community mental health setting: A case study. Hunter College.

Pilus, L. B. (1979). Expressive movement therapy: A revitalizing approach for working with older people. Lesley College Graduate School.

Rosen, A.
(1979). Aging in the life cycle: A developmental approach towards movement therapy with the elderly. Lesley College Graduate School.

Rued, N. (1987). The use of theatrical performance in dance therapy with geropsychiatric patients. Antioch NE Graduate School.

Scaturo, M. E. (1979). Movement therapy and the chronic emotionally impaired institutionalized elderly: Can self-expression be improved? Lesley College Graduate School.

Schaefer, S. C. ( ). An abstract for a video production on dance movement therapy with the elderly. Columbia College.

Schneider, E. F. (1985). Stimulating the communication in the institutionalized female geriatric population via active communication therapy: An integration of movement and speech. California Coast University.

Smith-Stallman, R. (1987). Morale in the older adult after dance/movement therapy. Hunter College.

Stark, A. (1988). Kinesthetic rapport with Alzheimer's disease patients. Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

Trapeni, M. B. (1984). An invitation to dance. Antioch NE Graduate School.

Welsh, J. H. (1990). Ritual in the dance/movement therapy process with elderly adults. Goucher College.

Will, M. (1987). The variety of approaches in dance therapy for working with the elderly in a nursing home. Langen Institut Monheim. (In German)

Yelink, D. (1987). At my age I deserve some rest: Expressive therapies with a geriatric population. Lesley College Graduate School.

Zeidman, B. (1980). A study of movement with geriatrics. Immaculate Heart College.

Conference Proceedings

Becker, B. (1997). Dance/movement therapy with people over 55: Differences, similarities, surprises. 32nd Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Berrol, C., & Katz, S. (1997). Dance/movement therapy with older adults who have sustained neurological insult: A demonstration project. 32nd Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Feder, E., & Smith, D. (1993). An idea is like a bird: Creating a multi-modal expressive arts program of older adults. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Fischer, P. P. (1993). Bridging the generations through a moving experience. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Hill, H. (1992). Journey without a map: dance therapy with dementia patients. How the Arts make a difference in therapy: Papers from a conference at La Trobe University, January 1992. Melbourne: Australian Dance Council (Victoria).

Kierr-Wise, S. (1993). The aging milestone. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Koshland, L. (1993). Walks of life: Dance/movement therapy and socialization with the elderly. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Samuels, A. (1973). Dance therapy with geriatric patients. 8th Annual Conference Proceedings.Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Tandy, C. M. (1993). Silver dreams—Motivating journeys of aging. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.

Thomson, R. (1993). The elderly: The imagination: The movement. 28th Annual Conference Proceedings. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.


Cheston, R. & Bender, M. (1999). Understanding dementia: The man with the worried eyes. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Garratt, S. & Hamilton-Smith, E. (Eds.) (1995). Rethinking dementia: an Australian approach. Melbourne: Ausmed Publications.
Hill, H. (2005). Talking the talk, but not walking the walk: Barriers to person-centred care in dementia.   Unpublished dissertation, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. Australia. Available at:
Killick, J. & Allan (2001). Communication and the care of people with dementia. Buckingham: Open University Press
Kitwood, T. (1997). Dementia reconsidered: The person comes first. Philadelphia:Open University Press

Books and Articles of Related Interest

Barstow, C. (1985). Tending body and spirit: Massage and counseling with elders. Boulder, CO: Cedar Barstow.

Berger, B.G. (1988). The role of physical activity in the life quality of older adults. In W. Spirduso & H. Edkert (Eds.), Physical activity and aging (pp. 42-58). Champaign, IL: Human Kinectics Books.

Brotons, M., & Pickett-Cooper, P.
(1994). Preferences of Alzheimer’s disease patients for music activities: Singing, instruments, dance/movement, games and composition improvisation. Journal of Music Therapy, 31(3), 220-233.

Brotons, M., Koger, S. M., & Pickett-Cooper, P. (1997). Music and dementias: A review of literature. Journal of Music Therapy, 34(4), 204-245.

Bryant, W. (1991). Creative group work with confused elderly people: A development of sensory integration therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Spring,54(5), 187-192

Clair, A. A. (1994). Ethics and values in music therapy for persons who are elderly. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 18(3-4), 27-46.

Clair, A. A., & Ebberts, A. (1997). The effects of music therapy on interactions between family caregivers and their care receivers with late stage dementia. Journal of Music Therapy, 34(3), 148-164.

Foster, M. T. (1992). Experiencing a "creative high." Journal of Creative Behavior, 26(1), 29-39.

Greenberg, P. (1987). Visual arts and older people: Developing quality programs. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.

Groene, R., Zapchenk, S., Marble, G., & Kantar, S. (1998). The effect of therapist and activity characteristics on the purposeful responses of probably Alzheimer's disease participants. Journal of Music Therapy, 35(2), 119-136.

Hanson, N., Gfeller, K., Woodworth, G., & Swanson, E. (1996). A comparison of the effectiveness of differing types and difficulty of music activities in programming for older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Journal of Music Therapy, 33(2), 93-123.

Johnson, D. R. (1986). The developmental method in drama therapy: Group treatment with the elderly. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 13(1), 17-34.

Koger, S., Chapin, K., & Brotons, M.
(1999). Is music therapy an effective intervention for dementia? A meta-analytic review of literature. Journal of Music Therapy, 36(1), 2-15.

Ludins-Katz, F., & Katz, E. (1990). Art & disabilities. Cambridge: Brookline Books.

Otto, D., Cochran, V., Johnson, G., & Clair, A. A. (1999). The influence of background music on task engagement in frail, older personas in residential care. Journal of Music Therapy, 36(3), 182-195.

Percoskie, S. (1997). Art therapy with the Alzheimer’s client. Humanistic Psychologist, 25(2), 208-211.

Segal, R. (1990). Helping older mentally retarded persons expand their socialization skills through the use of expressive therapies. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 15(1-2), 99-109.

Silber, F., & Hes, J. (1995). The use of songwriting with patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Music Therapy Perspectives, 13(1), 31-34.

Tomaino, C. M. (1994). Music and music therapy for frail noninstitutionalized elderly persons. Journal of Long Term Home Health Care, The PRIDE Institute Journal,13(2), 24-27.

Weisberg, N., & Wilder, R. (1985). Creative arts with older adults: A sourcebook. New York: Human Sciences Press.

Weiss, J. C. (1984). Expressive therapy with elders and the disabled: Touching the heart of life. New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.
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