Elisa Cotroneo, RSME, RSMT
Elisa Cotroneo, is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Dance and is a graduate of The Somatic Movement Therapy Training Program in Massachusetts.
For more than 35 years Elisa has followed her passion to understand the relationship between spirit and the body and trained with many of the pioneers in the field of Movement Education and Therapy. Her life’s journey has been blessed with the presence of spiritual elders from North and South America, India and Tibet, each one sharing their traditional wisdom of the power of movement and sound to bring us closer to our true essential Selves. Elisa has synthesized these teaching into a unique form of somatic movement meditation that honors its roots of Yoga, Chi Gong, Authentic Movement, Mindfulness, and Dreamwork.
Elisa served on the ISMETA Board of Director’s from 2007-2014, holding the office of President from 2009-2014 and is now an Executive Consultant to the Board of Director. Her private practice in Movement Education and Therapy in upstate New York has included extensive work with individuals, groups, school districts, special education programs, therapeutic centers and arts organizations. As a professional development consultant Elisa has created workshops, retreats and online courses focusing on creativity, imagination and experiential embodied education.
Beth Pettengill Riley, MA, RSME
Beth Pettengill Riley RSME/RSMT, MA Dance Education, Stanford University has invigorated the world of movement education through her passionate blending of Continuum, Yoga and Dance for over three decades. She studied with modern dance pioneer, Hanya Holm, and served on the dance faculty of Cabrillo College on the central coast of California for 17 years. She has developed teacher training programs in creative and somatic movement for all ages. She served for 10 years on the faculty of The Kirby School in Santa Cruz, CA as the head of the Fitness, Wellness and Human Development Dept and for 5 years ran their dance company and dance program. During her decade at Kirby, Beth championed many school-wide SEL (Social Emotional Learning) initiatives in partnership with Stanford School of Education’s Challenge Success program. She was one of 4 trainers in the Santa Cruz Mindfulness Project, training public school teachers to practice and share mindfulness awareness meditation with teens. As a founding member and resident of Mt. Madonna Center for Creative Arts and Sciences from 1981 – 1989, Beth helped to develop their yoga teacher training program while serving on their board for three years.
At the base of Beth’s love of movement is her 40 years of experience with Continuum Movement. Since 1986 she has led classes and workshops internationally under the mentorship of Emilie Conrad, Continuum’s founder until her death in 2014. She continues to collaborate with Continuum teachers world-wide to help preserve the innovative presence of this approach to movement. She pioneered a graduate level course in Continuum Movement at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute in 2004.
Beth is currently on the staff of the new 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley CA, facilitating somatic movement and yoga experiences for guests while maintaining a private practice teaching classes, workshops and private sessions in Santa Cruz, CA helping individuals to achieve greater freedom of movement.
Beth Pettengill Riley
Caryn Heilman, MFA, RSME
Caryn Heilman is an Authorized Continuum Movement teacher with 20 years of mentoring with Emilie Conrad, and a Founding Member of the Continuum Teachers Association. She has an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine where her graduate fellowship study focused on a somatic fluid system approach to choreography and improvisational dance performance and training supported by organic interactive media. She teaches ongoing classes in NYC, Athens and Massachusetts and virtual classes and workshops worldwide with students currently in New Zealand, Australia, Florida, Greece, Missouri, New Mexico, Canada and more. She is on faculty for the first European Continuum Movement Teacher Training in Greece, provides private Continuum teacher mentoring and is working on Somatic Cinema and Writing with the Body at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
Caryn is the Artistic Director of LiquidBody media, movement and dance and of Topia Arts Center, a green arts and education center in the Berkshires. She was a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company for 10 years performing in over 50 countries and collaborated on over ten new works, directed rehearsals for several revivals and represented the United States as a cultural ambassador in Japan, China, India, Egypt, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Hungary and is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Dancemaker. With LiquidBody, she has presented work at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dixon Place and BRIC in NYC, SOMAfest in L.A., and in Greece, Italy, Mexico and Poland.
