Register as a 'Somatic Movement Dance Therapist/Specialist' or 'Somatic Movement Dance Specialist'
If you are a trained dancer and have integrated a somatic movement modality into your practice, these registrations may serve to honour your skills and expertise, further delineate and better represent your professional practice in the UK & Éire. Registration requires sharing your creative and therapeutic approaches, your previous trainings, proof of qualifications, two references - and there is space on the form to share areas you feel you would like more training in. We support the diverse practice developed by our many and high skilled practitioners in the UK; do contact us if you want to share your expertise at our training days.
1. Somatic Movement Dance Therapist
If you are a dancer and have completed a somatic movement professional training programme, which had a therapeutic strand, you can register as a 'Somatic Movement Dance Therapist/specialist'. Registration costs £200 annually, or £18 monthly.
We do not accept Yoga trainings, massage trainings, or 5 rhythms as prerequisites to our registrations. Registration requires a training in dance (to degree level) and the completion of a two-year training course in somatic movement. If you haven't got a degree in dance, but have completed a somatic movement training where expressive, improvisational and imaginative dance was at the heart of practice you can register in this category.
If you are working extensively within the field of dance and somatics in Higher Education or independently, but have no professional training in somatic movement therapy, you can register with us as a 'Somatic Movement Dance Specialist'. The cost of registration is £150 annually, or £13 monthly.
3. PhD completion route: Somatic Movement Dance Therapist
If you have a PhD in Dance, movement & Somatics that was underpinned by a practice-based methodology and therefore you are actively leading therapeutic somatic movement/dance, you can register as a 'Somatic Movement Dance Therapist', We do not accept PhD's in the field of performance or theoretical PhD's as a perquisite to registration. The PhD must have covered researching and working with people in the community, i.e, the PhD must have a strong practice-based element, and you must be an active practitioner working with non-dancers, as well as dancers. This registration requires proof of your PhD award and two references about your current work. If you do not quite fit this category, but have extensive embodied experience in somatically informed dance practices, and would like to do extra training, we provide top-up modules at MOVINGSOMA. These modules will focus on working on-one-one, experiential anatomy and fascial release. All registrations require proof of your training and two references about your work. Annual registration in this category costs £200, while monthly registration costs £18
If you or your department are interested in the field as it continues to grow across the United Kingdom and Éire and would like to be involved in conferences, you can register as an individual or as an organisation. The cost of an annual membership is £100, an monthly membership is £9.
Universal Credit claimants can register for a subsidised membership for as long as they continue to claim the benefit. You must inform us immediately if you are no longer claiming. An annual membership is £60, a monthly membership is £5.
Acknowledging the skills of somatically informed dancers
Acknowledging the role dancers have played in the development of somatic movement therapy across the United Kingdom is an important step forward for our professional community. Professional dancers are often trained in one or more somatic movement modality. Practitioners integrate dance and somatic awareness in unique ways, often developing specific research trajectories. Somatic movement as a field has made a significant contribution to dance studies, and equally dancers have made an enormous contribution to the professional field of somatic movement therapy as it has grown across the UK. While each somatically orientated dance practitioner is unique, we are united as a community of professionals in the following types approaches and principles. Full ethical and practice guidelines are available from the association upon registration.
Somatic Moving & Dancing Therapies are uniquely crafted around the following approaches, principles, and philosophic/therapeutic values. Specialists tend to work in groups, while therapists work one-on-one and in groups. Dance practitioners often develop their own frameworks or language to hold processes. Below is a broad sweep of the areas practitioners might facilitate.
