“I believe in humans… their behaviour and their stories.”
I will be introducing ‘The Movement Space‘ – a space where I will share a series of classes, everyday information on posture, movement, and stretching, as well as an open forum for any questions or requests.
Please note: GYROKINESIS® classes will only be live streamed (platform TBA). Everything else will be available to watch again.
These times during the CO-VID19 pandemic has really put into perspective of what I actually offer. I’ve been so used to being hands-on and travelling from studio to studio over the last 10 years, I hadn’t allowed myself the chance to detach from the physicality of it all.
Given the recent affairs, I’ve realized (yet, again) that within loving to move and help people, there should be no boundaries. The next few weeks or months will be a challenge switching to a new mode, but the work in itself will always be enjoyable and beneficial.
I hope you will continue to move with me virtually in your own space, both mentally and physically. Let’s get comfy.
During my time in Portugal, I taught GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® in Lisbon at Equilibrium and Little Yoga Space, while also covering classes in Porto at Instituto do Lago (where I would later visit with Teresa).
I met Teresa after of my classes at Little Yoga Space where she mentioned that she is also a dancer and has also studied the GYROTONIC® Method, and although she lived in Porto, she would like to collaborate in the future. I was so happy she introduced herself that day – we remained friends ever since.
Teresa has recently been in Northern California for 3 months and has just completed her Level 1 Tamalpa Institute-life / Art Process Immersion certification with Anna Halprin and her daughter Daria Halprin. She will continue until May for the next progression of the program.
This conversation was before this journey and was an evening we spent together in my kitchen in Lisbon when she was in town for a dance show, just chatting over tea. I then decided to begin recording.
Between being busy with teaching and then relocating to London, this has been on the back burner for way too long. Finally here’s our conversation – uncut.
Enjoy the inspiring Teresa Fabião on research, movement, and travelling.
First of all, Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I’ve arrived back in London already. Settling in has been different than expected, but happy to report the following event happening in New York next week.
Tune in, East Coasters.
Dancer, Actress, Filmmaker (dear friend and colleague), Olivia Mia Orozco has yet another exciting project!
I’ve always admired her explorations with being both a stage performer and a dance film artist. She also uses her creative efforts as the Director at Radiant Space in Los Angeles, a multi-purpose gallery, where she brings in not only great art, but performances and wellbeing projects as well. Her other works include film projects such as Focus on Mexico, Nylon Cave, and Temporal as well as choreographic and performance credits.
Now she has a newly evolved project consisting of the three elements that she knows best: stage, film, and interaction.
Toolbox is a dance theatre performance art piece by that journeys through trauma and the path to healing. It questions how we build tools to help ourselves. How does energy transmute? How do we handle life when it feels too much? Is meditation the next step to self-discovery? This piece poses many questions and shares non verbal stories, sound, film, a staged installation, dance and acting as a mode of new storytelling.
After a successful opening in Los Angeles in three different locations, it’s safe to say it’s more than ready to travel to New York.
“The title of Olivia Mia Orozco’s Toolbox refers to the idea of an emotional toolkit, evaluating how equipped with self-awareness, clarity, empathy, patience and the capacity to heal, we are or are not when confronted with life’s traumas […] Orozco [and her collaborators] create a sensorial expression of what building such a toolbox can feel like, from contemplation to catharsis, brutal honesty, and ultimate liberation.””
Shana Nys Dambrot, LA Weekly
Toolbox: A Dance Theatre Performance Art Piece
The Living Gallery, Brooklyn (NY)
January 13th, 2020 from 7-8pm
Choreography, Direction, Installation & Film:
Olivia Mia Orozco
Performer and Movement Collaborator:
Olivia Mia Orozco & Michael Jon Leonard
Lighting Design by:
Sliding Scale Tickets $10-25
The ticket fee goes towards renting the space, paying the performer and travel expenses, thank you for your generosity.
From left to right: Poster Presenters Jennifer S. Dalva, Jeanine Ferrone, Rita Renha, & Marni Larkin
From teaching to speaking with medical professionals first hand, Specialized GYROTONIC® Master Trainer Rita Renha wrote an open letter about the progress that’s happening between dance rehabilitation and physical therapy today.
