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Nancy Beardall

Associate Professor, Dance/Movement Therapy

617.349.8413 x.8413
Nancy Beardall

As a dance/movement therapist, consultant, Certified Movement Analyst, and educator, Dr. Nancy Beardall's work focuses on dance, dance therapy, and cognitive, social/emotional and relational development using dance/movement and the expressive arts in the public schools with students K-12 of all populations. 

Nancy has developed numerous curricula for middle and high school students promoting wellness, decision-making skills, healthy relationships, and making a difference in the school community. Her community-building programs through the arts have involved students, parents and community members. 

Nancy's research studies have spanned a range of topics from the influence of creative dance on self-esteem in early adolescence to the effectiveness of bullying prevention and mentoring programs through the arts promoting gender respect and the prevention of sexual harassment and dating abuse. Her school-based programs have received federal, state and local grants.



Rivera. M. Furcron, C. Beardall, N. (2022). Embodied Conversations: Culturally and Trauma Informed Healing Practices in Dance/Movement Therapy. In R. Dieterich-Hartwell & A. M. Melsom (Eds.), Dance/movement therapy for trauma survivors: Theoretical, clinical and cultural perspectives. Routledge.

Sajnani, N. Beardall, N. Butler, J. Estrella, K. Socha, D.  Stephenson, R. Zarate, R. (2019) Navigating the transition to online education in the arts therapies, Ecarte’ Publication.

Beardall, N. Furcron, C. (2019, December) Review of the book, The Embodied teen: A somatic curriculum for teaching body-mind awareness, kinesthetic intelligence, and social and emotional skills by Susan Bauer, American Journal of Dance Therapy,

Beardall, N. (2017). Dance/movement and embodied knowing with adolescents. In V. Karkou, S. Sycouris, S. Oliver (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of dance and well-being. (pp. 459-478). Edinburgh, England: The Oxford University Press.

Beardall, N. Blanc, V. Cardillo, N. Karman, S. Wiles, J. (2016). Creating the online body: Educating dance/movement therapists using a hybrid low-residency model. American Journal of Dance Therapy 38: 407-428. doi: 10.1007/s10465- 016-9228-y

Beardall, N. Brownell, A. Cardillo, N., Harmel, P. Karman, S. Marcow-Speiser, V. Newman-Bluestein, D. McKim, E. Smulian-Siegel, D. (2014). The Legacy of Norma Canner. American Journal of Dance Therapy 36 113-124. doi: 10.1007/s10465-04-9167-4.

Beardall, N. Surrey, J. (2013). 'Relational Mindfulness and Relational Movement in Training Dance/Movement Therapists.' Rappaport, L. (Ed), Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Beardall, N. (2011, June) Review of the book "The harmonic structure of movement, music and dance according to Rudolf Laban: An examination of his unpublished writings and drawings" by Carol-Lynne Moore. American Journal of Dance Therapy, doi 10.1007/s104665-011-9106-6


Beardall, N. (2011, June) Spirals dancing and the spiral integrated learning process: An embodied knowing. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, Vol 2.1

Beardall, Nancy, (2006). Creating a peaceable school: Confronting intolerance and bullying. Newton, MA: Newton Public Schools.

Selected Conferences

Dr. Beardall presents nationally and internationally

2019 ADTA Conference, Miami, Florida, Tracing the Roots of Infant, Child and Adolescent DMT – Part I: 17th Early Childhood Forum, with Dr. Suzi Tortora, Jane Wilson Cathcart, Susan Loman and Glorianne Jackson

2019 Ecarte,’ Madrid, Spain, Assessment in Expressive Therapies with Expressive Therapies faculty

2019 Lesley University, Community of Scholars, WE-Connect, WE- Intersect: Community Performance of Dance and Music with Rebecca Zarate and dance and music therapy students

2019 Beijing, China, Arts Therapies Conference, Assessment in Expressive Therapies: Bridging Clinical, Creative, and Cultural Approaches with Expressive Therapy faculty

2018 ADTA Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Foregrounding Social Justice, Educators and Multicultural Diversity Committee, with educators, alumni and current students

2018 Lesley University, Community Faculty and Staff Development Day, Transforming awareness into action: Resources to stop violence against women with Trina Baker and Lisa Fiore

2017 Lesley University, Panel: Bullying Prevention and Intervention with Lesley faculty members

2017 Ecarte, Krakow, Poland, Navigating the transition to online education in the Arts Therapies, with Dr. Karen Estrella, Dr. Nisha Sajnani, Dr. Raquel Stephenson, Donna Socha, Dr. Rebecca Zarate

2017 Arts and Social Action, Alternative Facts in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Zarate and dance therapy and music therapy students

2017 Community of Scholars, Community, Education and Support: Prevention of Relationship Abuse, presented with Trina Baker, Malcolm. Astley

2017 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Expressive Therapies: The Arts in Healing, presented with Lesley ET Coordinators

2016 Lesley University, March 30, Community of Scholars Day, Just Moves: A Community Social Action Dance

2016 ADTA International Conference, Bethesda, MA, Still Dancing: The Evolution of Dance from Creative Process to DMT to Embodied Self Care with Dr. Suzi Tortora and Amber Gray

2015 Ecarte, Palarmo, Italy, Cultural Humility and Responsiveness in the Creative Arts Therapies with ET Coordinators

2013 NEADTA, Antioch, NH, “Embodied Knowing and Creating Peaceable Schools”

2012 ADTA Conference, Albuquerque, NM, “Relational Mindfulness and Relational Movement in Training Dance Therapists”

2012 NEADTA, Cambridge, MA, “Dance of the Healing Spirit”. Keynote Speaker with Dicki Johnson Macy

2012 MVP’s Bystander Intervention Conference, Northeastern University, 
Plenary Panel: Bystander Pedagogy: Why and How We Teach and Facilitate

2011 ADTA Conference, Minneapolis, MN, “One Model of Dance Education and Dance/Movement Therapy in a K-12 Public School System”

2010 ADTA Conference, New York City, “An Interactive/Experiential Panel: Exploring ‘Movement Thinking,’ Labananalysis and DMT”

2010 Scholarship Day, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, Panel, “Dance Therapy Across the Lifespan”

2010 Scholarship Day, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, “From Isolation to Building Community”

2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, “The Biology of Dance”

2009 ADTA Conference, Portland, Oregon, “A Dialogue about the many Applications of Laban Movement Analysis” 

2009 IEATA Conference, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, “Mentoring, the Arts and Social Action” 

2009 Scholarship Day, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, “A Program Evaluation Study of the Implementation of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program in a Public High School” 

2008 ADTA Conference, Austin, Texas, “Spirals Dancing and the Integrated Pedagogical Process” 

2008 Huntington Lecture, Newton North High School with Peter Roby from Northeastern University, “The Arts, Athletics and Activism” 


Beardall N. Baker. C. Astley. M (2016).

Beardall N. (2006). Let the dancing begin: A twenty-year retrospective of the dance program at Day Middle School. DVD.

Beardall, N. (1992). In our words: Dancing for development and discovery. A documentary on the study of dance, adolescence, and self-esteem in eighth-grade students. DVD


  • Center for Research Fellowships, Lesley University 2008, 2009, 2010, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Goldrick Fund for Women in Leadership Grant 1999, 2000 
  • Community Service Learning Grant 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 
  • Anti-Defamation League Teaching Award 1998 
  • Charles Brown Fellowship Award 1992, 1997 
  • Horace Mann Grant 1990 


  • PhD Expressive Therapies, Lesley University
  • M.Ed., Lesley University
  • Certified Movement Analyst (CMA)
  • Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT)
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

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