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Diane Duggan, PhD, BC-DMT is a licensed psychologist, board-certified dance/movement therapist, and dance educator. Since 1973 she has created and taught therapeutic dance programs for students with disabilities including multiple disabilities, autism, learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders. Much of her work is based on choreography, and her students have performed in Lincoln Center, Central Park, South Street Seaport, St. Mark’s Church, NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, and the Apollo Theater. 

Dr. Duggan has an MS in Dance Therapy from Hunter College (1973) and a PhD in School/Child Psychology from NYU (1998). She studied Effort/Shape with Martha Davis, Irmgard Bartenieff, Miriam Berger, and Betty Meredith-Jones. She studied infant and toddler movement and behavior with Dr. Judith Kestenberg at the Center for Parents and Children. 

From 1976 through 1980 Dr. Duggan served as Communications Chairperson on the Board of Directors of the American Dance Therapy Association. She is the co-executive producer of the film Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement (1979-82). She was the Dance Therapy Program Chair for the Joint Creative Arts Therapy Conference 1984-85. 

Dr. Duggan has created and taught graduate courses in dance therapy at Adelphi University (2/78–2/86), CW Post College/Long Island University (1/84–8/87), Hunter College Dance Therapy program (9/84–5/92), and Hofstra University Art Therapy program (6/99–7/08). 

Dr. Duggan has taught in the Dance Education MA program at NYU Steinhardt since 1994. She has taught in the 92nd Street Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and Dance Therapy programs since 2006, including at the National Dance Therapy Center at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. 

While she continued to run her therapeutic dance program, Dr. Duggan was tapped to be a member of the three-person New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) District 75 Positive Behavior Support Team from 1997-2007. In that capacity, she created and taught professional development in Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), including a three-day workshop for dance educators. As a senior trainer in Life Space Crisis Intervention, she trained staff in special education and general education programs. She consulted with schools throughout the NYCDOE to create school-wide PBS programs and individual behavior plans for students with serious, persistently challenging behaviors. 

Dr. Duggan has written book chapters and journal articles on her work. She is co-author of Dance Education for Diverse Learners: Special Education Supplement to the Dance Blueprint. From September 2017 until the present she has worked with NYCDOE’s Arts for Students with Disabilities initiative, creating materials for online resources and teaching professional development for dance educators. She is an Arnhold Mentor for beginning dance educators and is on the editorial board of the NDEO journal Dance Education in Practice. She is a member of the Dance/NYC Task Force on Dance and Disability. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Dance Education Association in 2016.


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