Frequently Asked Questions
- About Dance/Movement Therapy
- About Sarah Lawrence's Program
- Application Questions
- Tuition and Fees
- General Information
What is dance/movement therapy as a profession?
Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual. Therapy is based on the empirically supported premise that the body and mind are interconnected and interact in health and illness. Body movement provides both a means of assessment and a mode of intervention for dance/movement therapists in working with individuals or with groups, in the treatment of developmental, medical, social, physical or psychological impairments.
What types of skills are needed?
A strong background in dance is essential. Interest and experience in working with and helping others are also important. Applicants should be self-reflective and respectful of individual differences, with a commitment to working as a therapist.
How much dance experience is needed?
Students should demonstrate concentrated study in a classic, contemporary, or world dance form and some experience in at least one other dance style or a body-mind modality such as yoga. Proficiency in basic elements of dance, such as improvisation, choreography and teaching, is also preferred.
Where do dance/movement therapists work?
Dance/movement therapists work in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in nursing homes, day care centers, health promotion and disease prevention programs and in private practice. They work with a range of disorders and populations, and with people of all ages in groups, families or individually.
What type of certification is needed?
Many states require certification or licensure of dance/movement therapists as mental health counselors. Students are advised to consult their state credentialing requirements for specific information.
Where can I get more information about dance/movement therapy as a profession?
The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) provides information about the profession and about certification in dance/movement therapy.
What makes Sarah Lawrence’s dance/movement therapy program unique?
The Dance Movement Therapy program at SLC is new; the first class will be entering in the fall of 2012. However, the launch of the program is a culmination of a long tradition of the college’s engagement with the profession, and with the vibrant dance community in New York City. Graduates of Sarah Lawrence College have been pioneers in the profession, as founders of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) and the Marian Chace Foundation and leading the effort to develop licensure in the field.
Program director, noted dancer and founding clinical coordinator of the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City, Cathy Appel, is a leader in the field of DMT. After 20 years as a distinguished clinician, Cathy returns to her alma mater to launch a program that is prepared to train a new generation of leaders in the dance/movement therapy field. She brings with her a rich knowledge of the profession, a network of relationships with key influencers in the field, and a deep understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of study unique to a Sarah Lawrence education.
The College recognizes that Cathy’s strengths, paired with the resources of the College which permit students to engage with professionals from dance, psychology, child development and health advocacy, creates an unparalleled opportunity to prepare graduate students to enter the growing field of Dance/Movement Therapy, and will also provide a setting for ongoing research and innovation among established practitioners. Recent advances in neuroscience research have created new opportunities for Dance/Movement Therapy professionals.
What is the class schedule?
The program is an intensive course of study in which students complete 60 credits of coursework over a two year period. Classes are scheduled to meet two days out of the week, with fieldwork and internship placements occurring on non-class days. Students will need to have flexibility in their schedules in order to optimize fieldwork and internship scheduling.
What are classes like?
Classes vary. Many involve movement participation and/or experiential exercises; others are seminars with class discussions. Verbal and movement participation are expected of all students.
Is much writing involved?
Yes, most courses require a major paper, usually accounting for 40% of the grade. A master’s thesis is also required of all students.
Are there online options?
No. The program requires movement participation in classes, as well as clinical work on the Sarah Lawrence College campus.
Can students attend part-time?
No. The program is structured in such a way that it requires full-time attendance for two years.
How much time is spent in fieldwork?
In the first semester, the fieldwork placement is at the Early Childhood Center and involves one half day per week. In the second semester, the fieldwork placement is typically in an off-campus setting and requires a full day each week.
How are clinical internships arranged?
The program has contracted with experienced dance therapists to provide optimal learning experiences in a range of clinical settings.
What types of internships are available?
Internship placements include clinical settings such as therapeutic preschools or community programs, elementary or secondary schools, or child-life programs on pediatric wards, social service agencies, adult psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes.
Are students paid for internships?
No, students do not receive a salary or stipend for internship work.
Does the program prepare students for certification?
Program graduates may be eligible for certification or licensure in states that recognize dance/movement therapy as a professional practice. In New York State, the degree prepares graduates to take the licensing examination for Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.
Whom should I contact if I have more questions about your program?
You can contact Cathy Appel, firstname.lastname@example.org, director of the Program in Dance/Movement Therapy.
What is the application process?
You can apply online or download the application from the Sarah Lawrence College website. If you prefer, the application can be mailed to you.
The application and supporting documents can be submitted electronically or they can be mailed to: Sarah Lawrence College, Graduate Studies Office, 1 Mead Way, Bronxville, NY 10708.
