Individual Viewer

Oral History: Roots to Branches: How Vision, Passion, and Commitment Built a Profession

With Kristine Purcell, Moderator; Beate Becker, Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger, Judith Bunney, Sharon Chaiklin, Dr. Beth Kalish, Susan Kleinman, Cathy Pasternak, Susan L. Sandel, Debby Thomas & Elissa Queyquep White

Second generation dance/movement therapists share their experience in the parallel processes of creating a profession and supporting association. This "oral history" seminar is structured in a conversational, storytelling style that allows for spontaneous exchanges and connections to surface that might otherwise be lost.

This course originated from the 2016 ADTA Conference in Washingtonn DC.


Beate Becker, LCAT, LP, LMHC, BC-DMT, NCPsyA, NCC, SEP, CMA, Dance/Movement Therapist, Psychoanalyst, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Adj. Assoc. Professor, Graduate Creative Arts Therapy Dept. Dance Therapy Program, Pratt Institute ’01-’13; leader, Trauma Study Cooperative, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy ’10-’15; private practice. ADTA: Charter member; Chair original Bylaws Committee; original Nominating Committee & Chair ’03; Co-Editor, American Journal of Dance Therapy ’07-’11, Editorial Board since ’11. Presenter at national professional conferences; published in professional journals. Formerly: Adjunct Assoc. Prof., Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY; choreographer, performer, lighting designer.


Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger, BC-DMT, LCAT, an early pioneer of dance therapy in the late 1950s while she performed with the Jean Erdman Theatre of Dance. Past President and charter member of the ADTA, Dr. Berger has taught at New York University since 1975, where she was the Director of the Dance Education Program from 1993-2002. Currently the Director of the Dance Therapy Program at the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y. and the Alternate Route Training at the National Centre of Dance Therapy at Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal. Director of the Creative Arts Therapies Department, Bronx Psychiatric Center. 1970-90. Past Chair of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies. Former co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (AJDT), and formerly on the editorial board of the Journal of Dance Education, and the Arts in Psychotherapy. She has created DMT training programs in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Sweden, and taught dance therapy and the Movement Psychodiagnostic Inventory in France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, and Taiwan. Dr. Berger received the ADTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007; was inducted into Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame 2005; received the Marian Chace Award for fostering the international growth of dance therapy 2002; and was the recipient of the Charles Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College 2009. An early student of dance therapy pioneers Marian Chace, Irmgaard Bartenieff, and Rhoda Winter Russell.


Judith Bunney, MA, BC-DMT, is a Charter Member and Past President of ADTA. She trained with Marian Chace at Chestnut Lodge from 1957-1963. Currently on the faculties of the 92nd Y Harkness Dance Center, Grands Ballets of Canada Montreal and Codarts Dance Therapy Masters in Rotterdam, she has also taught in China, Poland, Ukraine the Czech Republic as well as universities in Washington, DC. She served as Training Officer at St Elizabeths Hospital for 23 years. A founding member of NCCATA, she served as its first Chair. After writing a grant for it, she served as co-producer of the film: Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement. She was appointed to the President’s Commission on Mental Health Panel on the Role of the Arts and presented ADTA testimony to the US Senate Select Committee on Aging. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and delivered the Marian Chace Foundation Lecture in2012. She works with artists and writers dealing with creative blocks and workshops focused on grief and loss. She earned a US Coast Guard Captain’s license for ocean sailing, spending vacations sailing in oceans around the world including Antarctica. In Santa Fe, she has appeared in five movies and presented testimony at the NM Legislature on the environment.


