PRESENTERS ENGAGING EMBODIMENT CONFERENCE 2021

Presenters for Engaging Embodiment Conference 2021

FULL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE HERE

Click on the conference themes below to explore sessions, special guests, and presenter information

Explore Somatic Applications for Health with these inspiring presenters:

Special Guests will be interwoven throughout the Conference

Clyde Ford

RSME/T

BIO

Clyde W. Ford, DC was an early leader in the field of somatic therapy and social justice. His book, Where Healing Waters Meet: Touching Mind and Emotion Through the Body (Station Hill Press, 1989) presented his work as a chiropractor and psychotherapist, and defined a methodology he called Somatosynthesis. In his book Compassionate Touch: The Body’s Role in Emotional Healing and Recovery (1991, Simon & Schuster)

Eleanor Criswell Hanna

RSME/T

BIO

Eleanor Criswell Hanna, EdD, C-IAYT, RSME/T is an emeritus psychology professor at Sonoma State University (1969-2009) and founding director of the Humanistic Psychology Institute (now Saybrook University). She is on Meridian University’s faculty and Board of Directors, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training (1990- ), she conducts trainings in Hanna Somatic Education, Somatic Yoga, Equine Hanna Somatics, and Canine Hanna Somatics. Former president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the International Association for Yoga Therapists, and the Somatics Society (1990-2021), she is a licensed psychologist, IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, BCIA certified biofeedback practitioner, and member of ISMETA.

Judith Aston

RSME/T, RSDE

BIO

Judith Aston is recognized as a pioneer in the art and science of kinetics for her discovery of the Aston® Paradigm and creation of many forms of movement, bodywork, fitness and ergonomics included in Aston® Kinetics.
Her highly developed skills, including her ability to see body patterns, allow her to problem solve and create unique sessions, or programs for a multitude of categories.
She is the author of Moving Beyond Posture: In Your Body on the Earth, and the newly released: Aston® Postural Assessment: a New Paradigm for Evaluating Body Patterns.

Liza Goldblatt

ASSOCIATE

BIO

Elizabeth (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, is a founding board member of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH). She was the ACIH Acting Executive Director, Chair for eight years and Vice-Chair for three years. Dr. Goldblatt represents ACIH at the National Academy of Medicine Division of Health and Medicine (formerly the IOM) Global Forum on Innovations for Health Professional Education. She is the co-facilitator representing ACIH on the development of a national course that will include all ACIH health professionals as well as physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, that will support the advancement of interprofessional, collaborative, team-based, patient-centered care. Goldblatt is a leading educator in integrative health and medicine. She has published extensively and presented internationally on integrative health and medicine. For her complete bio, see https://integrativehealth.org/lizagoldblatt

Paul Linden

RSME

BIO

PAUL LINDEN, body awareness educator, martial artist, and author, has been active in the field for 51 years. He holds a BA in Philosophy, a PhD in Physical Education, a sixth degree black belt in Aikido, a first degree black belt in Karate, and a certificate as an instructor of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education. He has developed a rapid and explicit way of communicating body information and has applied that in areas such as sports, computer use, attention disorders, trauma recovery and conflict resolution. He has had Parkinson’s for 18 years and has found ways to work with it.

Suzi Tortora

ASSOCIATE

BIO

NYS Licensed Creative Arts Therapist & Mental Health Counselor; Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist; doctorate Columbia University; senior DMT Integrative Medicine Service MSKCC; private psychotherapy practice- Population: all ages Specialization: parent- infant/child family therapy; trauma; ASD; pediatric medical illness; adult chronic pain. Offer International webinar training programs. Published author: The Dancing Dialogue: Using the communicative power of movement with young children.

Susan Harper

RSME

BIO

Susan Harper opens portals of exploratory consciousness. She teaches the art of perceiving and how come to experiential insights from embodied moving inquiry. Susan joined Emilie Conrad, in 1975 to study, and became a partner in developing the organization and work of Continuum Movement until 2002. She continues to develop Continuum Inquiry and teach internationally.

Tina Stromsted

RSME/T

BIO

Tina Stromsted, Ph.D., MFT, LPCC, BC-DMT, RSME/T, Jungian Psychoanalyst, Board Certified Dance/ Movement therapist, Somatics educator, & author is past co-founder and faculty of the Authentic Movement Institute. Director of Soul’s Body® Center, she teaches at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco, the Depth/Somatics Doctoral program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, the Marion Woodman Foundation and at universities and healing centers internationally. Her private practice is in San Francisco.

Presenters:

Aki Omori

RSME/T
Somatic Movement Approaches to Trauma

More info

In this workshop we will offer a brief introduction to the theory and practices for working with trauma, that we will then integrate into three different somatic movement practices.
In working with clients who are renegotiating trauma, it is clear that as they learn how to listen to their body and over time stay present to their interoceptive and proprioceptive experience, they can begin to find a deeper connection to their moving body. Whether this be through the somatic movement explorations of body systems, or revisiting early movement patterns and locomotive impulses, or being witnessed as spontaneous movement arises, the interrupted and incomplete movements of the protective responses which arise at the time of the trauma can move through to completion.

Amy Lynch

RSME/T
Foundations for Healing: Integrating Somatic Movement Therapy with Trauma Informed Practices for Sex-Trafficked Youth

More info

Founded in 2012 as a 501c3 non-profit organization, ARM of Care’s (Art, Recreation, Movement) mission is to use Somatic Movement Therapy/Education, Expressive/Creative Arts, and Recreation to help youth who have been sexually exploited through human trafficking. ARM partners and collaborates with several organizations that serve commercially exploited youth throughout northern California; it is our common goal to provide trauma-informed expressive art and somatic movement alternatives to traditional talk-therapy. ARM’s programs are designed to create a safe container, thereby empowering participants who have suffered abuse/trauma to learn, explore, express and heal, in order to gain a sense of physical, emotional and psychological wholeness.
As human beings, movement is our first language. Due to the effects of trauma, some things can only be expressed from a place verbal language may not reach. In this context, SMTE focuses on the sovereignty and bio-intelligence of each and every body. Engaging the mind through the body first (via movement) helps participants access the body’s intelligence to aid in finding new pathways of safely feeling emotions, creatively expressing themselves, and therefore re-wiring the nervous system. In turn, this calms feelings of overwhelm or paralyzation. The body then begins to settle, rest, and feel better- leading to a better quality of life. ARM’s approach is unique in the world of human trafficking. We combine a range of expressive art and somatic movement modalities including Dynamic Embodiment™, Experiential Anatomy, Z-Health, Franklin Method, First Aide Arts, art/music therapy, crafting, journaling, therapeutic dance, and forest bathing.

Aurora Lagattuta

ASSOCIATE
EVA: An Embodied Ritual to Transform Our Relationship With Place

More info

As without, so within…
EVA or Eco-Visceral Awareness is a participatory experience that re-weaves one’s somatic relationship with place. The EVA experience provides participants with simple yet imaginative audio instructions that lead one on a corporeal journey with their body and the space that they are inhabiting. Over the course of 20 minutes, participants co-create a dance that is a kind of modern-day community-made ritual. Participants move together to transform the energy in their shared space. EVA aspires to leave participants with creative and playful somatic approaches that clear, heal and mend our relationships with the everyday places that we live within.
EVA has been created with diverse communities in Spain, the U.S.A., Japan and New Zealand at sacred sites, burial grounds, near toxic waste dumps, in backyards and in classrooms. The performance is intended for participants of all movement backgrounds, experiences and ages. Made by and with communities, EVA empowers participants to experience their movement as a catalyst for social-environmental change.

Becky Dyer

RSMT
Social Somatic Approaches to Self-Harmony & Constructive Resolution: Glandular & Organ Support

More info

This social somatics based workshop will investigate notions of constructive resolution, connection, peace building, and self-harmony through glandular, organ, and relational approaches to somatic inquiry. Drawing from the frameworks of Dynamic Embodiment, Body-Mind Centering, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Laban Movement Analysis, the facilitator will lead participants in exploring sensations of emotion and motional qualities that accompany them. Embodied investigations focusing on various glandular and organ systems will provide opportunities to contemplate themes of freedom, tension, harmony and dis-harmony through physical and psychosocial lenses. Theoretical explanations and illustrations will support movement experiences throughout the workshop and in-practice examples will be given. Movers will explore the concept of fluid tensegrity in relationship to themes of friction, contradiction, bridging with others, synchronicity, and social engagement. The facilitator will lead participants to consider how their movement characteristics and patterns have possibly been shaped by experiences of harmony or disharmony. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon how they construct meaning from their somatic responses to conflict and tension, and to seek to create more harmonious responses that promote tranquility, health, peace-building or social action in their lives and communities. Somatic experiences in the workshop will begin on a personal level and move to a social sphere. Explorations of themes such as inner harmony and tension will build to shared investigations and dialogue about social conflict, negotiation, reconciliation, and constructive resolution.

Beth Riley

RSME/T
Engaging Embodiment through Fluid Resonance: The Inquiry, Exploration, and Practice of Continuum in Our Ever-Changing World

More info

In this experiential workshop, we will explore ways that Continuum can be of assistance & serve a variety of populations & contexts. By starting the practice in a very simple way within the group-field, we begin to make a transition from a more localized state to the global resonance of our intrinsic fluid system. As we move, we begin to integrate the themes of the Conference. Weaving these themes of Engaging Embodiment through somatic applications for Global Health, Education, and Social Justice with the concepts of Continuum’s Three Anatomies: Cultural, Primary/Primordial, Cosmic. Through our engagement with sensation, breath, sound, movement, & awareness we begin to deepen our perceptual experience of what we call a body & our self-healing capabilities. We enter into an inquiry exploring the edges of proprioception, neuroplasticity, creativity & self-regulation. Through this process, we begin to engage in self-referential & homeo-dynamic ways of being that are both personal & global in nature & application. The connection with ourselves, each other & the larger field can sustain us in times of great challenge & uncertainty. Through the process of Continuum, we can develop relationships with ourselves, each other, & our environment in more responsive, compassionate, empathic, & healthier ways. This can lead to deeper connections, & a more collaborative & inclusive model of being in the world.

Benjamin Hall

ASSOCIATE
Regulation and Relatedness through Shared Rhythm and Sound

More info

Through a blend of engaged creative music-making (moving, vocalizing, drumming, percussion), didactic learning, and collective discourse, participants are invited to remember rhythms alive inside and explore approaches to mindfully integrating music into self-care, education, and care-giving practices.

Bibiana Badenes

RSME/T
Somatic Movement and Awareness in Burn-out and Stress Management Programs

More info

Description of the physical part of a stress management and burnt-out program in a residential environment, focused on bringing awareness and attention to the movements of daily life. We work with the concept Somatic awareness which means peoples’ acknowledgment of their own self within their environment where we use sensations to identify the psychological, physiological and social factors that promote healing and self-regulation. How the program has evolved with a Rolfing© vision. The result became the interventions in the program with the approach of not only working with symptoms but understanding them in the context of the patient’s life, self-care and future prevention.

Brian Siddhartha Ingle

RSME
Somatic Education for Children and Adults with Physical Disabilities and Their Care Givers

More info

This session covers how Somatic movement and the Somatic approach can support people living with disabilities. We bring science and experience into practical application to offer tools and understanding that will contribute towards a more embodied and whole life. The workshop is open to all who wish to experience and learn more about Living Somatics and its practical application in relation to living with a disability. This method is applicable to anyone looking to decrease pain and increase quality of life through awareness-based movement. This work is also for caregivers and professionals in the Somatic filed who wish to gain new tools and understanding of how to better help their clients.

Emory Moore Jr.

RSME/T
The Pedestrian: Idiosomatic Constructive Interaction

More info

A physical exemplar of the harmony-principles of the gentle way. Based on my observation of human movement patterns in an urban environment. This construct is to pay homage to the teachings of Dr. Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo and Prof. Ronald Duncan, founder of the Way of the Winds.

David Duis Carico

ASSOCIATE
Negotiating the Transition from Toxic to Sacred Masculinity: Transforming Mind-Body Dualism by Partnering With Sensation

More info

Rene Descartes, the philosopher who coined the phrase “I think therefore I am,” believed that aliveness is an intellectual event. This idea still dominates our patriarchal western culture. Western medical science has equated the body with a “machine,” western religions aspire to asceticism, “rising above” our physicality and sensuality, and masculinity is associated with stoicism, production, and violence.

Donna Brooks

RSME/T
Stepping Safely into the Chaos of Grief

More info

We humans often lose touch with our physical body when pain, injury and emotional distress occur. This is especially true when we experience the shock of loss. We disconnect from the only place we actually experience life. The more we turn away from our body, the more difficulty we have in coming to terms with the reality of what life is. Being with this subtle, and even blissful, embodiment allows emotions related to loss to come like waves, rising and falling. We experience the grief as movement while we remain anchored in the thing that is certain: In this moment we have this experienced, living body. Loss, grief, and sadness can be experienced more fluidly when we use embodiment skills that respect and honor our natural neurobiology, support safety in our nervous systems and support an expanded presence of our cellular consciousness. I am going to share how the resilience gained over a 40 year somatically based body practice has provided a basis through which to accept, integrate and deeply experience the loss of my 36 year old son.

Edmund Knighton

ASSOCIATE
Autism Moves: Conscious Movement Principles and Progressions to Strengthen Interoception in Young Adults with ASD

More info

People with autism are at great risk of isolation, unemployment, and tech addiction, much more than the general population. One huge obstacle to a healthy life is a dis-integrated sense of “interoception”, or feeling of one’s physical body (noticing if one is hungry or full, hot or cold, well or ill) and lack of engagement in common daily tasks. Through Spacial Dynamics® techniques, developmental movement patterns, and partner activities, somatic practitioners and young adults with ASD can gain a stronger sense of the spaces of their body, develop tools to feel – and be – more at home in their bodies, and find portals in which to engage with the world.
Most people with ASD have hindered movement patterns since birth, and most did not crawl. Reflexes are retained, and sensory integration is incomplete. Many may have experienced trauma in school, work, or other settings. Some may have struggled for years without a diagnosis, or have recently been diagnosed as adults.
In this program, we will learn progressive and age-appropriate activities that can contribute to a true sensing of one’s body, the spaces around one’s body, the spaces between oneself and others, and provide vital interplay with elements and forces of the natural world.

Elaine Colandrea

RSME
Water Blessing Dance Workshop: The Concept and Choreography of Water Blessing

More info

Participants in this workshop will learn elements of Continuum sounds, breaths, and movement as a choreographic sequence, which they will perform to music in fellowship on zoom. Participants have access to the on-line training video and written materials to support them as they offer the dance ritual in their home and professional communities after the conference is completed.

Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell

RSME/T
Water Blessing Dance Workshop: The Concept and Choreography of Water Blessing

More info

Participants in this workshop will learn elements of Continuum sounds, breaths, and movement as a choreographic sequence, which they will perform to music in fellowship on zoom. Participants have access to the on-line training video and written materials to support them as they offer the dance ritual in their home and professional communities after the conference is completed.