She has served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Dance Notation Bureau, SOMAfest and Continuum Movement, Inc. She teaches somatic movement retreats in the fall and spring at the award-winning ultra eco Topia Inn in the Berkshires and in the summers at the newly opened Bouros Seaview Retreat on the island of Evia in Greece.
Maria Luisa Diaz de Leon Z., MA, RSME, RSMT
Maria Luisa is a psychologist, researcher, therapist, movement specialist, and performer born in Guadalajara, Mexico.
In her professional practice, Maria Luisa integrates her passion for somatic movement, dance, depth psychology, mythology, philosophy and expressive arts to create possibilities for awareness, healing, growth and transformation. She is committed to providing people with adequate guidance so that they can live with authenticity, creativity, responsibility and self-agency. Through somatic, expressive arts, and creative interventions, Maria Luisa guides her clients in exploratory inquiries and invites self-reflection and continued learning. She encourages taking a path of self-knowledge, clear interpersonal communication, and determination. She believes that by traveling this path, we can adventure into the endless mysteries, challenges and opportunities that life offers us.
Maria Luisa has served on the ISMETA Board of Directors since 2014. Currently, she is Vice-President, Co-Chair of the Professional Standards Committee, and Co-Chair of the Communication Committee. Maria Luisa values the professionalism, integrity, respect, and creativity of her Board colleagues and enjoys collaborating with them. In addition, Maria Luisa serves on the Advisory Council of the conference Encuentro Somático in Mexico City.
Maria Luisa’s professional experience in psychology and the arts spans over twenty years and includes work in education, private practice, and community intervention. She obtained her M.A. in Engaged Humanities with Emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She served as Program Director and core faculty at Tamalpa Institute in California and continues to be an adjunct faculty supervising advanced students’ fieldwork projects.
Recently relocated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Maria Luisa offers classes, workshops, women’s groups, and individual sessions online and in person, in the US and internationally. She loves the spaciousness of a simple life where she can make time for reading, writing, creating art, dancing, watching films, hiking in nature, and cooking.
Maria Luisa Diaz de Leon Z.
Tony Rezac has worked and learned in the field of human potential for the past 25 years. As a Rolfer, Tony has taken hundreds of people through sessions and is known to be an intuitive and effective bodyworker. He has been featured in Time Out New York magazine, Metro newspaper, and Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Tony`s love and appreciation of movement began with his seven years of aikido and continued with his study of Feldenkrais, Roth, Continuum, and contemporary dance.
Tony is an author and a leader in the men’s personal development field. He leads workshops that focus on better emotional intelligence and finding a clear purpose in life. He is also the creator and host of the podcast and radio show Basecamp for Men which focuses on healthy masculinity and the current challenges that men face.
Tony serves ISMETA as our Treasurer, has been an integral part of the Logo and Website Development Team and has taken a leadership position focusing on Board Culture for the Board Development Committee.
Jane Okondo, MA, IBMT, RSME, RSMT
Jane has been in private practice since 1994. www.somaflow.co.uk
She is on faculty for Diploma in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy in Moscow, Lithuania and the UK. www.ibmt.co.uk
Jane co-founded the Somatic Movement Gatherings organisation, which runs 3-day events for practitioners to meet and experience existing practice through workshops and dialogue circles with emerging ideas the field, as well as place to resource and make links locally, nationally and internationally. www.somatic-movement.org
She has a Master’s degree in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing from the University of Central Lancaster, a Diploma in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy from IBMT, UK, a Post Graduate Diploma in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy from Karuna Institute and is a graduate of the Somatic Experiencing programme. She was authorised by Emilie Conrad as a Continuum teacher in 1990 and is currently participating in the Circles of Four programme for the Discipline of Authentic Movement with Janet Adler as her mentor.