These progressions involve the collaboration of GYROTONIC® Manhasset, Harkness Center Healthy Dancer Initiative (HCHDI) and making sure physical therapists enhance their practice as a movement practitioner.
I first met Rita Renha during a Gyrotonic Trainer Update Course in Lisbon, Portugal in April 2018 at Equilibrium – many thanks to studio owner, GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer, and GYROTONIC® Pre-trainer, Bernardo Gama. After Renha learned that I created The Movement Blog and I about her new projects, we wanted to collaborate instantly.
As I’ve been becoming quite familiar with the work between Marni Larkin, studio owner of GYROTONIC® Manhasset, and HCHDI, a few things will be presented:
Renha’s Open Letter to the Dance and GYROTONIC® community.
What’s changing in movement and injury education.
Key points from the presentation of Rita Renha, Marni Larkin, Jennifer S. Dalva (NYU Langone Health), and HCHDI at the NEXT APTA Conference and Exposition.
“HCHDI provides professional dancers in financial need with subsidised educational opportunities to encourage a sound, holistic approach to self care and aid in career longevity.” (med.nyu.edu/hjd/harkness)
HCHDI now officially partners with GYROTONIC® Manhasset to provide subsidised Gyrotonic sessions to the dance community. Gyrotonic sessions are then held at the New York City Center Building.
The team will continue to present at medical conferences in the U.S. about the resources they have gathered thus far amongst their dance students and patients. This collaboration alone will provide a number of opportunities to be the role model for other dance injury clinics and schools.
An excerpt of Renha’s open letter:
I am sharing several developments that I have been very proud to be a part of.
What makes these developments so exciting is that, I believe they represent the first time in the USA, that the GYROTONIC® method has been experienced by the mainstream medical community. It seems that it has been the perfect timing as the new vision statement for the American Physical Therapy Association reads: “Transforming society by optimizing Movement to improve the human experience.”
As we have known for years, the GYROTONIC® method is an incredibly innovative and sophisticated system – not just for wellness, but also for rehabilitation. Inroads of this nature are essential for the method to “be given its due” but more importantly, so rehabilitation professionals have a far more advanced tool than anything in the health sciences currently offered.
We have been collaborating with the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, a world renowned institution headed by Dr Marijeanne Leiderbach, and part of NYU Langone Health in New York. Marni Larkin (owner of GYROTONIC® Manhasset) a PT and a pre-trainer in my network first offered an in house workshop for the Harkness Rehabilitation staff back in 2011.
Since then, we have continued to develop interest, and in 2016, a 3 day presentation entitled ‘Introduction to GYROTONIC® Methodology for Healthcare Professionals’ was held and received with positive feedback. People from far and wide including Canada and California attended.
Concurrently, the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries sponsored 2 staff members, Jennifer S. Dalva and Kayla Harkness to become certified Gyrotonic Trainers, which they are now. Jackson Kellogg and myself were the Master Trainers associated with their educational courses. Faye Dilgen, the Harkness program manager has been extremely supportive of integrating the Gyrotonic method into the traditional Physical Therapy setting in dance rehabilitation.
Finally, we are in the final stages of being part of the Harkness Center Healthy Dancer Initiative (HCHDI), in which professional and pre-professional dancers that meet certain needs-based criteria will have 10 private Gyrotonic sessions subsidized by Harkness funding.
I hope that you are as excited as we are about these developments, but we truly see them as “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of all that the Gyrotonic method has to offer.
After presenting at the American Physical Therapy Association Conference in New Orleans, February, 2018 – Renha, Larkin, and Dalva will offer their presentation again:
June 27-30, 2018
A Movement System Approach for Clinical Practice
Marni Larkin, PT; Jennifer Dalva, DPT, CSCS; Rita Renha, PT; Faye Dilgen, DPT; Marijeanne Liederbach, PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS
Key Points from “Implementing a Movement System Approach into Clinical Practice Using the GYROTONIC® EXPANSION SYSTEM®” Poster Presentation:
ENCOURAGES PHYSICAL THERAPISTS: to embrace their role as movement practitioners.
FUNCTIONAL BREATHING: Foundational to the Method is an understanding of functional breathing. The goals of the breathing component are  to optimize complex axial movement along the stability/mobility continuum and  to modulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The Method varies rhythms, intensities and patterns of breathing to effect specific movement and/or ANS responses.
