Dance, Theater, and Medicine

Dance, Theater, and Medicine

AMWA ‘s initiative to promote Dance, Theater, and Medicine creates a platform for the exchange of research and ideas to blend the performing arts with the practice of medicine. We hope that this initiative improves our understanding of the human experience, leading to a more equitable and diverse system of healthcare.

This initiative was created for and by women who blend performance of narratives to better the practice of humanism in medicine. By exploring the intersection between dance, theater arts, and medicine, we enhance our understanding of the human experience through performance highlights and research database cultivation. Through performance of dance and the theater arts, we understand how our bodies tell stories, revealing our values and our individual perspectives on healing. It is this knowledge that leads the transformation for equity-based, narrative driven, and diverse medical care.

Join Our Committee

Current Leadership:

Co-Chairs: Andrea Samson, Jasmine Thomas
Research Subcommittee leads: Lekha Vuppalapati, Andrea Samson
Programming Subcommittee leads: Jasmine Thomas
Spotlight Subcommittee leads: Amy Pham

Founding Committee:

Shilpa Darivemula, MD (Co-Chair)
Roshni Prakash (Co-Chair)
Lara Rostomian (Social Media & Recruitment Chair)
Maya Roytman (Spotlight Features Chair)
Emily Chen (AMWA Project Coordinator)
Eliza Chin, MD, MPH (AMWA Executive Director)

Questions?  E-mail












For the Physician

Dance in Medicine Programs

Foundation for Embodied Medicine

International Association for Dance Medicine and Science

NYU -Internships for Dance Medicine

Articine: Prescribing Dance

Stuck at Home? Learn to Dance from the Best (CNN)

Theater in Medicine and Science

Medical Improv

No Joke, the Serious Role of Improv in Medicine (Sarah Mahoney, AAMC)

What Improv Can Teach Tomorrow’s Doctors (Anu Atluru, The Atlantic)

Medical Improv Putting Physicians to the Test (Lydia Coutre, Modern Healthcare)

Engaging hard-to-reach populations in research on health in pregnancy: the value of Boal’s simultaneous dramaturgy (Smyth, McClements, and Murphy, Arts&Health)

All the World’s a Stage: Integrating Theater and Medicine for Interprofessional Team Building in Physician and Nurse Residency Programs (Salam T, Collins M, Baker A, The Oschner Journal)

Improvisation and the Art of Medicine

Mayutica: Discover What You Know

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

Using improv to improve life with Alzheimer’s

Clinical Applications of Dance

Medical Education


Pas De Deux, (Ofri)

Sati’s Surgery: An Exploration of a Surgeon’s Vulnerbaility through Kuchipudi Dance (Darivemula, Association of Women Surgeons)

Educational Opportunities in Dance Medicine and Science  

Harkness Center for Dance Injuries Education and Research (NYU)

Dance in Medicine for Humanism in Medicine Course (Ohio State Medical School)


How Theater Training Can Improve Your Doctor’s Empathy (Jafine, The Conversation)

I Learned How to Be a Good Doctor in Theater School (Klingman, KevinMD)

Can Acting Classes Help Physicians Learn to Show Empathy? (Bernard, Medical Economics)

The Use of Theatre in Medical Education in the Emergency Cases School: An appealing and widely accessible way of learning (Keskinis, et al; Perspec Med Edu)

Using Theater to Teach Clinical Empathy: A Pilot Study  (Dow et al, J Gen Int Med)

Theater Training Helps Doctors Enhance Patient Care with Clinical Empathy Skills (Gresham, VCU News)

Inside the Theater of Medicine Where Actors Help Train Future Doctors (Park, TIME)

A Collaboration Between Theater and Medicine Leads to an Innovative Empathy Program for LAC+USC staff (USC)

Performing Medicine: The Role of Theater in Medical Education (Kohn, J Med Ethics)

Using Theater to Increase Empathy Training in Medical Students (Reilly, et. al, J for Learning through the Arts)

Serious Play: Teaching medical skills with improvisational theater techniques (Watson, Acad Med)

Active Learning on Center Stage: Theater as a Tool for Medical Education (Hobson, et. al., Acad Med)

Medical Readers’ Theater: A Guide and Scripts (Meyer, et. al., JAMA)

Medical Education Empowered by Theater (MEET) (Antonio, et. al., Academic Medicine)

Engaging Physicians in CME: The power of theater (Health Partners Institute)

Medical Readers’ Theater: Relevance to Geriatrics Medical Education (Shipiro & Cho, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education)

What do you get mixing medicine, theater and communication? (Tinklepaugh, K-ute Radio)

New doctors polish communication skills through theater arts (Upstate Medical University)

I Learned to be a Good Doctor in Theater School (Klingman, KevinMD)

Medical Theater: An artist and physician team up to examine the role of acting in the clinical setting (Hoffman, Proto: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Medicine)


Do medical schools teach medical humanities? Review of curricula in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – Howick – – Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice – Wiley Online Library




The seeing place: Talking theatre and medicine (Bowman et al, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education)

A Critical Review of the Characteristics of Theater-Based HIV Prevention Interventions for Adolescents in School Settings. (Taboada, Taggart, Holloway, et al., Health Promot Pract.)

Dancing and the Brain (Edwards, Harvard Medical School)

Dance / Movement Therapy (Good Therapy)

Dance Medicine: Current Concepts (Miller, Physical Med & Rehab Clin of N Amer)

Dancing Intercorporality: A Health Humanities Perspective on Dance as a Healing Art (Purser, J of Medical Humanities)

What is Dance Medicine? (Keay, British Journal of Sport Medicine)

Dance for Neuroplasticity: A descriptive systematic review (Teixeira-Machado, Neurosci and Behav Rev)

Choreographing Lived Experience: Dance, Feelings and the Storytelling body (Eli & Kay, BMJ Med Hum)

Decolonizing Dance Pedagogy: Application of Pedagogies of Ugandan Traditional Dances in Formal Dance Education: Journal of Dance Education: Vol 15, No 4 (, Taylor & Francis)

Rehumanizing Clinical Language Through Classical Indian Dance | Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association ( (Darivemula et. al, AMA Journal of Ethics)

Dancing During Labor: Social Media Trend or Future Practice? ( (Toberna et. al, Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews)

Performing My First Caesarean: A Reflection on the Intersection of Dance and Surgery (Darivemula & Prakash, Intima)

Dancing doctors: exploring the potential of cultural dance education to improve cultural competency and clinical communication – ScienceDirect (Darivemula, Bhatia, & Bhumi, Royal Society for Public Health)



Reimagining Medicine Festival

Panel Discussion:  Pathways to Careers in Dance Medicine and Science (22nd Annual Meeting – IADMS)