WHAT IS SOMATIC MOVEMENT & DANCE
Our body is constantly sensing, processing, orienting itself, tending naturally towards equilibrium (homeostasis). It continuously sends signals about our state and gathers information about what is needed. However, most of the time we are out of touch with this, it is a ‘silent process’. Our life-style and its pressures result in our cutting off from our body’s experience. We acquire habits and patterns of which we are no longer aware.
Somatic movement practice supports us in giving time and space to reach beneath the busy-ness of our everyday patterns and ‘hear’, sense and reunite with the silent knowledge, aliveness and imagination available in our body. When assisted by a somatic movement practitioner, this becomes a discovery of new language. It is not interpretative but a practice that supports self-direction, where the resources of your somatic knowing may become consciously available to you.
Experiential anatomy, our biological rhythms and flow, the metaphorical and imaginative and the integration of what was previously out of awareness are all part of the process.
Movement may take us into dance, rest or subtle sensing into the possibility of greater ease, freedom and choice in your own body and of new insights. This can be facilitated in safe, contained and creative ways and can become part of a therapeutic process if it seems appropriate. It can also be particularly beneficial for those of us managing difficult emotions, energy regulation, and physical and neurological conditions.
WHAT I OFFER
Somatic movement and creative expression for those with life limiting conditions and in recovery,
to maintain or improve mobility, sense of agency, quality of spirit, and flow of vitality.
One to one or group sessions with:
- those recovering from stroke and illness
- those living with a difficult diagnosis, a chronic condition, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- in residential homes, hospitals and home-care.
Somatic movement practice as a form of self exploration and learning for the sole purpose of improving one’s relationship with and knowledge of one’s body, its rhythms and its resources:
- One to one or group
- Longer one off sessions and half days
- A series of sessions or open ended process
There are also ongoing or upcoming classes, workshops and retreats based on Somatic Movement learning, making use of experiential anatomy, imaginative explorations, rhythm, self-directed and contemplative dance and creative expression.
INSPIRATIONS AND RESEARCH
I am especially inspired by developmental movement practices and by a model of witnessed movement which has its roots in the practice of Authentic Movement founded by Mary Starks Whitehouse and developed by Janet Adler and others in many different ways. I have engaged in somatic movement research with Movement Matters: Moving Together Through Somatic Dance In the First 1001 Days of Life (UK 2022), a collective venture supported by Dance Consortia Northwest, Thrive and UCLan Dance (University of Central Lancashire) and CPRA (Creative Practice Research Academy), working with parents and babies affected by the Lockdown time’s isolation measures. This produced a guidance document for arts researchers in academic environments which is available on request.
I hold an MA in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing, which integrates a number of somatic practices in the service of supporting our own ‘education’ and experience of our whole being as a somatic unity.
I am an ISMETA fully registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist.
Do inquire with your interest and we will discuss whether any of these suit your quest.
To be awake is to be alive. Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. Every man is a builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.
Henry David Thoreau.