Elinor Silverstein

RSME
Your Vagus Nerve System, Healing with Gentle Touch and Movement

More info

The class will include Feldenkrais® Movement and TTOUCH lessons for the student to explore guided, slow movement sequences. These lessons are designed to reduce effort and spread out the work in the body and brain, and create greenhouse conditions for neuroplasticity. This is the ability for the brain to change itself. According to many students they also mention their busy, running minds tend to quiet down with an overall tendency to feeling calm and resourceful.

Ethan (E.E.) Balcos

RSDE
Engaging Somatic Explorations for Individual and Collective Healing through Breath and Cellular Consciousness

More info

Guiding experiential explorations through breath and somatic consciousness allow possibilities for body-mind awareness, acceptance, and healing of self and others. Concepts of vibration, cellular breathing, condensing/expanding, and radial symmetry are explored in relationship to earth and its gravity. Through proprioception, we feel support of the ground; through kinesthesia, we sense the action of our torso, head/tail and appendages in time and space; and we experience the changing interconnectedness with others and our surroundings. Participants respond and move holistically with “body-mindful” awareness. This workshop is about regaining wholeness in authenticity and agency; re-discovering organic processes within the soma; and integrating the body/mind to engage in external action and connection with others. Participants experience support and healing while “holding space” and moving in relation to self, community, and the environment. As global health and wellness has roots with many ancient Asian healing practices, expanding with intention into intersecting circles throughout the globe, may create a confluence of the world’s body-mind connection. In this online workshop, empathetic and energetic intention will be a virtual touching point.

Gayatri Schriefer

RSME
Somatic Education for Children and Adults with Physical Disabilities and Their Care Givers

More info

This session covers how Somatic movement and the Somatic approach can support people living with disabilities. We bring science and experience into practical application to offer tools and understanding that will contribute towards a more embodied and whole life. The workshop is open to all who wish to experience and learn more about Living Somatics and its practical application in relation to living with a disability. This method is applicable to anyone looking to decrease pain and increase quality of life through awareness-based movement. This work is also for caregivers and professionals in the Somatic filed who wish to gain new tools and understanding of how to better help their clients.

Helen Buck-Pavlick

RSDE
Center-Line Support Yoga

More info

Center-Line Support Yoga combines the presenter’s training in Himalayan Hatha Yoga (Kathmandu, Nepal) with her experience as a dancer, dance teacher, Pilates instructor, mindfulness facilitator, and Reiki practitioner. Center-Line Support (CLS) system is the neuromuscular pathway from the big toe, up through the inner leg, the hip flexors and pelvic floor, through the core and interdigitated into the diaphragm, the head balanced on top, and awareness of relationship to the space around. It also refers to a metaphysical ‘centering’ of oneself through recognizing without judgment, reflecting on sensorial experience, and re-embodying by inviting the possibility of change. The word yoga means ‘unity’ and is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning ‘to join’. Yoga encompasses more than just physical postures. Yoga sage Pantajali wrote that yoga is the discovery of one’s true self. Center-Line Support Yoga integrates somatic principles with traditional yogic practices grounded in self-reflection and embodied practice.

Jan Mundo

RSME
A Somatic Journey at the Intersection of Headaches, Migraine, Myofascial Pain, and Awareness

More info

More than a headache, migraine is a disabling neurological disorder that affects nearly 40 million women, men, and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide. According to the Migraine Research Foundation one in every four U.S. households includes someone with migraine. If you don’t suffer from them, chances are you know someone who does.
In addition to feeling like your head may explode, symptoms including light, sound, smell, and mood disturbances, nausea, and vomiting overtake your entire system. Drug-based medical treatment can become ineffective or cause side effects, including daily headaches; once promising solutions become endless searches for new cures.
Patients grow hopeless, frustrated, angry, isolated, and depressed. Living in fear of the next pain, they curb their lives, miss work, family activities, important events, feeling unseen and unheard as life passes them by and well-meaning people don’t quite get it.
The good news is: a somatic approach holds the key to healing. By moving toward and into the pain, we can access, shift, and dissolve it in the moment and over time. The process takes dedication and willingness to cultivate new practices, beginning with awareness of our thoughts and reactions and curiosity about what shaped us and how that contributes to our pain.
Join me in a somatic exploration at the intersection of pain, thoughts, breathing, bodily response, historical shaping, and touch — see what unfolds and what you might discover.

Jane Okondo

RSME/T
Somatic Movement Approaches to Trauma

More info

In this workshop we will offer a brief introduction to the theory and practices for working with trauma, that we will then integrate into three different somatic movement practices.
In working with clients who are renegotiating trauma, it is clear that as they learn how to listen to their body and over time stay present to their interoceptive and proprioceptive experience, they can begin to find a deeper connection to their moving body. Whether this be through the somatic movement explorations of body systems, or revisiting early movement patterns and locomotive impulses, or being witnessed as spontaneous movement arises, the interrupted and incomplete movements of the protective responses which arise at the time of the trauma can move through to completion.

Kate Allen

ASSOCIATE
Helping Hands – Laban Movement Analysis of American Sign Language Interpreting Productions

More info

This session is focused on understanding how we can connect Laban Movement Analysis to areas outside of the dancing environment. The hypothesis of this study is focused on how introducing personalized movements to American Sign Language Interpreters and coaching them in these movements will be able to increase the ease of using general ASL signs in their interpretations. This is a unique study since it focuses not on the accuracy of an interpreter’s production, but rather on how the interpretation feels for the interpreter. Most of the session will be a lecture about background material, methods of testing, results of the testing, and the conclusion. However, there will be a section of the lecture where the movements of the study are going to be shown that encourages the audience to participate. Those who wish to experience these movements will be able to feel how the connection of the body might benefit certain movements of interpreters. The ultimate goal for the audience is to understand that movements can be applied to last outside of their individual study to better benefit our overall movements no matter where we are at.

Kevin Zhang

ASSOCIATE
EVA: An Embodied Ritual to Transform Our Relationship With Place

More info

As without, so within…

EVA or Eco-Visceral Awareness is a participatory experience that re-weaves one’s somatic relationship with place. The EVA experience provides participants with simple yet imaginative audio instructions that lead one on a corporeal journey with their body and the space that they are inhabiting. Over the course of 20 minutes, participants co-create a dance that is a kind of modern-day community-made ritual. Participants move together to transform the energy in their shared space. EVA aspires to leave participants with creative and playful somatic approaches that clear, heal and mend our relationships with the everyday places that we live within.

EVA has been created with diverse communities in Spain, the U.S.A., Japan and New Zealand at sacred sites, burial grounds, near toxic waste dumps, in backyards and in classrooms. The performance is intended for participants of all movement backgrounds, experiences and ages. Made by and with communities, EVA empowers participants to experience their movement as a catalyst for social-environmental change.

Maria Luisa Diaz de Leon Z.

RSME/T
Carrying Trust After Miscarriage: A Somatic and Expressive Arts Healing Path for Women

More info

Miscarriage is a wounding experience for which women need adequate support to heal. Healing from miscarriage entails a grieving process often accompanied with symptoms of PTSD, including numbness, hypersensitivity, or pain in the pelvic area. Health care professionals and family members usually downplay the effects that miscarriage and overlook the emotional pain. Women are left to their own to deal with a sense of mistrust, guilt, and shame over their body. How does somatic movement support women in healing after having a miscarriage and regain trust and vitality in their body?
Pelvis is associated with the cycles of birth/death/rebirth. With miscarriage, the pelvis goes from being a fertile womb to a cold tomb. A frozen pelvis is experienced as a lack of sensitivity, mobility, hypersensitivity, or pain. This experiential lecture focuses on the use somatic education and expressive arts tools of the Tamalpa Life/Art Process to support women in completing and integrating the grieving experience of miscarriage and reclaim trust and joy in their body.

Maiya Evans

ASSOCIATE
Teaching Health Artfully through the Body

More info

Understanding the body’s intelligence to resist and mirror the social body makes embodied pedagogy the next frontier of education. For the last decade a personal health course based on somatic movement & expressive arts has attracted San Francisco State students to learn health promotion and disease prevention through the body/mind nexus. The class was designed to support multicultural multilingual digital college students to learn about physical, mental and public health through a combination of kinesthetic and social awareness aimed at increasing student agency and resiliency in the face of increasing mental health challenges, food & housing insecurity. The workshop will showcase key resources that build student’s capacity for Wellness. SF State has a diverse student body and commitment to equity and inclusion, community engaged research and teaching. Within this context, it is important that rather than teaching through texts, tests and lectures, learning is experienced as occurring through practice, through the body, involving all the senses and with cultural humility. Students are invited to co-create the semester through a range of experiential activities that not only talk about promoting positive health but to take an active role in their own health promotion.

Mark C. Taylor

RSME/T
Emerging from the Pandemic: Harvesting, Reorganizing, Reawakening

More info

Each one of us has been impacted during the past year by COVID-19. While the arrival of effective vaccines provides hope of a world less encumbered by the current pandemic, we are individually and collectively experiencing disorientation due to situational change and the devastating effects of the virus. A new post-pandemic normal will continue to challenge us with changes we may not have anticipated, so we need to pay attention to our current state while creatively planning for and negotiating the post-pandemic realities. In this experiential presentation we will use the embodied skeleton to metabolize what has been personally challenging; move through our organs to harvest what we have learned about ourselves through the experience; and invite vibration in the endocrine glands to envision a post-pandemic future that will consciously conform with our values and needs.

Melanie Gambino

RSME/T, RSDE
Engaging Embodiment through Fluid Resonance: The Inquiry, Exploration, and Practice of Continuum in Our Ever-Changing World

More info

In this experiential workshop, we will explore ways that Continuum can be of assistance & serve a variety of populations & contexts. By starting the practice in a very simple way within the group-field, we begin to make a transition from a more localized state to the global resonance of our intrinsic fluid system. As we move, we begin to integrate the themes of the Conference. Weaving these themes of Engaging Embodiment through somatic applications for Global Health, Education, and Social Justice with the concepts of Continuum’s Three Anatomies: Cultural, Primary/Primordial, Cosmic. Through our engagement with sensation, breath, sound, movement, & awareness we begin to deepen our perceptual experience of what we call a body & our self-healing capabilities. We enter into an inquiry exploring the edges of proprioception, neuroplasticity, creativity & self-regulation. Through this process, we begin to engage in self-referential & homeo-dynamic ways of being that are both personal & global in nature & application. The connection with ourselves, each other & the larger field can sustain us in times of great challenge & uncertainty. Through the process of Continuum, we can develop relationships with ourselves, each other, & our environment in more responsive, compassionate, empathic, & healthier ways. This can lead to deeper connections, & a more collaborative & inclusive model of being in the world.

Melinda Teutschel

RSME/T
Foundations for Healing: Integrating Somatic Movement Therapy with Trauma Informed Practices for Sex-Trafficked Youth

More info

Founded in 2012 as a 501c3 non-profit organization, ARM of Care’s (Art, Recreation, Movement) mission is to use Somatic Movement Therapy/Education, Expressive/Creative Arts, and Recreation to help youth who have been sexually exploited through human trafficking. ARM partners and collaborates with several organizations that serve commercially exploited youth throughout northern California; it is our common goal to provide trauma-informed expressive art and somatic movement alternatives to traditional talk-therapy. ARM’s programs are designed to create a safe container, thereby empowering participants who have suffered abuse/trauma to learn, explore, express and heal, in order to gain a sense of physical, emotional and psychological wholeness.
As human beings, movement is our first language. Due to the effects of trauma, some things can only be expressed from a place verbal language may not reach. In this context, SMTE focuses on the sovereignty and bio-intelligence of each and every body. Engaging the mind through the body first (via movement) helps participants access the body’s intelligence to aid in finding new pathways of safely feeling emotions, creatively expressing themselves, and therefore re-wiring the nervous system. In turn, this calms feelings of overwhelm or paralyzation. The body then begins to settle, rest, and feel better- leading to a better quality of life. ARM’s approach is unique in the world of human trafficking. We combine a range of expressive art and somatic movement modalities including Dynamic Embodiment™, Experiential Anatomy, Z-Health, Franklin Method, First Aide Arts, art/music therapy, crafting, journaling, therapeutic dance, and forest bathing.

Monika Gross

RSME
The Poise Project: A New Model to Bring Alexander-based Approaches to Community & Clinical Settings

More info

The Poise Project shares results from three pilot studies of replicable Alexander technique (AT) based group courses in NC and DC funded by grants from the Parkinson’s Foundation: Poised for Parkinson’s, for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners, and Partnering with Poise, for family care partners. Both didactic and experiential sections will be included. First we will discuss the strategic model we use. Next we will share how our two courses were developed and delivered and present pilot study results including excerpts from video interviews of course participants. Finally, we will demonstrate for interested participants some of our strategies for online delivery of our courses and have Q&A.
Alexander technique is a cognitive embodiment approach using awareness and intention to improve modulation of postural tone and reduce anxiety in daily life. Embodied education in AT principles offers a means to maintain agency throughout all stages and challenges of life.
The Poise Project is a 501(c)3 with the mission of removing socioeconomic barriers to AT-based education. We design and deliver AT-based courses for target populations; postgraduate training preparing AT specialists for new jobs serving target industries and populations; and continuing education courses to inform health, education, and other industry professionals about AT-based approaches. We initiate research projects to build on existing data on the efficacy of AT principle based approaches.

Nancy Haller

RSME
Feldenkrais and BrainEase

More info

Are you brain injured, brain tired, do you live in brain fog or do you know someone experiencing brain issues? Enjoy thoughtful use of the Feldenkrais Method® to create more BrainEase. Be kind to yourself, move slowly to allow time for your brain to find a pathway, begin to accept the differences and be joyful for what you can do with ease today. Tenacity and knowledge are your tools for lifelong learning to be the best person you can be at every moment.

Richard Sims

RSME/T
Somatic Education & Empowerment: Working with Sexual Abuse and Trauma

More info

In the U.S. alone, one in four women and one in six men are survivors of sexual abuse. One day, whether planned or not, we’ll work with a survivor of Sexual Trauma. As professionals who’s practices revolve around the body, It’s important to recognize and learn about the special care needed to serve a client with a history of sexual abuse.
Most of us accept that Trauma is experienced in our bodies and minds. This is especially true with sexual trauma. Talking alone simply doesn’t reach the body. In my work with MenHealing (male identified sexual abuse survivors) and my private practice, one of my specialties is working with survivor’s stress, fear, anxiety and trauma with a “Bottom up” and “top down” whole body approach.
During this experiential workshop we’ll explore the somatic approaches I couple with distress responses to help survivors work with their trauma while gaining the power necessary to live out joy filled, open, meaningful lives.
Through physical experiments, discussions and explorations, we’ll experience some of the somatic approaches I use to help my clients empower themselves on their paths too healing.
These lessons can be quickly incorporated into your existing somatic toolbox, rounding out your practice to include some trauma sensitive approaches your clients can enjoy.
My goal is to teach clear tools and approaches that can be used to lead to centered, calm, powerful, caring, open lives. Lives where you are free to explore and experience life to its fullest.

