History of EADMT

European Association DanceMovement Therapy History and Development: 1994 - 2010
1994 – 2006

In 1994, at the first European Dance Movement Therapy conference held in Berlin, the idea of a European Network or Association was born. In 1995, Annelies Schrijnen van Gastel, who was running a DMT training in Rotterdam and interested in professional development, established the Network for the Professional Development of DMT. Thereafter, biennial meetings were held that brought together Presidentsand Chairs of DMT National Associations, programme leaders, business representatives and academic researchers. The Network looked to develop parity across practice ethics, professional standards and training programmes across Europe.  The Network meetings coincided with ECArTE’s  (European Consortium of Arts Therapies Education) conferences. 


 Diversity was found, and still exists, across Europe; some countries have DMT trainings established in universities with academic recognition, some have achieved governmental recognition of the profession, others are just at the beginning. There are some DMT training programmes organised by private institutes and regulated by the National DMT Association, while other countries have held established Criteria for Training for 15 years plus and have been training Dance Movement Therapists for over 25 years. The ‘younger’ associations learn from the ‘older’ associations.

 Since 2007

A seismic shift happened in March 2007 when APID, the Italian DMT Association, hosted a meeting in Bologna and invited representatives from all European DMT Associations who met certain levels of professionalism e.g. acriteria for training, a register of professionals, ongoing training initiatives for practitioners, and working towards (or already achieved) accreditation and/or regulation from national DMT or governmental bodies. The commitment to establish a professional European Dance Movement Therapy Association was agreed and formerly actioned. The major players at this time, who were willing to commit some funds to support the project, comprised Italy, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Greece.  Each committed to 500€ to start the process,allowing the investigation of European legal requirements and to support the procedures necessary to establish a European professional association.  This meeting culminated with the formation of a Steering Group which included Susan Scarth (UK), Vincenzo Puxeddo (Italy) and Susanne Bender (Germany).  Greece and Spain also expressed their dedication and support to this initiative. 

  2007 - 2010

In September 2007 in Tallinn, Estonia, at the 10th gathering of the Network,  a group of 24 participants representing 13 countries (Netherlands, Spain, Germany, UK,Estonia, Latvia, Greece, Russia, Finland, Sweden, France, Poland and the Czech Republic) agreed to the centrality of the Bologna Process that address edacademic regulation of programme credits and parity across the tertiary education sector in Europe. To support the work of the new Steering Group, the Network established an interim Network Executive Board with Working Groups to cover the business of training, professional practice, research, website, and included constitutional work (Steering Group). The interim Network Executive Board comprised Penelope Best as Chair (taking a neutral position rather than representing one nation), Heidrun Panhofer (Spain), Zuzanna Pedzich (Poland) and Klara Cizkova (Czech Republic).

 A list-serve and website were created - www.european-dance-movementtherapy.eu                  which continue to update the DMT community on the development process. English was agreed as the common language.  Once EADMT is established the Network will dissolve and the work will be taken over by the EADMT Board and new working groups.  At this point the website should evolve into an EADMT website.

 The Constitutional/Steering Group held its first formal meeting in October 2007 in Milan, Italy.  The group included representatives from the professional associations of Germany, UK, Italy, France (initially invited as an observer but quickly becoming a core group member), and the President of the interim Network Executive Board.  The group considered the legal requirements for founding a professional Association of associations, proposed the official name - European Association DanceMovement Therapy (EADMT), drafted a Mission Statement, Aims and Objectives anddevised provisional criteria for Professional Association standards.   A huge amount of work within one initial meeting!

 In March 2008 the Constitutional group met in Munich to discuss the Ethical Code. It was agreed that all 48 geographical European countries (not just EU members) with national DMT associations would be invited to become members. It was further clarified that the EADMT was designated an Association of Associations and not for registering individual DMT’s. It was provisionally agreed that EADMT be domiciled in Germany: a) the currency would be Euros, b) there were strong connections with a German lawyer to advise on European legislation, and c) there was potential for the office and hosting space with administrative support from Zentrum Fur Tanztherapie. Thus, as a European professional Association must work within the law where it is domiciled, all documentation must be translated into German.

September 2008 saw the Constitutional group meeting in Gorgonzola,Italy, (and included Denmark).   The focus was on voting rights where it seemed the development of EADMT mirrored the politics facing European politicians!  A key proposition emerged that would ensure the democracy of EADMT and give the powerof decisions and veto to the General Assembly rather than the Board.  The Board would be a facilitating entity that ensures the business of EADMT is carried out in accordance with therequirements of its’ members, the General Assembly.  It was proposed that only Delegates of the member Associations would have a vote in the General Assembly. Delegates, when they become Board Members, lose their voting rights and their position as a representative of their National Association. Instead they become a key representative of EADMT and work for the members Associations as a group.  The Deputy Delegate then becomes the official Delegate and the representative of the member Association.

