Dance of Awareness is a dance group therapy, a new approach to working with movement, dance, and awareness, that aims to increase self-awareness and self-acceptance. Practicing regularly can be a resource for continuing well-being on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
In my experience as a practitioner, this type of workshop gives you a space for self-expression in a very nurturing and safe environment. D of A works with 6 cycles: Sensing, grounding, expressing, releasing, connecting, and completing following an energetic wave of charging and discharging over the course of a session. The D of A is similar in structure to the Five Rhythms wave developed by Roth (1999) but has been adapted to take account of psychodynamic theory and developmental psychology. The phases of the cycle follow themes of human development from pre-birth through to around five years. This is the time period associated with the growing sense of self which becomes embodied through early experience, and which sets the patterns for adulthood. This gives the mover the opportunity to re-experience the formative years of early development, explore old imprints, and discover new patterns of moving and relating.
Dance of Awareness will offer a permissive space where the dancer-mover can express and explore. With the appropriate music guiding you through the cycles and some directions from the facilitator, you will be able to feel the inner movement impulses that are ready to emerge, like a simple expression of lifting your arms for reaching, pushing, falling to the ground and curl will be so refreshing for your system. The body is ready to express all these movements, but due to the demanding mechanical like movement the day to day living makes us perform the outcome is that we start to feel the stiffness of the spirit. D of A will help the participant to move, shake, and dance out all the mechanical movements held in the body.
The phases are:
- Sensing the body directly – an internal focus on the physical sensations of flesh, muscle, and bone, and an external focus on the five senses;
- Grounding our bodies in connection to the earth, receiving support;
- Expressing the shapes, patterns, and movements that are ready to take form;
- Releasing the energy that is ready to move in the body;
- Connecting deeper into ourselves – and outwards with others and the world;
- Completing the journey and returning to our true nature.
The D of A process is underpinned by an emphasis on awareness as the ground of our experience. What exists in awareness is our source of creativity. When we respond to a thought, feeling, sensation, or image we are responding creatively with our unique self-expression. As we move through the cycle I will invite you to ‘come back to awareness’ this means experiencing whatever is emerging here and now, and putting to one side our beliefs, assumptions, and explanations, in the interests of giving ourselves permission to allow whatever is ready to come into awareness. What presents itself may be a breath pattern, an image, an emotion, or a bodily sensation. The aim is simply to be present with whatever is happening and to fully experience it by directly experiencing it in the body.
The music is an important part of the workshop, will help you to move the e-motions and allow you to recover sensation through the rhythm of known tunes, which will arise from your deep core. After one session you will feel freer and during the period of time after being in touch with the D of A practice, the movements and expressions coming from the unconscious will arise in waves of tender emotions, abrupt joy, or self-regulating actions like to lay down on the floor and feel the body.
Have you ever felt after a good dance out in a club so good that you say: “is what I needed” Dance of Awareness will give you this sensation but without the effects of intoxicants as we usually ingest and a good night’s sleep.
The more remarkable part of the workshop is when you realize that you aren’t alone; there will be more participants finding the way of self-expression giving you a felt understanding of the human psyche and life experience.
Freedom is the ultimate goal, freedom with knowledge. Come and enjoy the party, as this type of workshop is intended for. Recover the years when your soul was free, your movements were wide and you were not afraid to feel yourself and others.
Dance of Awareness™ was developed by Tim Brown, a body psychotherapist, and Clare Osbond, a dance movement therapist. for further information go http://www.embodiedtherapy.org.uk/danceofawareness.htm