Back to Work

what is movement? Sep 05, 2017

My sabbatical took many forms last year—recovery, research and renewal of purpose. 

I return to teaching deepened and inspired by Movement Education as a place to continue learning about ourselves and each other. I am moved by our desire for connection, innovation and responsibility in this complicated and beautiful world we navigate alone, together.

Last year, I spoke of feeling an impulse, a call I could not fully discern, moving my work in new directions... "I have felt over the last few years a need for a change in how movement work is applied, sustained and shared as a profession. I am interested in how movement work can support and be integrated into other fields, including trauma research, personal and collective restorative practices, creativity, arts and education. I feel strongly that our best place of decision-making is one where we are connected to ourselves, moving well within our own bodies. Too often, the body is relegated to the decorative or mechanical, rather than as our most intimate and ancient resource for healing, expression and connection" 

As I re-read this, I begin to see why I needed to stop, reflect, reassess and build what is now taking shape. I am introducing an expanded space for teaching movement and a renewed commitment to update and inform movement education by collaborating with other fields. Our personal movements deeply affect each other and the planet, so how we practice movement matters. I am interested in how movement education can help sustain us in modern day living. How can we engage technology, social issues, personal and collective traumas, in embodied ways that support our health? My research has shifted to gathering diverse and divergent expertise about how we can, need and want to move going forward. Our bodies are the place we experience our lives, informing our everyday choices, therefore a movement practice should address how our bodies assimilate modern stressors. We often speak of stress as a blanket statement, a catch-all term to describe accumulated tension manifesting in the body as injury, fatigue and psychological strain. However, we too often forget the amazing resource of our bodies, not only to express stress but to manage and transform it. A movement practice can improve fitness, but it can also support and inform self-regulation skills, which affects muscle tone, mobility, energy levels, pain management, performance and the quality of our relationships. I am curious how practices for movement proficiency and injury reduction can include relevant resources from other fields to aid us in meeting the modern demands of living in a body. 

Some of my upcoming teaching for Fall.

  • Fall Group Classes start September 19, 2017.  Registration is open!
  • My Present Body Moving: A Somatic Psychoeducational workshop. I am excited to be partnering with psychotherapist Nancy Christie, exploring how the landscapes of physical skills and psychological skills work together. 
  • Projects in Motion is an ongoing collaboration with Axis Syllabus teacher Ruth Douthwright. We are co-teaching a series of 4 Movement Education Workshops (Sept-Dec) examining functional movement in personal and collective practice. Ruth brings a long history of teaching folk dance which informs moving together from various traditions. We have been teaching together for several years and are excited to launch Projects in Motion.
  • I am honoured to be on the faculty of (MRIMovement Research Intensive--Diane Bruni is once again leading the way for new and innovative movement education with an exceptional team of teachers. I will be teaching several workshops. Check it out.
  • Improvisation for Artistic Practice: a weekly movement research space for professional dancers, co-hosted with dance artist Meryem Aloui

How we move ourselves, with each other and our planet is choreographing history. Our modern body is struggling to regulate itself. Like our planet, our personal landscapes are in crisis. It is the climate change of unintegrated traumas, over-extended and undernourished people. The industrialized maps have been accepted as the true anatomy, drawing lines of definition without consulting the rhythms of the land. We are failing to live well with nature, even as we inhabit it. Movement is our oldest language, and our current practices dare not be void of the body, if we are to restore any land below our heads.

May we move forward together.

Erin

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