Bibiana Badenes RSME, RSMT
Bibiana is an influential somatic educator from Benicassim, Spain. As the head of Kinesis, a somatic therapy clinic, for more than 20 years, she oversees an innovative body-mind rehabilitation program for rheumatoid arthritis patients and stress management clients. Bibiana was trained both as a Physical Therapist, having graduated from the University of Valencia, and as an Advanced Certified Rolfer and Rolfing Movement Practitioner from the Rolf Institute. She is co-creator of the innovative Aquatic Myofascial Integration – as well as Myofascial and Movement Trainings, both of which she teaches internationally.
A pioneer in connecting and building bridges of contact among distinct therapeutic disciplines, Bibiana searches for an inter-disciplinary dialogue through health which can be accessible to everyone. She created and directs Bodywisdom Spain to fulfil this vision www.bodywisdomspain.com.
Bibiana also trained as an Embodiment Facilitator in 2016 and Leader as Coach from Columbia University, NY in 2018. She is an associated teacher for Advanced-Trainings (USA). She organizes International workshops and retreats in Spain.
Her love and enthusiasm for healing work and for people is immediately evident in her whole being, in her state-of-the-art Physiotherapy clinic and in the vast number of programs she has created to assist all kinds of people to realize their potential in body, mind, heart and spirit. She enjoys a rich family life with her husband and 3 children (and her dog Zac.)
Ellen Barlow, RSME, RSMT
Ellen Barlow is a Somatic Movement Educator with over 35 years of experience teaching, designing and managing programs in the fields of health and wellness, education, and dance.
Ellen studied modern dance in Washington DC as a child with Pola Nirenska, a former Mary Wigman company member in Berlin, and then resumed her studies as an adult to complete a BA in Dance Education. She pursued several spiritual traditions that incorporated somatic practices, and Hatha yoga training with Swami Vishnu Devananda to become a certified teacher in the Shivananda tradition. While in college her mentor and dance professor, Carol Boggs, introduced her to the work of Irmgard Bartenieff, F.M. Alexander, Mabel Ellsworth Todd, and Lulu Sweigard. She then studied the Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique before meeting Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in 1979. Ellen moved to Amherst, MA the next year to study Body-Mind Centering®, completing certifications as a Practitioner in 1982 and a Teacher in 1985. Further studies included fitness training, Zero Balancing, and Cranial-Sacral Therapy. Together, these influences directed her career toward somatic movement practices as a basis for consciousness, learning and wellness.
Ellen was a teacher with the School for Body-Mind Centering® from 1986 – 2006, on faculty at the School for New Dance Development in the Netherlands in the 1990’s, the George Washington University dance department in the 1990’s, and the Somatic Movement Educator and BMC Practitioner training programs at the Kinesthetic Learning Center from 2013 – 2017 in Durham, NC. In the early 2000’s she began studying the GYROTONIC® Approach. She is a founding member of the Body-Mind Centering® Association and a past president of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). She resides in the Washington DC area where she maintains a private practice, consults on program development, and is a Physical Therapy Aide and teaches GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® at Elements Fitness & Wellness Center.
Kelly Bitov, JD, MPH
Kelly Bitov is a public interest environmental attorney, dance artist and past college professor. She has creatively combined her passions for movement research, education and environmental advocacy into management of a community-owned transformational retreat center, Nine Mountain Retreats. Located next to the Earthdance Creative Living Project in rural Western Massachusetts, Nine Mountain hosts a wide variety of programming in embodiment, healing arts, and personal and community development. The two centers together form a hub for international communities studying and practicing Contact Improvisation, Body Mind Centering, and many other somatic disciplines.Kelly’s exploration of somatics and embodiment began with studying Contact Improvisation at Barnard College in 2005. She has since trained extensively in this form, and continues to be inspired by the inquiries it presents. Along the way, she has touched in with many of the somatic movement and therapy modalities ISMETA supports.
