Health And Wellness
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Afro-Caribbean Dance Healing System: Connection. Meaning. Power.

“”Through extensive research and wonderful collaborations with other community healers, I have concluded that Afro-Caribbean dance provides access to four levels of empowerment: The Self-Body Power, The Collective Power, The Socio-Political Power, and the Spiritual Power… Within Afro-Caribbean dance traditions, symbolic imagery is evoked by the embodiment of forces of nature, or themes of struggle, revolution, liberation, pride, and celebration… By making the commitment to understand how social and political systems influence our clients’ life, then we begin advocating for a culture of visibility, inclusion, and equality.” – Maria E. Rivera, MS, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT

To learn more about dance/movement therapy, please visit

About the speaker:

Maria E. Rivera (Mara) MS, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT was born and raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. She currently works as a dance/movement therapist and educator in New York and has acquired extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with severe mental disorders and emotional disturbances. She is also dancer, choreographer, and songwriter working independently and most recently with Afro-Inspira, Legacy Women, and Ase Dance Theatre Collective. Maria has also traveled to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti to research traditional dance forms, which have highly contributed to her belief in cultural dances and rituals as healing tools. Her current research involves promoting the Afro-Caribbean Dance Healing System as a comprehensive treatment approach in the work with diverse communities, especially communities of color. Currently, Maria serves as the Afro-Latino Director of the Black American and African Descendants Affinity Group within the ADTA’s Multicultural Diversity Committee. Maria is very passionate and committed to create bridges between dance/movement therapy and Afro-Centric holistic values.

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