American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 100–112

From Simple Line to Expressive Movement: The Use of Creative Movement to Enhance Socio-Emotional Development in the Preschool Curriculum


DOI: 10.1007/s10465-010-9090-2

Cite this article as:
Thom, L. Am J Dance Ther (2010) 32: 100. doi:10.1007/s10465-010-9090-2


This paper explores the use of body and movement studies in the preschool curriculum to address socio-emotional development. Findings in affect psychology, neuroscience, and dance/movement therapy provide evidence for the importance of an integrated emotional processing system. Given space and time to experiment with expressive movement in the preschool classroom, young children explore their somatic and emotional experiences. Their ability to recognize, regulate, and express emotion echoes their developing use of movement as an alternative mode of representation. Through movement study, children become better able to connect their visceral emotional processing to conscious appraisal. It is this integrated system of body and emotion that contributes to a strong sense of the self as an emotional, social, and cognitive being.


Child development Early childhood education Emotions in children Dance therapy Neuropsychology 

Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BrooklynUSA