MFA, GL-CMA, M.AmSAT, RYT200
Dance Professional and Educator
Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis
Shakti originates in the Hindu idea of cosmic energy and carries meanings that include: empowerment, balancing force, interdependence, cycles of activity and rest, and creativity.
Soma, from the Greek, means the totality of the physical body/mind.
Be present. Experience movement. Allow change.
Shakti.Somatics is the outgrowth of my work as a dance/movement educator and somatic practitioner. I am a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst, and Registered Yoga Teacher. I integrate and synergize the elements of these practices to tailor lessons to the unique needs of the client/student.
Lessons typically begin in the context of the Alexander Technique but also reference the Dart Procedures, elements of Laban Movement Analysis, the Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body-Mind Centering, and varied approaches to developmental movement. I assess and personalize the most effective plans for clients/students to access poised and integrated coordination, bodily range of motion, and overall balance in their daily and professional lives.
Elizabeth Johnson, BFA (George Mason University), MFA (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is a performer, choreographer, educator, Laban Movement Analyst (GL-CMA), Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique (M.AmSAT), and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200). An embodied academic, Johnson seeks to integrate somatic, developmental, and feminist/liberatory perspectives into her dance teaching/pedagogies and creative work.
Her corporeal and written research on pedagogy, learning, and trauma is spurred by her intense experience at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she trained in classical ballet with Balanchine ballerina Melissa Hayden as well as former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and American Ballet Theatre dancers.
Her contemporary dance company, Your Mother Dances, has featured her choreography as well as produced national and regional guest artists; her work has been seen in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and beyond. She also performed with David Parker and The Bang Group (NYC), Sara Hook Dances (NYC), and Molly Rabinowitz Liquid Grip (NYC).
Johnson teaches and presents on dance and somatics nationally and internationally and continues ongoing studies--currently Dr. Martha Eddy’s Dynamic Embodiment-Somatic Movement Therapy Training. She has been Dance faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University North Carolina-Greensboro, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Texas Tech University. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida.
Customized Lessons and Body Work
Any of these practices stand alone as effective as well as a combination/synergy of all.
THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Re-calibrate the nervous system, learn body/mind skills for coping with ever-shifting internal and external environments, and transcend habits that interfere with healthy functioning.
The Alexander Technique is an educational method that is over one hundred years old. Founded by F.M. Alexander, an actor/orator working in the late 19th and 20th centuries, the technique developed as a method to address the psycho-physical self (whole self) body and mind. The Alexander Technique encourages us to bring awareness to the habitual ways we react to our environment and “use” our bodies (often in response to certain trains of thought) that frequently undermine our overall wellbeing and many times leave us in discomfort or pain. Lessons are often one teacher to one student but the principles of the technique can also be investigated in group settings. Many of the principles look at how our thinking/perceiving either facilitates or interferes with what we are doing. We often experience dissonance between what we think we are doing and what we are actually doing. With guided touch and observation, the AT teacher helps the student investigate such disconnections through simple activities that allow the space and time to address this paradox. See this link for more information: https://www.amsatonline.org/aws/AMSAT/pt/sp/what_is
"Somatics is the field which studies the soma: namely, the body as perceived from within by first-person perception. When a human being is observed from the outside -- i.e., from a third-person viewpoint-the phenomenon of a human body is perceived. But, when this same human being is observed from the first-person viewpoint of his [her, their] own proprioceptive senses, a categorically different phenomenon is perceived: the human soma."