Join the NYSADTA Board! Positions still available!



We are actively seeking members of the NYSADTA who are interested in filling a variety of open positions on the board. We currently have the following positions available: PR Chair,  IT Chair,  & Newsletter Chair.

We are currently accepting nominations please send your name, contact information, the position of interest, & a short statement that can be read at the next board meeting to

We are also currently looking for members of the NYSADTA outside of the NYC area who would be willing to serve as local representatives, helping with our outreach efforts and communicating the needs of members in your area. Please contact if you are interested.

2015 Open Board Meeting!


We invite all current members and prospective new members to join us for our upcoming open meeting on Monday, April27th 6:30-8:00pm located at

Alchemical Theatre Laboratory
Studio B (3rd Floor)
104 W14th Street
New York, NY 10011 

Come meet the board, share your ideas, and discover the benefits of becoming a member of the NYSADTA. If you are outside of the NYC area or are unable to attend in person, please contact Jackie Gonzalez at to arrange for virtual attendance.

Winter Newsletter

December 18, 2012

Season’s Greetings!

As this year comes to an end, I’d like to take the time to reach out to our membership in the spirit of reconnecting to ourselves and to each other. This past year brought many opportunities for growth and healing. As a board, we were proud to offer events such as the Barefoot Boogie Fundraiser and the Hip Hop Psychology Workshop, as well as the Post-Sandy Gathering for creative arts therapists.

As a new board, this year also brought challenges, as the forming of any new group does. We are proud to say that we have taken important steps to increase organization and transparency in terms of the board’s communication with the membership. We are currently in the process of incorporating and getting our not-for profit status. From our Treasurer, George Jagatic:

In an effort to legitimize our organization financially, steps have been taken to officially incorporate and proceed toward acquiring a not-for-profit status for the chapter. This process began with a consultation with an accountant who was extremely informative and agreed to continue to help as we move forward. Since overcoming a few administrative hurdles, we have continued to move forward and are just about to open our checking account with the new incorporated status. Go NYS Chapter!

In the new year, we look forward to providing more opportunities to make contact with our fellow dance/movement therapists through events and workshops such as the Dance/ Movement Therapy Gathering, the first of which was prompted by our collective need to come together and process in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I encourage you to make contact with me or any board member with questions and concerns, ideas for future events, and/or suggestions of ways to improve communication within our community.

We believe it is of the highest import that we engage and involve each member through Chapter events, activities and promotional efforts throughout the city and state. Our main goal is to support, develop and cultivate the interests, creativity, and engagement of our membership. Our mission is to be of service to our members and to future members. We plan to accomplish this by creating opportunities for dance therapy awareness, sustaining and continuing to raise chapter funds, and reaffirming the importance of the healing power of the arts. Our most important goal, though, is to empower you, our membership.

I speak for the entire Board in saying we are very much looking forward to serving and collaborating with you over the next 2 years.

Cara A. Gallo, M.S. BC-DMT/LCAT

President, NYS-ADTA



See What’s Happening!


Dance Movement Therapy Gatherings


This past November, the NYSADTA invited members of the community to come together in the wake in Hurricane Sandy in an effort to provide support, connection, and healing through movement and personal expression. Creative arts therapists across modalities attended, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many who were unable to attend also expressed their support for this effort. Many attendees found the gathering to be a safe space in which to express the full range of emotions surrounding this collective trauma and to reconnect on a body level with fellow creative arts therapists. Additionally, we as a board felt that this gathering provided a missing link with regard to communication and connection within the NYSADTA community.

We believe that moving together as therapists and as people provides a unique experience of great value. For that reason, we are excited to invite the community to gather together in this way once a month over the next several months. These gatherings will be open to all creative arts therapists. The board looks forward to consistently providing this space to come together. Please stay tuned via email and our Facebook page for details. We hope to see you there!


NYSADTA Board Member Bios

Get Acquainted with your Board Members!


