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Try Somatics

I gave myself a knee injury from dancing recently. It isn‘t very painful, just kind

of nagging when I sleep incorrectly or move the wrong way. I stopped doing my normal dance exercise routine, in hopes that my knee would heal quicker. While I continue to do my stretches, quite by accident, I stumbled upon Somatics.

I actually never heard of Somatics before, so it was interesting to find out exactly what it was. And as an added bonus, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how good it feels to do! I found a way, to still continue to dance without constantly hurting myself. In the last three days, I noticed, I had no knee discomfort at all.

Somatics is fun, easy, personal, and relaxing to do! I have been doing it for a couple of weeks. Now I find myself looking forward to doing it everyday. I still move every part of my body, just in a gentler fashion. It is different from yoga because it is less defined and has more spontaneous movement.

Here is a brief rundown of Somatics and how it came to be. There is an exercise therapy called the Feldenkrais Method. In the mid-20th century, Israeili, Moshé Feldenkrais formulated an exercise therapy. He claimed that the exercises he came up with were able to reorganize links between the brain and body to improve body movement and psychological states. Today, the Feldenkrais Method is a treatment used by people with various medical conditions. Practitioners use repetitious mild exercises that are new patterns of movement to the body. The purpose of these techniques is to realign the injured body with the brain to regain connection and bring normalcy back to the body.

This is where dance comes in. It began to be realized that the Feldenkrais Method could be used as a dance technique, thus called Somatics. It is a natural way to heal as well as incorporate powerful movement into dance. It helps release mounting tension and instantly makes you feel more relaxed. The beautiful thing about Somatics is that it is primarily a dancer’s internal experience centering on our own personal expression. You feel free to express yourself and be in touch with your inner, emotional self.

Even if you don’t have an injury, Somatics might be an exhilarating way to express yourself and deal with boredom, fear, anger and anxiety. The very least, all of you great

dancers out there may learn a new creative way to experiment with dance!

****We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado. We call these memorial contributions. Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner. Make a donation and give us their name. We have on our website a yellow brick road to engrave their name to a brick as a memorial to that person. This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

Anger is the only thing to put off till tomorrow - Slovakian Proverb


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Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website

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