Valerie Blanc, PhD, LMHC, BC-DMT, CMA, has been a part of the Lesley dance/movement therapy specialization faculty since 2011 and as a core faculty since 2018. She is currently the Coordinator of the Dance/Movement Therapy specialization working with a vibrant team of innovative educators. She teaches in both the on campus and hybrid low residency distance learning programs and was a part of the design team to create the low residency curriculum. Her teaching work includes the DMT Theories courses, Clinical Applications and Supervision, and the span of Body Movement Observation courses. She has been an integral part of curricular redesign in these courses, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the dance/movement therapy pedagogy both at Lesley and nationally.
Currently, Valerie is a dance/movement therapist in private practice specializing in work with young children and their families as well as and clinical supervision. Her clinical experience has centered around work with children with a focus on work with attachment patterns and sensory integration work- especially with the deaf population. She has extensive experience in inpatient psychiatric work with children and adolescents as well as community mental health support. She worked for 13 years with the Boston Children’s Foundation implementing the Rainbowdance and CBI programs in acute trauma response and resiliency building utilizing the expressive therapies. She acted as a lead trainer in the Rainbowdance and CBI programs, traveling to Taiwan, Mississippi, and New Jersey in response to acute natural disasters in these areas.
Valerie’s research interests center around the pedagogical practices of dance/movement therapy and building pedagogical theory in the field. Her recent research studies have explored the dance/movement therapy hybrid low residency student’s sense of embodied presence in their core courses as well as pedagogical practices of dance/movement therapy educators in ADTA approved programs. She was also part of the planning committee for the 2020 international Pathways to Practice: Conversations in Arts Therapies Education conference, as well as co-leading ongoing departmental workshops exploring pedagogical themes in the expressive therapies at Lesley. In collaboration with music therapy colleague she has also explored a critical perspective of the histories of dance/movement therapy and music therapy through a duo-ethnographic and arts based lens.
With national and local leadership in professional organizations, she has acted on the American Dance Therapy Association’s Committee on Approval, collaborating with educators across the United States to assure educational standards for DMT education. She is also an active member of the ADTA Education Committee where she currently asks on several task forces addressing educational standards revision, critical examination of movement observation lenses in DMT, and revision of the application process for board certification in the field.
Valerie grew up in Massachusetts where she now lives with her husband, two children, and pug. She is active in the arts community in Cambridge and dances with the Guardians of Isadora dance group who perform the repertoire of Isadora Duncan.