Cara Gallo, PresidentCara A. Gallo, MS/BC-DMT/LCAT, has practiced in the field of Dance/Movement Therapy since 2004. Additionally, she completed a two-year training in the practice of Authentic Movement in Spring 2011 and is currently enrolled in the EGPS Group Training Program that partially fulfills the requirements of the Group Psychotherapist Certification or CGP. Cara began her foray into dance therapy after her undergraduate studies at Hunter College in dance and psychology. Her interest in the two modalities inspired her desire to understand the deep connection between the body and mind. After completing her master’s degree training at Pratt Institute she worked at Bellevue Hospital Center. During her tenure there her area of specialization was child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  Cara is currently in private practice in NYC.  She offers Dance/Movement Therapy groups at The League School, 14th Street Y and is adjunct faculty at The College of New Rochelle. Cara’s goal as President of the NYS-Chapter is to support strong, transparent and supportive relationship between the Chapter membership and the Board.  She believes it is through this quality of relationship that our group and community can grow ever stronger and reach others.Deniz Oktay, Vice PresidentDeniz Oktay, MS/BC-DMT/LCAT, has been employed as a dance/movement therapist at Bellevue Hospital for eight years. During that time, she has enjoyed working almost exclusively with the forensic population. She completed two years of training in “Authentic Movement for Therapists” and currently co-leads an Authentic Movement group with her colleague, Cara Gallo. Deniz earned her master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in 2004. Prior to becoming a DMT, Deniz performed with several modern dance companies. She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan. As Vice President of the Board of Directors, Deniz hopes to serve the members of New York State by listening to the needs of the DMT community and finding ways to create change in a positive direction for our growing field. She hopes that in serving the members, we are able to become more unified and recognized within the community at large.George Jagatic, Treasurer

George Jagatic (LCAT, Supervisor at Kings County Hospital, Founder & Choreographer – Axis Danz), has a long history in dance and other movement art forms including yoga, tai chi and movement meditation.  He has worked diligently over the past twenty years with the art of flag dancing and is the founder of Axis Danz, a professional performance company.  Since the inception of Axis Danz, many articles have been written about George’s work and he has become known as one of the respected leaders in the field. Over the last decade, George has fused his skills in dance, flagging and movement therapy to not only teach others about the positive aspects of a wide range of movement styles, but to provide enriching experiences which encouraged self discovery for the mind, body and spirit. George received his Master’s in Dance/ Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute and is a licensed creative arts therapist, as well as a group therapist, certified through the Eastern Group Therapy Association.  He offers workshops and classes and is currently supervising dance therapists at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.


Jennifer Daniel, Recording Secretary

Jennifer Daniel, MS/BC-DMT/ LCAT, received her master’s degree with distinction from Pratt Institute in 2007 and began working in outpatient psychiatry at Queens Hospital Center.  She has since worked at The League School and The FOCUS Center with developmentally delayed children.  She has been involved in the New York State chapter of the ADTA since 2006 in the positions of student liaison, corresponding secretary, and now recording secretary.  Jennifer is currently on maternity leave taking care of her young daughter, and is glad to be part of the chapter board. She enjoys being an active part of the chapter, staying in touch with our community of professionals, and helping bring dance/movement therapy to the public. She finds her position to be extremely rewarding because it provides her the opportunity to be present at board meetings and events, participate in programming, and connecting with others on a regular basis.


Stephanie Gail Ross, Corresponding Secretary

Stephanie Ross is a native of Michigan and received her MA in Creative Arts Therapy – Dance/Movement Therapy from Drexel University. She has always had a desire to work with children and is currently developing dance therapy groups for infants and moms. Being relatively new to New York, Stephanie joined the board of the NYSADTA to make connections with local DMTs, and to stay connected to the DMT community at large.  Stephanie is also the Artistic Director/Choreographer of Body Threads Dance Company, and the Associate Artistic Director of Turnstyle Theatre Company, both based in Manhattan.


