Teach For India Project

Aarohi Doshi and Mugdha Shivapurkar


Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.

Expressive art therapy can also aid a child in achieving better self-awareness, relief from stress or anxiety, learning disorders, autism, and other traumatic experiences.

The Art Forms


Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is sometimes referred to as a game.

It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques.


Drumming, which is essentially rhythmic striking on a percussion instrument, is a recreational activity widely known to many cultures.

Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression.


Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance of Afro Brazilian origin. There is actually a set of dances, rather than a single dance, that define the Samba dancing scene in Brazil.

Dance Therapy: Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body. As a form of expressive therapy, DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion.

Story Telling: Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or elaboration. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values.

Significance and Rationale:

This research brings to light the positive changes as a result of Art Based Intervention on the TFI children. This research helps to understand the importance of ABT and its effects on adolescents. It was a process to production

Review of Literature

Expressive arts have long been used with children to promote psychological health and social support. They offer children “a way to express their feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and memories in ways that words cannot” (Malchiodi, 2005, p. 9).

Studies indicate that expressive arts assist healing from childhood trauma and aid in overall mental health “by providing opportunities to share experiences in an empathic environment through symbolically expressing emotions in a concrete way” (Smilen, 2009, p. 381).


The main purpose of this research was to investigate the positive changes that occur as a result of an Art based intervention on social behavior, cognitive factors and self-awareness among children.

Independent Variable: Art Based Therapy

Dependent Variables: Social behaviour, Cognitive factors, Self-awareness

Hypothesis: There is a positive change as a result of an Art Based Intervention on social behavior, cognitive factors and self-awareness among children

Results and observation

The results were computed by the means of using the frequencies of the 25 sub-domains and a graphical representation was used to represent the results. They were marked Low, Medium, or High on each dimensions. The numerical values for the same are:

Low= 1

Medium= 2

High= 3

The three domains that were studied included Social Behavior, Cognitive Factors and Self Awareness. The analysis for each of their sub-domains was calculated.

Sample Graphs

Listening Skills: There is a significant increase seen in Session 10. There has been a constant increase and decrease in the levels until the 22nd session. A stable increase has been seen in after the 22nd session.


Motivation and Interest: There is a significant increase seen in Session 11 and in the 13th session. There has been a constant increase and decrease in the levels until the 22nd session. A stable increase has been seen in after the 22nd session.


Participation: There is a significant decrease seen in Session 4. There has been a constant increase and decrease in the levels until the 18th session. A stable increase has been seen in after the 18th session.


Art forms and their Objectives:

Art Form Objective
Capoeira Awareness of each other, participation, strength, stamina, channelizing energy creatively
Samba Response to structured movement, imitation skills,   spatial awareness
Drumming Listening skills, rhythm synchrony, energy, Group Co-ordination
Story Telling Social Interaction, verbal articulation, co-operation
Dance Therapy Improvization skills, creativity, Eye contact, Body language, Range of Movement, physical contact.
Performance Memory and sequencing, Group Focus, Response to instruction, Adaptability, Leadership

Additional Observations:

  • Interest, Compulsion and Participation
  • Compliance was their first priority
  • Happiness was a pre-dominant factor
  • Age as a major factor
  • Social Desirability
  • Choice of activities: Preference to music, stunts, adrenaline.


American Dance Therapy Association (2009, November). What is DMT? http://www.ADTA.net.

Aron-Rubin, J. (2005). Child art therapy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, Inc

Balgaonkar, A. (2010). Effect of Dance/ Motor Therapy on the Cognitive Development of Children International Journal of Arts and Sciences 3(11): 54 – 72, Solapur University, India

Bhagwan, R. (2009). Creating sacred experiences for children as pathways to healing, growth and transformation. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 14(3), 225-234.

Corteville, Mary K., “Dance Your Way to Communication: Dance Movement Therapy to Increase Self-Esteem, Poor Body Image, and Communication Skills in High School Females” (2009). Counselor Education Master’s Theses. Paper 21.

Levy, F. (1988). Dance Movement Therapy A Healing Art. Virginia: National Dance Association.

Malchiodi, C. (2005). Using art activities to support trauma recovery in children. Trauma & Loss: Research & Interventions, 5(1), 8-11.

n.d. (2003), Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective, Expressive Arts Therapy: Creative Process in Art and Life. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers. p. 3

Ornstein, A. (2006). Artistic creativity and the healing process. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 26(3), 386-406.

Rangparia, Rakhi, “Dance/Movement Therapy in India” (2011). Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Theses. Paper 3.

Smilan, C. (2009). Building resiliency to childhood trauma through arts-based learning.Childhood Education, 85(6), 380.

Spindell, M. (1996). Dance/movement therapy opens communication pathways. Brown

             University Long-Term Care Quality Advisor, 8(13), 1-4.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2002). In terror’s grip: Healing the ravages of trauma. Cerebrum, 4, 34-50.

Wennerstrand, A. (2008) Dance/Movement therapy: learning to use dance to help others. Dance Magazine, 82(10), 86-88.


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