Strike. Dance. Rise.

It is not often that we have the opportunity to be part of an event that occurs simultaneously on a global level. Recently, the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) joined a dance-based movement with the purpose of ending violence against women and girls. The event will take  place on V-Day, February 14, 2013. News broke on social media with this tweet from the official V-Day account:

Moving from victim to survivor: @ADTAorg joins #1billionrising! On the power of dance & OBR – WATCH:
— V-Day (@VDay) January 17, 2013

It links to a statement by ADTA’s President, Dr. Sherry Goodill, announcing the official involvement of ADTA in “One Billion Rising”. ADTA members from all over the world started taking action and preparing events for February 14th. In Mexico, there are some projects in the making:

The Dance/Movement Therapy Journal Club Mexico also joined the cause, dedicating our monthly discussion to an American Journal of Dance Therapy article on DMT and women who have been victims of violence. In addition, as a Dance/Movement Therapist and ADTA member, I have the unique opportunity to advocate for our profession locally, working with ABACO Project, from the Department of Accounting at the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ). I was interviewed by B.A. Lily Sigie from ABACO, we discussed our collaborative project yesterday on 89.5 A.M. Frequency. Interview can be heard on 7:03 – 14:05 and again on 18:59 – 26:50. (Click on the link below). Resource is in Spanish. I have taken the time of transcribing it for English speaking readers who would like to know more about this particular event:

“VALORES MAS” Interview. One Billion Rising Mexico. January 18, 2013


(Jingle: “Valores mas”, the Interview: Students, Professors, and Specialists will share their point of view.)

Lily: I will now present our guest, Alicia Garfias, member of the American Dance Therapy Association. She is here today to share with us first of all what this Association is and what it does, and also to announce a project where we are working in collaboration here at the Department of Accounting. Hello Alice.

Alice: Hello Lily, thank you for inviting me.

Lily: Thank you for accepting this invitation. Alice, tell us a bit about yourself. What did you study? And a bit of your professional experience, etc.

Alice: Well, I’m an Ex-A-Tec and graduated from Campus Queretaro; I studied an M.A. in Dance Movement Therapy at Goldsmiths University in the United Kingdom, I am Registered with the Association for Dance Movement Therapy in the UK and I am also a member of the American Dance Therapy Association.

Lily: So you are a member of both…

Alice: Yes, one is in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States.

Lily: Very well. So, being a member of the American Dance Therapy Association, please share with us its origins and what this Association does.

Alice: The American Dance Therapy Association was founded in 1966, bringing support to the emerging Dance/Movement Therapy profession. Currently, it is the only organization in the U.S. that is dedicated to DMT. The ADTA advocates on national and international levels for the development of the profession and training (it is practiced at a postgraduate level), and the services given by  qualified practicing professionals. It also organizes an annual conference, and brings support to each of its chapters, regional groups, and holds conferences, seminars and workshops. In general, the Association promotes communication amongst Dance/Movement Therapists through social media, and through the publication of the American Journal of Dance Therapy, and by publishing news for members. The ADTA has members in over 50 states and territories within the U.S. and in 36 countries.

Lily: 36 countries, one of which you studied in: England.

Alice: Yes.

Lily: Please share with us, how do you tackle different issues, thinking about the diverse sociocultural context of each country? For example, in the case of a 23 year-old woman that has been probably sexually abused by a member of her family, how does the work change when working with her in England, as opposed to Mexico?

Alice: Well, Dance/Movement Therapy as practiced nowadays can take place with persons of all ages, races, and ethnical backgrounds; in the formats of individual, couples, family and group therapy. In more than 50 countries, ADTA members and our colleagues around the world work every day with those who have suffered of rape and trauma. Using dance and expressive creative movement, we adapt our work to the sociocultural context of each country, investigating previous studies, theoretical constructs and statistics that give us insights to reflect on our work on any given location in particular.

Lily: And tell us a bit about Dance/Movement Therapy with women and girls that have been victims of violence, what is the work like? What does it consist of?

Alice: Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration. All DMT practitioners have a Master’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy or have completed courses that are offered at the postgraduate level in order to practice.  We focus on movement behaviors as they emerge in the therapeutic relationship; offering support to women, men, and children that have suffered traumatic experiences, and help them move “from the place of a victim, to one of a survivor”.

Our work has time and space boundaries, therapists count with a supervisor and we attend personal therapy, besides developing our own personal dance practice. Each process is unique, but it is possible to offer from brief therapy to one that lasts up to 6 months or more, for groups or individuals. We observe a strict code of ethics and count with insurance to protect our clients. Our work is very different from a dance class. We are healthcare professionals, offering one of the Creative Arts Therapies.

Lily: That is a very important point to mention. It is not a dance class. If a person thinks that with a dance class one can heal deep emotional issues, it is not that simple, right? The practitioner needs specialized training, as Alice is telling us. And there are few practitioners even here in Mexico, is this so?

Alice: Yes, this is correct Lily and as you were saying, dance is therapeutic, but that does not imply that everyone has proper training in order to practice.

Lily: And thinking a bit about clients, do they need to know dance in order to attend to dance therapy?