Sharon Chaiklin, BC-DMT, worked as an apprentice at St. Elizabeths with Marian Chace for a year beginning in 1963.  I then created a job in the Maryland state hospital system at Crownsville and worked until 1972 when I then went to Gundry Hospital in Baltimore.  My major work continued to be within the hospital although I did maintain a private practice.  I taught at the first dance/movement therapy program created with Mara Capy at the University of Haifa in 1980 and then was Adjunct Professor at Goucher College Graduate Dance/Movement Program until it closed in 1994.  I have done workshops nationally and internationally and in addition to articles, have co-edited Foundations of Dance/Movement Therapy: The Life and Work of Marian Chace and The Art and Science of Dance/Movement Therapy: Life is Dance. In 2012 Ms. Chaiklin was the ADTA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.


Dr. Beth Kalish, BC-DMT, was a founding member and the third President of ADTA.  She was one of ADTA’s original Trustees of the Marian Chace Memorial Fund. Her teacher/mentor was Marian Chace beginning in 1961 at Turtle Bay Music School, New York. Her early clinical work with schizophrenics led to the first Pennsylvania State category for hiring dance/movement therapists (1962). She pioneered work with autistic children. Her doctoral dissertation, Body Movement Scale for Autistic and other Atypical Children (Bryn Mawr College, 1976) is one of the eight scales of BRIAAC (Stoelting, 1977). Dr. Kalish founded the dance/movement therapy graduate programs at Immaculate Heart College and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (1974-83).  The recipient of several awards, includes The Marian Chace Memorial Lecturer (1996). In the 1980’s, Dr. Kalish trained at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. She is a licensed psychologist and training and supervising psychoanalyst and served as LAISPS president (2003-07). Currently, she is on the Board of Representatives of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Kalish is in private practice in Hollywood Hills, California.


Susan Kleinman, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, CEDS, is Creative Arts Therapies Supervisor and Dance/Movement Therapist for The Renfrew Center. Ms. Kleinman is a trustee of the Marian Chace Foundation, Past President of the American Dance Therapy Association, and a past Chair of The National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies. She has published extensively, presented widely, and is the recipient of the ADTA’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award and The International Association of Eating Disorders Professional’s 2014 Spirit of IAEDP award. Her work is featured in the documentary entitled Expressing Disorder: Journey to Recovery.


Cathy Pasternak began her career in 1963 at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC as a dance therapist. As assistant to Marian Chace, Cathy employed dance as a form of communication in treating patients with mental illness. During her tenure, she also incorporated  the use of sign language to work with the hearing impaired. Upon Marian’s retirement, Cathy led the department and continued to advance the use of dance therapy. While Cathy spent 20 years raising her family, she continued to make dance a part of her life. She led liturgical dance seminars at week-long conferences for the Episcopal Church, established three separate ecumenical liturgical dance groups, and choreographed six high school and community theater musical productions. She returned to the workforce, taking on roles with a number of social service nonprofits. She was office manager for several mental health care and child psychiatry practices, and later served as executive assistant to senior executives at S.P. Richards, U.S. Office Products, and United Healthcare, before retiring in 2009. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University.


Susan L. Sandel, PhD, BC-DMT, LCAT, CLM, is a Dance/Movement Therapist for the Cancer Center at Middlesex Hospital.  Dr. Sandel was a Charter Member of the ADTA and served on the first Registry and Approval Committees.  When she was a trustee of the Marian Chace Foundation, she was the senior editor of the book, Foundations of Dance/Movement Therapy: The Life and Work of Marian Chace.  She has published more than forty papers about the role of movement in healing.  Her work with geriatric clients is featured in the film, The Power of Movement.


Elissa Queyquep White, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, studied with Marian Chace and Irmgard Bartenieff.  She co-founded the Dance Therapy Program at Hunter College in 1971 and along with teaching, worked clinically from l967-1998.  She is a charter member of ADTA and served in many capacities on the Board of Directors, the last being president of ADTA.  She teaches courses at The New School, Pratt Institute and Kinections, is on the advisory board of Inspirees Institute for Creative Arts Therapy (IICAT) in Beijing. She has published articles on DMT and movement observation.

ADTA CE Hour: 2

NBCC CE Hour: 2