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Soma Dance
founded by Donna Redlick

What is Soma Dance?

Soma Dance was founded by Donna Redlick 

Soma Dance is a unique amalgamation of Bartenieff Fundamantals, Developmental Movement, and concepts from the Laban Framework, in direct applications to dance, with a somatic approach.  Rather than focusing on mastering dance forms and techniques - like one would in a ‘formal’ dance technique class - participants are guided to hone in on their sensing experience. The interplay and bridging between inner bodily-space and kinesphere space is explored while dancers are supported to find emergence of 'feeling forms'.  These feeling forms, supported by inner rhythm and individual to each person, are then taken into shared dance experiences. One’s subjective experience is foregrounded and awareness of kinesthetic empathy is developed while dancing in relation to others.

photos: by Tonya Ng

all rights reserved MASS

dancers in photo: Avis Yang, Lada Santic, Carolina Bergonzoni, and Donna Redlick in Soma Dance class

Friday Morning Soma Dance: 10:00am-12:00pm

For dancers with experience, min 2-3 yrs

The class integrates community-based dancers, pre-professional and professional dancers.

Location: Scotia Bank Dance Centre, downtown Vancouver, 677 Davie Street


Students registering must feel comfortable with:  floor-work, rolling, level change, hands-on work, 

movement re-patterning, dance improvisation, and group process (moving together). 

See below for detailed description of class.

Spring Session 1:

April 5th to May 3rd,  2024

5 class session* (no drop ins)

Registration fee:   Sliding Scale $$175.00

Payment by E-transfer, cash, or cheque. 

Spring Session 2

May 10th to June 7th,  2024

5 class session* (no drop ins)

Registration fee:   Sliding Scale $$175.00

Payment by E-transfer, cash, or cheque. 

* Soma Dance is not a drop in course. Participants must register for session and commit for session.


What happens if I miss a class?

No refunds are provided however you are most welcome to do a make-up class within one year of the missed class

How is the Class Structured and What should I expect within a Soma Dance Class:

The first part of class takes place on the floor exploring Developmental Movement Patterns and Bartenieff Fundamentals. In this part of class some hands on for re-patterning work (with partners) may also integrated. Participants explore the support of gravity and wake-up inner bodily pathways to develop kinetic chains for total body connectivity. The floor work progresses towards rolling, weight shifting and propulsion through space. Some level changing is also explored.  Students may adapt if needed. 


The second part of class transitions into dancing in kinesphere space, as well as general space, exploring concepts found within the Laban/ Bartenieff Movement Framework. In this part of the class students are guided to dance with a somatic approach through a specific methodology based on structured improvisation, presence, repetition, recall, and awareness of phrasing. Witnessing and ‘holding space’ for each other to dance towards newness, beyond habit, is key to this part of the class. 


The third and final part of class hones in on working with personal dance phrases in relation with others, to create compositions in the moment. Kinesthetic empathy and attuning to one another is fore-grounded.   Throughout the entire class we will move in relation to ourselves and in relation with others in order to support both a subjective and inter-subjective experience. There will be moments for self-reflection, sharing and dialogue. 

"I taught dance technique for many years, in 2012 I made a conscious decision to 'let go' of form to focus on emergence of form through concepts found in Laban/ Bartenieff Movement Studies, Developmental Movement and Structured Improvisation.  I have been slowly and diligently developing my own methodology the last few years now formally referred to as Soma Dance Practice Methods®." 

- Donna Redlick

Dancer Harmanie Taylor describes her experience as a student in Soma Dance Class with Donna. 

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