Rena Kornblum

Teaching Faculty/Dance-Movement Therapy Certificate Director

B149 Lathrop Hall

1050 University Ave

Madison, WI 53706-1304

Kornblum, Rena

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Rena Kornblum is a board-certified dance/movement therapist with over 40 years of professional experience as a dance/movement therapist. She is licensed in the state of Wisconsin to practice psychotherapy specifically through expressive arts therapies and is senior lecturer in the Dance Department, where she also serves as the advisor for the undergraduate certificate program in Dance/Movement Therapy at UW-Madison.

Rena established the Children and Family Program at Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy, where she served as Executive Director for 12 years. During her work at the Hancock Center, she developed Disarming the Playground, an embodied social skills curriculum. She currently uses this curriculum in the Madison public schools to teach social skills classes and violence prevention to children.

In addition to several articles on dance movement therapy, Rena has published a book titled Disarming the Playground, Violence Prevention Through Movement and Pro-Social Skills, in 2003, which has been called “a must read for anyone who is concerned about the violence that permeates our society” (Afsaneh Rahimian, Ph.D., Violence Prevention Researcher & Program Evaluator).

Her many awards include the 2009 American Dance Therapy Association Excellence in Education Award and the 2013 Unsung Hero Award by the National Alliance in Mental Illness. She has also received several teaching awards from the UW-Madison.

Rena travels globally to conduct workshops and trainings on her Embodied Violence Prevention and Pro-Social Skills curriculum, on the use of dance/movement therapy with children dealing with trauma, and on family therapy. She has recently taught intensive courses in Argentina, Korea, and China.


  • MCAT Creative Arts Therapy, Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, 1978
  • Graduate Certificate Program Dance Education, Goldsmith College, University of London, 1975
  • BA Group dynamics and Psychology, SUNY at Stony Brook, 1973

Select Publications

  • Kornblum, R. B. (2018). Disarming the Playground Violence Prevention through Movement & Pro- Social Skills. Workbook
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2011). Book Review “Art Therapies in Schools: Research and Practice, edited by Vicky Karkou ”. In Vicky Karkou (Ed.), Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy Taylor & Francis.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2008). Dance/Movement Therapy with Children. Dennis McCarthy (Ed.), Speaking the Unspeakable Non-Verbal Methods and Experiences in Therapy with Children London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2006). In-School Dance/Movement Therapy for Traumatized Children. Stephanie Brooks (Ed.), Creative Arts Therapies Manual Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Pub.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2006). An Evaluation of Kornblum’s Body-based Violence Prevention Curriculum for Children. The Arts in Psychotherapy, An International Journal Elsevier.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2003). Disarming the Playground Violence Prevention through Movement & Pro- Social Skills (Activity Book & Training Manual). Oklahoma City, OK: Wood & Barnes Publishing.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2002). Disarming the Playground Training DVDs One & Two. Rena Kornblum (Ed.),
  • Kornblum, R. B. (1983). A Comparative Developmental Approach to Evaluating Children. A Primer for Assessment and Evaluation in Dance/Movement Therapy Hahnemann University.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (1982). A Percuptuo-Cognitive-Motor Approach to the Special Child. Arts in Special Education Project of Pennsylvania.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (1981). An Individual Session with an Emotionally-Disturbed, Learning Disabled Adolescent. A Primer for Theoretical Models and Clinical Work in Dance/Movement Therapy Hahnemann University.

Select Presentations

  • Kornblum, R. B. (2020). Creating Safe Spaces for Therapy and Developing Self- Regulation techniques for use during Covid. Oral Presentation presented at the Virtual Weekend, Korea.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2020). Conversando con Rena Kornblum Niños, violencia, en tiempos de pandemia. presented at the Webinar, Argentina.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (20142019). Introduction to the Field of DMT. presented at the Friday Forum, Madison, WI.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (19942019). “DMT with Children and Families”; “Dance/movement Therapy in the School System”; “Violence Prevention /Through Movement”. Oral Presentation presented at the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) Annual Conference.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2017). Ways to Prevent Bullying and Violence. presented at the Creative Arts Therapy Podcast Channel ‘Mind Your Body’.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (20142015). Violence Prevention. Oral Presentation presented at the series of 3 films called ‘The Moving Child’.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (20132015). Bullying and Dance Therapy with Children. Oral Presentation presented at the ADTA talks on Dance Therapy.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2014). Dance Therapy and/or Violence Prevention. presented at the 1. UW Madison Kinesiology Club, 2. Attic Angels, 3. United Way of Dane County & 4. School of Education.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (19982014). “DMT with children who have experienced sexual abuse" & “DMT with Traumatized Children”. presented at the Midwest Sexual Abuse Conference.
  • Kornblum, R. B. (2012). ‘Move Into Social Work’. Oral Presentation presented at the Presentation on Dance/Movement Therapy, Madison, WI.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Honored Instructor Award, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2018
  • First Wave Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award, UW Madison, 2016
  • Honored Instructor Award, UW- Madison, 2014
  • Unsung Hero Award, NAMI National Alliance in Mental Illness Dance Country, 2013
  • Excellence in Education Award, American Dance Therapy Association, 2009
  • Distinguished Service Award, Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, 2005
  • Research and Journalism Award, Wisconsin Dance Council, 2002