Rosario Sammartino

RSME/T
Bodying Life – An Artistic Somatic Approach to Trauma

More info

What role can the arts and somatic practices play in the healing process? How do individuals who have experienced trauma respond to somatic-artistic approaches?
This presentation will introduce a research-based work that explores the value of combined somatic and artistic approaches for healing trauma. Specifically, the session will support participants in deepening their understanding of various central topics in the field of traumatic stress, integrating new emerging knowledge with effective somatic-artistic techniques and interventions.

Rosemary Atri

RSME/T
Essential Embodied Practices for Listening to Our Healing Nature

More info

We will explore tools of movement and expression as a path to perceiving our own state, in order to reconnect to ourselves, to others and to the environment. These healing tools include movement in space, registering the experience of our shape, shaking, pandiculation, pendulation, touching or tapping our body. Through experiencing all these options of movement in space, expressing themselves in the different planes, we find a path for repatterning our attachment history. Recognizing and inhabiting neutrality, we find a pathway to the different experiences of connection, first of all to ourselves, then to the others, and to the environment, which will reveal the different layers and possibilities of these connections that include connecting, interacting, playing and collaborating.
By witnessing our sense of fragmentation we will be able to find our way towards synchronization and coherence.
By exploring the internal space and tuning into a more subtle level of information, we open the vessel of embodiment, so that we can take in complexity, instead of complication.
All these experiences will lead us in the direction of recognizing the vitality that flows in our core, which has been alive beyond our own personal existence.
Coming home to ourselves so that we can nurture the ability to go back into the world from an enhanced place of connection.
All these tools for a healthy assessment of ourselves will allow us to expand perspective of the past, present and future..

Sophia Ali

RSMT
Moving Breath: Mere Awaz Mere Pehchaan

More info

“I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within.”
-Rumi
When we hear the word “community” our mind creates a mental image of a group living together. The image is expanded based on the details of the city, area, people, organisation and much more. As a facilitator the work begins with observation, getting to know the people living in the community and bridging the gap between the community and the facilitator.
The session will be based on one such community of elderly widows living in old age homes in Vrindavan, India. The widows of the community are abandoned, left homeless and destitute to live on the streets of Vrindavan, begging.
The title “Meri Awaaz Meri Pehchaan” is written as “मेरी आवाज़ मेरी पहचान” in Hindi which means “my voice my identity”. Later I added “Moving breath” to my title when I started using the breath as a resource to support the community. I used “Movement-Based Expressive Arts Therapy” approach to help elderly women connect with their physical, emotional and mental body and other bodies in space. Living with the community gave me an insight into the culture; considering their aspect of devotional singing, known as bhajans, as a group ritual to start with and gave the possibility of expressing themselves physically and verbally.
Following this there will be an introduction to the benefits of breath, body, imagination and singing by bringing in the elements of the rituals of the community. Leading to an interactive discussion contributing to overall growth, empowerment of the elderly widows and focusing on holistic healing.

Sylvain Meret

RSMT
Thinking Outside the Box: Somatic Partnership with Nature’s Intelligence to Innovate at a Time of Crisis

More info

This presentation will speak of my own experience as a somatic movement therapist and Continuum teacher in working co-creatively with nature’s intelligence to innovate and create new solutions to enhance the way we maintain health, educate our communities about nature, and face the current challenges.
I am using the words Nature’s intelligence because it implies all the forces, energies, organic/ biological processes creating « forms » within ourselves and throughout the environment. We, as somatic practitioners, learn directly from this field of bio-intelligence, exploring cellular awareness, embryology, the fluid network… Somatic pioneers, like Emilie Conrad have often referred to it as a guidance or an inner knowing.
The big gift of nature is homeostasis / environmental balance through the dynamic process of evolution. This is definitely an area where the human mind can learn from.
I want to bring this conversation further by engaging intentionally with this greater field of intelligence. Like M.S. Wright, gardener and co-creative scientist, who brilliantly demonstrated the promises of this partnership in her laboratory-garden at Perelandra, and throughout an extensive literature, I clearly asked to learn from nature’ class room, the responses were always aligned with the greater picture and brought new discoveries. This partnership demands that we change our mindset to open up to a different way of thinking, clearly outside the box. But isn’t it the gift of somatic to shift the current paradigm into using the body as a portal to our own evolution?

Sylvie Minot

ASSOCIATE
Using Dance as a Resource for the Elderly and People with Limited Mobility

More info

In this virtual experiential session, we will explore how dance can be used as a powerful resource for ourselves and in working with the elderly and with people with limited mobility. We will begin in our own bodies, allowing ourselves to move freely and exploring our innate movement patterns. We will discover how to support deeper body movement and energetic attunement with others through the Zoom platform, as well as how to regulate and re-ground ourselves. Whether you’re an experienced somatic practitioner or are brand new to dance—this experiential session is accessible to all.
Our Approach
• Gain deeper connection to one’s own body
• Obtain dance movements to accommodate physical ability of client
• Choose music to inspire movement with elderly populations
• Use music to uplift mood and inspire movement
• Use voice and song to increase mobility
• Use attunement exercises to guide physical and energetic movement
• Recognize movement in someone else’s body and mirroring that
• Learn how to move with tension, frigidity, and catatonic states
• Bring mindfulness and awareness through movement
• Reach meditative states through movement
• Connect physical movement’s impact on emotional and mental states
• Use play, creativity, and exploration

Three Eagles

AKA Kathryn LaFevers Evans
ASSOCIATE
Practicing Native American Medicine Wheel Multi-Culturally: Embodied Invocation, Visualization, and Ritual

More info

Native American Medicine-Wheel-Vision-Quest™ Techniques are embodied models that practitioners can emulate in their own clinical, counseling, academic, or general-populous work. Adornments received on vision quest: audio recordings of Native American invocations; embodied ritual enactments on YouTube, with images of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs, and ritual items of Native American costume, medicine wheel rug with shaman stone, shell gorgets, medicine bag, and storyteller’s rattle. Shamanic techniques for spirit-mind-body-society-global-cosmic integration: meditation, invocation, visualization, ritual. We elicit transformative, archetypal experiences natural to humankind in order to heal ourselves, society, the world, and the cosmos: ascent and descent of the soul through imaginal worlds; receiving of adornments such as animal spirit guides and ritual items; and sharing of those boons with humankind and nature.

Valerie Baadh Garrett

RSMT
Autism Moves: Conscious Movement Principles and Progressions to Strengthen Interoception in Young Adults with ASD

More info

People with autism are at great risk of isolation, unemployment, and tech addiction, much more than the general population. One huge obstacle to a healthy life is a dis-integrated sense of “interoception”, or feeling of one’s physical body (noticing if one is hungry or full, hot or cold, well or ill) and lack of engagement in common daily tasks. Through Spacial Dynamics® techniques, developmental movement patterns, and partner activities, somatic practitioners and young adults with ASD can gain a stronger sense of the spaces of their body, develop tools to feel – and be – more at home in their bodies, and find portals in which to engage with the world.
Most people with ASD have hindered movement patterns since birth, and most did not crawl. Reflexes are retained, and sensory integration is incomplete. Many may have experienced trauma in school, work, or other settings. Some may have struggled for years without a diagnosis, or have recently been diagnosed as adults.
In this program, we will learn progressive and age-appropriate activities that can contribute to a true sensing of one’s body, the spaces around one’s body, the spaces between oneself and others, and provide vital interplay with elements and forces of the natural world.

Vivian Chavez

RSME
Teaching Health Artfully through the Body

More info

Understanding the body’s intelligence to resist and mirror the social body makes embodied pedagogy the next frontier of education. For the last decade a personal health course based on somatic movement & expressive arts has attracted San Francisco State students to learn health promotion and disease prevention through the body/mind nexus. The class was designed to support multicultural multilingual digital college students to learn about physical, mental and public health through a combination of kinesthetic and social awareness aimed at increasing student agency and resiliency in the face of increasing mental health challenges, food & housing insecurity. The workshop will showcase key resources that build student’s capacity for Wellness. SF State has a diverse student body and commitment to equity and inclusion, community engaged research and teaching. Within this context, it is important that rather than teaching through texts, tests and lectures, learning is experienced as occurring through practice, through the body, involving all the senses and with cultural humility. Students are invited to co-create the semester through a range of experiential activities that not only talk about promoting positive health but to take an active role in their own health promotion.

Yuji Oka

RSMT
The Somatic Sea (or “How Bodymind Can Change the World”)

More info

This workshop is a fascinating collection of somatic case studies ranging from stories of healing to stories of inspiring embodiment Spiral Praxis founder Yuji Oka has accumulated across the globe during the past year. Among the stories he will tell include:
• the stories of children with AADC, a rare genetic disease that afflicts one in 58 million children. Born without a crucial neurotransmitter needed for movement, Yuji has been helping these children re-learn movement after their bodies have been re-awakened using an innovative methods of Adapted Spiral Praxis.
• the stories of adults with severe chronic pain and injury who have been helped through a wide spectrum of Spiral Praxis bodywork, emotional and cognitive techniques to regain bodymind functioning
• the stories of the on-going bodymind embodiment projects at the Spiral Movement Center in Toronto where students have been learning how to accelerate and deepen their practice of meditation, yoga, fitness and dance.
The theme of this workshop is to illustrate how internal somatic perspectives can help dramatically change our way of approaching the challenges of life. All of these somatic case studies will be presented through documentary-style footage and will be accompanied by experiential/participatory activities that will demonstrate the power of contemporary somatic techniques. Please be prepared to meditate and move!

More info

Explore Somatic Applications for Education with these inspiring presenters:

Special Guests will be interwoven throughout the Conference

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

RSME/T

BIO

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a movement artist, researcher, educator and therapist, and the developer of the Body-Mind Centering® approach to movement and consciousness. She began her research in movement therapy and anatomy in 1958 and founded The School for Body-Mind Centering® in 1973. She is the author of the books Sensing, Feeling, and Action, a collection of essays, interviews, and exercises, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement, and The Mechanics of Vocal Expression, and has numerous videos on embodied anatomy and other Body-Mind Centering® applications.

Christine Caldwell

Christine Caldwell
RSME/T

BIO

Christine Caldwell, Ph.D., LPC, BC-DMT, is the founder of and professor emeritus in the Somatic Counseling Program at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. She lectures and trains internationally, and has authored four books: Getting Our Bodies Back, Getting In Touch, The Body and Oppression, and Bodyfulness. She offers trainings in somatic psychotherapy, with specializations in addictions, play behavior, movement sequencing, therapist training, scientific inquiry, and bodily authority.

Clyde Ford

RSME/T

BIO

Clyde W. Ford, DC was an early leader in the field of somatic therapy and social justice. His book, Where Healing Waters Meet: Touching Mind and Emotion Through the Body (Station Hill Press, 1989) presented his work as a chiropractor and psychotherapist, and defined a methodology he called Somatosynthesis. In his book Compassionate Touch: The Body’s Role in Emotional Healing and Recovery (1991, Simon & Schuster)

Daria Halprin

RSMT

BIO

Daria Halprin, MA, CAGS, REATH, RSMTH, originally trained as a dancer and performance artist. The co-Founding Director of the Tamalpa Institute, she is a teacher, therapist and author, directing training programs in movement/dance and expressive arts education, coaching and therapy. Among the leading pioneers in the field expressive arts education and therapy, her work bridges the fields of somatic psychology, movement/dance therapy, expressive artstherapy, community arts based health education, leadership development, and performance. Published writings include : Coming Alive { 1989} ; The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy {2003} ; contributing author Expressive Arts Therapy: Principles and Practices {1999}, Poesis: Essays On the Future of the Field; Dance,Somatics and Spirituality, {2014] Body Enacted, Entranced and Ensouled. She has served on faculty at European Graduate School, California Institute of Integral Studies , JFK, Alanus University, UC Berkeley, as guest teacher and keynote presenter at numerous conferences, in educational, health and art centers throughout the world.

Emory Moore Jr.

RSME/T

BIO

Emory M. Moore Jr, RSME/T is a multi-certified exercise & movement master teacher and pioneer. With over 35 years of experience, Emory has immersed himself in the study of a myriad of disciplines including, but not limited to martial arts, dance, chi gong, yoga, bodywork, Pilates, Gyrotonic, somatic training & strength conditioning systems. Not content with having a taste of all things he went for total involvement pursuing decades of study on three continents.

Jill Green

RSME

BIO

Jill Green, Ph.D.  is Professor Emerita at the School of Dance at UNCG. She served as professor, researcher, Director of Graduate Studies, and Interim Director of the School. Dr. Green, a Master Kinetic Awareness® teacher. Her work is widely disseminated in a number of publications.

Martha Eddy

RSMT, RSDE

BIO

Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT, EdD is Ferraro Fellow in Social Justice and Movement at MMC. She founded the Somatic Movement Therapy Training (SMTT) in 1992, now called Dynamic Embodiment-SMTT, which blends decades of teaching with the founders of the School for Body-Mind Centering® and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies where she was  Executive Director  and has served as president (as well as for ISMETA). She is also a co-founder of Moving On Center, Moving For Life, and the Center for Kinesthetic Education (CKE). 

Paul Linden

RSME

BIO

PAUL LINDEN, body awareness educator, martial artist, and author, has been active in the field for 51 years. He holds a BA in Philosophy, a PhD in Physical Education, a sixth degree black belt in Aikido, a first degree black belt in Karate, and a certificate as an instructor of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education. He has developed a rapid and explicit way of communicating body information and has applied that in areas such as sports, computer use, attention disorders, trauma recovery and conflict resolution. He has had Parkinson’s for 18 years and has found ways to work with it.

Presenters:

Aida Curtis

RSME/T
Let’s Meet and Punch Each Other for a While: Boxing as a Conscious Channeling of Power

More info

This movement workshop explores the experience of channeled power, boundary setting, proprioceptive stability, and community support that emerges through participation in boxing. As somatic movement professionals, we each turned to boxing in order to explore on a sensate-level feelings of outrage that needed a ‘place to go’. Since then boxing has grown to hold a much more important role in our lives and professional practices.

Allegra Romita

RSME
Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders: A Functional Awareness Approach to Facilitating Integrative Function

More info

The presenters intend to provide somatic strategies and tools based on research in anatomy, movement function, and motor learning. This session explores anatomical visualization, gentle dynamic movement though range of motion, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and myofascial release. Participants will be guided through a combination of lecture and embodied anatomy movement explorations to release tension in jaw, neck, and shoulders. The key principles of Functional Awareness® will be introduced to support self-care and improve performance in movement training.