Kelly hold a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, a Masters in Public Health from Tufts University, and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Columbia University. Her legal practice focuses on supporting communities and advocates in pushing for environmental protection and sustainability.
Donna Brooks, RSME, RSMT, C-IAYT
Donna Brooks always loved movement. As a chíld, she twisted her body into all sorts of pretzel positions—only to later realize she was doing yoga poses intuitively. As a young woman, she studied ballet, modern dance, and hatha yoga. In 1982, as one of only a handful of yoga teachers in Washington, D.C., she built a practice that included dancers, activists, and politicians. She devoted herself to the study of Iyengar yoga with John Schumacher and later with Karin Stephan in Boston.
Teaching yoga has sparked her passion to learn everything she could about the moving body. Donna studied the foundations of Feldenkrais work, the approach of Somatics pioneer Thomas Hanna, Continuum and Body-Mind Centering. She also studied the geometry and physics of movement and momentum with tennis pro Art Carrington and through Contact Improvisation. She has put together core insights of somatic movement as the foundation for all our movements, yoga and exercise execution, and balance in the nervous system. Her approach helps her students embody an effortless, fluid grace.
Donna has a private practice in Western Massachusetts. Her clients include people with injuries related to aging, exercise and sports, accidents or to life trauma and illness such as Parkinson’s, MS and stroke. She also leads classes for Parkinson’s disease patients and those who work with them including at Dartmouth Medical Conferences and at the Movement and Cognition Conference at Harvard summer 2018. She teaches a pain relief clinic at a Valley Medical Center in Greenfield MA. She has taught yoga as a somatic movement practice online for YogaU and created video content for yoga teacher and therapists who want to utilize somatics.
She taught and created yoga and menopause classes for Kaiser Permanente and has presented her work to the UMASS communications disorders department, at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital and for the Pioneer Valley Brain Injury support group. She also taught at the University of Massachusetts, Greenfield Community College, Charlemont Academy, Norwich College, and Mohawk Valley Education Services.
Donna is an ISMETA Registered Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator, a certified Yoga therapist and holds a BS from SUNY Stony Brook.
Dana Davison RSME, RSMT
Born in upstate New York in 1968, Dana studied classical ballet with Shèr Marie Farrell and Sir William Martin-Viscount before graduating from University of Texas in Russian Studies and Journalism. She co-founded and published a weekly arts magazine in Kiev, Ukraine, as well as a literary magazine and small press book imprint in New York City. She worked as a writer and designer for books and magazines, and she translated and edited movie subtitles and art exhibition catalogs.
While attending graduate school at New York University in 2010, serendipity led Dana back to her roots, to a deep, intensive study in Somatic Movement Therapy and Education with Dr. Martha Eddy. During her training in Dynamic Embodiment®, she studied Body-Mind Centering®, Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals. She experienced Continuum, Authentic Movement, Feldenkrais and Craniosacral Therapy. She worked with babies, and individuals presenting with Piriformis Syndrome and drop-foot, spinal and knee injuries, chronic migraine headaches, speech and motor impairment due to stroke, and back and hip pain. And she assisted Moving for Life® group dance classes for cancer recovery as part of a research study at NYU Langone Medical Center. A whole new world opened up.
In 2013, Dana began teaching BodyMind Dancing® and “The Body in Translation” at Dance New Amsterdam; Moving for Life at Gilda’s Club, the Jewish Community Center and NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, and yoga and meditation at New Visions Charter High School. She collaborated with Shakti Smith on several workshops exploring yoga through the endocrine system; co-founded and co-teaches Somatic Anatomy® with Lissa Michalak, and a Somatic Wellness series and Developmental Movement course with Mandy Chan.
Dana participates in Global Water Dances, presents at BMCA conferences, and contributes to their journal Currents. Currently teaching at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Movement Research, 92nd Street Y, Kings County and Coney Island hospitals, she also offers private sessions in Brooklyn, NY. [thesomafox.com]
She hopes to help spread the word Somatics through her work with ISMETA.
Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, MA, RSME, RSMT
Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, RSME, RSMT is the Founder and Executive Director of Noeticus Counseling Center and Training Institute in Denver, Colorado, USA. He has practiced as a body-based, movement-oriented psychotherapist in a broad range of psychiatric and addiction recovery settings since 1993 and has served as a clinical supervisor and counselor educator since 1996. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for ISMETA he previously served for nine years as chair of the Somatic Counseling Psychology Graduate Program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and as an Advisory Panel member for three years with the international journal, Body, Movement, and Dance in Psychotherapy, published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Ryan’s professional background includes extensive work with graduate and post-graduate education in counseling and somatic psychology, with a particular focus in the areas of experiential learning, contemplative education, spiritual emergence, diversity and multiculturalism, social and restorative justice, creative process work, expressive arts therapies, and body-centered psychotherapy. Other areas of professional experience and training include work in the areas of trauma and dissociative disorders, chronic and persistent mental illness, psychiatric nursing and psychopharmacology, addictions and recovery, domestic/family violence, and living with life-threatening illnesses.
Ryan has a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree in Somatic Counseling Psychology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Registered Nurse (RN), Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), Certified Integrative Gestalt Therapist (CIGT), Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA), Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS).
Kima M Kraimer, MA, RSME
Kima M Kraimer is a graduate of University of Central Lancashire’s Dance and Somatic Wellbeing program. She maintains a private practice as an Advanced Certified Rolfer® and Rolf Movement Educator, and assist teaches at the Rolf Institute.
Combining Permaculture Design®/Ecology with Somatic Movement Education, her interest in embodiment and personal and community development manifests in teachings presented internationally, and with wide ranging populations from the arts to farmers.
She is currently in the Diamond Approach teacher- training process. Her love of nature and on-going inquiry for expanding humanity’s potential is balanced by time spent between Northern Michigan and New York City.
Kima M Kraimer
Sylvain Méret, RSMT
Coming from an eclectic curriculum in Visual Arts (BA), Contemporary Dance, Somatic and Dance Therapy (MA), Sylvain has been active as a dance performer, choreographer and teacher, working in a range of contemporary and experimental styles, collaborating with many different artists in Europe and Asia. His dance & movement career is the foundation upon which he explores the inner realms of the body and the creative and spiritual potential that lies within us.
Sylvain studied a wide range of somatic, therapeutic and spiritual modalities such as Qi Gong with Master Li Jung Feng, BMC® and Feldenkrais. His meeting with somatic pioneer Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum, was a coming back home. The Continuum framework healed chronic pain and inflammation in his body and allowed him to continue dancing and performing to this day.
Sylvain is a Continuum Movement® teacher, Continuum wellspring practitioner, a dance therapist and a “Moving cycle” practitioner (C. Caldwell). He teaches workshops, classes, retreats and private sessions with a variety of clients and groups on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual issues. He has been developing projects for babies and fathers, dance and music performances in hospitals, psychiatric ward for teenagers, performances for children, and educational projects in school among others.
Living in France and traveling the world, his endeavor is to explore our human potential through embodiment, in connection with one another and in co-creative partnership with the field of Intelligences weaving our reality. Through his own experiential journey between art, dance, movement, awareness, therapy and spiritual evolution, his mission is to give people access to somatic knowledge as a path to a greater state of being, and to create more bridges between fields and categories for a more unified understanding of what it means to be a human being at this time.
“ The real endeavor in my ongoing work, which emphasizes an opening to direct communication and direct knowledge, is to reclaim our bodies, sensations and consciousness to further our sovereignty, freedom and personal evolution”. S.M.
