Staff Directory

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2015 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) – FHEA

2012-13 Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK
Registered Movement Psychotherapist
Clinical Supervisor and Private Practice Register (Equivalencies)

2005-09 American Dance Therapy Association
BC-DMT (Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist Date: March 2009
DTR (Dance Therapist Registered) Date: April 2005
Member of the Alternate Route Educators and Students Committee

2006 New York State Dept. of Education LCAT (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist)

Awards: Bonnie Bird/Marion North Choreographic Mentorship 2016; Ambassador of Dance, Puerto Rico International Dance Festival 2017


Thania is a UK-based choreographer, performer, educator and dance artist from Puerto Rico, currently residing in the UK after New York and Buenos Aires.

Thania completed her PhD thesis on the connection between dance and violence prevention at the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence Programme in the University of Aberdeen.  She has a BBA in Business Administration (University of Puerto Rico), an MA Dance Education (New York University), NY teacher certification and is a certified dance/movement psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. She is the recipient of the 2017 award as Puerto Rico Ambassador for Dance at the International Dance Festival and the 2016 Bonnie Bird/Marion North Choreographic Mentorship Award.

She has trained in contemporary dance, ballet, and many other styles, and has danced for several dance companies and artists in Puerto Rico, Argentina, New York and Scotland (please email for detailed dance CV). She currently co-directs an interdisciplinary artist group, Orphaned Limbs Collective, with composer Ross Whyte. Her artistic work incorporates contemporary release technique, with theatrical elements with a site-responsive focus and a somatic influence. 

In addition to her artistic career, she has been a dance movement therapist for ten years, with advanced credentialing in the US & UK as a lecturer and clinical supervisor. She has taught dance/movement psychotherapy in over six countries.  Thania currently works as a lecturer in dance and physical theatre at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, which she balances with her artistic work in Wales and Scotland. She also teaches international workshops on contemporary dance and interdisciplinary practice, arts-based peacebuilding, and dance, health and wellbeing, which she has led in over 9 countries.



Dance Movement Psychotherapy
Arts & Health
Physical Theatre
Dance Education
Choreography / Performance
Interdisciplinary Practice
Work with LGBT+ Community
International Professional Development
Workshop Facilitation


2015. The Practitioner’s Body of Knowledge: Dance/Movement in Training Programmes that Address Violence, Conflict and Peace. PhD Thesis. University of Aberdeen. Link

Journal Articles:

2018. Movement Decision-Making in Violence Prevention and Peace Practices. Journal of Peace Education. Link

2016. Traversing Distance and Proximity: The Integration of Psychodrama and Dance Movement Psychotherapy Techniques in Supervision, Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 1-15. Link

2015. Shape (in)g Space: Body, Boundaries and Violence, Space and Culture, Vol 19, Issue 2, pp. 139-149 Link

2011. The Body and Other Demons, Journal for Creativity in Mental Health, Volume 6, Issue 3 pp. 244-248, Link.

Book Chapters:

2019. Acarón, T. and Wren, A. Under the Skin: Barriers & Opportunities for Dance Movement Therapy and Art Psychotherapy for LGBT+ Clients. In: S. Hogan, ed., Inscribed on the Body: Gender and Difference in the Arts Therapies. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 24-35. Link

2019. (in press). Rios, S. & Acarón, T. Peacebuilding and Dance in the Afro-Colombian Funerary Ritual, In: Scott Appleby, Jolyon Mitchell, Hal Culbertson and Theodora Hawksley (eds) The Arts of Peacebuilding, ‘Strategic Peacebuilding’ Series.

2017. Therapeutic Performance: When Private Moves into Public. In: V. Karkou, S. Oliver and Lycouris, eds., The Oxford Handbook for Dance and Wellbeing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Link

Book Reviews:

2018. Essentials of dance movement psychotherapy: international perspectives on theory, research and practice edited by Helen Payne. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 13(4), 271–273.

2014. The Choreography of Conflict: Conflict, Movement and Neuroscience, Cooperation and Conflict Journal. Vol 51, Issue 3, pp. 402-404. Link

Conference Proceedings:
Scottish Dance Movement Therapy Report, American Dance Therapy Association Conference Proceedings, October 2013

Surveying the Practice of Dance/Movement Therapy in Educational Settings: A Study of Uniformity and Diversity – Master’s Research Project & Poster Session – American Dance Therapy Association – Quantitative research study statistically describes the practice of dance movement psychotherapy in K–12 school settings in the United States. Abstract published in the 2004 American Dance Therapy Journal, 26 (1), p. 51.

Translated “Healing Processes in Group Dance Therapy” by Claire Schmais English-Spanish. Fundamental article on dance/movement therapy practices, authorised by one of the most influential dance movement psychotherapists in the field.

“We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto: An Alternate Route Student’s Story” (English) Article posted in American Dance Therapy Association website (2001-2004) as a guide for Alternate Route (independent study) students in dance movement psychotherapy.



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