top of page


News & Events

Emily Nussdorfer, MA, BC-DMT

Welcome to LifeDance® with Emily!  I am a trained EMDR/IFS based trauma therapist,  a board certified dance movement and creative arts therapist,  and researcher of the psycho/spiritual and physical healing effects of dance on individuals, groups and communities. I offer individual therapy, workshops and courses that support the healing of personal and lineage trauma wounds, and provide the ground for developing true Self Esteem, based on one's inherent soul value and worth.  My work incorporates Trauma informed mindfulness practices, IFS, EMDR, Polyvagal theory,  cultural and familial legacy burden wound healing and deeply honors cultural differences,  neurodiversity and our connection to nature, the earth and all of life.  All of my work, supports  the uniqueness and authenticity of sexual and gender identities as an integral part self initiation, realization and empowerment. I celebrate creative self expression in all its life affirming forms and honor the IFS based 8 Cs of Self Realization: Calm, Curiosity, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, Clarity, Connection, Creativity. 

LifeDance® with Emily Services honors the wisdom found in multi-cultural fairy tales and myth, the alchemical healing potential within the process of artistic creation, Carl Jung's contributions as to the collective unconscious, and the transformative effects of the arts and creativity in collective creation (aka the Living Theatre, and The theater of the oppressed),  and in rites of passage and healing rituals from indigenous peoples across the world. In addition, I have drawn from personal studies in my mid-thirties and on in indigenous community healing and shamanic journeying with certified elders in Hawaii, New Mexico, and through studies with Iana Lahi, and her Spirit Gateways Movement Healing workshops, drawn from ancient Mesopotamian healing processes. Since 2001, I have facilitated courses, workshops and services to children, youth, adults and elders that combine aspects of these elements and provide opportunities for participants to bond, play, creatively self-express, share ways of knowing and growing, and experience empowerment and upliftment. I have developed this collection of offerings first during my years as a teaching artist with children and youth (1996 - 2002); and later within the context of my dance movement therapy work and trauma work with a wide range of populations, most recently with women recovering from sexual abuse and addiction. As of 2021, I am in private practice and offer individual therapy sessions, and EMDR/IFS intensives, as well as Trauma Healing Workshops. 

Back ground History about my work focus from 2003- 2013: 
From 2003- 2013 I launched the 
Girls on the Move® program through my non profit Moving Creations Inc.  The program's structure originated from my 2001 thesis research into the hypothesis that supporting youth who were raised in cultures that had experienced oppression to create expressive performance art based on their own journeys of self discovery and self initiation, witnessed by caring adults and friends from their communities,  would support their self esteem and sense of agency and hope in a positive future. This research stands on the shoulders of inspired cultural workers, such as Paulo Friere, and honors indigenous ritual healing traditions in the Americas and across the world. 
(See Nussdorfer Thesis 2001 below)

In this labor of love, that was the Girls on the Move® program, an incredible group of Philadelphia teaching artists looked critically at and drew from the essence of this thesis and contributed their skills, cultural knowledge and passion to create a vital and powerful curriculum for the Philadelphia teen girls living in oppressed communities with hi violence and lack of resources and supports ---who were struggling to self-initiate -- to have a voice, that was creative and self expressive, and to be seen, witnessed, held and heard by their local community, by their friends and family, and by a wider circle of supporters outside their local community who came to these performance. Supporters who became inspired by the girls' artistic efforts and who helped to fund these performances; who helped bring the girls to the radio station to talk about their performances; and who sent them to New York City where they won a film festival about these performances. Together, these artists and donors created and provided something original and unique;  an inspired artistic rites of passage curriculum that drew upon the combined healing powers of dance, poetry, art and theater to create community support and witness for the teen girls who participated here in Philadelphia, and heart to heart mentorship from the artists themselves.   My chapter (Chapter 8) in a book of essays on the role of the arts in society, titled, "Community Art, Creative Approaches to Practice," edited by Jill Chodony, and published by Common Ground Publishing in 2014, features one of the phases of our Girls on the Move® program. Currently available on Amazon, as well as the publisher's website: The Arts in Society, a book series by Common Ground Publishing » Community Art: Creative Approaches to Practice. Chapter (8) is titled "Dance as Internal Alchemy, The Healing Power of Expressive Movement." (Disclaimer, there is an error in the publication, stating my research is PHD level. It is not. It is a masters level thesis.

I am very proud of what we accomplished with Girls on the Move® during its ten year run,  and am so grateful for the significant contributions to the program's success from talented artists, board members, volunteers and donors! Below please find links to learn more about the girls we worked with and their creative efforts; the artists who inspired the girls to become leaders; and our impact upon the girls' lives and their impact on ours.  Also listed below is some of my early research into the therapeutic uses of the creative arts in transforming trauma and empowering  youth, and a current teaching project.











Please feel free to contact me if you would like further information! You can book a free consultation with me about any of the services I am offering, here: 


Founder Notes

Emily Nussdorfer, MA, BC-DMT, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist, EMDR and IFS provider, board certified dance/movement therapist and certified Spirit Gateways ® Movement Healing practitioner trained by Iana Lahi.  She has over 30 years combined experience performing and teaching dance and theater and providing dance-movement therapy services; and providing somatic and holistic healing trauma therapy services. As a visionary healer,  she views the creative and performing arts as alchemical vehicles for healing past pain and memory, and catalysts for inner and outer transformation, self-liberation, and self-actualization.

bottom of page