Meet The Bio-Somatic Dance Movement Naturotherapy © Team
All our key staff are ISMETA trained and registered Somatic Movement Educators & Therapists, in compliance with ISMETA regulations, guidelines and policy. We occasionally bring staff from cognate trainings to share good practice.
Director of Programme & The Centre: Dr. Williamson
Amanda is the director of studies, but works closely with her colleague Karin Rugman. Karin and Amanda are currently researching and publishing together, as well as supporting students in learning the paradigm of somatic movement education & therapy, through both theory and practice.
Dr. Amanda Williamson is an internationally registered ‘Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist’ and considered one of the historical pioneers leading this profession globally. She works with a wide range of people experiencing back pain, joint pain, grief, migraines, addiction, stress, anxiety and depression; as well as people with no specific conditions, but feeling isolated, low and disconnected. More recently, she has been specialising in supporting people during menopause and grief, She is an internationally registered ‘Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist’ and one of the historical figures leading the profession (see historical map above). Amanda is a Visiting reader at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and an Honorary Professor at ‘The Centre for Dance Research (C-dare)’, Coventry University. She supervises PhD students studying Somatic Movement Dance Education and Therapy at BCU and UOG. She is editor of the anthology, “Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives” and the international research journal, “Dance, Movement and Spiritualities” (with Intellect Publishers UK/USA). Her recent book is: “Spiritual Herstories: Call of the Soul in Dance Research”. Amanda has been a senior university lecturer in dance, somatics and movement studies for 22 years and course leader for BA (Hons) Dance and MA Dance & Somatic Well-being programmes in the UK and in New York (UCLan). She founded MA Dance & Somatic Well-being: Connections to the Living body, in the UK and New York, in partnership with ISMETA (the first MA programme in Somatics and Dance world-wide). Amanda enjoys co-authoring research with colleagues world-wide and is committed to multiple voice research. Her current book is called Dance, Somatics and Living Physiology.
Karin Rugman Co-Director of studies
Karin Rugman lectures on the ISMETA Bio-Somatic Dance Movement Naturotherapy in Cheltenham and is a senior lecturer at Bath Spa University. She is an experienced somatic movement educator, originally trained in Shin Somatics®, with additional skills in Alexander Technique, Ideokinesi and Feldenkrais Method. She has a background in contemporary dance and
is an experienced performer, choreographer and teacher who has worked extensively in education and the local community for over 30 years. Karin is currently a part-time senior lecturer in dance and somatic studies at Bath Spa University, where she has established an advanced programme of somatic studies in the Dance Department. Her courses introduce students to the
foundations of somatic practice, developing an understanding of kinaesthetic awareness in dance technique and performance, whilst investigating a deeper sense of self and exploring choreographic possibilities through somatic
research. This work embeds body knowledge and self-regulation as a fundamental part of the students practice, as well as encouraging a more confident and empowered body through self-knowing. She is also a qualified holistic massage therapist practicing in her local community. Her work centres around the use of touch as a medium for health and well-being. Over the years as a freelance practitioner, Karin has initiated and created numerous performance projects within the local community, schools, colleges and theatre groups, as well as devising and performing her own dance works. Her community work quietly continues in the background with more emphasis on facilitating somatic technique as a tool for health. Recent work includes a collaboration with Untold Dance Theatre called the ‘Confidence Project’, a series of movement workshops that set out to support and build community and confidence within groups of women. Karin has a BA(Hons) degree in performing arts,
a postgraduate certificate in education, a diploma in Shin Somatics® and a diploma in holistic massage. She is a registered somatic movement educator/therapist with ISMETA, a registered practitioner in holistic massage with MTI, a fellow of the HE Academy and a member of ESN (Eastwest Somatic Network). She is also a published writer in the field of somatic investigation.
Contact: The Centre for Embodiment and Bio-Somatic Dance Movement Naturotherapy, Normandy House, 307-309 High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3HW, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
MA Dance & Somatic Well-Being: Connections to the Living Body: Somatic Movement Educator & Therapist & Holistic Somatic Movement Dance Therapist
Anna is a visiting lecturer on the professional training programme: Bio-Somatic Dance Movement Naturotherapy. Anna brings an inter-cultural embodied focus to the programme through her post-graduate training in New York, and from working professionally in the USA, Zimbabwe and UK. Anna’s academic background is inter-disciplinary, bridging science and the arts – human kinetics, physical theatre, dance and health, and somatic movement dance education and therapy.
Anna grew up dancing in Zimbabwe where she began her professional training as an apprentice with Tumbuka Dance Company under the directorship of Neville Campbell. After traveling to the USA in 1999 to attend the American Dance Festival, she spent six months working as an administrative intern at Earthdance in Massachusetts where she first encountered Somatic Movement. As an undergraduate at Rhodes University in South Africa she studied physical theatre under Gary Gordon and Andrew Buckland and also majored in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics. Anna attained a Masters in Somatic Movement Education under Mary Abrams, Amanda Williamson and Penny Collinson as part of the University of Central Lancashire’s New York program.
As a performer Anna has worked with Tumbuka Dance Company in Zimbabwe, The First Physical Theatre Company in South Africa and numerous community dance projects in New Orleans. She also performed in the Lightwire Theatre’s inaugural season of Dino Light. She has been teaching contemporary technique for over twenty years from middle school age through to professional level, most often on professional training courses including the Tumbuka Dance Foundation Course, the New Orleans Ballet Association, and as faculty at the New Orleans Centre for Creative Arts and Tulane University. In 2014 she took on the directorship of Tumbuka Dance Company working with guest choreographer nora chipaumire on the creation of the nhaka/Tumbuka project, staging chipaumire's work at the Johannesburg Dance Umbrella festival, The South African National Arts Festival and the Harare International Festival as well as numerous venues in Harare. In 2016, as funding for the company was coming to an end, she was invited by Dr. Chibanda of The Friendship Bench to put together a ten-month therapeutic, cultural specific, dance program for acute psychiatric patients at Harare Hospital. The program was replicated under Medicin Sans Frontier at Chikirubi Maximum Security Prison Hospital. In her teaching work, Anna explored the role of Somatic practices within technique class, facilitating a more expressive, creative and embodied state to overcome emotional and physical blocks to movement and give students an intuitive understanding of making meaning from movement and vice versa. As Artistic Director of Tumbuka Dance Company, she relied on Somatic Movement as a way of exploring performance states, as well as creating cohesion amongst the company members. In this way, the company were able to bring resonant, reflective bodies to their work on stage and in the hospital.