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Somatic Body is a 500 hour, deeply kinesthetic study of the basic neurological patterns of development as they are expressed through the cellular tissues, all body systems, movement patterns, and their corresponding relational, interactive models. Students will be guided through their own embodiment of anatomical structures, and will learn kinesthetically through observation and movement repatterning, as well as engage with these concepts through creative expression in dance, performance, writing and teaching.

This experience of community using the body and somatic practices of development allows Somatic Body students to build resonance and clarity of presence in themselves and gain the ability to encourage change, healing and transformation of the body/mind in others. The material will build and layer information to allow students to revisit material to reintegrate and reweave knowledge, and build confidence. They will build a professional skill set of embodiment and movement tools which can be applied to healing, business, dance, psychology and teaching practices.

Our program maintains the high standards of an Approved Training Program of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). Our graduates meet all requirements to become Registered Somatic Movement Educators and Therapists.  Go to www.ismeta.org for more information on international professional credentials. 

Goals

Somatic Body trains students to become professional facilitators of embodiment, movement, perceptual and relational development. Through the program, students build a toolbag of somatic approaches that can be applied in groups or one-on-one teaching, counseling or training practices in areas of dance, movement, therapy, yoga, bodywork, business, and community action. The training provides the opportunity for students to personally discover their own developmental path, experience the embodiment of all their tissues, and engage in the collective developmental process.

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Somatic Body Training will instruct students to facilitate the transformation of physical, emotional, and mental patterns through body and movement-based interventions. Students will build a repertoire of competencies, including:

  • Movement/ kinesthetic awareness
  • Embodied anatomy and developmental movement
  • Artistic expression as exploration and integration
  • Somatic change & healing
  • Embodiment education
  • Professional embodied skills of communication

Skills

Christine Cole trains students to become highly skilled in movement facilitation, finely articulated movement skills, and an ability to meet people with joy, respect, and space for development. Through Somatic Body practices, students will understand more of who they are and see opportunities for expanding into new ways to interact. Students will be directed in healthy ways  of learning and interacting in a group and modalities of actively exchanging somatic material. Through the 2-year training, they will acquire active knowledge of anatomy and movement development, learn how to learn, and develop a personal practice of somatic learning and discovery.

Mentoring and cohort learning provide the opportunity to engage with the material in co-creative, interactive ways. Using the skills of witnessing, listening, observing, engaging in discourse and feedback, students become aware of how personal patterns of stress and relationship issues can be approached through the Somatic Body Practices. Students learn to engage in the professional field of Somatics through articles, blogs, performance, teaching, research and collaboration.

Students will develop these specific skills:

  1. kinesthetic knowledge of body systems (nervous, skeletal, circulatory, etc.) and developmental movement stages
  2. embodied presence and spatial awareness
  3. keen observational and assessment skills to identify developmental patterns, tonal quality, and particular use of each body system
  4. techniques/strategies to address and heal physical injury, trauma, and limiting movement patterns
  5. effective movement repatterning techniques to access  greater ease and alignment
  6. course of action or class curricula
  7. perspective of the healthy body that can be engaged with through enlivening tissues through touch and movement explorations, play, artistic expression, and nature
  8. dance and movement improvisation skills to invite personal expression, invoke intuitive knowing, and embrace the unpredictable path of healing
  9. relational verbal and non-verbal skills for effective communication with students, clients, and colleagues
  10. comprehension of  academic research literature and writing about current topics in somatic movement education and therapy and enter into professional discourse in the somatic field

Faculty

Christine Cole, RSMT, the founder and director of Somatic Body Training Program, is an expert in the embodiment of human development. On the leading edge of research about somatic movement education and therapy, she displays a radical trust in embodied experience as the primary way for groups to co-create knowledge. As a result of 30 years of engaging deeply in learning and teaching the somatic body practices of Body-Mind Centering®, dance/movement, and bodywork, Christine clearly embodies the material she has evolved and models a deep understanding of how the body’s systems change in various developmental stages. A teacher of Body-Mind Centering®, and Practitioner of Integrative Acupressure and Infinity Healing, she has taught at the School for Body-Mind Centering® in Amherst and Amsterdam, Holland, and runs her own trainings in Boston, Vermont, Montreal and Northampton, MA. She also maintains a private practice in Developmental Bodywork in downtown Northampton, MA. In addition, Christine has long term practices in Contact Improvisation, Post-Modern and Improvisational Dance, Authentic movement, Improvisational Theater, writing and vocal training.