Andrea Pack

RSME
Neuroscience and Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis: Exploring L/BMA as Movement Therapy for Stroke

More info

Approximately 795,000 people in the United States experience a stroke annually. A stroke occurs when there is a disruption to the blood supply in the brain causing a sudden death of cells due to lack of oxygen. Many strokes involve the middle cerebral artery, which supplies blood to the motor areas of the brain, typically leading to motor impairments (e.g. controlling movement). Currently, many non-invasive movement-based therapies used for motor rehabilitation focus mainly on strengthening individual body parts. One system that focuses on integrating a whole body and mind connection is Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (L/BMA), a method to restore motor control through movement exercises in combination with observing and quantifying how people move within their environments. Fundamental ideas in L/BMA offer a multifaceted approach to access and relearn basic neuromuscular patterns. Here, I present a case study that uses L/BMA as a movement therapy for one stroke survivor. The movement exercises were designed to exploit two concepts described in neuroscience literature regarding motor learning and stroke rehabilitation and used to embody L/BMA theory: imagery and sensory feedback. L/BMA allows the stroke survivor to access an integrated mind and body approach to motor recovery through somatic, sensory, and motor feedback. Preliminary research suggests the potential use of L/BMA theory-inspired movements as one of several rehabilitation methods for people with motor deficits.

Annie Brook

RSME
Working with Implicit Memory and Global Health

More info

Regardless of culture, race, or ethnic parameters, whatever you experienced, even as long ago as birth, has an encoded body story. How we make meaning of experience shapes personality and identity. Understand at a deeply somatic level how to work with healing cognitive dissonance, dissociation, and metabolize cellular encodes. Explore the matrix where experience, culture, and meaning intersect in the bodymind and emotions.

Caryn Heilman

RSME/T, RSDE
Global Somatic Movement Engagement with LiquidBody’s Audience-Interactive Somatic Cinema

More info

Treat your body to rich somatic movement engagement with a selection of LiquidBody’s audience-interactive somatic cinema works, and discuss ways in which this format can reach large diverse populations. You will be invited to move and sound within your comfort zone, and then learn and brainstorm about how sculpted light, music composed for the body and the somatic focus of a lot of people increases probabilities for deep, meaningful communication soma to soma.

Christine Cole

RSME/T
Embodiment: Radical and Reverent

More info

“Radical embodiment” means that we will not just talk about the body; we will allow ourselves to go into the unknown — into movement, into an array, a spray of expressions, feelings, breathing that span the range from energetic to bored, movement from slow to super-fast, no thinking to precisely detailed thinking.
It means that we will not hold back from the things we do not know. Embodiment allows us to stay present in the not-knowing, we have skills to exist and even create from this space of discovery. Let’s not rush through there to try and peg it early or try to make it fit an old concept! We also do not need to not jump over cliffs of our own understanding and ability to stay present – we can move at the pace that arises. In the class, we will always be returning to the body, its experience, its sensations, motion, and feelings.
“Reverence” means that I hold embodiment practice in the deep spirit of believing that knowledge rises up through our cells through our body and expresses itself through all cells, all movements, all breath, meditation, and all thought. It means that I accept the truth – state, including confusion, and in the knowing and unknowing. I accept both the highest jubilation and the lowest fear or shame. I accept tiny movements, large movements, angry movements, and fluttered movements, non-directional movements and and and…. gorgeous amazing dance movements!
Christine Cole will offer both a movement practice and a discussion on the topic of keeping embodiment in the body: The great value of radically moving and exploring from our body and also on what we have to lose in this time, with somatics becoming more of gymnastics of the mind.

Colleen Wahl

RSME
Let’s Meet and Punch Each Other for a While: Boxing as a Conscious Channeling of Power

More info

This movement workshop explores the experience of channeled power, boundary setting, proprioceptive stability, and community support that emerges through participation in boxing. As somatic movement professionals, we each turned to boxing in order to explore on a sensate-level feelings of outrage that needed a ‘place to go’. Since then boxing has grown to hold a much more important role in our lives and professional practices.

Christina-Marie Sears

RSMT
Eastwest Somatics Institute: Embodying Our Voices for Community and Personal Healing

More info

Founder and director, Sondra Fraleigh, will address the evolution of Eastwest Somatics Institute and what living consciously means in somatic contexts of oneness. She will also discuss how EWS graduates take the program’s training in a multitude of directions. The panel will focus on how dance is building communities that support wellness with the intention of providing access to somatic experiences to underserved populations and addressing the social justice issues that deny opportunity. Another direction involves blending EWS training with contemporary dance, butoh, yoga and other somatic practices into an immersive movement experience. An additional perspective addresses how dance has been used as an integral part of ritual, prayer, and reaching non-ordinary states of consciousness, for the purpose of healing, and to facilitate contact with divinity. Finally, we will discuss hands-on bodywork as a way practitioners can enable clients to tap into their somatic unconscious, and how it is critical to realize they may be accessing the repressed memories of past injuries, trauma, or insult held in the body. This is where the EWS witnessing process and communication techniques can facilitate understanding and self-healing. The panel will conclude with recommendations for our field.

Daniel Burkholder

RSDE
Unmapping: Breath

More info

Unmapping is an ongoing research framework using The Feldenkrais Method® and improvisational dance practices to recognize habitual movement patterns and investigate alternative possibilities which leads to greater awareness, choice and, ultimately, one’s own idiosyncratic movement signature. Unmapping: Breath focuses on the functional aspects of breathing through the use of The Feldenkrais Method’s “See-Saw Breathing” Awareness Through Movement® lesson. Intentional coordination of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles allows the development of greater awareness and purposeful choice. This experience is taken into full-bodied solo improvisational explorations based on musician Norma Dalby’s “breath phrasing” compositional approach. Supported by a straightforward notation system, this methodology uses breath as the underlying structure in the phrasing of movement through applying specific constraints. The session concludes with structures in which breath is employed as connector, common focus, and ground upon which individuals connect to each other and move together. Currently Unmapping is employed in dance education contexts, focusing on deepening their embodies practices, transcending their technical training, and integrating their often diverse dance and movement history.

Elizabeth Johnson

RSME/T
Mobilizing the Pelvis with Framework for Integration (FMI): Discoveries in Work with Wheelchair Athletes and Dancers

More info

This workshop will give an overview of the Framework for Integration, a system that applies interwoven lenses for observing and analyzing movement intention. Our work with military veteran wheelchair athletes and a mixed ability dance company informed the system profoundly.

Ellen Bartel

RSME
Somatic Self Portrait – An Innovative Strategy to Enhance Teaching or Therapy through Somatic Inquiry

More info

Attendees of the Somatic Self Portrait will learn and practice a new tool for understanding someone else’s somatic experience with the aim to enhance the training and therapies for their students or clients. Using a paper and pen attendees will be guided through the experiential process of creating a Somatic Self Portrait (SSP) followed by a group discussion. After, smaller groups or pairs will discuss in greater depth the ways of applying the SSP. The smaller groups will alternate being the educator/therapist and student/client and practice on each other practical ways of using the information gleaned from the SSP to better assist the needs of student/client. This strategy is especially useful when working on populations who struggle with self-expression or lack sophisticated body awareness, because, the SSP of student/client will inform the educator/therapist of any cognitive barriers the individual may be experiencing in their own bodies. It may aid in better discussions, better modalities, and may support a more focused session or class with student/client.

Jamie McHugh

RSMT
Meeting People Where They Are: The Art of Guiding Somatic Practices in a Virtual Format

More info

I started teaching online 5 years ago out of necessity and intention – I lived rurally and wished to stay close to home while minimizing my carbon footprint, and still maintain connection with students worldwide.
Mastering the technology to provide a seamless experience was the initial learning curve; the virtual studio is just as sensitive as an actual studio with its need for focus and coherence. Another learning focus has been how to pare material down to make somatic explorations clear, easy and digestible. A final concern was how to create a sensory-rich, aesthetic environment that could support the virtual transmission.
With COVID creating the necessity for online learning, what was once a simple solution for my situation and intention has evolved into a richly rewarding paradigm for delivery of somatic practices to people in the comfort of their own spaces. Since each person is muted with camera off during explorations, there is minimal social pressure and built-in safety with implicit permission to individually respond and find one’s own way in the material.

The somatic resonance through the virtual field of a live stream class appears to be generating a new twist in our sensing and perceiving capacities as the community that practices together over time (in our case, the past 9 months, 2x/week for an hour) becomes engaged in their own individual somatic process while also being part of a larger collective body.

This session will include a guided somatic practice with exploration; brainstorming best practices for virtual teaching and learning; and ways to upgrade technical know-how.

Jeanne M Schul

RSMT
Eastwest Somatics Institute: Embodying Our Voices for Community and Personal Healing

More info

Founder and director, Sondra Fraleigh, will address the evolution of Eastwest Somatics Institute and what living consciously means in somatic contexts of oneness. She will also discuss how EWS graduates take the program’s training in a multitude of directions. The panel will focus on how dance is building communities that support wellness with the intention of providing access to somatic experiences to underserved populations and addressing the social justice issues that deny opportunity. Another direction involves blending EWS training with contemporary dance, butoh, yoga and other somatic practices into an immersive movement experience. An additional perspective addresses how dance has been used as an integral part of ritual, prayer, and reaching non-ordinary states of consciousness, for the purpose of healing, and to facilitate contact with divinity. Finally, we will discuss hands-on bodywork as a way practitioners can enable clients to tap into their somatic unconscious, and how it is critical to realize they may be accessing the repressed memories of past injuries, trauma, or insult held in the body. This is where the EWS witnessing process and communication techniques can facilitate understanding and self-healing. The panel will conclude with recommendations for our field.

Julie Teetsov

RSME/T
Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers Using Experiential Anatomy, Movement and Touch from a BMC Perspective

More info

Teaching experiential anatomy, movement and touch can be used in working with the refugee and asylum seeker population to assist in healing trauma. Embodied learning can be used to bridge separations in spoken language and culture and to create a greater sense of safety and belonging. We will explore the shift in physiology that occurs in the autonomic nervous system, specifically the social engagement system of refugees as a result of prolonged chronic stress and the trauma of loss of homeland, family and identity as well as ongoing inescapable attack or annihilation. One of the body’s responses to sensory overload, loss of control and the perceived loss of life that occurs during traumatic events or long-term chronic stress is immobility or the freeze response which is initiated by the parasympathetic nervous system’s dorsal vagal system. Within the context of Stephen Porges’ polyvagal theory, we show how movement can assist students to repair and re-pattern their autonomic nervous system. In a healthy nervous system, a stimulus is first sensed and then reacted to (motoring out). Body-Mind Centering (BMC) encourages a ‘motoring out’ or physical expression which can help uncouple physical sensation in the body from the fear response. Movement education can also encourage bonding with other caring people and enhance feelings of being part of a community which also balances the nervous system. Learning the language of the body (thru experiential anatomy, movement and touch) in a group can foster co-regulation as well as self-regulation and help refugees return to a sense of belonging to their body as well as a greater connection to their new community and identity beyond being labelled as a refugee.

Kate Tarlow Morgan

RSME
From The Somatic Archive: Education, Natural Movement & The Basic Neurocellular Patterns

More info

Knowledge that our ontogenetic roots lie along the phylogenetic “steps” of the animal kingdom is over 150 years old. But the practice of embodying those roots in the form of evolutionary movement patterns came later and spread throughout disciplines of dance, fitness, physical therapy, brain science, and school curriculums. Kate has gone back into several archives to enact the movement formations of Ruth Doing (Rhythms Fundamentals), Florence Noyes (Noyes Rhythms), Margaret H’Doubler (Fundamentals), and Irmgard Bartenieff’s work as they relate to Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Basic Neurocellular Patterns (1977). As these “natural movement” innovators synchronistically “claimed” their movement patterns as original, Kate will demonstrate (and explore with participants) the similarity of these FORMS, created in a specific TIME in history. Introducing new evidence from her grandmother, Eva Tarlow Zuckerman, a professor of dance at Hunter College (1918-1960), Kate will highlight “natural movement” as an integral part of a “new” American education and social reform, spearheaded by working women and the woman’s movement. Throughout the 20th century, these forms served as an active forum in embodied learning through the natural movement canon.

Kehinde Ishangi

ASSOCIATE
The Power of Touch: Cueing for Dance Educators and Movement Specialists

More info

During this interactive workshop, participants will engage movement vocabulary used in everyday life that are also seen in a variety of studio practices. Movement vocabulary include: bending of the knee, extending and flexing the hip, and articulating the hip, spine and pelvis joint as an organized unit. Participants will learn how to touch students effectively to empower, inform, and transfer clear articulation of functional movement patterns. Participants will gain understanding of the bones, muscles, and connective tissue in a comprehensive manner to repattern faulty execution and misalignments. Application of the skillsets acquired from The Power of Touch will allow Dance Educators and Movement Specialists to consciously address supportive ways to aid students in having a more enjoyable embodied movement practice.

Kevin Campbell Davidson

ASSOCIATE
The Fundamental Fole of the Hands in Body-Mind Integration: Re-connecting the Hands Post Covid-19

More info

The cognitive capacity of Executive Function (EF) is increasingly recognized as a frame through which body-mind integration is understood by educational professionals and researchers. The Centre of the Developing Child at Harvard University describes EF as “the brain’s air traffic control system”, a self-regulatory capacity which manages the response to the flow of incoming stimulation and information, leading to focus, flexibility and self-control. They state that “a solid base of these foundational executive function skills is more important than whether children know their letters and numbers”. Furthermore, a growing body of research finds a positive association between EF and physical development, particularly fine motor control. We also know that the hands, through the sense of touch, play a significant role in emotional regulation and sensory awareness.
Over the past 12 months our hand interaction has been severely disrupted, potentially impacting upon our relationships and our own sense of embodied integration. These effects might be most profound for children, who may not be able to fully comprehend the sudden loss of touch in their lives. Somatic movement trainers and embodiment teachers can take a proactive approach in re-connecting our communities and reactivating the crucial role of hands in the integration of physiological, cognitive and emotional streams of human development.

Kim Sargent-Wishart

RSME/T
Visual Sense, Felt Sense: Somatic Movement and Contemplative Photography

More info

This presentation shares a unique approach to teaching somatic movement education and contemplative photography. This approach, developed over several years through teaching in person and online, combines guided movement exploration, primarily drawn from Body-Mind Centering®, and contemplative photography, stemming from a Tibetan Buddhist practice tradition. I will offer an overview of this pedagogical approach, with a focus on how the work articulates and facilitates inquiry into sensation, perception and presence.
Some of the specific aims of the work:
– consciously tending to sensation and perception as a body-mind experience
– practicing an active aligning and synchronizing of mind and body, internal and external awareness and initiation
– the blurring of the subject/background dichotomy, opening awareness of impermanence and interdependence between self and environment
– attending to what appears, as it is, rather than trying to arrange or correct
– appreciation of and continual redirection to the specific, personal and subjective (this sensation, this body, this moment)
– experiential learning – learning from the doing, the practice, and the sharing
The session will include a balance of lecture with images, guided exploration and suggestions for further practice.

