Thania Acaron

Thania Acarón started and developed her career as a dancer, choreographer and educator in Puerto Rico. After finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, she traveled to New York to do her Master's in Dance Education with the K-12 New York Public School Certification. She then discovered Dance/Movement Therapy and acquired both the degree and the New York State Creative Arts Therapy License. Acarón has taught dance/movement therapy, behaviour management and violence prevention workshops in New York, Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

Thania is currently pursuing her PhD in Sociology (IDAV- Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence Programme) at the University of Aberdeen, and is currently a part-time lecturer and clinical supervisor at the MSc Programme in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Her website is: www.thania.info

Research Interests:

  • Dance Movement Psychotherapy & Creative Arts Therapies
  • Creative Arts & Violence Prevention/Peace-building
  • Interdisciplinary Creative Inquiry
  • Biopsychosocial effects of trauma and PTSD
  • Body-based symptoms of burnout prevention and secondary traumatic stress
  • Somatic practices
  • Body-image and dissociation
  • Gender and Sexuality in Therapeutic Practice

Academic & Professional Presentations:

2013 & Upcoming

  • Reshaping Space: Body, Boundaries and Violence, to be presented at the “Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences” conference, University of Zadar, Croatia (September 2013)
  • The Ritualesque Dance and the Afro-Colombian Funerary Ritual – upcoming paper and workshop with PhD candidate Sandra Ríos Oyola at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (University of Edinburgh) and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (Notre Dame University): €¨The Arts of Peacebuilding: Exploring Religious Dimensions (August 2013)
  • Moving Through Conflict: Dance/movement in contexts of violence- Paper to be presented at the Interpersonal Violence conference at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland (August 2013)
  • The practitioner’s body of knowledge: dance/movement in training programmes that address violence, conflict and peace – PhD Presentation at IDAV Symposium (June 2013)
  • Moving Through Conflict: Practical Applications - Workshop hosted by the Greek Dance
  • Therapy Association in Athens, Greece (June 2013)

2012

  • Dance/movement in contexts of violence – presentation at the York St. John University and Hebrew University: The International Conference on Peace & Reconciliation: Mediating Peace: Reconciliation through Art, Music & Film in Jerusalem, Israel (November 2012)
  • Shape-in (g) Space: Bodies, Boundaries and Violence - at the IDAV In-Between Bodies Symposium 2012, and co-facilitating roundtable in interdisciplinarity (June 2012).
  • Dance and Violence Prevention - PhD Overview - Presentation at Monthly IDAV Seminar (February 2012)

Past and Upcoming Publications:

  • Book chapter for the Oxford Handbook for Dance and Wellbeing, Oxford University Press; forthcoming, 2013.
  • “The Body and Other Demons,” Journal for Creativity in Mental Health, 2011, Volume 6, Issue 3 pp. 244-248. Article about the disconnection between body and mind in contemporary society and critique on the responsibility and ethics behind the arts with special populations.
  • “Surveying the Practice of Dance/Movement Therapy in Educational Settings: A Study of Uniformity and Diversity,” Master’s Research Project & Poster Session Presented at the American Dance Therapy Association - This quantitative research study statistically describes the practice of dance movement psychotherapy in school settings in the United States. Abstract published in the 2004 American Dance Therapy Journal, 26 (1), p. 51.
  • “What is Dance/Movement Therapy? Contrasts with other dance/movement disciplines” (in Spanish) Available on www.thania.info.
  • Translated “Healing Processes in Group Dance Therapy” by Claire Schmais English-Spanish. Fundamental article on dance/movement therapy practices, authorized by one of the most influential dance/movement therapists in the field.
  • “We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto: An Alternate Route Student’s Story” (English) Article posted in American Dance Therapy Association website (2001-2004) as a guide for Alternate Route (independent study) students in dance movement psychotherapy.

Teaching:

  • Part-time lecturing and clinical supervision at Queen Margaret University's MSc Programme in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, Edinburgh
  • Contemporary Release-Based dance teacher at Dance Base, Edinburgh

Workshops/Training:

Developed training and professional development workshops for:

  • LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Edinburgh
  • Barnardo's for Children - staff development day
  • DanceBase - open workshop to the community
  • Queen Margaret University - intensive weekend professional development course (2 years running)

Contemporary Dance/Professional Level - CityMoves Aberdeen Dance Agency; DanceBase, Edinburgh; Academy Street Studio (Aberdeen)

Funding:

Creative Scotland professional development funding (three-time recipient over the past two years)

  • (Forthcoming) Attendance and performance at the American Dance Therapy Association conference 2013 in New York City and choreographic residency in December 2013 with international collaborators
  • Attendance to Choreographic Lab Research Residency in Athens, Greece and collaborative residency in Barcelona, Spain (July-August 2012).
  • Additional funding for choreographic research residencies @ Citymoves, Aberdeen Dance Agency (July 2012) and DanceBase, Edinburgh (October 2012) and Dumfries (February 2013) and a culminating full-length evening performance (IN-FILLED-HER project) in Edinburgh.