In October 2008 the Network Board and Working Groups met in Munich, Germany. Data collected by the Education &Training Working Group was presented, but the results were not as conclusive as had been hoped and therefore clearer criteria for application to EADMT were developed. The Network and Working Groups were aiming to include as manycountries as possible in this process, while endeavouring to maintain a highstandard of requirements.  Finance created an added differentiation between countries. The diverse economic situations in Europe challenge the Network to find an equitable membership fee. However, 11 countries (UK, Poland, Spain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Germany,Latvia, Denmark, Netherlands, and CzechRepublic), have offered fees that will purchase the necessary legal advice and pay for the registration of the Associationin the German Court of Law.

In February 2009 the Network Secretary carried out phone interviews with each potential applicant to clarify terms, definitions and criteria. This was a key process in ensuring inclusivity from aknowledgeable position.  TheConstitutional group, meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, with representatives fromGreece, Netherlands and the Network Executive, were able to utilise theinformation gathered and consider the feedback received  about the proposals.  Voting rights were considered further, theStatutes were refined and Criteria for membership was agreed.  These revisions were based upon consultationand feedback across 11 national associations.

The final meeting for the Constitutional group was in June 2009 in Cagliari, Sardinia where the Statutes and the Rules of Procedure were finalised.  It was a momentous occasion!   Meanwhile the Network Executive completed designing the application forms, procedures for processing, the management of correspondence and explanation for all participating countries.  Applications were submitted in September 2009, peer reviewed and finalised by January 2010.  Formal invitations to the ill-fated Inaugura lMeeting of the EADMT in April 2010 in Munich were sent out.  The Iceland volcanic eruption postponed the meeting.  An alternative date was foundand nominees for the Board again clarified and attendance guaranteed.

In October 2010 EADMT was born!  Europe has one DMT voice, which allows for difference while sharing a commonality. Huge thanks are due to the Secretary General of the European MusicTherapy Confederation who offered vital support and information at the beginning of this last stage; to all those on the Constitutional Steering group who worked so tirelessly over many months growing and nurturing the concept; the Network Executive who brilliantly coordinated the final ‘push’; the website,research, training and education working parties who kept us informed andeducated; and to all of you who have participated by giving feedback, by submitting an application, by promoting the standards in your National Association and for being present at the birth. This has been a truly European and collaborative process from the start.

The Inaugural Meeting was a wonderful celebration of all that is European and the accord that each Association brought created a strong and positive energy.  A very large thank you to Susanne Bender and her colleagues who hosted the Inaugural Assembly, ensuring that everyone was well housed, fed and beautifully cared for - every detail considered.    Thank you too to the Observers (Belgium,who played such a key role in the business of the General Assembly.  Many of the Founding Members (UK, Italy,Germany, Spain, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Greece, The Netherlands, Latvia, Czech Republic, France) travelled with the Board (Susan Scarth - President, Antonella Monteleone - Secretary General, Nina Alcalay - Treasurer and Kristine Vende -Communications) to the Notary’s office in downtown Munich on Tuesday 26th October and witnessed the signing and hand-shaking with smiles all around!  Official registration was agreed by GermanLaw on November 29th 2011 and communicated to The Board from Munich (Susanne Bender).  Now the work begins.  The Board have several jobs to undertake including establishing a Bank Account and facilitating the Working Groups:

Training standards - Nina Alcalay, Marina Bebik, Zuzanna Pedzich-Lepkowska, Katalin Shili, Radana Syrovatkova, ChristinaWintels-Fivian,  Brigitte Zuger

Research - Antonella Monteleone, Klara Cizkova, Adrienne Incze, Nina Kanevskaya, JulieKil, Sabine Koch, Alexia Margariti

Public relations and communication - Kristine Vende, Goedele VanDoorsselaer, Nahia San Pedro

Official recognition - Susan Scarth, Silke von der Heyde, Shirley Mawer, VincenzoPuxeddu, Sarah Rodriguez-Cigaran, Natasa Smyrli, Tone Sundal Seailles

Thank you to Penelope Best, Retiring President of the Network

The meeting finished with a celebration ritual for Penelope Best, who was stepping down as the President of the Network. The GA expressed gratitude for the generosity with which she has shared her time and skills and her invaluable contribution to the foundation of the EADMT was acknowledged warmly. 

Report compiled by

Penelope Best - RetiringPresident of the European DMT Network

Susan Scarth -Constitutional Group member and President of EADMT

October 23rd/December 7th2010


Archive of  the  Minutes  of  GA:

2010 Inaugural Meeting in Munich

2011 GA in Prague

2012 GA in Edinbourgh

2013 GA in Warsaw

2014 GA in Riga

2015 GA in Budapest

2016 GA in  Milan