Dedicate a year to immerse yourself in Contemplative Dance/Authentic Movement. Investigate the multiple dimensions of embodiment with close faculty guidance and a community of peers. Examine in depth the dynamics of moving, witnessing, imagining and remembering.
The programs are based on movement practice closely examined and fully experienced over the course of each year. Participants explore a different theme each weekend to view the process from new perspectives, and they pursue connections/projects to help integrate their discoveries into their work and lives. The programs are designed to support the development of each person's resources and ways of working, and to deepen their understanding of the multiple dimensions of the practice.
Each weekend includes: guided movement meditations/warm-ups, Authentic Movement sessions, practice and guidance in the witnessing relationship, exploration of the weekend's theme, dialogue about the assigned readings, work with the imagination in other media, time outdoors, reports from participants about their connections to work and life, as well as silence and time to eat and laugh together.
Take Year I & II in sequence, or take Year I now and complete Year II some later year. For those who complete Year I and II we offer ongoing support, mentorship, supervision and training in a variety of forms.
The Year-Long Programs weave several threads throughout the year. They offer in-depth training and examined practice in the processes of moving and witnessing, with special attention paid to witnessing. They provide a place for one’s personal practice to deepen, and they look at the practice through the lens of a different theme each weekend. Participants find the programs deeply stimulating on a personal level – physically, psychologically, spiritually, creatively. They also find all sorts of ingenious ways to bring aspects of the practice – awareness of body, movement, imagination, contemplation, ritual, nature, witnessing, dancing – into their professional work. They bring it into their classrooms, clinics, consulting rooms, hospitals, studios, nursing homes and places of worship. They also develop ways to continue to practice with others back home, usually by finding a peer to move with or teaching a friend/creating a small peer group.
Some participants, depending on their previous experience, leave the programs ready to facilitate others in this approach to movement. We encourage participants to take responsibility for discerning their own readiness to do this. In our experience, preparation to facilitate others requires: sufficient experience moving and witnessing over time; a conscious engagement with issues and variations in the practice; and a readiness to take on other people. Usually people need several years before they are ready to facilitate others, or lead groups. We designed the Year-Long Programs to help with this preparation, and we offer on-going mentorship to those who complete the programs.
We invite participants to find ways to connect their discoveries during the weekends with their work and lives back home. This process is unique to each individual’s interests and goals. Some make a commitment to themselves to maintain a practice: journaling, spending time outdoors, finding quiet time for contemplation, braving some new activity. Others choose to track a question or theme over the year. For some the connections are something tangible they create: a collection of poetry or drawings, a new design for their sacred dance or yoga classes. We also suggest things to do between weekends. Each weekend we set aside time for people to share these connections with the group.
We will talk with you about your interests and goals, about what brings you to the program, during the initial interview. Usually these influence the connections you explore between the weekends. These connections evolve organically over the year, shifting as new insights, new interests, new priorities become apparent. It’s good to let them percolate. And, you do not need to know what you will do before we talk!
Letter of Completion
Upon completion of each year we give each participant a letter stating that he/she completed the program. It describes the course of study: the hours spent on various activities, the weekend topics, a bibliography and videography. People pursuing degree programs have successfully used this letter as a way to report back to their institutions, documenting their work with us. We are very interested in helping individuals who wish to use the programs for these kinds of applications to design their years with us to meet those goals.
The Year-Long Programs do not lead to a credential or a formal certification. First, there is no recognized credential in Authentic Movement/Contemplative Dance in this country. More importantly, however, we prefer an individualized approach rather than the one-size-fits-all nature of a credential. People come to the programs with different goals, from different backgrounds, with different amounts of previous experience in this practice, and we welcome this rich diversity. They also leave with unique sets of experience, skills, knowledge and goals. Instead of a credential, which implies that all finish the programs in the same place, we work with individual participants throughout the year to help them identify ways to apply what they are learning and experiencing in the programs to their lives and work back home.
Additionally, we are sensitive to the power dynamics inherent in any credential. We work throughout the year to empower participants to knowledgeably and responsibly discern what they are ready to do with the practice. We also share our insight and experience on this, and we offer our guidance and support to help individual participants achieve their goals. As part of the program we all discuss what prepares one to take on different roles– peer movement partner, peer group member, facilitator. We also explore ways to take principles of the practice into all kinds of professional and personal contexts. At the end of the year each participant talks about what they feel prepared to do next: What are their areas of confidence? Their growing edges? What are their next steps? To quote Jung, we work to help each person find her/his own way to “live it.”
The Application Process
Contact us first if you have any questions about the program.
To apply, send the following:
The Application Form (see link on website, or contact us for paper or digital copy)
Application Fee (by Paypal or by check).
An Autobiographical Statement describing key themes in your personal history and work.
A recent resume describing your professional work
After we receive these materials we will arrange a time to speak with you.
Financial Aid and Payment Plans
We offer financial aid in the form of scholarships, work-study positions, and payment plans. Please inquire. See Year-Long Financial Aid Application or email us for information on the application process.
We have an interview with each applicant to get to know each other, to answer questions about the program, to check on the prerequisites/determine readiness and appropriateness for the program, and to begin the process of personalizing the program to address the individual’s goals. These meetings are informal and are held in person. (If necessary, we can do them by phone if we already know each other.) These give us a chance to prepare for the year together with some clarity of purpose, and they inevitably stimulate ideas about connections, goals, and topics of particular interest. We’ll meet again with each participant at the end of each year to reflect back together, and to discuss next steps..
Setting: Genesis Spiritual Life Center in Westfield, MA
Set on 19 acres of beautiful lawns, woods and gardens, Genesis offers a warm, quiet, private and deeply spirited environment in which to work, rest and play. We meet in Genesis’ renovated 1889 Carriage House Carriage House for our sessions. This building also contains a reading loft and a meditation room that are available to us. Clean and quiet single bedrooms are located in an adjacent building, where we meet for our meals in a private dining room.