Dr. Diane Duggan


Diane Duggan, PhD, BC-DMT is a NYS licensed psychologist, board certified dance/movement therapist and dance educator. She began teaching dance in 1972 and has worked as a dance therapist since 1973. She conducted a therapeutic dance program in a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) special education high school for adolescents with emotional and learning disabilities from May 1992 through August 2013.  Her students performed in Lincoln Center, Central Park, South Street Seaport, St. Mark’s Church, NYU’s Frederick Lowe Theater, and the Apollo Theater.

Dr. Duggan began teaching at the graduate level in 1976. She has taught in the Dance Education M.A. program at New York University since 1994 and choreographs for the annual New York University Distinguished Faculty Concert. From 2005-2015 she created and taught a popular course in strategies for working with students with emotional and behavioral disorders in the Special Education M.A. program at New York University.  She has taught in the 92nd St. Y Dance Education Laboratory and Dance Therapy programs since 2006. She previously taught for eight years in the Hunter College Dance Therapy M.S. program and in graduate programs at Adelphi University, Long Island University, and Hofstra University.

From 1997 through 2006 Dr. Duggan created and taught professional development in positive behavior support and functional behavior assessment for NYCDOE staff in special education and general education programs throughout New York City, including a three-day intensive workshop for dance educators. She consulted on serious behavior challenges in schools throughout the NYCDOE and developed plans to address them. As a Senior Trainer of Life Space Crisis Intervention she taught educators how to prevent and manage student crises.

Dr. Duggan is co-author of Dance Education for Diverse Learners: Special Education Supplement to the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance. She has published several articles and book chapters on her work. Her book, Out here by ourselves: The stories of young people whose mothers have AIDS, was published in 2000 by Garland Press.

She served as Communications Chairperson on the Board of Directors of the American Dance Therapy Association from 1976 to 1980.  She was the co-executive producer for the ADTA’s 1982 film Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement and was the Dance Therapy Program Chairperson for the 1985 Joint Creative Arts Therapy Conference.

Dr. Duggan is currently an Arnhold Mentor for beginning dance educators and is on the editorial board of the National Dance Education Organization journal Dance Education in Practice. She is a member of the Dance/NYC Task Force on Dance and Disability. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Dance Education Association in 2016.