What is Somatics?

"There is something in nature that forms patterns. 
We, as part of nature, also form patterns.
The mind is like the wind and the body is like the sand; 
if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand." 
--Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, founder of the Body-Mind Centering (BMC) Approach

I am a somatics teacher, specializing in the Alexander Technique. Here’s a little background about the field of Somatics.

“Somatics” derives from the Greek  “sōma”, or  ‘body’, as coined by Thomas Hanna in the 1960’s. More specifically, it refers to the living body as experienced from within, where mind and body, thinking and being, are inseparable and unified.

The field of somatic studies however dates back much further to the early 1930’s-1950’s and the work of such innovators as Mabel Ellsworth Todd (founder of Ideokinesis), F.M. Alexander (founder of Alexander Technique),  Irmgard Bartenieff (founder of Bartenieff Fundamentals), Rudolph Laban (founder of Laban Movement Analysis), and many, many more.

These contemporaries pioneered the intersection of movement and awareness, form and function, habits and choice, how we respond to our environment, and how we learn, unlearn, and re-pattern.

The principles and techniques are meant to be applied to all activities. Of note though, Todd, Bartenieff, Laban, and a significant number of somatic forethinkers were dancers, too–thus, the fields of somatics, movement research, and dance pedagogy contributed significantly to the research of the other.

Much of dance training today is dramatically different than it was 100, 50, even 10 years ago. Beyond the dancer’s task of imitating movement or absorbing an inorganic aesthetic into their body, dancers today are provided with a greater understanding of how the body works through imagery, experiential anatomy, and greater sensory awareness.

We bring this practice to you.

Life = Movement = Discovery


Photo credit: Tom Sundro Lewis Photography
Dancers: Jennifer Golonka, Deborah Kenner, 
Linnea LaRocco, Kelly Might and Kristine Whittle
 in "Power the People" (2008).