Amplification: The Dance

by Mary Jo Spencer, ARAS San Francisco
originally printed in Journal of Analytical Psychology 1984, Vol. 29, Pages 113-123

THE THEME of dance has been a major and continuing motif throughout the analysis of a woman now in her seventies. The image of dance when it turned up often seemed to signal a point at which a major shift in attitude was being prepared for in the psyche itself. When I recognised this I became interested in the image of dance as an archetype since it related closely to material of my own. My patient gradually became interested in the process of amplification and what it added to her understanding as she went more deeply into her own material and began to know more about the process of psychological development. At a certain point she began to use ARAS for herself.
There is no time in human history when dance has not existed, and no place in all the world where human beings have not danced. It is an activity in which psyche and soma are both involved, and to dance is to be immediately and totally present, as well as to be related timelessly to our remotest ancestors who also danced.