Dance and Somatic Wellbeing testimonials

Dance and somatic wellbeing

Lee Nussbaum Fogel, MA, RSME

"The MA in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing provides the fertile ground of training, academic context, and community that prepares you for a variety of careers within the field of Somatic Movement Education and Therapy. Through the program, I felt infinitely more connected with my own body wisdom and my visions of how to contribute to the world through somatic education. I am deeply grateful for the foundation I gained in the MA course that supports and inspires me and my business every day."

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Jude Bird, Services for Schools Consultant with Curious Minds, UK

"Undertaking the course was a pivotal experience for me. It is not an easy journey to return to study as an adult and embarking on the course brought with it many challenges and opportunities. My relationship to my body and the world around me took on a new and vibrant perspective; there were many epiphanies in the process. At core the work is about authenticity and somatic movement processes offer many ways to access our authentic selves. My research topic, embodied narrative, remains a real live interest for me and the work I have developed with performance storytellers continues to be performed. I am continuing to explore the further application of this work."

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Gayle Pennington, USA Graduate

“The MA program, Dance and Somatic Wellbeing: Connections to the Living Body has continued to transform multiple aspects of my life on a very deep level, especially my spiritual journey. The program offered, what has turned out to be, my most meaningful educational experience, one that continues to resonate and inform my life every day. I wish I could do it all over again!”

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Nicola Herd, UK student

"I feel like I am learning within a very current and cutting edge environment where the lecturers are alive with the content they teach. Their exceptional skills and embodiment of what they teach allows the course to adapt to suit the individual needs of the group. I feel supported and encouraged to discover what is important and meaningful to me within the field of somatic practice.

I have greatly benefitted from the academic guidance provided by the lecturers- again they lead by example which is informative and inspiring. Creatively I have been provided with the kind of support that has given me opportunity and the confidence to recognise and develop my skills.

I have gained a huge amount of knowledge in a short space of time not only about the field but about myself as a practitioner and a human being. This course has an excellent balance between theoretical and practical elements. With the flexibility to choose for oneself how that balance should be applied.

As an experienced teacher and artist I had reached a point where I did not want to learn the rules of any one else's theory of 'how to'. I wanted to discover what it is that I know, what it is to be true to my way of doing things and to allow myself to hear the calling that would come from within me. I am part way through my 2nd year and I have made the most amazing spontaneous discoveries along the way. I feel I have been guided and supported in a way which has allowed my own sense of direction and wisdom to unfold at a pace that is right for me. There is a feeling of mystery around how it has happened for me, but, I give full credit to the structure of the course, the presence and experience of the lecturers for creating the environment in which my mystery has unfolded and continues to do so. It is through having this experience that my practice and my life has changed beyond my expectation."

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Misty Hannah, UK Student

“My experience with the course so far has been wonderful. Much of our studio practice is experiential and exploratory rooted in embodying somatic principles and the ways we can integrate and develop these in our already existing personal and teaching practices. We use touch, voice and movement to further investigate our relationship with being present both with ourselves and others to support our current practices.

We also develop new ways to language our movement with metaphor, drawing and story to assist with reflection. This was one of the deciding factors for me on whether or not to take this course. I am always interested in developing and playing with ways I can use expressive language to assist me with sharing and teaching my work.

Penny and Tim are always organised for each module. Between them they offer a detailed, open blend of practical theory which I find applicable to my research and movement practices. As they teach, their passion for the knowledge they share is contagious and magnetic. The course material is filled with a balanced content of creativity, science and literature. Studio time is immersed with applying our research and new insights both verbally and through movement, as individuals and as a group. Tutorial sessions are affirming and continually give me new perspectives regarding my approach to somatic practices. Tutorials also provide me with ongoing support to integrate my studies and writings to a university standard.”

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Laura Bradshaw - Performance Maker/ Lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practice

UK Graduate

My time on the MA Dance and Somatic Well-being programme at UCLan was a very fruitful and supported experience in which I was encouraged to follow my own lines of enquiry within the given contexts of the programme modules. The overall journey felt considered and each module built on the last, allowing for my learning to grow and to become more autonomous as a student. This balance between support and space became an important one during my studies and I appreciated the opportunity to follow my own threads and delve deeply into those areas which interested me the most each time with a slightly different focus given by the modules. It is important to me that learning, in any setting, encompasses the whole person and gives equal value to all aspects that make us up inclusive of mind, body, emotion, imagination. The staff on the MA Dance and Somatic Well-being programme take a very person-centred approach to education which means learners can thrive in this supportive and innovative environment.

Laura Bradshaw

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Rachel Drazek, UK Graduate

“The MA Dance and Somatic Wellbeing offers and provides an unparalleled support for combined personal and professional growth. My work as a performer and an independent arts practitioner has developed alongside my understanding of myself in the world. I walk away with a firm, experiential understanding of the correlation between the two. Now, I am able to find my own resources to approach my life and work in supportive, new and brave ways.

Teaching a Body Awareness for Performance term immediately after graduating, was a unique opportunity to allow a settling around the content of the MA for me. Combined with a second independent movement project which I established to explore somatic movement practice in an unfamiliar setting, I have witnessed my practice widen and expand as it realises, draws on and makes my own, the skills the MA offers. My practice is both much more grounded in specific practice, and wide/encompassing in its ability to meet human experience where it finds it – the breadth of scope for person centred practice which the programme allows, whilst remaining tangible in its practice (useable, useful tasks/concepts/methods of work) is outstanding.

The degree of reflection both personal and academic required on the MA has allowed a real honing of this area of my skill set. I feel supported now to continue researching future areas of interest and to a large degree, feel equipped to meet the academic world as I try to do this. As I teach, work and encounter others also on their own journeys of experiential human research, I become aware of the high level of reflective skill coached by the MA. I am able to witness myself as I move through the world; noticing, meeting, offering, challenging, shifting and naming when appropriate. I am more compassionate towards myself and others in the true sense of the word – my body feels more as I meet myself, my environment and others in it.

The support network created and sustained throughout the degree by both tutors and peers is an important strength. I experience being ‘held’ as I am asked to learn what this means and how to invite others into such experiences. The environment offered is one of support and challenge – my perception of myself is never allowed to become fixed or static as I am reminded of the core of the practice; life is movement. This deep appreciation of fluidity as a resource is vital now to my work as a movement practitioner, performer and teacher.

Support offered from tutors upon graduating and in the time since continues the work begun on the MA. I am encouraged to continue exploring finding how my own feet move forward with this work, independently – feeling an underlying support from the course as I do this.

I embarked on the MA partly as a way of hoping to make sense of many different areas of my life which seemed disparate though felt connected. The programme has allowed a synthesis of these, through me- through body and understanding more my role as human animal in all of these. Further, it has sparked many many new areas of joy, query and investigation. I now feel clear about the types of next steps which I may take to continue this simultaneously synthesising and widening process. The MA undoubtedly has facilitated this clarity.”