SPHERICAL MOVEMENT: The Method immediately moves beyond pelvic neutral and encourages the balanced and coordinated movement of the trunk and extremities in all planes of motion, the definition of core stability. Throughout each movement sequence there is an emphasis on axial lengthening.
STABILITY MOBILITY CONTINUUM: Dynamic stabilization occurs through the counterbalance of opposing forces on the whole skeleton minimizing compressive and tensile forces (stress and strain) Strengthening, stretching and mobilization never occur in isolation. Range of motion gains are always accompanied by strength gains. Physical Therapists may use Manual Therapy techniques with the clear intention of subsequent integration into the movement sequence.
MOTOR LEARNING AND FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH: The Method fosters motor learning by varying the environmental constraints of tasks to teach individuals how to make pain- and fear-free, biomechanically efficient choices. Tasks are modified to demand more strength, power and active range of motion within each movement sequence.
“Physical performance is about movement development not just muscular development – if you train the movement, the muscle will develop appropriately.”
– Rita Renha
Written, Formatted, & Edited by:
PT, GYROTONIC® Manhasset Studio Owner
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer and Personal Assiant to Juliu Horvath (creator and founder of the GYROTONIC® EXPANSION SYSTEM®
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Trainer, Dancer, Blogger
Specialized GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer, PT, Functional Therapist, GYROTONIC® Instituto Brasil Studio Owner
Jennifer S. Dalva, Faye E. Dilgen, Marni Larkin, Marijeanne Liederbach, Rita Renha. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2018.
NEXT APTA Conference & Exposition Poster Presenters
Jennifer S. Dalva, Jeanine Ferrone, Marni Larkin & Rita Renha
Bernardo Ricou Gama: The GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer That’s Making Waves with Mixed-Ability Movement CommunityJune 18, 2018
On April 24th, 2018, I was fortunate to observe, photograph, and film Bernardo Gama’s mixed-ability group that practices both the GYROKINESIS® Method and DanceAbility® Method. From moving while sitting down, transitioning to the floor, to contact improvisation – it was a beautiful to see how movement can develop in every sense of the word.
Sit back and allow me to guide you through my observations and emotional experiences of this 2 hour class that allowed me forget about the outside world and be fully immersed with each individuals’ process.
1ST HOUR – The GYROKINESIS® Method
The class begins with an hour of the GYROKINESIS® Method. After allowing the the spine to be in a calm, upright position, Gama leads the class into the awakening of the senses. Working with the physical and the imaginative, Gama believes that hard to reach areas or areas that simply are not there can be reached through the imagination. Therefore both the brain and the mind can maintain stimulation.
Awakening of the senses is a series of self-massage sequences, from the Gyrokinesis method, from scalp to the toes. It also involves drumming, pulling, and opening the muscles and joints in a calm, relaxed state.
Gama’s energy and intention is very clear throughout as the students follow with comfort and ease. As an observer, the students moved in a familiar fashion within the work, moving the way they knew best. The pace was lovely. There was always enough time for everyone to catch up with each other. I really could feel the joy and presence in the room. Even as I scrambled around the room attempting to capture these moments, the focus stayed on Gama.
. . .
Having worked in the professional dance world for almost 30 years, I felt that the ability to dance and express your inner world was transversal to everybody.
– Bernardo Gama
. . .
Regardless of ability, the main task was to continue moving and exploring. The group flowed into different Gyrokinesis exercise sequences such as Arch & Curl, Spiral Twist, and Sideways Arch. As the movements became more intricate, each hands-on guidance was chosen carefully.
The confidence that transmitted from Gama to the student was like a light bulb becoming brightly lit. There was also sense of playfulness which isn’t often seen in group of adults. Adults have the tendency to lose this kind of playfulness as we acquire more information and experience, which can be difficult to let go. Thus, it was refreshing to observe the contrary.
The group spiralled, waved, and elongated the body, often incorporating with gentle taps of the feet on the floor between sequences, like a reminder to remember to feel the ground again. Each of the sequences flowed into one another allowing the group to become comfortable in their own body and movements.
