Tomoyo Kawano, PhD
Program Director, Assistant Professor, Dance/Movement Therapy, Applied Psychology
I am passionate about exploring and integrating dance and other creative arts’ dynamic processes to engage with clients and enhance students’ embodied learning. My clinical experience includes working with acute inpatient psychiatric adults, suicidal teenagers, teenage sex offenders, victims of domestic/partner violence, and immigrant children of refugees. My primary research interest, reflected in my presentations and publications, is in dance epistemology and its explication with research methodology, ritual and ceremony, and the diversity and inclusion curricula.
Dance Epistemology: My interest in dance as a form of knowing stems from my impulse to communicate through dance. To better understand the potential for deeper knowledge discovery through the body and dancing, for my doctoral work at Lesley University, I developed a systematized embodied-artistic approach for qualitative data analysis (for which I was awarded the research fellowship). I extend the idea that dance and other forms of nonverbal arts have the capacity to communicate that which cannot be expressed in words to many areas of my life.
DMT as Social Action: For example, as an approach for interpersonal, collaborative development, DMT can be applied to community building and social action. A technique of DMT that is used in clinical assessment is listening through movement. By observing how people move, listening to the tone and quality of their voices (rather than the content), and sensing what is in the milieu or environment, dance/movement therapists attempt to make meaning in relationship with people who want to create change. By mirroring people’s movements, we show who we are and begin to make empathic connections.
I have been applying this method of improvising a dance at a Hiroshima Memorial (with non-profits Arts for Peace and Uptown Progressive Action). In the context of the memorial, the dance serves to communicate that which cannot be expressed in words. Rather than a form of entertainment, the memorial offers a communal space where people’s experiences with war, violence, and other forms of injustices can be seen, heard, and/or felt, and reflected upon. The dance is, by its nature, improvised as a response to and reflection of those voices, including mine. It changes depending on who is present and what is being offered in the moment. Instead of numbers and facts, the dance taps into the lived human experience and can have an impact on a visceral level to empower; connect to one’s heritage, culture, and community; feel witnessed; and to witness.
Within AUNE, I work collaboratively in partnership with the provost’s office, faculty, staff, and students to embed and institutionalize AUNE’s commitment to living its social justice mission.
Social Justice in DMT: The idea of dance as a form of knowing is common in the field of DMT. However, hierarchies of knowledge exist. Many groups of people have been historically excluded from participating and being represented in higher education – DMT included. Traditional ritual and ceremony practices, for example, have been marginalized and studied from a particular viewpoint that looked down on the arts, especially dance that utilizes the body.
To bring change, I am currently working on:
- Creating a narrative of my embodied approach to teaching and learning about oppressor, oppressed, and bystander roles through a DMT lens;
- Exploring traditional and indigenous arts-based healing practices that have existed before DMT (with DMT affiliate faculty and drama therapist Kim Burden);
- Exploring the connection between DMT and spirituality (with Dr. Angela Grayson, Drexel University)
Examining how to provide feedback to international students and students who have been traditionally outside of the dominant student body of DMT pedagogy and training.
- PhD, Expressive Therapies, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
- MA, Somatic Counseling Psychology, Naropa University, Boulder, CO
- BA, International Relations, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
Selected Recent Publications (peer-reviewed articles and book chapters)
Tantia, J.F., & Kawano, T. (2018). Moving the data: Embodied approaches for data collection and analysis in dance/movement therapy research. In R.F. Cruz, & C.F. Berrol, (Eds.), Dance movement therapists in action: A working guide to research options. (3rd ed.) Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Kawano, T., Cruz, R. F., & Tan, X. (2018). Dance/movement therapists’ understanding and attitudes regarding LGBTQI and gender nonconforming communities. American Journal of Dance Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10465-018-9283-7
Kawano, T. (2018). Transmission of the professional identity through an embodied artistic ritual: An investigation of a dance/movement therapy welcoming ceremony. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 57, 1-10.