Alice: No, they do not need to know dance. We meet the client where they are at and work with the capabilities that they have at any given moment.

(Music break)

Lily: Alice, tell us about this project that you have presented to us, and in which we are going to participate. One Billion Rising. What is the objective? And what are the goals that you hope to achieve?
B.A. Lily Sigie interviews M.A., RDMT Alice Garfias

B.A. Lily Sigie interviews M.A., RDMT Alice Garfias

Alice: The idea from this project emerges from the statistic that one in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is One Billion Women violated. One billion daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, lovers and friends. On 14th February 2013, V-Day’s 15th Anniversary (I will talk a bit more about V-Day later), we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating men and women to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. We join V-Day and One Billion Rising to SAY NO to violence against women and girls.

Lily: Yes, on V-Day. Tell us about how this event is organized so that people who rise in different countries are synchronized, so that on February 14th this event takes place simultaneously, throughout the world?

Alice: V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues. In 2012, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place, produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls, which is a current theme and it is important to discuss it. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $90 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, reopened shelters, and funded over 14,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community.

Lily: Wow, that is inspiring news for those of us who work in Culture and the Arts, as well as for those of us who are against violence. So Alice, tell us how you will participate in One Billion Rising, from your perspective as a Dance/Movement Therapist?

Alice: As part of this movement to raise awareness, the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) officially supports this global dance-based event, promoting that each of its chapters and members join the billion individuals around the world to protest against violence to women and girls.

In order to make this a unique event from the contribution of Dance/Movement Therapists, there will be a presentation previous to the event, as part of preparations for V-Day. We will discuss current research and clinical practice of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT), focused at interventions for women and girls that have been victims of violence; clarifying misconceptions on practice, especially in terms on the postgraduate training required to practice as a healthcare professional.

Lily: That is correct, and it is very important. And finally, what is your proposal for ABACO project, the Department, and the University?

Alice: Well, my proposal consists of registering our event and preparing a choreography, based on creative movement explorations as a group (they will not be DMT sessions), to be added to the original “Break the Chain” Choreography. This will be presented on the 14 of February, V-Day which is action day in which people from all over the world will rise against violence. The group that will participate in the project will be a closed group. We will record a video, documenting the process as well as a final product.

This event has both the objective to raise awareness on violence to women, through dance; as well as to communicate the way in which clinical interventions based on dance and movement as practiced by qualified professionals can promote physical, cognitive, emotional and social integration in women and girls.

Lily: That is correct, and the students that will participate will be the group of Ilzcra Luna, our dance teacher here at ABACO, as well as the representative dance group; and film students taught by teacher Hugo Chávez will also be involved in this project. For more information visit: and on Twitter @ADTAorg, as well as We are looking into the possibility of presenting this choreography on the 14th, with students from the department, at Plaza Mariano de las Casas, and we are in the process of filing our permits. Our time is running out so thank you very much Alice.

Alice: Thank you very much Lily, we are very excited about this project.

Lily: And we shall be commenting on the progress of this project. Thank you all.


Manifiéstate. Danza. Ponte de Pie.

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No es a menudo que tenemos la oportunidad de ser parte de un evento que ocurre simultáneamente a nivel global. Recientemente, la Asociación Americana de Danza Terapia  (ADTA) se unió a un movimiento basado en la danza, con el propósito de poner un fin a la violencia contra mujeres y niñas. El evento se llevará a cabo el Día-V, 14 de Febrero del 2013. Las noticias llegaron a través de las redes sociales con este tweet de la cuenta oficial del Día-V (traducido):

Moviéndonos de víctima a sobreviviente: @ADTAorg se suma a #1billionrising (Un Billón de Pie)! Sobre el poder de la danza & UBP – MIRA ESTE VIDEO:
— Día-V (@VDay) Enero 17, 2013

El link nos lleva a la declaración oficial de la Presidenta de la ADTA, la Dra. Sherry Goodill, anunciando el involucramiento oficial de la ADTA en “Un Billón de Pie”. Los miembros de la ADTA alrededor del mundo comenzaron tomando acciones concretas y preparando eventos para el 14 de Febrero. En México, hay algunos proyectos desarrollándose:

Lic. Lily Sigie entrevistando a M.A., RDMT Alice Garfias

Lic. Lily Sigie entrevistando a M.A., RDMT Alice Garfias

El Círculo de Lectura Danza/Movimiento Terapia México también se ha unido a la causa, dedicando nuestra discusión mensual a un artículo de la Revista Americana de Danza Terapia (American Journal of Dance Therapy) sobre DMT efocado a mujeres que han sido víctimas de violencia. Además, como Terapeuta de Danza/Movimiento y miembro de la ADTA, tengo la oportunidad única de abogar por nuestra profesión de manera local, trabajando con el Proyecto ABACO, de la Facultad de Contaduría de la Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (UAQ). Me entrevistó la Lic. Lily Sigie de Proyecto ABACO, discutimos nuestro proyecto colaborativo el día de ayer en la Frecuencia 89.5 A.M. La entrevista puede escucharse en los minutos 7:03 – 14:05 y de nuevo en 18:59 – 26:50:

Entrevista “VALORES MAS” . Un Billón de Pie México. Enero 18, 2013