Soma Dance

founded by Donna Redlick

 What is Soma Dance?

In Soma Dance students explore Bartenieff Fundamantals and concepts from the Laban Framework, in 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.  Discovering how to move and initiate from the inner landscape of the body, and bridging between inner bodily-space to outer kinesphere space is explored.  Students are supported and guided to dance from inner rhythm until ‘feeling forms’ emerge. These feeling forms, which are 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 with others. 


Soma Dance:

For Continuing Students or dancers with experience (min 3 yr)

Friday Mornings:


Scotia Bank Dance Centre, downtown Vancouver, 677 Davie Street

Live, in person - must wear mask and be vaccinated

Fall Session 1:  Oct. 1st to Oct 29th, 2021 - 5 class session

Fall Session 2:  Nov 5th to Dec 3rd, 2021 - 5 class session

Registration fee:  $175 per 5 class session ($150 concession fee)  

Only 7 spots available, first come first serve

Register for BOTH sessions by Sept 24th and pay $300.00.


Soma Dance:  Open Level, All Dancers Welcome*

Tuesday Evenings:


Not currently scheduled for Fall 2021, Stay tuned for future sessions...

What to 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, in partners, is 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 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. 

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

photos on this page by Tonya Ng