March 13, 2020

Dear ADTA Community:

As the news of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) rapidly grows and evolves, we know that you are concerned about the well-being of your families, clients and community. The ADTA and DMTCB (Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board) are fastidiously monitoring the situation in order to provide guidance to our community of dance/movement therapy practitioners, educators and students. The well-being of our community and those we serve is of the highest concern and priority for your leadership at this time.

As such, we are writing to provide you with support and guidance as you strive to make safe, healthy and socially mindful decisions for yourself, your families and your clients. We will be updating our guidance as the external circumstances evolve. In the meantime, please reach out to us at [email protected] with specific questions, concerns or needs.
*Thank you to the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) for their comprehensive March 12, 2020, communication which helped inform much of the guidance below.
Keeping Current with Accurate Information
Up-to-date and accurate information is critical for safety. Visit the CDC website for accurate and up to date information. Below are specific sections from the website that may be particularly helpful:

Working with Clients

If your work requires you to have direct client contact during this time, please consider the following strategies to protect both you and your clients’ safety:

  • Eliminate touching. This includes greetings or hand holding. If touching does occur, immediately use and provide your client(s) with sanitizing gel.
  • Always wash hands between clients if possible, if not use hand sanitizer. See above links to CDC’s Handwashing website for effective handwashing techniques.
  • Stop the use of props or be sure to properly sanitize all props between individual use.
  • Consider temporarily canceling all groups. If you must run a group, consider guidelines regarding social distancing and do not hold hands, touch or use props.
  • Sanitize your office/work area frequently.
  • For those working in facilities, make sure you are following your hospital/agency's COVID-19 sanitary protocols.
  • For those working in private practice, instruct clients who are not feeling well (cold/flu) to stay home. Offer phone or video sessions (and check for HIPPA compliant platforms).
Educators and Students

The ADTA educators and Committee on Approval and the DMTCB have held several meetings to discuss the unique circumstances COVID-19 is creating for educators and students. Most colleges and universities have suspended all in-person classes and our educators are working diligently to adjust teaching methods and content for an online environment. If you are an educator, you will be receiving a comprehensive communication with support and guidance from the Committee on Approval in the coming days.

We also know this a time of high anxiety for students, especially those who are planning to graduate soon and are unable to attend their internships. The ADTA and DMTCB leadership are engaged in serious ongoing consultation about how to address this situation. We will be able to provide more information very soon.
Mental Health, Self-Care and Reducing Isolation

Stress, anxiety and fear are common reactions to the current COVID-19 outbreak. It is critically important that as we work to ensure safety, we also remember to attend to the mental health and wellbeing of our clients, communities and, critically, ourselves.

Some ideas to help with this include:

  • Acknowledging that this outbreak may be eliciting a range of feelings including anxiety and fear.
  • Focus on what is within you control such as proper hygiene and social distancing.
  • MOVE: keep your body moving by putting on music and dancing, stretching, practicing yoga, etc.
  • Spend time in nature as much as possible.
  • Stay connected is as safe. Understand that social distancing has a specific meaning and is not intended to limit all contact. The CDC describes social distancing as: remaining out of places where people meet or gather, avoiding local public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, rideshare), and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.

See the CDC’s Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19  and Taking Care of your Emotional Health webpages for further information.

It is important we find ways to remain connected during this difficult time. We encourage you to stay in touch more broadly via social media. Consider using the ADTA Facebook Group to stay connect, decrease isolation and share ideas about how you are managing personally and professionally.
We will be sending additional messages providing updated guidance in the weeks to come. For now, we are wishing you and your loved ones safety and mental well-being during this difficult time.
Margaret Migliorati, ADTA President

Paul Sevett, ADTA President-Elect