The class concluded with a 15 minute break to make the transition to the DanceAbility method portion of the class. Those in wheelchairs were carefully released by the help of their caretaker and were placed comfortably on the floor. All new sensations found during the first hour will now be further developed alongside the use of the floor.
. . .
[I learned that] having awareness with even a person with very little mobility, can move or at least reach any part of their body through sensation and/or intention.
– Bernardo Gama
. . .
2ND HOUR – The DanceAbility® Method
After a small break, the 2nd hour began with the DanceAbility® method where all the students are now on the floor, even the wheelchair students. The energy is kept alive as the students accept the challenge. Stillness is challenging in general. Gama continues to bring his students to ease whenever uncertainty arises.
Now the students explore movements on their back more fully, as if the floor is their partner. Gama allows time for the room to come into its own fruition, while also moving and playing in the space alongside the students, which created a fluid ambience.
As Bonobo’s album Migration softly bellows in the background, movements in the room become more intentional, longer, dynamic. More dynamic tasks were gradually introduced, going in and out of the floor. One of the main tasks were similar to a ‘move and freeze’ game. There was a wonderful softness in the ‘freeze’, that acted like a suspension that filled that room.
The task now required morphing into group contact improvisation while continuing to find the use of the limbs, head, each other, and then the floor again. Everyone became even more comfortable with their other senses during the contact improvisation. In fact, within the contact improvisation, it was visible that newer senses were being activated. Now the sense of play and exploration became fearless.
. . .
The DanceAbility® method helped me to systemize many things that I was already giving and teaching in my dance classes […] but this time with much more awareness about people with different bodies and abilities.
– Bernardo Gama
. . .
The next task involved ‘shape-shifting’ in partners, quite an advance task, but everyone is up for the challenge. The exploration stayed present with no resistance. The space gradually filled out with full bodied movements. Watching this type of work is quite touching when you observe the sense of true connection.
The class ended with everyone together as one group in a circle once again to slow down the breath, find expansion, and one word to describe their experience of the day. There was a lot of love in the room for the movements, for the methods, and for each other.
. . .
[In the future] I would like to continue working the base of the Gyrokinesis method and the DanceAbility method to explore [movement] in an organic way, as a spatial architecture, as well as an interior architecture full of possibilities … and one day choreograph on them.
– Bernardo Gama
. . .
Observing Bernardo Ricou Gama Teaching the GYROKINESIS® Method & DanceAbility® Method: A Movement Diary
More About Bernardo Gama
Gama is the studio owner of Equilibrium Studios in Lisbon, Portugal and is a GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer and a GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer. He already had experience in working with the mixed ability populations, however his first experience in teaching both the Gyrokinesis method and dance was with the group Dançando com a Diferença, back in 2006.
In 2017, Gama became certified in the DanceAbility® Method. Alito Alessi, the artistic director of the method, came to Lisbon to give a 4 week intensive course, so Gama didn’t hesitate. Especially after working with Companhia CIM, and mixed ability dance company, for almost 6 years, he was ready to go to the next level.
This dance playlist is inspired by my GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® colleague, friend, and beautiful mover, Anouk Froidevaux. She’s also the creator of Dancing the Moment, a movement based workshop, currently touring in Brussels and Berlin. Be sure to check out her workshops.
Not to be missed. More information below.
Dance your heart out, movers.
Dancing The Moment is a workshop open to anyone searching for a deeper connection with themselves and the present moment through movement. Anouk’s workshop is attended by a variety of professionals and amateurs including dancers, actors, musicians, visual artists, designers, therapists, doctors, journalists, yoga instructors, and more.
Anouk is a dancer with more than 15 years of experience working throughout Europe in a variety of dance companies, independent productions and touring internationally. She became a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor, and has since taught regularly private and collective classes. In 2013, she created a workshop called, Dancing The Moment, to return to her original passion for dancing. She wanted to inspire others to connect with themselves and the present moment through movement, regardless of their background.
Meet the lovely Rachel Fallon, a dancer with the Hofesh Shechter Company. This New York native shares stories about her journey with dancing abroad, moving to London, and discovering the gift of teaching. She gives a lot of great tips for budding and professional dancers alike.
For travelling, touring, & being consistently on the move. Dance, move, groove wherever you are.