Melanie Noblit-Gambino BFA, BA, MA, RSME, RSMT
Melanie Gambino is on faculty at The Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College and is the Resident Choreographer and Director of Dance and Somatic Movement Meditation and Mindfulness at the Harvey School. She has over 30 years of professional experience in the Somatic Movement Meditation/Healing Arts/ Education and Performing Arts fields and holds a BFA, BA, and MA in these related fields. Melanie serves on the ISMETA Arts and Education Committee. As a Continuum Teacher she was mentored and authorized to teach by its founder Emilie Conrad and is an active member of CTA and Watermark Arts Choreographer/Performing Artist.
Ivana Marina Sejenovich, RSME
Ivana is a Somatic Movement Educator, certified by The Center for BodyMindMovement.
Her somatic practice started 40 years ago, as a child, finding space to really BE, in her Body Expression and Dance classes. She continued with a 4-year college degree in Body Expression Education (at a university of Dance in Argentina, created by Patricia Stokoe, that included the work of Gerda Alexander, Eutonia) and studies in Physiotherapy, Eutonia, Topf, Conscious System for the Technique of Movement, Yoga (for 30 years) and BodyMindMovement (since 2008).
She founded Maravilla Corporal, a team that was pioneer in Somatic Education in México (since 2000). This team developed workshops and trainings of Body Expression and Creativity for 12 years, in public universities and private cultural centers.
She also shared the coordination of Lunananda, Yoga y Artes Somáticas (yogamexico.com), for 16 years, leading Yoga teacher trainings (200 and 500 RYT) as well as retreats and workshops with a somatic approach. She has been teaching Yoga for 20 years, certified with 500 YA RYT and 600 hours of Yoga Therapy in México and India.
She is now part of the faculty of The Center for BodyMindMovement, in México, Chile and Brazil.
In 2019, she organized the First Somatic Gathering in México, supported as part of ISMETA’s 30th Anniversary, (encuentrosomatico.com) a unique event with 30 teachers and 150 participants. She loves to contribute to create webs between somatic professionals, and to translate somatic work so that more people can benefit from it, in self-care, freedom and expression of self and community.
She lives in Tepoztlán, a small village close to Mexico City. In her private practice, she offers BodyMindMovement sessions, Yoga therapy and Yoga with a somatic approach.
Ivana Marina Sejenovich
Richard E. Sims, RSME, RSMT
Rich is a Somatic & Mindfulness Educator, Instructor in the Art of Aikido (a non-violent martial art) and a Somatic Specialist in the areas of stress, fear, anxiety, trauma, depression, resilience and empowerment.
He uses his skills while teaching adults, children and teens empowering approaches and tools to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing. His somatic approach combines the connection between our minds, bodies, emotions and distress responses with methods that include Being In Movement® mindbody education, Body Awareness, Breathing, Meditation, Embodiment, Somatic Education, Trauma Informed Mindfulness, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and the principles of the Art of Aikido.
He has a private practice and teaches online and in person from home and abroad. www.RichardESims.com He also works with organizations, schools, non-profits, first responders and companies working with their clients, volunteers and employees with the challenges that affect their relationships and performance personally, professionally and academically.
Some of these organizations include MenHealing where he serves as a facilitator, providing complimentary support for male survivors of sexual trauma encountered as a child or adult as well as the Cancer Wellness Center where he helps patients, caregivers and their families through their cancer journeys.
Rich has previous board experience with the Amate House, a non-profit that makes it possible for young adults to dedicate a year of their lives to serve under-resourced, low income communities in Social Justice and Leadership roles. He also worked with Urban Gateways ghostwriting for other instructors and served as a resident artist in inner-city Chicago schools helping kids navigate their educational experience while living with gang violence, drugs, poverty and abuse.
On top of his Somatic career, Rich brings countless years of experience in marketing as a television and film producer where he served in various positions on many regional, national and global projects including documentaries, commercials and major motion pictures.
While not working Rich is usually off trying some new adventure and spending time with his wife and two sons. Both of the boys are teenagers, which is truly the greatest adventure!