Tripura Kashyap pioneered Dance Movement Therapy in India in 1990 after specialising in it at the Hancock Centre for Dance/movement therapy in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She later completed her M.A. in Psychology in India. She has worked as a Movement therapist at Half-way homes, Special schools, Treatment centres, retirement homes and with individual clients for several years. She received a 1st class diploma in Bharatanatyam from Kalakshetra, Chennai and was a performing artiste in the Chandralekha dance company. Tripura received fellowships from the Ashoka International Foundation, Indian Ministry of Culture and Sangeet Natak Academy for her innovations in dance therapy and contemporary dance. She authored ‘My Body, My Wisdom’ a book on dance therapy and ‘Contemporary Dance: Practices, Paradigms and Practitioners’ published by Penguin and Aayu publications. She was a consultant for the Dance-in-Education program at Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts (Bangalore) program coordinator at Bhoomika dance company (Delhi) and was Director/Choreographer and performing artist of Apoorva dance theatre (Bangalore). She has collaborated on many cross-art performances and projects with visual artists, theatre practitioners and musicians. Tripura is on the teaching faculty for dance movement therapy on Certificate, PG Diploma and M.A courses across India and has also been on visiting /adjunct faculty of Ashoka University, Ambedkar University and University of World design, Delhi. She has presented her dance therapy work through lectures and workshops at several national and international conferences, seminars and colloquiums - through both, onsite and online portals.
Reetu is a Creative Movement Therapy Facilitator, a dancer/choreographer for over 30 years, and visiting faculty with Ashoka University and Ambedkar University. Her dance repertoire includes Indian classical & folk, Ugandan folk, and American Tribal Style belly dance. As a facilitator, she has primarily worked with transgender (hijra) and adolescent groups and is passionate about creating open and safe platforms for self-discovery, dialogue and expression, especially in areas related to gender and sexuality. Reetu was selected as an ADTA Talks’ speaker at the American Dance Therapy Association’s 50th Annual Conference and has represented India and the field of creative movement therapy at various forums, including the DaDaFest International Congress in the UK in 2016, the Ananta Centre (formerly Aspen Institute India) leadership conference on ending sexual violence in 2014, and the Harvard South Asia Institute “Gender Justice, Criminal Law, and Curricular Reforms” conference in 2013. Reetu is currently pursuing her PhD in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University, USA, with her research focus on exploring the role of the arts in sexual violence prevention with youth in India.
Preethi Rajagopalan is a Movement Therapy Facilitator and completed her certification as a Creative Movement Facilitator in 2015 from the CID UNESCO certified course offered by CMTAI. She recently completed the graduate level dance therapy program from the National Centre for Dance Therapy (NCDT) in Montreal, Canada. She has been an executive team member of the Creative Movement Therapy Association of India (CMTAI) since 2015 and has been the Conference Director of CMTAI's annual international conferences for two years. She has been working with various populations including children with special needs, teachers, college students, women's groups, corporates apart from individual clients. She has worked with various special schools like Vydehi school, Asha Foundation, Aarambh school, Bubbles Center for Autism and Shalabham school previously. She has held sessions on stress management, work-life balance, mindfulness, creative meditation, Emotional Regulation, Communication for corporates like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Colt Technologies, Red Hat India, Cloud2Scale Solutions, Willis Towers Watson. She is one of the teaching faculty of the certificate course in Creative Movement Therapy and the Therapeutic-Dance-in-Education program offered by CMTAI. She has presented her work with children with special needs at various forums and conferences. She is currently completing the Post-graduate level 7-month online Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Research Foundation, USA and Certificate Program in Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy from The Embody Lab, USA.
Sukriti Dua is a psychologist, dance/movement therapy practitioner and a choreographer. She has done her bachelors in Psychology and masters in Clinical Psychology and has also completed a certification in Dance/Movement Therapy from CMTAI. In the past few years she has majorly worked with children of all ages and various needs, whilst visiting NGOs, intervention centers, schools, private organizations and more, through counseling and DMT. Her counseling work is also extended to adults and young adults through consultancy and private practice. She is also a published author with her paper, “The Effect of Dance on Self” in an ISBN Book. She actively conducts workshops with students, universities, schools, corporates etc. and is a faculty on CMTAI's certification courses. Her choreography venture "Beat It Productions" has a large reach through Youtube and offline projects as well. Her major interests lie in applying her therapeutic knowledge with different populations, spreading awareness about mental health, facilitating positive mental health and pursuing her passion of dance and research alongside.
Aparna is a Registered Dance movement psychotherapist (R-DMP). She has a Master's degree in Dance movement psychotherapy from Goldsmiths, University of London. She also holds a Masters of Science in Medical Sociology from The University of Madras and a Post Diploma in Bharatanatyam from Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai. Currently, she works at Parivarthan Counseling and Research Centre, where she primarily works with adolescent and adult mental health using DMP as her main modality. She has also facilitated therapeutic movement workshops in corporate settings, namely Rossari Biotech and Galaxy Surfactants. She has also conducted multiple workshops on Dance Movement Therapy, with a focus on internal body systems (breath, cells, muscles, Bones) and also on the subject of Therapeutic Journaling in relation to Body Movement. Aparna has offered DMP group and individual sessions to Carers of individuals going through mental health illnesses at MIND in Bexley, London. Apart from the therapeutic work with carers, she also offered weekly well-being sessions for groups of carers during the pandemic. For her, integrating mental health with the use of the body as a creative outlet helps bring a sense of oneness. In addition, she believes that each movement of the body is an adventure, where, with the support provided by the therapeutic relationship, one seeks to explore something new each time. She also holds a strong ethical outlook of creating a safe space of inclusivity and non-judgment.
