Authentic movement is a profoundly simple form in which a mover moves with eyes closed in the presence of a witness. Listening to the inner wisdom of the body and following impulses, movers experience the inherent wisdom of their body as it becomes conscious through movement. This process, combined with creative exploration, becomes a direct route to understanding and transforming emotion into expression, understanding into action. It is an opportunity to celebrate your unique essential contribution as it unfolds in you through movement, creative expression and learning to bridge the invisible with the visible.

Based on Jungian principles of the collective unconscious, dreamwork and our own embodied mythology, authentic movement as a discipline emerged in the 1930’s in the studio of Mary Whitehouse – a pioneer in her time, weaving together the collective unconscious with personal story in movement. For more on her work see…

With a witness holding the space for us as movers, we close our eyes. Following impulses, listening deeply to our core being’s request for movement, we begin to explore and express ourselves. We listen to the voices that are clamoring to be heard in our bodies. Our eyes stay closed. We wonder at the impulses rising, at the sensations that seem amplified, at the sounds wanting to erupt. We keep our eyes closed and continue listening and moving in response to what captures our attention. Contact happens. We keep our eyes closed. A sound emerges in the space near us. We keep our eyes closed. Feelings begin to rise and we begin to panic. What now? We keep our eyes closed. We move. We begin to track our internal map/terrain of who we are and how we define ourselves. We become archaeologist of our inner world as we experience it in our moving bodies. Keeping our eyes closed we are left with nothing but ourselves.

We have no solid space to blame anyone else for the emotions and meanings that arise within us as we move. There is no one but ourselves with our own personal history and habitual responses responsible for all the meanings that we place on our experiences. Our eyes are closed. Listening, moving, sensing into our inner world, understanding begins to rise. We, alone, attach meanings to noises, touch, moving alone, moving with someone else. We begin to have a direct, visceral, and kinesthetic understanding of how we create meaning. In that moment, our attachment, our particular meaning world, has an opportunity to shift to the simple reality of being present with what is. This shift affects our ability to experience our world which profoundly affects our relationship to our self and others. Suddenly there is more room to play, to create, to be spontaneous – in response rather than reaction. Making such a shift neutralizes the past and transforms the present into a smorgasbord of possible new creations. Moving through our meaning world, allowing the shift to happen, brings us to a place of “seeing,” witnessing ourselves or another in a way that is without meaning, bringing unconditional regard to each moment and creating from there. We understand that our only job is to listen, track sensations and let action and response arise organically out of presence.

Time is called. We open our eyes and make eye contact with our witness. We are seen.

One thought on “What is Authentic Movement?

  1. Hi! My name is Narieka and was recently a student at Naropa University. I first saw some flyers for your work when attending movementmass in Boulder CO, then was told about your program again by Clare Knudson.
    I just finished my second year of college at Naropa University and am currently taking some time off from school before possibly transferring to another University. All last year I was studying and working with Melissa Michaels and the five rythms as well as taking a few somatic psychology courses at Naropa University. I have become totally inspired and excited about dance and movement and hoping to return to school (transfer to a school) for dance! Before I return to school however I would like to explore some trainings within the movement world!
    My spring this year is totally open for whatever possibilities and I am exploring my options! I am curious if you have any authentic movement trainings that are longer than three days – any extended stay trainings? I am also wondering if you have any sort of work exchange opportunities as I unfortunately am on a very low budget?
    If not, do you have any connections to other authentic movement trainings?

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