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Chace, Marian (1896–1970)

Chace, Marian (1896–1970)

American dance therapist. Born Marian Chace, Oct 31, 1896, in Providence, Rhode Island; died July 20, 1970, in Washington, DC; dau. of Daniel Champlain Chace (editor and journalism teacher) and Harriet Edgaretta (Northrup) Chace; m. Lester Shafer (dancer), July 29, 1924 (div. 1938); children: Marian Lester Shafer (b. 1925).

Pioneer who was the 1st to use dance as therapy for psychiatric patients in a hospital, began career performing with Denishawn School dancers at NYC concerts (1929, 1930); opened branch of Denishawn School in Washington, DC (1930), serving as director (1930–44), teaching creative dance and dance as therapy for psychiatric patients; as a volunteer at Washington's Saint Elizabeths [sic] psychiatric hospital, developed and directed "dance for communication" program (1942–44); worked full-time at Saint Elizabeths, helping patients write and produce theatrical works, such as Cry for Humanity and Hotel Saint Elizabeth, and training other therapists (1944–66); was dance therapist and head of psychodrama program at Chestnut Lodge psychiatric hospital in Rockville, MD (1946–70); joined faculty of Turtle Bay Music School in NYC (1955), teaching summer dance therapy training workshops (1957–70); was instrumental in founding American Dance Therapy Association, becoming 1st director (1965). Received Oveta Culp Hobby Award (1955) and US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare award (1956).

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