Experiential anatomy & physiology: The unique blending of objective knowledge (anatomy and physiologically) with subjective experience (first-person sensory awareness)
Balance sympathetic arousal with parasympathetic release and ease (bringing the nervous system into balance)
Connect people with their sensory-motor loop, through slow-time afferent sensing and efferent motor expression
Facilitate interoceptive, proprioceptive, cardio-ceptive and gravi-ceptive movement awareness
Reduce exteroceptive overwhelm via interoceptive afferent sensing
The somatic experiencing of body systems and tissues, enhancing expressive movement range
Apply somatic touch and bodywork (sometimes prior to moving and/or during movement), to support movement integration, spatial awareness, easeful movement, parasympathetic ease, and the reduction of sympathetic arousal and tight muscle tonus
Offer processes that support the development of sensory-perceptual movement awareness
Connect people with their sensory-motor loop, through slow-time sensory-perceptual movement awareness, and improvisational/imaginative movement/dance
Support cardio-ception and moment-by-moment breath awareness, in support of reducing sympathetic arousal, and integrating mind and body
Facilitate movement-by-moment breath awareness and cardio-ception, supporting the vagus nerve into a state of health
Apply somatic touch to release patterns of neuromuscular fascial holding, balance asymmetries, and ease stress and strain
Apply experiential anatomy and physiology, bringing consciousness to unconscious body processes and/or tissues that are beneath the threshold of consciousness
Facilitate the release of tension in living tissues, via free-flowing movement patterns, underpinned by subjective/objective awareness of fluid the systems
Release stress and tension in living tissues through the experiential study of gravi-ception, soft-tissue rolling and fascial release
Facilitate the experiential study of cardio-ceptive awareness and moment-by-moment breath awareness (exploring coherence and heart resonance) in dyadic and community work
Facilitate the experiential study of the imagination as a teleological guide, supporting the psyche’s journey through life’s complexities, stresses and strains
Facilitate the experiential study of the imagination and free improvisation, supporting fascial fluidity and skeletal-muscular dexterity.
Augment the fluid nature of the human organism, supporting the free-flow of fluids through tissues
Facilitate experiential processes that support the fascia into a state of health, exploring bio-tensegrity
Facilitate movement processes that explore ontogenetic and phylogenetic movement patterns
Facilitate somatic movement fundamentals: gravity, weight, mass, space, breath, heart and movement fluidity
Explore the relationship between sensation, emotion, movement, and the imagination
Facilitate the experiential study of self-regulation and co-regulation (the experiential study of presence with Self and other)
Explore the integration of mind, body and spirit, through moment-by-moment breath awareness, and the oxygenation of living tissues through movement
Explore the joy of movement and moving kinaesthetically
Explore the intelligence of the living body and source energy
Facilitate the experiential study of consciousness, developed through sensory-perceptual movement awareness, breath awareness, and subjectively investigating the body-mind relationship
Facilitate somatic movement/dance meditations
Facilitate a balance between resting (afferent sensing) and action (efferent motor expression)
Offer processes of digestion, reflection and integration after moving/dancing
Facilitate the experiential study of presence with Self and other
Somatic Moving & Dancing Therapists work one-on-one and in groups, and adhere to the following ethical guidelines:
Do not diagnose health conditions, but rather offer a safe space where participant's can learn about self-regulation, reflect on their own health and embodiment, and move towards easeful functioning through self-regulation and co-regulatory support
Intentionally craft and offer processes that offer the opportunity for growth and transformation
Craft and facilitate movement processes that support transformation and healing (healing in this context does not mean the miraculous recovery from an illness, but rather incremental shifts in one’s psyche towards wholeness and well-being (however small)
Craft and offer movement processes that support the whole person’s psyche (psyche in this context often means body, mind, spirit and soul)
Always offer digestive, reflective and integrative processes after moving
Always offer dialogical processes after moving
Always offer a balance between rest (slow-time afferent sensing) and conscious action (efferent motor expression)
Exhibit their certificate at their place of work and/or somewhere on their website
Remain up-to date with trainings in the UK and Eire, and seek out extra training when possible, to enhance their practice, offering the best service possible to the client/participant
Seek out supervisory support for own's own psyche, acknowledging that therapists also need support and self-regulation
Charge a fee that honours the skills of one's movement/dance education and training
Are fully aware of other types of therapists in the local area, and refer a participant if a particular issue requires multi-modal therapeutic support
Always work in a safe clean studio space with appropriate flooring
Ask participants/clients to sign touch consent forms and COVID-19 waiver forms
Place the art of self-regulation and reflection at the heart of movement/dance practice
Educate participants in the art of self-regulatory improvisation and imaginal movement, improving movement range, spatial awareness, movement quality, rhythm and people's creativity.
Craft processes around somatic movement fundamentals: gravity, weight, mass, space, time, breath, heart and fluidity
Do not discriminate against age, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexuality
Can withdraw from working with a client in the interest of safety
Protect client confidentiality, unless a safeguarding necessitates disclosure
When working one-on-one, take progress notes for each client session and work within data protection laws
When working one-on-one, take a medical history before working with a client, and develop safe processes that support their well-being and unique history
Clearly reference and acknowledge sources, when applying taught course materials and practices from independent training programmes into university research degree programmes, publications, public talks, and thesis
Attend annual meetings in person or by zoom to remain up-to-date with the profession as it grows in the United Kingdom and Eire.