Kawano, T. (2017). Developing a dance/movement therapy approach to qualitatively analyzing interview data. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 56, 61-73.
Kawano, T. 川野知世 (2017). [Current trends in dance/movement therapy graduate education in the US]. Japanese Journal of Dance Therapy, 10(1), 5-10.
- PY 6821 – Clinical Appraisal and Treatment Planning (online)
- PY 6010B – Professional Orientation and Ethics (hybrid)
- PYB 5500C – Psychopathology
- PYB5900C – Research and Evaluation
- PYB 6060B – Social and Cultural Diversity
- PYG6040A – Group Work in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling
Past courses (Lesley University): Orientation to Expressive Therapies; Dance/Movement Therapy: Clinical Skills and Applications (hybrid); Supervision I (online); Dance/Movement Therapy Theory and Practice I & II; Examining Power, Privilege and Oppression in Clinical Practice; Psychopathology; Research & Evaluation (both hybrid and face-to-face); Thesis Seminar (both hybrid and face-to-face); Integrative Seminar
Kawano, T., Chang, M., & Soor, D. (2018, October). The Embodiment of Non-Binary Racial Experiences of Dance/Movement Therapists: Reflections of Three Generations. Upcoming at the American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.
Kawano, T. (2018, September). In N. Sajnani (Moderator), Decentering US/White Arts Therapies Curricula: Challenging who is authorized and why in arts therapies training, supervision, and research. Panel presentation upcoming at the Think Tank and Conference at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Dunham, J. & Kawano, T., & Scully, B. (2018, June). Supporting International Writer's Workshop (Online). Antioch University New England, Keene, NH.
Kawano, T. & Terrell, D. (2018, April). Ethnic and Racial Trauma in Graduate Students of Color: Voices from the Creative Arts Therapies. Defining Trauma and Resilience Conference, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH.
Dunham, J., Kawano, T., & Walsh, K. (2018, April). Supporting International Writer's Workshop. Antioch University New England, Keene, NH.
Kawano, T. (2018, March). Beyond Multiculturalism: Appraising the Roles of Oppressor and Oppressed in Dance/Movement Therapy Practice, Education, and Research. New England American Dance Therapy Association Conference, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Chang, M. & Kawano, T. (2018, March). Non-binary Notions of Race. New England American Dance Therapy Association Conference, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. & Thomas, T. (2017, November). Examining Power, Privilege, and Oppression in Dance/Movement Therapy Practice. American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Tantia, J. F., Cruz, R.F., & Kawano, T. (2017, November). Embodied Research Methods for Dance/Movement Therapists. American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Tan, X., Kawano, T., Whitehead-Pleaux, A., & Vu, K. (2017, February). Beyond Power, Privilege, and Oppression: Courage for Social Justice in Clinical Settings. New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association Continuing Education Seminar, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2016, October). Dance/Movement Therapy as an Embodied-Artistic Approach to Qualitatively Analyzing Interviews. American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.
Kawano, T. (2016, September). American Academic Norms: A Primer. International Student Orientation, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2016, May). Cross Discipline Classroom Activities that Foster Inclusion. Faculty Development Day: Fostering Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusivity in Our Classrooms, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2016, April). Dance/Movement Therapy as an Embodied-Artistic Approach to Analyzing Qualitative Interview Data. New England American Dance Therapy Association Conference, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2015, November). Addressing Non-verbal Biases in Clinical Practice and Supervision. Clinical Instructors Continuing Education Seminar, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2013, November). Embodied Arts Therapies and Ritual as Transcultural Practices. Expressive Therapies Summit [Conference], New York, NY.
Kawano, T. (2013, October). Building Connections through a Hiroshima Memorial. American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, Brooklyn, NY.
Kawano, T. (2012, November). Improvised Dance-Music as Emotional Reflections of the Participants’ Experiences of a Hiroshima Memorial. Arts in Healthcare [Conference], Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Kawano, T. (2011, October). Dance/Movement Therapy as Radical Approach to Community Building. American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.