Larry Goldfarb

Larry Goldfarb
RSME
Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear

More info

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. Maya Angelou Whether you work in a healthcare setting, a school or other educational institution, or a local or distributed community, transforming the world and yourself means dealing with the fear that comes with the challenges you’re taking on. Join multimedia author, international trainer, and pioneering Feldenkrais® teacher and trainer, Larry Goldfarb, for an experiential workshop about what it means to develop the potential to be courageous in your personal life and professional practice. No matter where or with whom you work, you’ll explore a somatic approach to the biology of fear and fortitude.
Through movement exploration and hands-on touch, you’ll: Investigate the somatic reality of what Moshe Feldenkrais referred to as the body pattern of anxiety; Explore how to recognize, respond to, and remediate apprehension, anxiety, angst, and alarm; Discover the martial arts of daily life; Develop your potential for boldness and bravery. During the workshop, you’ll be putting ideas into action, working on your own as well as with others.
“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Robin Sharma

Lauren Kearns

RSDE
Somatics in Action: Mindful Body Integration

More info

Somatics in Action: Mindful Body Integration is a guided movement workshop using Bartenieff inspired SIA movement pathway exercises and mindful-movement explorations. Being mindful allows our mind and body to receive new information, remain open to multiple possibilities, and stimulate creativity. Dr. Ellen J. Langer, the seminal social psychologist and mindfulness expert, asserts that “it’s hard to open a magazine or listen to the radio without the mention of mindfulness” (Langer 2014). In my opinion as a professional choreographer, dance professor and scholar, it is because we are craving total body-mind engagement. We want to find moments in our bodies and minds to pause and reflect, and we want to purposefully create meaning and authenticity in our lives. I believe that creating a purposeful and fluid integration of the mind and body is one way to generate authenticity. Total body connectivity is the belief that the entire body is connected and that when change occurs in one area of the body, the whole body will be affected. Free-flowing energetic pathways in the body allow a mover to have uninterrupted fluidity, devoid of excess muscular tension or skeletal misalignment that can cause movement to feel stuck or look uneven. I believe that training a mover to develop a heightened sensitivity with regards to energetic pathways is paramount to their progression and self-awareness. I will demonstrate and guide the participants through the mindfulness explorations, the six movement pathway exercises that focus on breath, core-distal, head-tail, upper-lower, body-half, and cross-lateral, and provide the anatomical and metaphorical reasons for the exercises being taught.

Lani Weissbach

RSME
Introduction to EmbodieDance: Eastwest Somatics Institute Symposium

More info

EmbodieDance is an eclectic somatic dance/movement class designed to bring people together to learn, grow and heal through the body. EmbodieDance has filled a unique niche in Indianapolis by creating a diverse community of movers bonded through their curiosity and passion to move. The content of EmbodieDance varies widely in its scope and is adaptable to the participants’ needs. The curriculum model of Shin Somatics® and elements of Butoh training are integral to the practice of EmbodieDance. Butoh is an avante garde dance form that began in post WWII Japan, and many of its core teachings are integrated into the Shin Somatics® curriculum. Butoh and Shin Somatics® emphasize the fluid dance of change, with attention to what is, without attachment to goals or outcome. Both practices embrace moving toward the unknown with curiosity and kindness, allowing the unfinished, imbalanced and awkward moments to have a voice. As Sondra Fraleigh says, “We all limp a little.” In contrast to traditional dance training, Butoh and Shin Somatics® posit that these “imperfections” may be our greatest teachers if we move toward them rather than resist them. In this taste of EmbodieDance, we will align with our asymmetries and delight in our dilemmas as we inhabit our bodies in all of the in-between moments, without fixing or forcing conclusions. The movement explorations in this session will range from meditative to vigorous and can be adaptable to all bodies and needs.

Llewellyn Wishart

RSME
Ecoterrestrial Encounters: Somatic Translations for Early Childhood Education in Outdoor Playscapes and Nature-Based Ecologies

More info

Llewellyn will share 7 years of doctoral research investigating the nexus between children’s movement-multisensory development in outdoor terrain with specific reference to naturalised playscapes. Within this, key principles and practices will be shared which highlight how somatic practices might translate into ways of teaching, moving and being with young children in landscapes and outdoor playspaces. Intersections between landscape and biophilic design, affordance theory and Body-Mind Centering® will be explored.

Marisa Castillo

ASSOCIATE
Embodied Ballet: A Somatic Approach to Empowering Your Grace

More info

Classical ballet is often presented as genre of dance that is not natural to the body. It is viewed as elitist as only a few bodies are able to attain the lines and the grace this art form demands. In my experience, this is simply not true. It is through teaching the body a pathway to feeling that it can begin to understand the energetic line and grace of ballet. Somatic concepts such as experiential anatomy; movement patterning, refining kinesthetic and proprioceptive sensitivity, as well as support of homeostasis and stimulating neuroplasticity all can be utilized for adults of any age to learn ballet from a viewpoint that values joy and pleasure. The key is to allow space and time to explore these concepts in the ballet class setting. This approach reveals facets of the self that allows one to explore ballet as an embodied movement practice. Embodied Ballet has a spiritual, soulful component that shows our interconnectedness to ourselves, each other and the universal vibrations that surrounds us all.

Mariko Tanabe

RSME/T
Empowerment and Expression Through Your Organs: A Body- Mind Centering® Approach

More info

From our beating hearts to our deep entrails, our organs are a vital part of our life process. We breathe, process, digest and procreate, as our organs live inside of us. Their tone affects the tone of our muscles and their surrounding tissues. Carrying out the essential functions of our survival, they become natural environments for our memories, emotions and personal histories. From the heart, lungs, liver or digestive organs, our organs connect us with the vitality of our body’s movement and expression, accessing the breadth and depth of our intimate emotions, memories and instincts. They enable a deep communion with self.
Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) is an experiential somatic approach to embodiment, movement and consciousness, that® promotes the embodied experience of anatomical, physiological, embryological, psychophysical, and developmental principles. Through this process of embodiment, your organs are demystified as you connect with their different qualities of movement, feeling states and consciousness discovered through movement, voice, dialogue and touch.
Through this practice, dancers, musicians, therapists, teachers, bodyworkers and people of all backgrounds and ages have enhanced their creativity and improved their physical and mental abilities. The innate intelligence and consciousness of our organs provide a rich resource for us to attain a deeper knowledge of self and clarity in our intentions as we experience more freedom, empowerment and joy.

Michael Sternfeld

RSMT
Beyond Trauma: A Consciousness-Based Approach to Somatic Exploration

More info

Much of the somatic work available today focuses on the treatment and resolution of trauma. But what will be the wave of the future when the next generation moves beyond trauma to function in states of higher development?
I’m currently working with a unique population of college-age students (Gen Z) at Maharishi International University (MIU) in Fairfield, Iowa. MIU is a unique university because it incorporates Consciousness-Based Education (CBE) and Transcendental Meditation as a part of the curriculum. Students like the ones who are attracted to institutions like MIU are growing in the awareness of their rich inner world, and they need somatic exploration that supports their inner development.
We begin by drawing upon our fundamental tools of awareness, breath and movement to culture a state of embodied flow. Using a multi-dimensional approach, this experiential session will explore this edge–the relationship between consciousness and somatic work–providing a glimpse of the potential for our integration between consciousness and an embodied state.

Molly W. Schenck

ASSOCIATE
Navigating Student and Teacher Stress with Sneaky Somatic Practices

More info

In every school, there is stress. Students, teachers, parents, administrator are all experiencing stress in and with the
education system for a variety of reasons. Teachers are in a unique position caught between the stresses of the system
and the stresses of those in the system. Over the past few years, Molly W. Schenck, has been trying to figure out how to
make being an adjunct faculty a sustainable career choice by experimenting with how to reduce her stress while
teaching. Her answer: somatic practices. She has been experimenting daily in her classrooms to discover how to sneak
somatic practices into every class experience to reduce her stress and the stress of her students. And so far, it’s going
well!
Join Molly W. Schenck in this experiential workshop where she will guide you through a class experience while
discussing how conscious actions have transformed her teaching experience, style, philosophy, and positively impacted
her students. Schenck will discuss how she includes somatic practices in lectures, dance classes, and curriculum
design choices to promote self-awareness of students’ mind and body and maintain her own sanity. She will discuss the
somatic tools she uses on a moment to moment basis in the classroom as well as more long term practices outside of
the classroom. Her selection of somatic practices are trauma-informed, culturally responsive, rooted in educational
psychology, and carried out through embodied knowledge.

Nancy Romita

RSME
Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders: A Functional Awareness Approach to Facilitating Integrative Function

More info

The presenters intend to provide somatic strategies and tools based on research in anatomy, movement function, and motor learning. This session explores anatomical visualization, gentle dynamic movement though range of motion, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and myofascial release. Participants will be guided through a combination of lecture and embodied anatomy movement explorations to release tension in jaw, neck, and shoulders. The key principles of Functional Awareness® will be introduced to support self care and improve performance in movement training.

Nathalie Guillaume

RSME
Eastwest Somatics Institute: Embodying Our Voices for Community and Personal Healing

More info

Founder and director, Sondra Fraleigh, will address the evolution of Eastwest Somatics Institute and what living consciously means in somatic contexts of oneness. She will also discuss how EWS graduates take the program’s training in a multitude of directions. The panel will focus on how dance is building communities that support wellness with the intention of providing access to somatic experiences to underserved populations and addressing the social justice issues that deny opportunity. Another direction involves blending EWS training with contemporary dance, butoh, yoga and other somatic practices into an immersive movement experience. An additional perspective addresses how dance has been used as an integral part of ritual, prayer, and reaching non-ordinary states of consciousness, for the purpose of healing, and to facilitate contact with divinity. Finally, we will discuss hands-on bodywork as a way practitioners can enable clients to tap into their somatic unconscious, and how it is critical to realize they may be accessing the repressed memories of past injuries, trauma, or insult held in the body. This is where the EWS witnessing process and communication techniques can facilitate understanding and self-healing. The panel will conclude with recommendations for our field.

Paula Josa-Jones

RSME/T
Unraveling Trauma with Conscious Touch & Conscious Movement with Horses

More info

Trauma exists in many forms. It may be the result of an accident or injury, a profound loss, abuse, medical trauma, or family history including birth trauma. Signs and symptoms of trauma may include anxiety, hyper-vigilance, low self-worth, compromised immune system, depression, hopelessness and chronic anger or rage. We may feel shut down, inhibited, or overly sensitive. Our emotions and bodily sensations may be unbearable or feelings may be absent, with an array of somatic symptoms. Our system is in a constant state of fight or flight.
Horses, as vigilant prey animals, read not only our movement behaviors but their underlying emotional tone. Because horses mirror our physical and emotional expression, they show us when we are “out of sync” – when inner feelings and outer behaviors are not in harmony. Unlike humans (or any predator), horses are congruent; their outward behavior always matches their inner feeling.
Horses are not judgmental, but simply responsive. Often our movement unconsciously reflects an unsettled, distracted or volatile state of mind and body. Bringing greater mindfulness to how we move, and the effect of our movement on our horses, the horse’s responses help us feel when we are discordant, anxious, unaware or authentically settled and easeful.
The non-judgmental presence of a horse can help us calm and ground ourselves physically and emotionally. Horses can help us become more comfortable in our own skin, more trustworthy to ourselves and others. Experiencing equine-supported movement and touch practices, helps those struggling with trauma to find a more reliable sense of physical and emotional balance, resilience and ease.

Qiaobing Han (Quinn)

ASSOCIATE
Depth Psychological Movement Exploration for Cultural Adjustment

More info

There is a gap between embodied readiness and intellectual preparation in cultural adjustment. Most of the typical groups of people, such as new immigrants, alien residents, and international workers/students, experience unspeakable, unrecognized, or ignored ups and downs in cultural adaptations. Although the adjustment may last for years, somatic applications will intentionally help people go through it smoothly.

Rebecca Nettl-Fiol

RSDE
Mobilizing the Pelvis with Framework for Integration (FMI): Discoveries in Work with Wheelchair Athletes and Dancers

More info

This workshop will give an overview of the Framework for Integration, a system that applies interwoven lenses for observing and analyzing movement intention. Our work with military veteran wheelchair athletes and a mixed ability dance company informed the system profoundly.

Richard R Mack

RSME/T
Transformation for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Traumatic Brain Injury

More info

One out of 1,500 children are affected with cerebral palsy, stroke or traumatic brain injury. Until recently it was a common belief that little could be done to help these children. For the past 4 years my colleagues at Mind Your Body and I have been working with young CP athletes to improve their strength, balance and flexibility through somatic movement re-education and the Trager Work. We have found that, through soft touch, suggestive movement and the impact of neuroplasticity, positive changes occur. There is a large international community of children and young adults that can benefit from our work.  CPSoccer is one of several organizations that is dedicated to providing a clear path for these CP athletes to play at the highest level possible. Our panel of distinguished guests will introduce you to the world of Paralympics from the perspective of a player, a coach, a program organizer and practitioners who work with these athletes.

Robert Litman

RSME
The Air We Share

More info

As a result of the degradation of Earth’s atmosphere from fossil fuels, wildfires, methane release, CO2 increase, the growing threat of microplastics and now Covid-19, we find ourselves edging ever closer to the brink of extinction. We all require breathable air in order to survive. As it stands now, 91% of the earth’s population does NOT have clean air to breathe. Those in most immediate danger are homeless people, the poor, children, people of color, the elderly and people with compromised airways. This list should also include people dealing with excessive stress, anxiety, sleep disorders and cardiovascular issues.
The complex problem of cleaning the air is one that must be taken on by governments worldwide, and SOON. We, as individuals though, caught in the untenable global situation in which we find ourselves, DO have at hand some quite powerful tools to maintain health, restore equilibrium, increase immunity and generally give ourselves a fighting chance at survival while the political powers-that-be coalesce around a workable plan to halt the devastation of our precious planet. Utilizing our most important resource, our breath, in an informed, intelligent way provides us an extraordinary advantage.
Using the tenets of Continuum and Buteyko Breathing, this presentation will provide scientific information, principles and somatic skills to self-regulate respiration to maximize oxygenation, reduce pollution uptake and strengthen our health.

Sondra Fraleigh

Sondra Fraleigh
RSMT
Eastwest Somatics Institute: Embodying Our Voices for Community and Personal Healing

More info

Founder and director, Sondra Fraleigh, will address the evolution of Eastwest Somatics Institute and what living consciously means in somatic contexts of oneness. She will also discuss how EWS graduates take the program’s training in a multitude of directions. The panel will focus on how dance is building communities that support wellness with the intention of providing access to somatic experiences to underserved populations and addressing the social justice issues that deny opportunity. Another direction involves blending EWS training with contemporary dance, butoh, yoga and other somatic practices into an immersive movement experience. An additional perspective addresses how dance has been used as an integral part of ritual, prayer, and reaching non-ordinary states of consciousness, for the purpose of healing, and to facilitate contact with divinity. Finally, we will discuss hands-on bodywork as a way practitioners can enable clients to tap into their somatic unconscious, and how it is critical to realize they may be accessing the repressed memories of past injuries, trauma, or insult held in the body. This is where the EWS witnessing process and communication techniques can facilitate understanding and self-healing. The panel will conclude with recommendations for our field.