As an experienced master teacher, Christine

  • creates safe spaces to explore personal material
  • illuminates developmental states through her own embodiment through movement
  • authentically connects each student into the learning process
  • practices somatic therapy with unabashed directness, compassion, and presence.
  • models Somatic Body principles in her teaching and interactions
  • stakes out new territory in the material of Body-Mind Centering®

Other leaders in the field of somatics will be invited as guest teachers to offer perspectives on the variety of teaching possibilities. Also, teaching assistants will be available to support student learning

Curriculum

The 500 hour Somatic Body Training curriculum will integrate/interweave these three primary categories of instruction:

Body Tissues and Systems

  • Embodiment of Anatomy
  • Study of unique contributions of each tissue to functioning of whole
  • Skeletal, Musclular, Ligamentous, Connective Tissue,  Neuro-glial, Organs, Fluids, Endocrine and Senses

Development

  • Neurocellular Patterns of Movement Development
  • Embryological Origins, Reflexes, Proprioceptive Neurological Facilitation patterns, Infant Development

Professional Somatic Body Practice

  • Tools for Healing, the Expressive Process
  • Cohort Learning and Mentoring
  • The Business of Somatic Practitioner, Ethics and Marketing

See Curriculum

The training program will lead students through the Developmental Movement Process in two years. The First Year will focus on learning the Land Patterns, and the Second Year on the Ocean Patterns of Development. Most of the material will be introduced in stages. For example, the spine will be taught in the first year in Spinal, then touched upon in the Muscle unit and will return in Year Two with the focus on Ligaments and vocalization.

Within each year, the Units will alternate between deeply studying and exploring a specific Developmental Stage, as well as some of the bones, muscles and tissues that strongly pertain to that pattern, with Units that focus on a Body System. In each Body System, students will gain the information and experience of the possibilities and character of that unique system. This will allow for integration of learning as the information will layer and segments will build.  

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Cohort

Learning will be supported by work in cohort groups. Students will meet in person or online to learn and study together, and  document practice sessions on each other between training weekends.The training provides a clear structure for how the group stays connected between sessions. Student-initiated learning offers the opportunity to bring their own material into the classroom/studio, so students should come with enough EXCITEMENT to feel prepared, homework complete, ready with questions, and ready to receive new information.

Students will bring objects, music, food, photos, videos, performance, teaching snippets, scientific articles, and art that have to do with the section topics. It is possible that we will create models of the organs and other body parts and engage in other collaborative projects to illuminate anatomical structures and processes.

Communal meals and the retreat setting offers opportunities for the learning to interweave and emerge within the group in extra curricular moments while dancing, eating, and spending time in nature.

Site

We are delighted to be having most of the training segments at Earthdance, dance and artist residency retreat center in Plainfield, MA as well as a couple of segments at Nine Mountain Retreat Center just next door. 

Addresses: 252 Prospect St, Plainfield, MA 01070 and 9 Mountain St., Plainfield, MA 01070

Here is more info about Earthdance and Nine Mountain

General Expectations

Students are required to come prepared, study on their own, ask questions, and as a cohort are asked to develop, learn, study, and question together. This may be accomplished between units by in person meeting, email, phone, blog, writing or performance and teaching exchanges.

Students will bring objects, music, food, photos, videos, performance, teaching snippets, scientific articles and art that have to do with the sections topics. It is possible that we will create models of the organs and other body parts and engage in other collaborative projects to illuminate anatomical structures and processes.

        Required Texts:

  • Anatomy Coloring Book
  • Trail Guide to the Body, Andrew Biel 
  • Sensing Feeling and Action, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen 2014
  • Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank Netter (these are available used for less than $10!!)

   During the course you will be required to:

  • Prepare the anatomical information required for each unit.
  • Read the required texts due
  • Communicate with one other student between units
  • Documents the  process of applying, playing with or teaching the material
  • Post in the Somatic Body Training Blog two weeks before each training module and two weeks after each training module (in order to show up ready and excited for the new material… and to help integrate the old material). The post can be anything that makes you think of the material (a photo with a description, a moment that relates the material to your own life).
  • Show up for a one on one Mentoring session with Christine Cole each year
  • Receive 5 sessions from an approved list of practitioners during the training. Complete all homework assignments, plus a discussion of a final project
  • Record in writing 10 Partnering sessions (one in each unit) engaging one on one with the material through hands on work.
  • Record and present a teaching moment that incorporates key Somatic Body material.