Dance & Arts Therapy NZ offers $3k research grant

Contributor: Alice Rich

DTNZ is inviting expressions of interest for a 120-hour research grant of NZ$3,000 for trainee and qualified Dance Movement Therapists wishing to research the MARA movement assessment and reporting app.

MARA is an iPad app for dance movement therapy assessment developed by Australian dance movement therapists, Kim Dunphy and Sue Mullane. The app enables dance movement therapists to assess client progress securely, accurately and comprehensively.

The therapeutic benefit of dance is well established internationally with dance movement therapists employed full time in schools (and other organisations) in countries such as Israel, USA and Europe. Despite this, very little New Zealand-based literature exists for dance movement therapy and the profession remains young.

“Facilitating research in this area is beyond innovative – it’s pioneering,” says DTNZ Director, Anaia Treefoot, “We’re simply at a deficit when it comes to local scientific data to support this high quality work.”

An international shift in focus towards the importance of wellness in mental health, mindfulness and self-care makes, particularly as we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, makes now the perfect climate for education around artistic modalities and for local arts therapy professionals to begin to offer a uniquely New Zealand contribution to international literature on dance movement and arts therapies.

The purpose of the grant is threefold: to contribute to the development, awareness and understanding of dance movement therapy here in Aotearoa; to offer the opportunity for a dance therapy professional to contribute a ‘kiwi flavour’ and context to the international dance movement therapy; and to expand opportunities for local vulnerable communities and individuals to experience, be supported and empowered by, and benefit from, high quality arts.

Supervision will be provided by MARA co-developer, Sue Mullane.

Research proposals, along with an applicant CV and cover letter are due by 5pm on July 21st, 2020. To apply, or for more information, please contact / (09) 636 3029.

Alice Rich has a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy and has spent the last two years as DTNZ’s Programmes Manager. Alice loves how movement and creative expression can have such a profound impact on people’s lives.