Laura Raffa, Fundraising Chair

Laura Raffa, MS/BC-DMT/LCAT, graduated from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in 2005 with a BA in dance and a psychology minor.  She earned her MS with distinction from Pratt University in February 2010. She completed a post-graduate training in Authentic Movement and is currently in a two year multimodality therapy training. She has interned at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she worked with pediatric patients and facilitated dance/movement therapy groups with children on the autism spectrum. From September 2008 to April 2011, she worked at Montefiore Medical Center on an adult acute inpatient unit. She currently works at Bellevue Hospital as a creative arts therapist facilitating Dance/Movement Therapy groups with a forensic psychiatric population. Since living in New York she has danced with local companies, including Dean Street Foo and Cara Gallo Dancers.


Renee Ortega, PR Chair

Renee Ortega is a registered dance/movement therapist and limited permit creative arts therapist (LCAT).  In addition she is a SIPT certified occupational therapy practitioner. Over the past several years she has worked with both adult and pediatric populations in both dance/movement therapy and occupational therapy.  Ms. Ortega has specialized and trained in the areas of sensory integration, Applied Behavioral Analysis and Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime.  She has educated, trained, treated and supervised students and clients using and pairing techniques and tools from both professions.


Marie Aguirre, LCAT Program Chair

Marie Aguirre, MS, BC-DMT, has worked adult in-patient psychiatry, special education, and day treatment.  She has served on past boards as Vice President and Program Chair. In 2005, Marie founded Dance to Connect which provides after-school dance classes, private consultation,  improvisation labs.  She performs with the Elena Lentini Dance Company and NY Sacred Dance Guild. Marie continues her lifelong love of dance by choreographing and the study of various dance forms and healing arts. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to again serve our community and work alongside such creative fellow board members.


Gianna Lafronza, IT Chair

Gianna Lafronza is employed as a Dance/Movement Therapist at Woodhull Medical Center where she works with an adult inpatient psychiatric population. Gianna earned her MS in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute during which time she served on the board of the NYSADTA as the student liaison and on the student membership committee for the ADTA. Prior to becoming a Dance/Movement Therapist, Gianna worked in business development and as a crisis counselor while teaching dance and performing with small companies in New York City. In serving the board as technology chair, Gianna hopes to use available technology to build a stronger community.


Jenelle Feldman, Newsletter Co-Chair

Jenelle Feldman is a recent graduate of Pratt Institute’s Dance/Movement Therapy program. During her time in the program she interned in an adult day treatment facility and with children on the autism spectrum. She received her BA in Dance from Sonoma State University with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She joined the board earlier this year and is excited to be serving as the newsletter co-chair. She hopes to help strengthen communication between the board members and dance/movement therapists in New York State.


Kate Patchett, Newsletter Co-Chair

Kate Patchett graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2006 with BAs in Philosophy and Dance. She is a recent graduate of Pratt Institute’s Dance/Movement Therapy program. She has interned at Bellevue Hospital with a forensic psychiatric inpatient population; Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital with a long-term nursing population; and both special needs and typically developing children at various schools and centers throughout Manhattan. Kate is a registered yoga teacher and has been teaching creative movement and yoga to children since 2007. Through her position as newsletter co-chair, Kate hopes to facilitate communication and the free flow of information between the New York State Chapter of the ADTA and it’s members.


Angela DeWall, Student Liaison

Angela DeWall liases between the NYSADTA and the Dance/Movement Therapy students at Pratt Institute for the 2012-2013 year. She is a first year graduate student at Pratt Institute and is eager to see what path her life takes after graduation in May 2014. She received her BA in Movement and Exercise Science with a double minor in Dance and Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. She is originally from Storm Lake, IA, where Dance Therapy is unheard of. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY but may one day, with support from others, be able to spread this therapy into the Mid-West. As student liaison, she hopes to create relationships with other local dance/movement therapists and to aid in communication between Dance/Movement Therapy students and the members of the board.


Below, please find the link to our Facebook page. “Like” us for another way to stay connected to goings-on with the NYSADTA.


Remember to visit the NYSADTA website often for updates to our blog as well as upcoming events and useful resources.


We hope that this newsletter finds you and yours healthy and happy through the holiday season and into the new year.