Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)


Maria Sangiorgi

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Dance Movement Therapy with the International Institute of Dance Movement Therapy, IDTIA and I am a professional member of the Dance Movement therapy Association of Australasia DTAA.  I am Certified Functional Analysis Body Centred Councillor, trained in Europe, and I have a certificate on Soul Centred Counselling from the Kairos Centre, Melbourne. 

I began to work with dance therapeutically many years before I became a qualified Dance Movement Therapist.  The journey began some 23 years ago which was preceded by a love of dance and teaching and performing Egyptian Dance an ancient dance with many therapeutic qualities. 

Back then I was responding to an inner calling and was also asked by others to use dance as a healing modality.  

As I reflect on what I did before the training, I feel that it was good work. I believe as a dancer and choreographer, when ones heart is in the right place and you work intelligently with integrity, care and awareness you can hold a Good enough space with special needs and the broader population.  Nevertheless deepening my knowledge with the history and legacy of DMT and it psychosomatic and creative underlining is invaluable. Modern DMT was began by dancers in the basement of Psychiatric hospitals

Dancers who recognised the impact their work made gave it the from and structure that is the underpinning of what DMT is today.  There are many dancers that become Dance Movement Therapist in fact it is the way it should be.. . . Follow the link to my Dance Movement Therapy website 

  • Advanced Degree in Dance Movement Therapy from International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia (IDTIA)
  • Professional Member (Registration No. 218-19) of the Dance Movement  Therapy Association of Australasia (DTAA)
  • Fully Certified Practitioner of Functional Analysis Body Psychotherapy
  • Certificate in Soulful Presence Counsellor for the Kairos Centre
  • Certificate in Esoteric Healing 
  • Creator of Embodied Bellydance®, Heart Centred, Psycho-Physical Massage
  • Sacred Dance Facilitator and Trainer
  • Most fundamentally I am an Artist and Inovator 

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

As defined by the Dance Movement Therapy Associaton of Australasia: 

Dance Movement Therapy is the relational and therapeutic use of dance and movement to further the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and cultural* functioning of a person.

Dance movement therapy is based on the empirically-supported unity of body and mind.  It recognizes that change and growth in one supports change and growth in the other.

Dance movement therapists combine the elements of dance, movement systems, creative processes, and psychological and scientific theories, to address the specific needs of groups and individuals.

Dance movement therapists work in clinical, institutional, community and private settings, using clear therapeutic contracts, agreements and goals, often within a defined time frame.  Verbally and non-verbally, they attune to client/s’ needs and provide the therapeutic relationship requisite for growth and change.

In Australasia, the DTAA recognises only Professional and Provisional Professional level members as credentialled to deliver dance movement therapy.

Other therapeutic practices of dance and movement, including those provided by members of the DTAA who have not reached Professional or Provisional Professional Membership status, are not recognized as dance movement therapy by the DTAA.

*Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society (UNESCO, 1982).

Go to the DTAA website & read more about Dance Movement Therapy history, practice in Australia, links to resources & writing 

Maria Sangiorgi
Maria Sangiorgi Dance Movement Therapy using props

My work has been and is with special needs people

  • Homeless adults mostly woman suffering from Mental disorders and Hear Voices Prague House, Kew, Victoria Australia  (6 years)
  • Five populations of adults and children with varying degrees of physical & intellectual disabilities from severely handicapped to semi autonomous and capable.  Sussex Neighborhood House, Coburg (2 years) and David House Yarraville, (4 years) Carynia Centre Coburg (2 years)  Beautiful Babes program, Altona, Vic. Glenroy Special School 1 year Australia.
  • Teenager with Mild intellectual disabilities, Hume Valley school, Broardmeadows Vic. Australia (2 years)
  • Children and Teenagers who are severely physically and intellectually impaired, Yoralla,
  • Women in Prison, for Somebodies Daughter Theatre company, Dame Philis Frost Prison, Deer Park, Vic. Australia ( 2 months)
  • Individual session in my studio with adults with Physical and intellectual disabilities, Ivanhoe, Vic Australia for 2 years.
  • Physically and Intellectually disable adults, Villa Maria, kew Victoria
  • Physically and Intellectually disable adults, Ostra,Marche,  Italia

I have been primarily employed with the Physically and Intellectually Impaired of all ages. I thoroughly enjoy dancing and moving with this population.  This population gives me great joy, they respond extremely well to Movement and Dance.

In this work I often incorporate my Middle Eastern dance skills.

In 2011 I included Lloyd Smith a very talented exceptional young man who is blind and 5 members of a very special group of adults called Sussex Creative Dance and Movement group in my production called Heart Curve.

My writing on Dance Movement Therapy 

DMT, Homelessness & Schizophrenia

My work with Normal Neurotics*

In 1987 I was asked by a group of women in rural victor to run a weekend retreat that the called a Goddess Retreat.  this was like a calling had been answered.  I was lead to make some tools a Wand that I made from an Almond branch and a Dream Catcher that I made from willow leaves. both tool had crystals and other sacred objects woven into them and of I went.  The work evened into what I then called The Dance of the Sensual Soul a day dance journey that I run 4 times a year.  These Dance Journeys were for women. During this time I continued to work with my special needs populations and to teach what I now call Embodied Bellydance.  I began my Dance Movment Therapy training in 2005.

around that time I developed  SensingFeelingDancing the Chakras that I ran weekly for 6 years.

Much of my work as been around women’s business but since working in Italy the work came to include men in many of the dance journeys.

I work with groups and also one on one my work includes my training in Functional Analysis and Authentic Moment and Art.

*A definition of a Normal neurotic: 

A way to define people who are not deemed to have any particular psychological condition or disorder and whom are able to function in the world in a relatively normal way. Normal being that they do not need to be institutionalised or in constant care.  They are not a threat to their own existence and that of other. All human being have a certain amount of Neurosis that are no threatening to themselves or to others. Moving on along, Neuroticism can even be seen as a prerequisite for creativity.     

They are all labels anyway.

Individual & Couples Private Consultations 

My interests is that the you develop personal resource and that are active in their own healing.

In Functional Analysis we work from the premises that our core self is in tact this is a common understanding now in many healing arts. As the therapist/healer I am assisting you to find that core self, so you can flourish and be the best you can for you, under any giving situation.

I have no exceptions or judgement of what you bring to the session or how long anything should take.

We are all different as are of stories, hurts, joys, sorrows. It is through kindness and compassion and being seen that we have the opportunity to heal.

Time frame
Sessions go for 1 1/2 hours

Sessions for couple can go up to 2 hours

Fee Structure
$150 one – one

$200 couples 

 if you are experiencing Financial hardship talk to me