Dance/Movement Therapy Faculty
BA, Sarah Lawrence College, MFA, Vermont College, MFA, Warren Wilson College, MSW and MS, Hunter College. Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R). A former ballet dancer, Cathy trained at the American Ballet Theatre School and then with Leon Fokine as a trainee of the Harkness Ballet Company, before performing with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. She had the opportunity to dance in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and Symphony in C. She later attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she was introduced to modern dance and formed her own company. She performed original work and in a reconstruction of Doris Humphrey's Day on Earth with Dance Junction and with her own modern dance company until the mid 80s. Influenced by the work of Meredith Monk '64 to explore interdisciplinary performance that resonates within the body as it reflects and interacts with the imaginal, external and archetypal world, she went on to study Body-Mind Centering and Authentic Movement. As part of her exploration of verbal and nonverbal expression, and to broaden her creative work, she earned MFAs in Writing from Vermont College and Warren Wilson College, culminating in her thesis, Recognizing the Dance. She has published poems in journals, textbooks and anthologies. As her focus shifted to the relationship between dance and healing, she pursued an MSW and an MS in dance/movement therapy from Hunter College. During her final social work internship year at the International Center for the Disabled (1991-1992), she was asked to start a creative arts psychotherapy program. She has worked at ICD in the Behavioral Medicine Department since graduating from Hunter, developing and serving as clinical coordinator of the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program. During her tenure at ICD, she provided thousands of clinical service hours in a comprehensive care outpatient facility offering long- and short-term mental health treatment.
Cathy has taught workshops and classes at the School of Visual Arts, Goddard College, NYU and SLC, and for organizations such as the Red Cross, the MS Society and Montefiore Hospital. She was Senior Editor and author of two chapters in the Second Revised Edition (2005) of the dance therapy textbook, Dance Movement Therapy: A Healing Art (F. Levy Ed.), co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (2003-2007), a member of the Credentials Committee for the American Dance Therapy Association (2007-2009) and of the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board (2009-2010).
BA, Trinity College, MS, Hunter College, MA, PhD, Long Island University. Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist, studied modern dance improvisation and Asian dance/drama with Judy Dworin and was an inaugural participant in the Trinity/La Mama program. She has 20 years clinical experience treating various populations including children, infants with mothers with chronic mental illness, eating disorders, and geriatrics. She has taught at Mercy College, Westchester Community College, Long Island University, and The New School. She is a Staff Psychologist at Aging Matters Psychological Services in White Plains, New York. Her research interests include time perception in children with ADHD and the integration of Eastern philosophy in Western mental health practices.
BA, Queens College, MA, SUNY at Buffalo, MSW, Hunter College, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R). Deborah Kelly has 23 years clinical experience treating adults with physical disabilities, chronic illness, traumatic brain injury, mental illness, and addiction disorders. She has presented at community-based conferences on topics such as Chemical Dependency and Disability; Emotional and Psychological Effects of Sarcoidosis on Family and Friends; Ethnicity and Rehabilitation; and Cultural Diversity in Healthcare and Rehabilitation. She also has taught numerous in-service staff trainings on Disability Rights History; Short Term Solution Focused Treatment Planning; and Client Centered Treatment and the Well-Written Treatment Plan. Formerly a Senior Social Worker at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City, her special interests include medical and psychiatric clinical assessment; chronic pain conditions and neurodegenerative diseases; and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
BA, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton State University of New York, MPS, Dance/Movement Therapy, Pratt Institute, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT). Ms. Lewis studied dance with Valerie Bettis and June Lewis and has 25 years of clinical experience working collaboratively with a diverse team of professionals as a creative arts therapist treating adults with chronic mental and physical illness, physical disabilities, and traumatic brain injury. She formerly worked at the International Center for the Disabled, New York City, in the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program. Additional areas of study include yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
BA, Point Park College, MA, Hunter College, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT). Jean choreographed and danced with the Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, ’79 and helped to shape the company in its early years. Through her experience dancing and choreographing she became interested in the power of movement to express what words cannot. Jean went on to receive her MA in Dance Therapy at Hunter College ’85, and has been working in the field ever since. Her clinical work includes a wide variety of populations and age groups. She has served on the credentialing committee for the American Dance Therapy Association, co-coordinated a national conference, was Vice President and Program Director of the New York State Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association, and developed the first dance therapy program for Catholic Charities for people with developmental disabilities. Jean has two articles published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. Her article “Behind the Gates: Dance/Movement Therapy in a Women’s Prison”, was highly praised. She has taught at Mercy College, Westchester Community College, Pratt Institute, and College of New Rochelle. Additional training and interests include family therapy and authentic movement. Jean has been on staff at Jacobi Medical Center since 1990, supervises staff and interns, teaches and holds a private practice in Westchester County, New York.