What is the application process timeline?
The preferred application deadline is April 15, but applications will be accepted through July 15. Once the completed application and all supporting documents are received and reviewed, applicants will be contacted to schedule a group movement assessment and interview.
Do you have rolling admissions?
Is it possible to send supporting documents separately?
Yes, however, we do need to know when you intend to send in the remaining documents. Transcripts from an undergraduate institution must be in a sealed envelope. Letters of recommendation must be in sealed envelopes with the writers’ signatures across the flap. Everything should be sent to the attention of the Graduate Studies Office.
Note that your application is not reviewed until all documents are received, so sending everything at once is preferable. Also, take into consideration the time it takes for the mail to be processed, especially for applications from outside the U.S.
What is the GRE code for SLC?
Sarah Lawrence College does not require GRE scores. If you do wish to send them, the SLC code is 2810.
How are applicants notified to come in for an interview?
We notify applicants by mail, phone or e-mail. Therefore, providing your current address, phone number, and e-mail address is essential.
What should I expect during the interview process?
Once you are invited for an interview, we will send you directions and details of what to expect on that day. There will be a group dance/movement assessment as well as an individual interview.
When can I expect to hear a decision about my application?
Applicants will be notified by mail, typically about two weeks after the interview and group movement assessment.
Do you accept international students?
Yes, we do. If you have any questions, please contact Alba Coronel, Graduate Advisor for international students.
Are there additional documents for international students?
Yes. Students not educated in an English-speaking country need to submit their TOEFL scores, an English translation of their transcript and a conversion of their grades to GPA.
Is there an alternate interview process for international students?
Yes. Students who are not able to come to campus should call the Graduate Studies Office (914-395-2371) to make alternate arrangements.
What are the tuition costs?
See the Student Accounts page for a basic outline of graduate tuition and costs. Specific details will be discussed in the interview sessions.
What kind of financial aid is available and how do I apply?
Applicants receive a booklet on financial aid options, which are also discussed in the interviews. If you need more information, please contact Susan Guma, Dean of Graduate Studies, or Roberta Daskin, Associate Director of Financial Aid.
What additional expenses can I expect to incur at Sarah Lawrence?
Additional expenses depend on individual circumstances. Books are either recommended or required, according to instructor preference. A copy of each required text will be kept on reserve in the library. Students should expect to spend several hundred dollars a semester on book purchases. A copy of each required text will be kept on reserve in the library. (Remember that these books will be the basis of your career. They need not be purchased at the campus bookstore.) For students who have cars, there is also a fee for parking on campus.
Can I work while attending the program?
Yes. Many graduate students hold part-time jobs. A wide range of positions are available on campus; many other students take off-campus part-time jobs.
Is financial aid available for international students?
Financial aid is given to all students in need, regardless of nationality. See Graduate Aid for International Students for more information. For details on the process, please contact Roberta Daskin as soon as possible. To determine the amount of financial aid you will qualify for, you need to apply for aid when applying to the program.
Can international students obtain employment?
Under U.S. immigration laws, international students can be employed only on campus or in their field of study.
How far away is the College from the airports?
There are several airports nearby:
- Westchester Airport in White Plains is 20-30 minutes, but it is a small airport and service is limited
- LaGuardia Airport is 30 minutes by car and 1-2 hours by public transportation
- JFK International Airport is one hour by car
- Newark Liberty International Airport is in New Jersey, approximately one hour by car
How do I get from the airport to the College?
Taxi or car service is the easiest. See Directions to Campus for other options.
How can I find a place to live?
Beginning in late spring, a graduate housing coordinator is available to advise students on their search for housing. While Sarah Lawrence does not offer graduate housing, we have many resources for students looking for housing: individual advising, information on specific geographic locations and an excellent housing web board. You can also use Craigslist.org or the local papers.
How do I get around?
A car is helpful but not necessary. There is a train to New York City and local bus service.
How far is the College from NYC?
It is 30 minutes to Grand Central Terminal by train (Metro North), or up to an hour by bus and subway (the less expensive option).
How far is the College from the train station?
The College is about a mile from the Bronxville Metro North station. Students can walk or take a taxi or shuttle from the train station.
Is there College transportation?
There is a free nightly shuttle van that meets every train arriving from or departing for New York City after 5 p.m.
What is the campus social life like for graduate students?
The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) holds monthly meetings that are informative and social. You will find out more about GSS during orientation. There are many lectures, films and performances on campus throughout the academic year.