Martha Eddy, DEP, CMA, RSMT, EdD and Licensed TBMC is an international advocate of Somatic Movement Education & Therapy & Somatic Movement Dance Education; author of Mindful Movement. The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action and lecturer on embodied cognition, eco-somatics, the interaction of neuro-motor and socio-emotional development, and the role of the body and movement in peace education and violence prevention. She co-founded Moving On Center in 1994 with Carol Swann in order to bridge Somatic Awarenss with Social Change. She is also a senior advisor to the newly forming Institute for Somatics and Social Justice in Philadelphia.
Her teaching positions have been at universities including but not limited to: New York University, Princeton University, Teachers College, Columbia University graduate program, