Hello, welcome. I find this work so very exciting. I found these practices after years of general somatic training and it has had deep, fundamental changes in my own life. I fancy meeting all - exactly where they are - to support each in finding their vitality and agency, to expand self-knowledge and to feel into the interconnectedness of all. The way I work includes sensitive intuition, heaps of intellect, non-judgemental space holding, and lots of humor. (more below...)
More. In studying and working with movement, dance, performance, healing practices, and somatic sexuality I have found that teachers have unique ways of communicating. Each one arrives with their own strengths and weaknesses as they share the knowledge of their own life experience. If it seems that my way of engaging with this work fits your curiosity, great! I look forward to meeting you.
My experience comes from over a decade of working as an artist in performance and improvisation in music and theater, from study at ISLO (Finland) Education in Dance and Somatics, through much personal-family experience with mental health and psychotherapy, somatic and contemporary movement workshops, daily vipassana meditation practice, somatic sexuality courses, and through self-directed research in cognitive science and more. I live in New Orleans. I have worked in many countries and cultures.
My strongest, earliest influence in somatic learning comes from working with horses. I was able to ride, free of any bridle, rope or restraint; the communication between my horse and I was such that he would gallop, stop, or do fancy ‘footwork’ on request, all through the subtlest of communication. I developed a particular and keen awareness of non-verbal communication. I learned a particular astuteness of nervous system fluctuations. Most importantly, as opposed to ‘breaking,’ forcing one creature’s desire upon another, I learned to find calmness before delving into further conversation. To wait, not force.
My degree in Cultural Anthropology worked as a doorway through which I entered the world of art making. In my mid-twenties I began independently studying music, learning to compose and play in Brass bands under the guidance of my expert friends. Also, I began to paint, make puppetry, theater. Through theater, particularly my time working with Peter Schumann, I fell deeper in love with movement, dance.
This love, combined with a longstanding interest in healing work, led me to ISLO’s Education in Dance and Somatics, learning from Malcolm Manning in particular. I read continuously in phenomenology, neuroscience, cognitive studies, restoration from trauma/oppression, the experience of agency and empathy in relation to free (improvised) movement in solo and in groups, and hold a great interest in implicit knowledge (intuition) arising during meditative states – especially as this is felt/experienced in a body-base of the heart region, and the relationship between meditative insight and affect/affective bias. I take a variety of somatic workshops and dance classes as often as possible. I have learned the most about conscious sexuality – the joy, the laughter, the incorporation of all aspects of experience as it relates to sexuality – from Joseph Kramer and Barbara Carrellas.
I come from a family which has struggled with many mental health difficulties including depression, anorexia, schizophrenia, alcoholism, compulsive eating/shopping, childhood abuse trauma, sexual abuse, and other difficulties which evade psychiatric or psychoanalytic diagnosis. Through this, I have had experience as a patient and as a first line of support within the structure of psychiatry and psychotherapy.
From my personal experiences and research – I simply find the most overall vitality, ease and support via integrating in somatic practices. This way of being, this way of learning to feel more nuances permeates every aspect of my life.
I found somatic sexuality work after already practicing somatic-mindful work for decades. It opened up entirely new doorways – doorways which were always there, I had simply not noticed them. These practices have helped my own sexuality move from feeling closed off, to feeling a fluid, ongoing piece of my daily life.
Sources which I have found to be especially helpful and inform my own work include: Dr Ginger Campbell, David Bohm, Dr Gabor Mate, Tara Brach, James Baldwin, Pema Chodron, Madness Radio, Francisco Varela, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Staci Haines, Joseph Kramer, Barbara Carrellas, Art, and – especially – Movement and Nature.