Casey Nichols, MA '12

Dance Movement Therapy

Students Who Inspire Us

Each AUNE department annually chooses a graduating student who has been an inspiration to a faculty member. We featured these students in the 2011-12 AUNE Annual Report and share their comments and the comments of the faculty members with you here.

Casey Nichols:

No matter where this life and work take me, I go out more excited, more authentic, and more ready than ever.

Fourteen years ago, before I found Google, I thought I had made up dance/movement therapy (DMT). Then I discovered this thing that was deep in my soul was also a real possibility. It took me eleven years to find my way to AUNE and, as usual, I arrived just in time.

Here, I found myself, my tribe, and how the passions of my heart can be drawn together with the skills of my training in a beautiful dance of healing and hope. I came here by way of youth detention facilities and community support programs in Georgia, relief agencies all over southeastern America, and homes full of magical children living in Haiti.

My studies have allowed me to return to these and to find new homes as a DMT in East Africa and New England. No matter where this life and work take me, I go out more excited, more authentic, and more ready than ever. Thank you, Antioch.


Kim Burden, adjunct faculty, Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program, Department of Applied Psychology:

Casey Nichols lives her truth despite challenges, conventions, and expectations. She is truly an inspiration to me.

Before I met Casey Nichols, I heard that there was a DMT student coming to the program who had done work with orphans in Haiti. My interest was sparked immediatelythis couldn’t be easy work. It had to be heartbreaking and intense, devastating at times. When I met Casey, I was immediately impressed by her smile, her warmth, and her ability to look me straight in the eye. I was humbled by the stories she told of working with orphans, some of whom died in her arms.

Casey’s work with orphans and her DMT clinical internship work embody the pioneering spirit in the field of dance/movement therapy. Equally impressive is Casey’s academic work in the courses I taught. Often, I meet students who are brilliant in their theoretical work and not as developed in their hands-on work, or vice versa. Casey is able to articulate her understanding of the theory-practice interface in a highly personal yet professionally accurate and astute manner.

Casey Nichols lives her truth despite challenges, conventions, and expectations. She is truly an inspiration to me.