Maanasa Bharath is a Master in Science graduate in Dance/Movement Therapy from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, USA, and a Bachelor's degree holder in Information Technology from S.I.E.S. GST, Mumbai, India. A passionate and trained Indian classical dancer, with training in Bharatanatyam for more than 16 years, she has been running her own dance academy called Anahata Academy of Dance in Bangalore for 5 years. Along with a couple of dance productions choreographed and presented by her team, with mentions in the Prajavani newspaper, she has also had the opportunity to represent India in the 50th World Dance Congress, affiliated with UNESCO, in Greece. Her vision to expand the awareness and practice of the deeply significant essence of Indian cultural dance forms in health care, inspired her to pursue the M.S. degree in Dance/Movement Therapy. During the course of the Masters program, she has interned at Andrus Early Learning Center in New York, USA, for children from age 0-5 years and at Sri Jayadeva Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences, Bangalore, India. Currently employed at Prameya Health Care Center for Cancer Rehabilitation and Powergrid Organization, Bangalore, Maanasa has also been a Guest Lecturer at the M.A. program in Dance/Movement Therapy at Sancheti Health Care Association, affiliated to Pune University. She had an opportunity to present at CMTAI Annual Conference on Dance/Movement Therapy in Cancer Care, which was guided by the knowledge gained during the Supportive Care in Cancer certification course and experientials at work.
Rashmi Balakrishnan is a Movement-based Expressive Arts Therapy Practitioner. She has a rich experience of 16 years in the corporate world designing, developing and delivering trainings. She has had the opportunity to work with various populations like adolescents, women, children with risk, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and various fellowship programs over the last 8 years. She works with various modalities like movement, visual arts, storytelling, drama, music, and the ancient wisdom of feminine spirituality. She works towards breaking the barriers around mental health and create spaces where no topic is taboo; spaces, where everyone's lived experience, is honored. She facilitates therapeutic sessions that offer the participants a safe space to explore and express their experiences around gender. She is currently completing the Post-graduate level 7-month online Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Research Foundation, USA. She has co-presented at the Reframe: A Pan-Asian Summit (Envisioning a world without GBV). She has also been a resource personal at various fellowship programs. She is a member of the Karnataka Mental Health Council, WICCI.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Nishtha Agarwal holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University (Cambridge, USA), a Masters in Applied Psychology from Delhi University (Delhi, India), and has completed a certification course in Dance Movement Therapy from CID UNESCO. In the last three and half years she has worked as an Outpatient Clinician in Massachusetts (USA), assessing and treating adults facing various mental health issues in individual, couples, family and group settings. She applies a trauma-informed and body-based approach in expressive arts therapy with stories, visual art and poetry being her primary modalities of treatment. She highlights her body-based intermodal approach in her published paper “Being a witness: Using kinesthetic empathy as a reflective tool for clients”. She has also had extensive experience working with psychosis and personality disorders across ages. Her past work includes a wide range of populations such as adults and adolescents with eating disorders at partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient units, homeless adults with acute mental illness at Tihar Jail Complex, adolescents in high schools and children with visual impairment.
Purva is a software engineer by education, but after a couple of years in the IT industry, her spirit took her to more creative avenues. Over the years, she has served as associate director of sales at Kingdom of Dreams, India's 1st Broadway style theater and cultural center. She has also served as the Head and Chief Happiness Officer with Zorba the Buddha, one of India's largest open faith spiritual and cultural centers. She has also worked with some celebrity management and event companies. She likes to travel and blog about these said travels. Purva is playful and heartful, and brings practicality, positivity and mindfulness in all her interactions.
Nalini Prakash, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and a certified movement analyst, has extensive experience working with individuals suffering from chronic mental illness within the criminal justice system. A classical Indian dancer, Nalini facilitates recovery-based groups that value cultural and ethnic diversity. She integrates elements of Indian dance and creative movement encouraging individuals to safely re-experience emotions, empowering them towards positive change. She has also used her skills in movement observation to reduce violence, fostering social change among a forensic population. Nalini is currently a PhD candidate within the Creative Arts Therapies graduate program at Drexel University.
Dr. Malini Nagpal has been working since the 90s with organizations and individual clients on refining human inter/intra-action and communication to achieve empowered and effective personal and professional success. With a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), MS & Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (I/O Psychology), Dr. Nagpal has combined the practice of DMT with the science of I/O Psychology and created education, training, and advocacy materials. She also trains actors, attorneys, athletes, sales/marketing teams, healthcare professionals, etc. internationally to achieve success in their respective professions.
Dr. Sohini Chakraborty, Ashoka fellow, sociologist, dance activist, and dance movement therapist, is the founder/director of Kolkata Sanved. She is a pioneer of dance movement therapy(DMT) in India and South Asia as a tool for psycho-social rehabilitation to provide a fresh approach both in DMT and social development sector. For more than 25 years, Sohini has experimented with DMT as a tool for empowerment, psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration for vulnerable/marginalized children, young people and adults. Creating a pool of DMT practitioners from the grassroot level and from survivors is her significant contribution in the global DMT approach. The unique and innovative Sampoornata approach was developed by Kolkata Sanved under her leadership. Honed over the past two decades, Kolkata Sanved’s Sampoornata’ model is a globally recognized approach today. Sohini was instrumental in launching one of the country’s first Diploma DMT programmes in 2012 with the Center for Lifelong Learning, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is the International Working Committee Member Rise Learning Network- work for recovery reintegration for child sexual exploitation and Chair-Status and Development, World Dance Alliance, Asia Pacific. She has received multiple national and international awards for her innovation, leadership, outstanding achievement and inspiration.