Sonja H Sutherland

RSME
Shaping Your Experience, Influencing Your Emotions

More info

This workshop introduces Creative Learning Through Movement, a body-based, social-emotional approach to learning for elementary school students. Through movement explorations, somatic practices and dynamic games, this approach empowers children to recognize and influence how they shape and relate to their emotions, attitudes, and behaviors in learning and in their life. Interactive visual teaching aids and posters with original illustrations and language are used to support, enhance, and provide a framework for the children’s experiential learning. This approach is deeply informed by Formative Psychology®, the Feldenkrais Method®, principles from Aikido, and elements of Laban Movement Analysis.
The workshop combines theory with classroom stories and experiential learning. I will show a slide presentation of my dynamic, body-based framework and social-emotional approach to learning and teaching, along with selected curricula. This presentation will be interspersed with experiential samples of somatic practices and stories from my years of teaching children. I will share how I use my interactive visual teaching aids to support the children’s embodied learning. There will be time for sharing and discussing practical applications of this approach to working with children individually and in groups. People of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate.

Susan Bauer

RSME/T, RSDE
Supporting our Next Generation:
Somatic Practices as Social-Emotional Learning in Youth Education

More info

Somatic practices are key to helping our youth to thrive, providing an entirely new framework for understanding their bodies and the relationship between their physical and emotional well-being. Adolescents in particular need structured, experiential means to develop a level of comfort with their bodies and create healthy self-care practices. Somatic education also promotes essential social-emotional learning (SEL)—such as gaining compassion for self and other, accepting diversity, and recognizing our inherent interdependence with the planet we all share. Prioritizing programs in somatic education is the next frontier for true progressive, holistic education.
In this workshop, participants experience specific somatic activities based in experiential anatomy, developed over 30 years of working with teens and young adults. This interdisciplinary approach—blending science, movement, and creative practice—builds both proprioceptive and interoceptive awareness. The focus will be on explorations that guide youth to develop somatic awareness, while building SEL skills by becoming more conscious of their cultural biases and body prejudices.

The material is drawn from The Embodied Teen, the first book to offer a somatic movement education curriculum adapted to the needs of adolescents and young adults. Come experience, explore, and discuss how to pass along our somatic lineage to the next generation—and empower students as they navigate the challenges of these pivotal stages of life.

Talia B. Shafir

RSME/T
Choreography of the Internal Landscape

More info

Accept an invitation to follow your body into the unconscious realms that movement reveals. We humans develop physically and psychologically in parallel as our early environment creates expectations of the world at large. Discover the core of your personal rhythms, your language of origin, silent communication that takes place before anyone utters a word. The consistent quality of our first relationship with mother later extends to our greater surroundings and those in it.
Sensory memory – how we were held, touched, received, comforted, reassured, and supported – lays the tracks for empathy, resilience, and relationships as we mature. Language develops to communicate the thoughts wrought by our body’s experience. It is this early sense of 3-dimensional self, empathy, and self-preservation that we record in implicit memory and unconsciously draw upon as we mature.
Armed with these internalized “maps”, we constantly add to the archive of our experience, relying on the status of our personal sense of security to correct course, reframe, and adapt our goals in search of growth. Combining some explanation of Bonding, Attachment Theory, and Adult Attachment Status together with somatic movement and guided imagery, discover the elements that make up some of the patterns of unique movement signatures that accompany us across the lifespan.

Veronica Berezowsky

RSMT
Menstrual Cycle Awareness – An Approach to Embody and Embrace Your Female Body Wisdom

More info

Every cycle (from pre-ovulation to menstruation) and during our lifetime (from Menarche to Post-Menopause), we women transit a mysterious & powerful journey.
Transiting this journey consciously has been essential in my own healing path, and that of my clients, supporting me/them to find Home & Medicine in our own Body. This presentation is an invitation for your to do the same.
The presentation is a glimpse of a longer journey that usually consists of 7 sessions, aimed at understanding, embracing & honouring your cyclical female body.
Through somatic movement exploration, participants will be guided to explore the ancestral (patriarchal) wound that still lives in our female body and the consequences that this has in our lives, our health and that of the Planet.
Through somatic movement exploration participants will be invited and guided to take a glimpse at the cyclicity that is inherent to their female body and to explore how flowing with, and not against it, can bring immense individual and collective healing.
The journey is open for all self identified women whether still menstruating or in peri, post or menopause.
Our main tool of enquiry will be our body through guided somatic and movement practices, and self-enquiry, but the session will also include theory, journaling and verbal exchange.

Wendy Hambidge

RSME/T
The Body-Mind Centering® Association: Approaches to Global Health, Education and Social Justice through Body-Mind Centering®

More info

The Body-Mind Centering® Association is a membership organization of BMC℠, committed to BMC principles of embodied inquiry. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen over many decades, this approach is characterized by deep dives with broad reaches in experiential anatomy and developmental movement. Personal research imperatives, curiosity and passion guide each individual’s unique application and expression of the material. BMCA’s international membership applies this work in a myriad of fields including Health, Education and Social Justice.
We will guide participants through a direct experience of the developmental material of the relational cycle of yield, push, reach and pull, offering attendees a shared experience of individual and community, which is foundational to BMC. We will explore how our members work in the fields of Global Health, Education, and Social Justice.

Mary Abrams

RSME
Somatic Movement: Embodied Transformations of Learning & Research in Higher Education

More info

Teaching a somatic movement masters degree training program together for 14 years at the University of Central Lancashire (UK/NYC), Collinson and Abrams reflect upon the ways applying somatic movement to academic learning and research can transform early educational experiences, and contribute to the growing field of qualitative phenomenological research in the arts, humanities, social and healthcare sciences.  This presentation will include a discussion between Collinson and Abrams, and a taste of embodied movement research explorations from their teaching on the MA course.

Penny Collinson

RSME
Somatic Movement: Embodied Transformations of Learning & Research in Higher Education

More info

Teaching a somatic movement masters degree training program together for 14 years at the University of Central Lancashire (UK/NYC), Collinson and Abrams reflect upon the ways applying somatic movement to academic learning and research can transform early educational experiences, and contribute to the growing field of qualitative phenomenological research in the arts, humanities, social and healthcare sciences.  This presentation will include a discussion between Collinson and Abrams, and a taste of embodied movement research explorations from their teaching on the MA course.

Explore Somatic Applications for Social Justice with these inspiring presenters:

Special Guests will be interwoven throughout the Conference

Amber Gray

RSME/T

BIO

Amber is a trailblazer in the use of Dance Movement Therapy, Continuum, Yoga and other movement arts and therapies with survivors of trauma, particularly torture, war and human rights abuses. She originated a resiliency-based framework and clinical approach, Restorative Movement Psychotherapy, for somatic, movement and arts-based therapies with survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts, and created  Polyvagal informed soma-movement and dance/movement therapy based on years of  collegial idea sharing  with Dr. Porges, originator of  Polyvagal Theory. Equally clinician and artist, she brings her Right to Embody somatic human rights framework and Body of Change eco-somatic regenerative retreats to communities of therapists, artists, global citizens and changemakers world wide.

Carol Penn

Carol Penn
ASSOCIATE

BIO

Dr. Carol Penn, D.O., M.A., FACOFP, Dipl. ABOM, Founder and CEO of Penn Global Visions LLC, is a doubly board certified physician in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine, a Master movement, meditation and mindset coach as well as a two time best selling author and a highly sought after international speaker. Additionally, Dr. Penn is a Medical Correspondent for WURD Radio Station in Philadelphia; host and content creator of her show and podcast: Weightless in Mind, Body, and Spirit; Clinical Faculty, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine; Faculty, Center for Mind Body Medicine; Certified Health, Wellness, and Fitness Coach and Founder/Artistic Director of Core of Fire Interfaith Dance Ministry.

Clyde Ford

RSME/T

BIO

Clyde W. Ford, DC was an early leader in the field of somatic therapy and social justice. His book, Where Healing Waters Meet: Touching Mind and Emotion Through the Body (Station Hill Press, 1989) presented his work as a chiropractor and psychotherapist, and defined a methodology he called Somatosynthesis. In his book Compassionate Touch: The Body’s Role in Emotional Healing and Recovery (1991, Simon & Schuster)

Kathleen Farah

Kathleen Farah
ASSOCIATE

BIO

Dr. Kathy Farah, certified with the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Medicine, has practiced family medicine in Western Wisconsin for over 30 years. She is Senior Faculty with the Center for Mind Body Medicine and Clinical Lead for the VISN 8 program incorporating Mind-Body Medicine and the Whole Health Program in Florida, South Georgia and Puerto Rico, and for the Native American and Indigenous programs. Dr. Farah has extensive experience in individual, community, historical and global trauma including in communities devastated by unnatural disasters and racism. She is the co-creator and presenter of Unpacking Racism courses with Carol Penn, DO combining evidenced based Neurobiology, Meditation, Movement, and Mind-Body Medicine.

Martha Eddy

RSMT, RSDE

BIO

Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT, EdD is Ferraro Fellow in Social Justice and Movement at MMC. She founded the Somatic Movement Therapy Training (SMTT) in 1992, now called Dynamic Embodiment-SMTT, which blends decades of teaching with the founders of the School for Body-Mind Centering® and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies where she was Executive Director and has served as president (as well as for ISMETA). She is also a co-founder of Moving On Center, Moving For Life, and the Center for Kinesthetic Education (CKE).

Rae Johnson

RSMT

BIO

Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a queer scholar/practitioner who chairs the Somatic Studies specialization in the Depth Psychology doctoral program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The author of Embodied Social Justice, Rae teaches internationally on embodied activism, nonverbal expressions of implicit bias, and the poetic body.

Roxlyn Moret

Roxlyn Moret
RSME

BIO

Roxlyn Moret, CMA, BMC Practitioner, Teacher and Yoga Teacher, ERYT-500, RSME ISMETA. I have been exploring the healing and creative aspects of movement and mindfulness for 50 years. I am currently interested in how somatics can help to heal the ruptures in our communities. I have a private practice. I teach Embodied Breath Yoga classes and workshops in the US and in Europe. I also teach in BMC Certified Programs. 

YaliniDream

Yalani Head
ASSOCIATE

BIO

YaliniDream is a performing artist, organizer, somatics practitioner, and consultant with twenty years experience using artistic tools for healing, organizing, and dignity with communities contending with violence and oppression.  Yalini conjures spirit through a unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance– reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in lands of earth, psyche, body, and dream.  Yalini performs with Brooklyn Dreamwolf, consults with Vision Change Win, serves on the National Committee of the War Resisters League, co-runs em-studio.org, and co-coordinates Maynmai.

Presenters:

Angelica Singh

ASSOCIATE
Engaging Our Ancestors: The Bridges of Racial History & Truth traversed by Embodied Facilitation

More info

How can somatic work be deployed to respond to the specific needs of marginalized groups who have experienced racialized trauma? How can we translate subtle practices of embodiment to work in spaces where they can impact a more diverse group of people? In this experiential session, Anita Chari and Angelica Singh (co-Founders of Embodying Your Curriculum) will explore the use of trauma-informed, somatic facilitation practices for addressing issues of racialized trauma in the context of diverse spaces in higher education, reaching populations ranging from those in contexts of incarceration to disadvantaged minority populations. In this experiential session, Chari and Singh will explore the ways that somatic facilitation practices can metabolize the relational, psychological, and ancestral dimensions of racialized trauma. As women of color working within somatic and academic contexts, Chari and Singh will address why the field of somatic work so often neglects the specific needs of minority populations. They will also explore how they have used subtle somatic practices in a range of contexts beyond the treatment room, including in classrooms and in correctional institutions.

Angus Baguinho

ASSOCIATE
Creative Liberation through the Somatic Transforming Oppression Process: STOP

More info

Join Melissa Michaels, Angus Moore, and Leah Maille for this experiential study of how we can liberate some of the deeply rooted impacts of oppression.
Somatic Transforming Oppression Process (STOP) is the body of work Melissa and the youth leaders developed to guide people along a healing path of rewiring the impacts of oppression. Through STOP, we acknowledge and begin to address the continuum from ideological oppression, institutional oppression, interpersonal oppression, and internal oppression all the way to the beliefs, feelings, and somatic dysregulation that unfold in the reality of oppression. STOP offers a step-by-step path for repatterning beliefs and behaviors from our societal systems to our nervous systems and back, ranging from the outer reaches of oppression to the most internalized ones. This work does not necessarily change outer world oppressive conditions, but it has the capacity to shift thinking, feeling and, inevitably, action.
During this experiential workshop, we will resource through movement, rhythm, and breath. From there, we will experientially explore the terrain the STOP map covers allowing for individual and collective understanding of how systems of oppression impact us and they can somatically be liberated from the inside out.

Anita Chari

ASSOCIATE
Engaging Our Ancestors: The Bridges of Racial History & Truth traversed by Embodied Facilitation

More info

How can somatic work be deployed to respond to the specific needs of marginalized groups who have experienced racialized trauma? How can we translate subtle practices of embodiment to work in spaces where they can impact a more diverse group of people? In this experiential session, Anita Chari and Angelica Singh (co-Founders of Embodying Your Curriculum) will explore the use of trauma-informed, somatic facilitation practices for addressing issues of racialized trauma in the context of diverse spaces in higher education, reaching populations ranging from those in contexts of incarceration to disadvantaged minority populations. In this experiential session, Chari and Singh will explore the ways that somatic facilitation practices can metabolize the relational, psychological, and ancestral dimensions of racialized trauma. As women of color working within somatic and academic contexts, Chari and Singh will address why the field of somatic work so often neglects the specific needs of minority populations. They will also explore how they have used subtle somatic practices in a range of contexts beyond the treatment room, including in classrooms and in correctional institutions.

Annie Blair

RSME
Social Presencing Theater: Dismantling Hierarchies & Decolonizing the Body Through Embodied Practice

More info

How can we know whether to step up or step back, and when? Everyone – whether leaders or followers, members of a culturally dominant or marginalized group, can benefit from developing a sense of their social field. In this session we will share applications of an emerging Social Presencing Theater practice, the Field Dance, as a way to tune in to the social field around us in order to respond in authentic and nuanced ways. The Field Dance is a method of shifting from hierarchical, transactional group relationships to horizontal, collaborative relationships with a sense of reciprocity, dialogue, co-creativity and a feeling of connection to the whole. This practice also has the power to help us become more aware of how our physical presence impacts, inhibits or empowers others in different contexts. In doing so we also begin to decolonize the mind from the body, become more deeply attuned to our own body wisdom, transforming the question of stepping up or back from a dilemma to an authentic intuitive response.
Join Social Presencing Theater Advanced Practitioners Annie Blair and Rie Algeo Gilsdorf to learn and practice several versions of the Field Dance that focus on:
• Seeing, being seen & witnessing
• Exploratory orientation
• Tending to our horizontal connection
• Decolonizing the relationship of mind and body
• Coming to words without losing the authenticity of the movement.

