Date of Award


Document Type



College of Visual and Performing Arts

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Morenga Hunt

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Matthews

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Vorder Bruegge


Dance, Therapy, Culture, Canada, Community Engagement, Mature Art Organizations


Since it’s founding in 1957, the ballet company, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal (LGBCM, Les Grands Ballets), has stretched the reputation of classical dance. Within its first year, the dance company was listed as a “top-rank cultural institution, actively involved in the presentation and promotion of dance in all its forms” (Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal “National Centre for Dance Therapy”). To continue its legacy, the Executive Director of LGBCM began collaborating with LGBCM’s Director of Development of Affairs, to establish the National Centre for Dance Therapy (NCDT, the Centre). Both directors updated Les Grands Ballets’ original vision, “to move the world- Differently” to its new vision, “actively promoting the better-being of individuals through dance” (Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal “National Centre for Dance Therapy”).

The Centre may be the first of its type in the world. By incorporating dance and movement therapy (DMT), formal academic training in DMT, and extensive scientific research for DMT under one roof, the Centre is “increasing its influence and social impact by using dance as a tool to improve the health and well-being of the individual and, by extension, society as a whole” (Nat’l Centre for Dance Therapy 1). On April 23rd, 2013 the NCDT officially launched its first four pilot projects. Today there are five active projects, nine developing projects, one completed study, and 29 developing partnerships with major organizations, to reach goals of preliminary scientific data collection (Grands Ballets“Template ENG JULY”). Plans to expand the Centre’s reach beyond the borders of Quebec, and even beyond Canada, are underway. The thesis research will document the vision, progress, impact, and continued plans for The National Centre for Dance Therapy. The NCDT has not yet developed one written document to summarize and contain all of its current information. This thesis will contribute to their plans to create a comprehensive body of data and information about all aspects of their unique and historic work.