BA, Amherst College, MFA, Sarah Lawrence College. Melissa Alexis has taught at Boston University, Smith College, Amherst College, and Tufts University. Currently on faculty at Bard High School Early College Newark, where she is implementing a new dance program. She gained a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from Amherst College. She has trained with Yvonne Daniel, Ronald K. Brown, and Lamine Thiam. Her practice is rooted in the exploration of the intersection between African and Western perspectives, as well as psychology and Buddhist studies.
Masters in Movement Therapy (MMT), Antioch/New England Graduate School. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Dance, SUNY. Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist (BC-DMT). Sandy has worked extensively as a Dance Movement Therapist for the past 30 years with a variety of populations including individuals with autism, psychiatric disorders, learning disabilities, dementia and developmental disabilities, as well as preschoolers at risk. Sandy has studied privately with pioneers in her field, such as Dr. Judith Kestenberg. She became certified in the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP) in 1982, where she worked as an adjunct therapist with Dr. Kestenberg and trained at the Research Center for Families and Children in Sands Point, Long Island. She has taught applied Kestenberg principles in many workshops and trainings in a wide variety of settings since that time, particularly using movement components of empathy and trust to enhance relational development.
Sandy also trained privately, and in groups, with pioneer Janet Adler in Authentic Movement. She has been teaching this work in private practice for many years, with individuals and in Women’s Circles. Additionally, Sandy trained in the highly traditional martial arts, Japanese Karate-Do, and earned her Black Belt degree in 2007. Sandy’s special interest is now integrating witness consciousness (authentic movement) with warrior consciousness (martial arts) in therapy and in development.
Currently, Sandy is working as a Psychology Supervisor for a number of residential programs serving developmentally disabled and dually diagnosed individuals. She provides direct services, as well as clinical oversight of all programming and teaches behavioral assessment & intervention strategies.
BS, Bowling Green State University, MA, Antioch New England, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT). Erin did her clinical internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, then worked as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Therapist at North General Hospital in Harlem, New York, where she provided individual and group dance/movement therapy. She also provided various psycho-educational groups on the inpatient mental illness and chemical addiction unit until the hospital closed in 2010. Subsequently, Erin worked as the Integrative Therapies Coordinator for the Adult In-patient Psychiatric Units at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital until December 2011. She is currently in private practice and supervises therapists seeking board certification.
BA, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton State University of New York, MA, Hunter College, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Advanced Graduate Degree, CCNY, NY State Certified School Psychologist, Certified Mediator by the Unified Court System of NY State. She has had 30 years of work clinical work experience with children and adults with emotional and developmental disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders. She worked with teams of creative art therapists servicing developmentally disabled adults at the Federation Employment Guidance Service and Young Adult Institute.
She also worked as a Clinical School Psychologist with school age children for 20 years at the Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Education. Working collaboratively with teams of teachers and therapists, Ms. Shafer specialized in group work and the creative art therapies. She has presented mediation and dance movement therapy workshops at New York School Principals for the Education of Students with Emotional Difficulties.
BFA, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, MEd and EdD Temple University, has served as an Assistant Professor of Dance at The George Washington University, Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance Program at Northwestern University and Assistant Professor of Dance at Queens College-CUNY. For the last 32 years, he has also been a performer and choreographer. In 1981, Joseph joined the Mid American Dance Company MADCO (now Modern American Dance Company) and toured throughout the Midwest. From 1987 to1994, Joseph had overlapping tenures with MOMIX and the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, both of which toured nationally and internationally. He has also performed as a guest artist with many other dance companies. His own choreographic work seeks to blend his interests in athleticism and audience accessibility with the poetic sensibilities, influenced by his mentor, Erick Hawkins. Joseph is a Certified Movement Analyst with a particular interest in somatic studies and holistic approaches to understanding the body in dance education.