Foundation Course in Dance Movement Therapy

The Foundation Course in Dance-Movement Therapy is the first 16 months of the IDTIA Advanced Clinical Training programme. It is a 16 month, part time course of study comprising six modules. Teaching Faculty are IDTIA graduates who received their training from American dance therapist and educator, Dr Marcia Leventhal PhD CMA ADTR. All are experienced professional dance therapists and teachers. The training is highly experiential, supported by theoretical teaching and practicum.


The Foundation Course training comprises 6 study modules, 188 training hours in total (slightly less for interstate students). Each module consists of a three-four day weekend intensive workshop running from Friday morning until Sunday/Monday early evening, and two week day evening tutorials (or one tutorial for interstate students on an agreed day). Students will complete three assignments, together with practical exercises and short papers; a 20 hour dyad project (first 8 months) and a 10 week/20 hour practice project (second 8 months) with four week self initiated fieldwork practicum.

The Foundation Couorse in Dance-Movement Therapy is awarded upon attendance at all modules and tutorials and satisfactory completion of all course work, assignments, dyads and the dance therapy practice project.

Curriculum Overview

Training modules include:

  • dance movement processes
  • history of dance therapy as a healing art
  • creative processes and group processes
  • human development related to movement studies
  • theoretical frameworks and healing modalities
  • therapeutic application
  • Dance therapy practice project: observation and participation in a group that uses dance for therapeutic purposes
    Leading part of one session with supervision. Visits of observation to other site(s)

The training is in three major areas

  1. Personal movement experience – to understand the power of dance in contributing to growth or change
  2. Theoretical/conceptual – including relevant developmental, humanistic and psycho-dynamic frameworks
  3. Practical application of dance to populations with therapeutic needs


The following criteria are required for entrance into the Foundation Course Programme:

  • attendance at an IDTIA ‘Introduction to Dance Therapy’ workshop (within a two year period prior to application)
  • minimum age of 24, as a relative indication of maturity
  • past and continuing dance-movement experience including creative and improvisational dance
  • ability to research and write at a standard consistent with the printed materials and learning of the course
  • self awareness; the capacity to relate in a facilitative way with others and to reflect on and examine the impact of these actions
  • voluntary service or paid employment in the community, in clinical populations, or in a related and appropriate sector (such as work with people with disabilities or in aged care)
  • a capacity to understand and practice ethical behaviour and be prepared to follow a code of ethics, which is an integrated part of the training program
  • a capacity to reflect on and learn from experience, including being open to new experiences
  • capacity for self-critique
  • ability to accept and reflect upon lecturers’ and peers’ comments, criticism and support.

The following criteria are deemed desirable for entrance into the Foundation Course, but in their absence must be acquired prior to entry into the Advanced Professional Training Course.

  • completion of a course in Counselling or other psychotherapeutic relational training, minimum of 30 hours.
  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent, in which the student has demonstrated both literacy and the intellectual capacity to productively synthesise the materials and experiences of the course

Attendance at an Introduction to Dance Therapy workshop is expected for selection and orientation to the approach to dance therapy taught through IDTIA.

On application to the course, prospective students may be interviewed by Faculty member(s) or an interstate tutor before acceptance into the program.

Interstate students are required to attend the 6 intensive Modules in Melbourne. Major tutorials and the dance therapy practice project will be based in the home state (where possible).


Fees are payable in advance. An additional enrolment fee is payable on application to the course. The total fees (including enrolment) for the Foundation Course are currently $9,900.

Commencement of the course is subject to sufficient numbers enrolling. Course fees may increase yearly. IDTIA does not cover any additional costs associated with the dyad or practice project.

For more detailed information on the Foundation Course, or to obtain an Expression of Interest form for the next course, please contact the IDTIA Administrator.