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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Lines of development can be traced back to the very young child. A sequence of motor development was outlined by Judith Kestenberg, the originator of the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP), which was based on clinical observations of children from birth through six years old. Two stages—the ‘inner-genital phase’ in the 3–4-year-olds, and the ‘outer-genital phase’ common amongst 4–6-year-olds—offer valuable insights about gender and sexual development in both boys and girls. A dance/movement therapist who understands the predictable phases associated with children’s movement, as well as gender development, will be able to promote wellbeing when working with both typically and atypically developing children. The use of developmentally supported rhythms are introduced as a vehicle through which dance/movement therapists and caregivers can attune with young children through dance, thus enhancing wellness.

Keywords: gender development, developmental rhythms, Kestenberg Movement Profile, KMP, inner-genital phase, dance/movement therapy

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