I offer private sessions, classes, and workshops in somatic dance and somatic strength training techniques. Somatics is an umbrella term for a range of movement methods that prioritize participants’ felt experience with movement. What does it feel like in your body to move? What subtle physical sensations emerge? Which movements feel good and pleasurable? How does your mind feel? What do you notice about your imagination as you move?
In somatic dance classes, we raise our physical awareness and hone our ability to notice sensations and find feelings of joy and pleasure as we move. I create a space where you get to know your unique voice as a mover and learn to use more diverse kinds of movements. We improvise, develop stamina, and become more creative and free as we move. We connect to the emotions, the soul, and imagination through movement. The classes feel soothing, energizing, liberating, and strengthening. You will feel like a dancer. The techniques that I teach are Nia dance and JourneyDance.
Nia is a mind-body movement practice developed by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya Rosas in the United States in the 1980s. It combines easy-to-follow choreography, free expression, and improvisation. The choreographed movements have been inspired by dance arts (jazz dance, modern dance, Duncan dance), martial arts (Tai Chi, Taekwondo, Aikido), and somatic awareness and healing arts (Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method, Yoga). Nia exposes you to a wide range of movements – flowy, angular, percussive, soothing, grounding, lyrical, and empowering, to name a few. You have the freedom to stylize and personify these choreographed movements. Parts of the class are not choreographed and students can explore improvisation and free movement expression. We dance barefoot to world music. I have been practicing this technique since 2008 and teaching it since 2010. I received my teacher training in New York City.
JourneyDance™ was developed by visionary Toni Bergins in 1997. This method is like a contemporary movement ritual: it combines elements from shamanic dance, prayer dance, improvisational theater, meditation, somatics, free dance, and yoga. The class flows smoothly through all its elements; it is a powerful and transformational practice. JourneyDance develops our connection to intuition through movement. The practice connects you to imagination, a sense of community, healing, and releasing judgment and beliefs that no longer serve you. I received my certification by the creator Toni Bergins in New York City in 2012.
Somatic Strength Training
In somatic strength training classes, you learn to connect to your muscles and bones mindfully. Strength training becomes like a meditation – a time to connect to yourself and how you feel physically and emotionally. You learn how to cultivate effortless ease, resilience, and inner strength through physical conditioning exercises. I use elastic conditioning bands and free weights for classes in clients’ homes or at movement studios. A gym weight room setting is perfect as well.
I developed these classes based on my studies of mindfulness, meditation, somatics, and strength training. The class is calming and nourishing and excellent for people from different ages and physical fitness backgrounds. Because of its soothing approach, it can be particularly beneficial for people who have experienced physical injuries or experience tension in their body.
I have studied the technique called BodyLogos©, developed by Broadway dancer, Tao minister, and personal trainer Tammy Wise in New York in 1997. I completed the teacher training program in 2014. In BodyLogos, conditioning exercises, such as abdominal crunches or squats, transform into moments for movement exploration and inner connection. We learn to sense the muscles and become familiar with their differences. We then add meditative, contemplative aspects to these exercises and train the ability to see our inner world with the mind’s eye. We learn about Taoist principles of energy, 5 Elements, Yin and Yang.
I offer workshops designed for conferences, festivals, retreats, and arts residencies. I design movement workshops for visual artists, writers, and choreographers, and parents and kids. I often combine movement, writing, drawing, and discussion in my classes and create a multi-arts, multi-intelligence learning experience.
Here are some examples of the themed workshops I offer:
Movement in the Artistic Process
Using Somatic Tools in Choreographing a Dance
Dance Your Dreams
Music, Movement, Improvisation
Mothers and Kids Dance
What is Somatics?
What is Active Meditation?
I have taught these workshops in France, USA, Estonia, and Romania. My clients include Les Napoleons, UNFINISHED Festival, Tartu Dance Academy, Tartu Yoga Center, Paris College of Art, Sacred Dance Guild, Micadanses Dance Studio, L'AiR ARTS International Arts Residency Program and WICE (Where Internationals Connect in English). I teach in English and Estonian.
Contact me to book a private session, a group class, or a workshop in person or online. More
details can be found on the schedule page.
Here's a clip of me teaching a dance workshop at the Dance Academy in Tartu, Estonia, in 2018.