Magazine article Dance Spirit

Somatic Movement Therapist

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Somatic Movement Therapist

Article excerpt

Sherry Greenspan helps dancers move more efficiently.

In her book Taking Root to Fly, master teacher Irene Dowd writes: "All human body movement is directed and coordinated by the activity of our nervous system, in other words, our thinking." Somatic movement practitioners use their knowledge of the body's systems to help individuals gain more freedom of movement. By paying close attention to subtle movements, such as the relationship between bones and muscles as weight is transferred through a joint, practitioners discover the causes of pain or inhibition and choose exercise methods, conditioning programs and therapeutic techniques to address their clients' goals. (These practices include Bartenieff fundamentals, Body-Mind Centering, Continuum, Feldenkrais and Trager.) Sherry Greenspan is beginning a practice as a somatic movement therapist after extensive study with renowned teachers Dr. Martha Eddy, Irene Dowd, Lesley Powell and Doris Pasleluer Hall.

Background: Greenspan graduated from University of the Arts in Philadelphia as a dance major, then moved to NYC, where she studied with Erick Hawkins. When diagnosed with a muscular disorder at age 24. Greenspan began studying Pilates with Karen Carlson and kinesiology with Irene Dowd in order to continue to pursue dance. These studies spurred her to become certified as a somatic movement therapist through the Moving on Center School's Somatic Movement Therapy Training (SMTT), Martha Eddy's synthesis of Body-Mind Centering and Laban Movement Analysis.

On the Job: Greenspan primarily works one-on-one with clients, including dancers, athletes and the elderly, at studios or wellness centers. She develops a "recipe" for each of her clients to help increase mind/body freedom. She addresses diminished range of motion, joint pain, nervous system challenges, illness, post-surgical recovery and chronic pain syndrome, as well as stage fright, performance anxiety, injury prevention, accessing more flexibility and finding true turnout. …

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