Audre Wirtanen

ASSOCIATE
Disability Access in Somatics: Development & Data for Awareness-Based Neuromuscular Re-patterning

More info

Awareness-Based Neuromuscular Re-patterning (ABNR) is a new accessible somatic practice created by two Disabled practitioners with Hypermobile EDS. It has roots in Alexander Technique (AT), and was developed in response to inaccessibility and lack of risk minimization in AT and other body-based practices. ABNR focuses on symptom management strategies and the needs of each individual by combining Disability Justice values with scientific understanding of the sensorimotor system. This pedagogy honors each person’s identity and choices to manage their experience, centering autonomy, pleasure, and quality of life.
ABNR is tailored to hypermobility, chronicity, sensory imbalances, social marginalization and other factors that impact people with illness and/or disability. We center hypermobility in our practice because it is common, misunderstood, and comes with a high risk of injury in somatics. ABNR’s foundations are safety/accessibility, proprioceptive re-education, and sensory integration.
In this presentation, we will discuss the theory behind our work, its application, and our preliminary data from a symptom management intervention study.
We believe that integrating Disability Justice values into scientific and pedagogical modalities is the future of care for chronic conditions. ABNR’s theory is transferable across disciplines; we are looking forward to sharing our work with community members and practitioners with a future goal of collaboration.

Brooke Smiley

RSDE
Learning to Speak: Resources for Healing the Voice

More info

The experience of speaking is unique for each of us. What happens when we wait to speak? When speaking affects one’s ability to survive, what accommodations occur in the body, or in generations of people? What resources are available to heal?
This session centers an indigenous perspective in addressing the implications of systemic cultural oppression and privilege as it relates to the voice, one’s sense of safety, and whole body expression.
Participants will be guided into exploring what occurs in the body when waiting to speak. The relationship to speaking is cultural. It is developmental. The vibrational passage of the voice receives underlying support from our lungs, diaphragm, and pancreas. By exploring the embryology of these organs, we enter a self reflective practice to listen, care for, and receive the quality of rebound in our breath, our organs and the expressive manifestations in our bones. Diagrams will be used as a reference, but emphasis is given to each individuals’ experimentation of sound with support from our organs, what occurs when speaking is inhibited, and the expanding and condensing rhythm as a baseline for many variations. We will explore what embodied resources support one’s personal relationship to speaking with the possibility to invite new choices and reflect on the cultural implications of how waiting to speak may provide others with the space to come forward.

Ellen Barlow

RSME
Your Self/Your Society: A Conversation on Responsibility

More info

What somatic movement knowledge do you have that is transferable to being a social being? What sources (civic, religious, spiritual) inform your social values (justice, freedom, respect, community, responsibility)? In these tumultuous times that have laid bare the systemic roots of social injustices, what is your calling to respond to needs in your community, your society? How do you leverage your somatic knowledge, social values, and social status to generate impact? How’s it going, what are the challenges, what are the rewards?

Ivana Sejenovich

RSME
Regeneration of Individual and Social Tissue –
A Testimony of Developmental Movement in Social Crisis, Chile 2020

More info

We will share the experience of a module of BodyMindMovement (Developmental movement 1), that took place in Chile, in January 2020.
After the module of 7 full days had ended, we created a workshop open to the community, in which people were introduced by the teacher and some students, to some of the Developmental patterns, and to simple somatic movement explorations.
In January of this year, almost three months after a social outbreak began in Chile, we carried out a practice open to the community, in order to offer resources and a containment space from the movement and the body. We have experienced fragility, vulnerability, injustice, fear, but also the sense of pack, collective fire, companionship and empathy. In those hours, in that practice, the community emerged, and containment was the fascia of the group. Our bodies knew what they needed, it was only necessary to generate the encounter, that other safe, supportive and safe dimension.
We will share some of the explorations, and the outcomes of this workshop and the module, pictures, testimonies, as well as our digested ideas and questions, and an open space to discuss about :
How the embodied development of an individual in a group, can support the change and regeneration of social tissue, particularly in times of social change?

Jaime Ortega

RSME/T
Bodyscape, The Body as Environment: Review of a Creative Workshop to Deconstruct Violence Based on Ideokinethic Practices

More info

This session will highlight the power of somatic work via the Topf Technique to deconstruct the violence embedded in society, with an emphasis on violence in Mexico. It will include an overview of the Topf Technique/Dynamic Anatomy® and recent advances the work has made in the area of Social Justice. The co-presenters will share their collaboration and the scenic creation of: A Bodyscape Workshop: The Body as Environment with a group of women at the Centro Cultural Comunitario Los Chocolates in Cuernavaca, Morelos in 2019. Basic principles and process will be presented. There will be time devoted to practice and witness the power of the Topf Technique.

Jill Green

RSME
Envisioning an Educational Practiced Based on Social Somatic Theory

More info

As a dance educator and somatic researcher and scholar, I am interested in moving discussions about embodiment from epistemology to practice. I conceptualize somatics from a socio-political and social justice perspective. By taking bodily investigation into more socio-cultural and political dimensions, we might rethink somatic pedagogical applications and methods.
In this presentation, I will describe and explain my life’s work in the area of “social somatic theory” to explore how we can rethink somatics on a practical level. While some scholars argue for a more universal and generalized perception of the body, social somatic theory educators acknowledge cultural and political influences on bodies and how they are socially constructed. Through this lens, I share new ways to extend somatic educational practice.

Joy Cosculluela

RSME
Decolonial Gestures of Belonging: A Performance Research Workshop

More info

This performance research project invites participants interested in a beginning exploration: a seed, a stem, a root of belonging, set against a backdrop of decolonization and embodied creativity.
This performance workshop is a mindful inclusive space that we co-create by acknowledging the shadows of colonialism and its legacy in our modern-day Western life, no matter who you are. As a person of color and an immigrant coming from a history of colonization, this is a life-long journey for me in my quest of unlearning and relearning who I am, how I belong and connect with others.
Using poetry from Black/ Indigenous/ People of Color as ground for inspiration, we’ll activate our bodies to generate gestures that acknowledge the struggle to belong. Through the maps of the Tamalpa Life-Art Process, we’ll move, draw, and write, making our responses visible. Through sharing performances and acts of witnessing/ being witnessed, we cultivate empathy and how to be in relationship with diversity.
Within this circle of trust and willingness to explore, let’s engage our decolonial muscles, hearts, and minds so we are strengthened in our response to choose between what we have inherited and what we choose to live by.
Open to all. Have a comfortable space to move in and drawing/ writing materials on hand.

Karenne H. Koo

ASSOCIATE
Mettler-based Somatic Dance Improvisation for Individual and Social Empowerment

More info

This movement session, based on the work of somatic dance pioneer Barbara Mettler (1907-2002), will offer a progression of creative studies starting with individual exploration of the kinesthetic feeling of basic body movements, levels of tension, movement impulse, and expressing receptivity. These themes will be developed in group studies where each individual contributes to a creatively functioning group body.
The Zuni saying, “We dance for pleasure and for the good of the city,” was an inspiration for Mettler. She approached dance as a basic human need and sought ways to offer dance as a creative art activity in ways that it could be available to anyone—including people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. Her approach builds from individual awareness to group awareness where each group member is relied upon and respected. As such, it provides a model for fairness, social justice, and community building.
Time will be allowed for discussion of the principles presented in these studies and how they can be applied within the participants’ teaching. Examples from our work with underserved, vulnerable groups from around the world will be shown.

Kent De Spain

ASSOCIATE
Dimensionalizing Somatics

More info

It has now been more than 40 years since Thomas Hanna coined the term Somatics to describe a range of integrative practices of awareness that use movement, touch, imagination, and collective engagement to evoke learning and change. Much of what has emerged during those 4+ decades has been understandably focused on establishing the field and introducing and advocating for one or more approaches or for the general idea of Somatics. But in an era of increased attention to power disparities and social justice, an era of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter and #shepersisted, teachers and practitioners of Somatics have a responsibility to open a lens towards a more critical view of the field of Somatics, not to denigrate or destroy, but to strengthen. Towards that end we would like to propose a lightly facilitated discussion aimed at generating a list of issues that need to be addressed, and share inquiries that would both support and challenge somatic practice while adding depth and breadth to our understanding of the field.

Kima M Kraimer

RSME
Resonance Recalibrating

More info

Resonance Recalibrating draws from the nature of SME, which allows awareness of habitual patterns to facilitate opening for options and change within one’s body and behavior. Humans strive for internal biological and psychological consistency. In our drive for homeostasis and ‘feeling good’, we often override the affect of dissonance and dis-ease in our nervous system.
The intention of this laboratory space, is to offer participants a chance use the immediacy of presence, guided movement and facilitated discussion, to expand our internal awareness in a communal dynamic.
There has been an ongoing request in the SME community to have a space to explore complexities of diversity, impacts of injustice, and the defensive mechanisms that keep us looping in patterns of limitation and disintegration. This time together serves as an opportunity to explore our responses to what is dis-heartening in a group setting. Our development as individuals and practitioners relies on a capacity to be in touch with internal movements and grow support to hold possibility for new outcomes that are generated by the spark in connection. Recalibrating is our ability to notice patterned responses. We demonstrate embodied capacity as we are more sensitive to our own programming, especially while we engage with our communities and foster deeper understanding among difference.

Laura Ríos

RSMT
Bodyscape, The Body as Environment: Review of a Creative Workshop to Deconstruct Violence Based on Ideokinethic Practices

More info

This session will highlight the power of somatic work via the Topf Technique to deconstruct the violence embedded in society, with an emphasis on violence in Mexico. It will include an overview of the Topf Technique/Dynamic Anatomy® and recent advances the work has made in the area of Social Justice. The co-presenters will share their collaboration and the scenic creation of: A Bodyscape Workshop: The Body as Environment with a group of women at the Centro Cultural Comunitario Los Chocolates in Cuernavaca, Morelos in 2019. Basic principles and process will be presented. There will be time devoted to practice and witness the power of the Topf Technique.

Laura Tuthall

RSME/T, RSDE
Disability Access in Somatics: Development & Data for Awareness-Based Neuromuscular Re-patterning

More info

Awareness-Based Neuromuscular Re-patterning (ABNR) is a new accessible somatic practice created by two Disabled practitioners with Hypermobile EDS. It has roots in Alexander Technique (AT), and was developed in response to inaccessibility and lack of risk minimization in AT and other body-based practices. ABNR focuses on symptom management strategies and the needs of each individual by combining Disability Justice values with scientific understanding of the sensorimotor system. This pedagogy honors each person’s identity and choices to manage their experience, centering autonomy, pleasure, and quality of life.
ABNR is tailored to hypermobility, chronicity, sensory imbalances, social marginalization and other factors that impact people with illness and/or disability. We center hypermobility in our practice because it is common, misunderstood, and comes with a high risk of injury in somatics. ABNR’s foundations are safety/accessibility, proprioceptive re-education, and sensory integration.
In this presentation, we will discuss the theory behind our work, its application, and our preliminary data from a symptom management intervention study.
We believe that integrating Disability Justice values into scientific and pedagogical modalities is the future of care for chronic conditions. ABNR’s theory is transferable across disciplines; we are looking forward to sharing our work with community members and practitioners with a future goal of collaboration.

Leah Maille

Leah Maille
ASSOCIATE
Creative Liberation through the Somatic Transforming Oppression Process: STOP

More info

Join Melissa Michaels, Angus Moore, and Leah Maille for this experiential study of how we can liberate some of the deeply rooted impacts of oppression.
Somatic Transforming Oppression Process (STOP) is the body of work Melissa and the youth leaders developed to guide people along a healing path of rewiring the impacts of oppression. Through STOP, we acknowledge and begin to address the continuum from ideological oppression, institutional oppression, interpersonal oppression, and internal oppression all the way to the beliefs, feelings, and somatic dysregulation that unfold in the reality of oppression. STOP offers a step-by-step path for repatterning beliefs and behaviors from our societal systems to our nervous systems and back, ranging from the outer reaches of oppression to the most internalized ones. This work does not necessarily change outer world oppressive conditions, but it has the capacity to shift thinking, feeling and, inevitably, action.
During this experiential workshop, we will resource through movement, rhythm, and breath. From there, we will experientially explore the terrain the STOP map covers allowing for individual and collective understanding of how systems of oppression impact us and they can somatically be liberated from the inside out.

Leslie Apablaza

Leslie Apablaza
ASSOCIATE
Regeneration of Individual and Social Tissue –
A Testimony of Developmental Movement in Social Crisis, Chile 2020

More info

We will share the experience of a module of BodyMindMovement (Developmental movement 1), that took place in Chile, in January 2020.
After the module of 7 full days had ended, we created a workshop open to the community, in which people were introduced by the teacher and some students, to some of the Developmental patterns, and to simple somatic movement explorations.
In January of this year, almost three months after a social outbreak began in Chile, we carried out a practice open to the community, in order to offer resources and a containment space from the movement and the body. We have experienced fragility, vulnerability, injustice, fear, but also the sense of pack, collective fire, companionship and empathy. In those hours, in that practice, the community emerged, and containment was the fascia of the group. Our bodies knew what they needed, it was only necessary to generate the encounter, that other safe, supportive and safe dimension.
We will share some of the explorations, and the outcomes of this workshop and the module, pictures, testimonies, as well as our digested ideas and questions, and an open space to discuss about :
How the embodied development of an individual in a group, can support the change and regeneration of social tissue, particularly in times of social change?

Madelanne Rust-D'Eye

RSME/T
Body-Informed Leadership and the Cultural Somatics of Partnership

More info

Madelanne is a Somatic Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist who has spent the past decade developing “Body-Informed Leadership:” a curriculum designed to support individuals and communities to evolve a somatic skillset for regenerative, Partnership-oriented cultures.
Body-Informed Leadership (BIL) is a significant contributor to the emergent field of Cultural Somatics. It is a methodology which supports participants to explore their own cultural somatic histories, to identify their unique somatic resources and challenges, and to experientially acknowledge the immense capacity for inter-relationship and co-expression we humans embody by design. BIL brings together somatic trauma paradigms, a critical analysis of power, research into interpersonal neurobiology, and an intersectionally-informed decolonizing agenda to support widespread transformation at the levels of soma and culture.
This engaged conversation will introduce the concepts of Domination and Partnership (as developed by the author and historian Riane Eisler), and will explore the cultural somatic substrates of each. Supported by interactive and experiential group activities, as well as anecdotes and observations from her own journey developing Body-Informed Leadership, Madelanne will illustrate the transformational potential this practice has for the evolution of more just and collaborative cultures in the United States and beyond.

