Dr. Suzi Tortora
Ed.D., BC-DMT, C.M.A., LCAT, LMHC
Dr. Tortora is a board certified dance movement therapist, Laban Nonverbal Movement Analyst, and specialist in the field of infancy mental health and development. Her expertise in early childhood development and the importance of early relationships inform her psychotherapeutic work across the life span. Dr. Tortora has a private dance movement psychotherapy practice, in New York City and Cold Spring-on-the-Hudson, New York. Dr. Tortora offers training programs and lectures about her dance therapy and nonverbal video analysis work with infants, children and families, at national and international professional meetings and universities.
She is on the board of the New York Zero-to-Three Network.
Dr Tortora has been featured on “Good Morning America” and Eyewitness Five-O’Clock News, WABC –TV; Women’s Day magazine; highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article and book titled What the Dog Saw and other adventures; has published numerous papers about her therapeutic and nonverbal communication analysis work with children, parent-infant dyads, and Autism Spectrum Disorders; has twice been guest editor of the Zero to Three Journal; and has a book with Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company titled The Dancing Dialogue: Using the Communicative Power of Movement with Young Children.
Dr. Tortora graduated with honors from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Tufts University specializing in child development, education and psychology; received her dance movement therapy masters degree at New York University; and her doctorate with a specialization in infancy/early childhood development, psychology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
She has done extensive study and training in the field of infancy and early childhood research, development, education, communication and intervention through the Zero to Three Institute and Dr. Stanley Greenspan. She has studied Authentic Movement with Janet Adler & Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Dr Tortora is also a certified Laban Movement Analyst, and Kestenberg Movement Profiler.
MA LCAT ATR-BC
Kelley Linhardt is a licensed creative arts therapist and registered board-certified art therapist. Kelley received her MA in Art Therapy from New York University, is certified in culturally-competent trauma intervention by the International Trauma Studies Program at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and has undergone extensive post-graduate training in family and couples therapy at The Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City. Prior to joining Dancing Dialogue, Kelley has worked in acute mental healthcare, school and community settings throughout the five boroughs and in San Francisco, California. She has also served on the faculty of the New School University and Touro College. Kelley is passionate about developing practices to grow resilient families and communities through shared creative experiences and is delighted to integrate visual art making into the Dancing Dialogue.
M.S., BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA
Jennifer Whitley is a board certified Dance/Movement Therapist (DMT) and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist who received her master’s degree, with honors, in Dance Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, she is a Ways of Seeing practitioner, Level II Reiki trained, and Certified as a Laban Movement Analyst from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies. Ms. Whitley has been a DMT at Dancing Dialogue since 2014 working with children and families using Dr. Tortora’s Ways of Seeing psychotherapeutic multi-arts approach specializing in working with children who have ADHD, anxiety, family separation, eating disorders, learning differences and issues with disruptive behavior, and provides parenting support. Ms. Whitley’s experience includes medical DMT at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), joining the Integrative Medicine Services team in 2012, with a focus in pediatric oncology alongside Dr. Tortora. Ms. Whitley has continued working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, among others through group DMT sessions in the therapeutic school setting since 2013. She has taught as interim instructor in The New School’s Creative Arts Therapy Certification Program, worked as DMT/Choreographer for Angelight Films, and presented workshops locally, nationally, and internationally.
Ms. Whitley’s passions are deeply rooted in the embodiment of a person’s experiences, using the creative process as a tool to provide an understanding of one’s environment, attachments in relationships and ultimately the individual. She recognizes that using the Ways of Seeing approach at Dancing Dialogue provides children and families the Body-Mind-Emotion awareness that is essential in creating a life enriched with compassion, empathy, understanding, and fortitude.