Contemplative Dance / Authentic Movement


Movement as spiritual practice, artistic resource, and psychological narrative

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International Authentic Movement Gathering

What is Contemplative Dance?
It is a simple yet profound practice of moving meditation, also known as Authentic Movement. It works with the innate intelligence of the body, psyche and imagination, and their drive for wholeness and integration. We pay attention to the body and invite it to lead into movement or stillness, suspending self-criticism and cultivating awareness. We may move, or be moved, into deeper streams of consciousness. As we practice, the artificial boundaries between body, psyche and spirit begin to dissolve and we discover aspects of our selves and our lives from fresh perspectives. As we practice with others, we develop an appreciation for the diversity of human experience.

What does it look like?
It looks like human beings sensing, listening, being. There is no predictable style, no prescribed movement. It can include anything from complete stillness to vigorous movement through space. It is usually practiced with no musical accompaniment and with eyes inwardly focused to encourage inner attention, self-direction and a sense of privacy. Throughout there is a palpable sense of discovery and revelation, of the weight or lightness of being, of individual truths experienced and expressed.

Who is it for?
Adults of any age can practice Contemplative Dance. It requires no particular skill, training or facility in movement or dance. Rather it calls for curiosity, respect, honesty and some courage to face the unknown. It has applications in many fields, including health, education, religion, human relations and the arts. Contemplative Dance welcomes people of all races, religions, classes, ethnicities, genders, abilities and sexual orientations.

As a Spiritual Practice
It feels centering like meditation; intimate like prayer; meaningful and transformative like ritual. It heals the “split” between mind and body, spirit and matter. It brings insight into some of life’s core issues, and provides an opportunity to express and celebrate them.

As an Artistic Resource
Artists use this work to discover original material. It refines aesthetic perception and fosters greater precision, subtlety, concentration and variety. It helps to free creative blocks and renew creative desire.

As a Psychological Narrataive
The personal history stored in the body becomes accessible for examination and dialogue, facilitating a more expanded, yet grounded, sense of self.

Can the workshops be used for professional development?
Yes, CEUs are available through the National Association of Social Workers and some counseling and psychotherapy associations. Please check with your professional association to see if NASW CEUs are applicable.

We are in the process of securing CEUs for professional development in other fields.


For information contact:Contemplative Dance, 24 O'Neil Road, Haydenville, MA  01039
Phone: 413-268-3294 - Email: cdance-at-contemplativedance.org