Marcia Warren Edelman

RSME/T
Awakening the Superpower of Our Embodied Multicultural Identities

More info

Recent events have shown us that when faced with challenges such as COVID-19 and global social change, different beliefs, identities and ways of life are often met with fear rather than curiosity. As Somatic Therapists and Educators, what can we do with the unique place we are in today where trauma, identity and the desire for human connection intersect, and in turn impact our world, our work, and ourselves? The key may lie within our own bodies. We hold our histories and our cultures not only in our minds and hearts, but in the ways our bodies interpret the world around us and react. And these reactions happen in a moment – before meaning and even words are formed.
What if the lived experience of managing more than one identity (racial, sexual, gender, etc.) has already prepared us on a somatic level to be more aware and more capable of understanding and integrating difference? If so, what are the ways we can use this “superpower” to help ourselves and others to gain a real felt sense of difference as a resource, and not a threat? This workshop will explore this possibility through experientials and discussions of the strengths and skills of having a multicultural identity, the challenges our brains and nervous systems experience when encountering difference, and how to use somatic awareness and Embodied Code-Switching ® as tools to build resilience and increase capacity to discover our own sense of cultural fluidity.

Margit Galanter

RSME/T
New Landings: Attuning with Body-Environment for Right Relationship

More info

The myriad devastations and consequent uprisings this year have revealed a complex of inequities and calls for radical reimagining of society.
New Landings is a field of inquiry that invites participants to explore how practices of subtle and sensing movement, in receptivity with one’s surroundings, can provide a key for just actions in this time. “Landings” refers to the act of physically settling, and the potential for accountability and reciprocity as settlers find a relationship to place that is in right relation, and “New” suggests that creative act of making movement can provide a contribution to building culture. New Landings emerged through decades of embodied practice, particularly Amerta Movement, a movement meditation practice initiated by Javanese artist Suprapto Suryodarmo, tuning scores, and somatic practice. New Landings invites participants to unsettle the somatic experience; offers conversation, collective intimacy and critical reflection; is multi-modal; provides space for the unknown; and enacts a forum for composing and offering with one another. It is an embodied ecological practice in coming apart and together, tuning in connection with body and environment.
With the conference online, I would like to propose a three-faceted presentation: a document of some New Landings sessions, a participatory encounter that is based on the online context, and a conversation about the developing approach.

Maria Gillespie

ASSOCIATE
Parts of the Whole – The Body is Home: Creative Somatics for Transformative Justice

More info

The US incarcerates over 2 million citizens- 548,000 are being held without conviction. The effects of mass incarceration, racial injustice, debt and poverty, violence, abuse, psychological trauma, and innumerable collateral damages prevent incarcerated people from return to a full life. Transformative Justice as a social practice designs and activates human centered community building to interrupt mass incarceration. The movement education program, Parts of the Whole is one contribution to this movement to develop and share kinesthetic learning and embodied transformation with incarcerated people as a direct action towards prison abolition and community healing. This presentation shares a portion of the community teaching and social justice project I am leading in Wisconsin, with community partners in the juvenile carceral system. We’ll explore the movement-based education program that focuses on cultivating creativity and healing with incarcerated youth. I will share the project’s context with participants followed by a 50-minute movement experience of the somatic and creative practices we are sharing with adjudicated youth. You will experience our practice of attuning body/mind/space, embodying coping strategies, developing creativity, and expressing voice by sharing movement and writing practices based on embodied storytelling methods and collective creativity. We’ll end with a conversation reflecting on the approaches, language, psychophysical responses, and brainstorm on the kinesthetic content and social justice mission.

Mary Ann Brehm

ASSOCIATE
Mettler-based Somatic Dance Improvisation for Individual and Social Empowerment

More info

ASSOCIATE
This movement session, based on the work of somatic dance pioneer Barbara Mettler (1907-2002), will offer a progression of creative studies starting with individual exploration of the kinesthetic feeling of basic body movements, levels of tension, movement impulse, and expressing receptivity. These themes will be developed in group studies where each individual contributes to a creatively functioning group body.
The Zuni saying, “We dance for pleasure and for the good of the city,” was an inspiration for Mettler. She approached dance as a basic human need and sought ways to offer dance as a creative art activity in ways that it could be available to anyone—including people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. Her approach builds from individual awareness to group awareness where each group member is relied upon and respected. As such, it provides a model for fairness, social justice, and community building.
Time will be allowed for discussion of the principles presented in these studies and how they can be applied within the participants’ teaching. Examples from our work with underserved, vulnerable groups from around the world will be shown.

Melissa Michaels

RSME/T
Creative Liberation through the Somatic Transforming Oppression Process: STOP

More info

Join Melissa Michaels, Angus Moore, and Leah Maille for this experiential study of how we can liberate some of the deeply rooted impacts of oppression.
Somatic Transforming Oppression Process (STOP) is the body of work Melissa and the youth leaders developed to guide people along a healing path of rewiring the impacts of oppression. Through STOP, we acknowledge and begin to address the continuum from ideological oppression, institutional oppression, interpersonal oppression, and internal oppression all the way to the beliefs, feelings, and somatic dysregulation that unfold in the reality of oppression. STOP offers a step-by-step path for repatterning beliefs and behaviors from our societal systems to our nervous systems and back, ranging from the outer reaches of oppression to the most internalized ones. This work does not necessarily change outer world oppressive conditions, but it has the capacity to shift thinking, feeling and, inevitably, action.
During this experiential workshop, we will resource through movement, rhythm, and breath. From there, we will experientially explore the terrain the STOP map covers allowing for individual and collective understanding of how systems of oppression impact us and they can somatically be liberated from the inside out.

Paul Linden

RSME
Embodied Peacemaking: Body Awareness Education with Violence and Systemic Injustice

More info

Fear, anger and numbness are basic human strategies for handling challenges and threats. They direct attention toward escape or attack, or minimizing awareness to reduce pain. When people see the world through fear/anger/numbness, they tend to view other people as dangers and not fully human. In dehumanizing others, they dehumanize themselves and hurt others without noticing that they damage themselves by that action. Fear and anger breed more fear and anger, and this is the core of such problems as racism, sexual and domestic violence, political and religious violence, and ecological violence. The somatic basis for fear, anger and numbness is contraction or collapse of intention, breathing, vision, posture and movement. The antidote to this is the radiant expansive body state of power and love. Love and kindness without power are helpless and ineffective. Power without love is brutal and ultimately self-destructive and weak. Power and love are fundamentally the same in the body, and by working somatically this state can be deliberately constructed and used to replace the old harsh survival strategies. People can learn to be aware of and care about other people. Healing past trauma and preventing future injustice must be built on the foundation of body awareness. This experiential presentation will teach simple, brief, rapid tools for engaging in this process.

Ray Schwartz

RSME
Dimensionalizing Somatics

More info

It has now been more than 40 years since Thomas Hanna coined the term Somatics to describe a range of integrative practices of awareness that use movement, touch, imagination, and collective engagement to evoke learning and change. Much of what has emerged during those 4+ decades has been understandably focused on establishing the field and introducing and advocating for one or more approaches or for the general idea of Somatics. But in an era of increased attention to power disparities and social justice, an era of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter and #shepersisted, teachers and practitioners of Somatics have a responsibility to open a lens towards a more critical view of the field of Somatics, not to denigrate or destroy, but to strengthen. Towards that end we would like to propose a lightly facilitated discussion aimed at generating a list of issues that need to be addressed, and share inquiries that would both support and challenge somatic practice while adding depth and breadth to our understanding of the field.

Rie Algeo Gilsdorf

ASSOCIATE
Social Presencing Theater: Dismantling Hierarchies & Decolonizing the Body Through Embodied Practice

More info

How can we know whether to step up or step back, and when? Everyone – whether leaders or followers, members of a culturally dominant or marginalized group, can benefit from developing a sense of their social field. In this session we will share applications of an emerging Social Presencing Theater practice, the Field Dance, as a way to tune in to the social field around us in order to respond in authentic and nuanced ways. The Field Dance is a method of shifting from hierarchical, transactional group relationships to horizontal, collaborative relationships with a sense of reciprocity, dialogue, co-creativity and a feeling of connection to the whole. This practice also has the power to help us become more aware of how our physical presence impacts, inhibits or empowers others in different contexts. In doing so we also begin to decolonize the mind from the body, become more deeply attuned to our own body wisdom, transforming the question of stepping up or back from a dilemma to an authentic intuitive response.
Join Social Presencing Theater Advanced Practitioners Annie Blair and Rie Algeo Gilsdorf to learn and practice several versions of the Field Dance that focus on:
• Seeing, being seen & witnessing
• Exploratory orientation
• Tending to our horizontal connection
• Decolonizing the relationship of mind and body
• Coming to words without losing the authenticity of the movement.

Rosana Barragan

RSMT
Research in Somatics: Panel Presentation of a Variety of Graduate Level Research that Examines the Intersection of Dance, Somatics and Social Justice.

More info

Panel presentation with six current students and alumni from Saint Mary’s College of California MFA in Dance, a program founded upon the interconnectedness of dance, somatics and social justice. Social justice is a core principle that defines the liberal arts education at Saint Mary’s, and the graduate program in dance encourages in-depth research that questions the integration of somatic awareness and creative practice with a socially conscious focus.

Sophia Ali

RSMT
Tamalpa Institute’s Somatic Movement and Expressive Arts Therapy Program Kolkata, India

More info

In this presentation we will present a video documentation, Planting the Seed….Mera Beej Meri Pehchaan(My Seed, My Identity)and discuss The Tamalpa Institute’s movement and expressive arts therapy work in Kolkata, India. In 2019 Sophia Ali and Maggie Silverman co-facilitated the Tamalpa Institute’s ArtCorps initiative, in collaboration with Blossomy Project, bringing somatic/dance based expressive arts to underrepresented people and places around the world. The program was brought to three different facilities serving three different youth groups; survivors of human trafficking, gender-based violence and impoverished families. The intention of the work focused on developing somatic awareness, resilience and positive body/mind experiences. Dance, breath work and the expressive arts aimed to reinstate a sense of empowerment through kinesthetic and proprioceptive sensitivity, support of homeostasis and co-regulation of feelings, establishing a safe space to be heard and witnessed and discovering healing images and new stories.

Sujin Ma

RSMT
Why Are You Talking like a White Person?: Destigmatize People from Underrepresented Population in the Field of Expressive Therapies

More info

Why are you speaking like a White person? That was what my client who was a LatinX woman heard from her brother after we practiced assertive communication skills.
I have been working for a non-profit organizations with immigrants, human trafficking and sexual violence survivors, people experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV, refugee community members for four years .
In my experiences as a professional counselor, I have noticed that the nature of the field is generally not inclusive to the people that I work with. As a first generation Korean-American woman working with marginalized groups, I hope that myself and others like me will strengthen the voices of the ‘unheard’ by pursuing and attaining professional careers using expressive therapies.
For many marginalized groups, representation is not only important, it is essential to gain the social momentum needed to bring about change. I hope to be part of this larger wave of change.
In the session, I would like to deconstruct the major values in in Expressive Therapies with multicultural perspectives through experiential learnings and sharing my perspectives. I believe it would be beneficial for expanding modalities in expressive therapies aimed specifically at marginalized people to advocate for underserved community members.

T. Zea Leguizamon

RSME/T
Another “Us” is Possible: Social Somatics Praxis – A Relational Methodology for Mutual Liberation

More info

When Franz Fanon tore up his licence to practice psychiatry and joined the Algerian revolution, he recognized the cause of their suffering sociogenically. Meaning, to understand the world through forms of social organization that either hold power over (aggression) or choose to hold power with (love). Likewise today, Fanon’s conceptualization of sociogeny invites us to reflect on the ways in which contemporary structures generate and reinforce colonialism & imperialism in order to accumulate capital. Particularly in such times as these; of desperate economic conditions, health pandemics, environmental degradation, changing imigration classifications, and race wars; when reasons for physical and/or psychological displacement continue to spike, resources continue to shrink. Meanwhile, current responses to these shifts that are steeped in fear, warrant intervening. Therefore calling us to assess the movement options that at once defend our lives while we concurrently advance collective wellbeing. And so this workshop examines social somatic praxis through lecture and lab. In which we will explore social somatics as a relational methodology. Putting sociogeny to a case study. And then to practice in a movement lab using BMC, Process work, and Biodanza.

Wendy Hambidge

RSME/T
Seeing and Being Seen: Body-Mind Centering®(BMC℠), “Race” and Identity through Bones, Blood & Skin

More info

Social Justice work requires deep resilience and a grounded sense of self. It requires the capacity to see each person as an individual with their unique history. How are we seeing? How are we being seen?
Utilizing the experiential anatomy intrinsic to BMCSM , this session will offer resources for cultivating deep self- awareness, resilience, and empathy required to engage with the work and issues within Social Justice. We will broaden our capacity to embrace diversity of experience by exploring how we sense and perceive. How are we the same and different?
Arrive in the body and on earth through bones, blood and skin. With this beginning experience as a base, we will explore how we see, and how we feel being seen. How do we show up? How do we show up when we are comfortable? How do we show up when we are not? Partnering and group discussion may be part of the process.
Although this is directed towards social justice work; identity, race and culture run through all three topics of this conference. This experience of BMC is transcendent and is applicable in many fields and diverse bodies.

name

RSME
Session title

More info

Awareness-Based Neuromuscular Re-patterning (ABNR) is a new accessible somatic practice created by two Disabled practitioners with Hypermobile EDS. It has roots in Alexander Technique (AT), and was developed in response to inaccessibility and lack of risk minimization in AT and other body-based practices. ABNR focuses on symptom management strategies and the needs of each individual by combining Disability Justice values with scientific understanding of the sensorimotor system. This pedagogy honors each person’s identity and choices to manage their experience, centering autonomy, pleasure, and quality of life.

name

RSME
Session title

More info

Session description.

name

RSME
Session title

More info

How can we know whether to step up or step back, and when? Everyone – whether leaders or followers, members of a culturally dominant or marginalized group, can benefit from developing a sense of their social field. In this session we will share applications of an emerging Social Presencing Theater practice, the Field Dance, as a way to tune in to the social field around us in order to respond in authentic and nuanced ways. The Field Dance is a method of shifting from hierarchical, transactional group relationships to horizontal, collaborative relationships with a sense of reciprocity, dialogue, co-creativity and a feeling of connection to the whole. This practice also has the power to help us become more aware of how our physical presence impacts, inhibits or empowers others in different contexts. In doing so we also begin to decolonize the mind from the body, become more deeply attuned to our own body wisdom, transforming the question of stepping up or back from a dilemma to an authentic intuitive response.
.

name

RSME
Session title

More info

Session description.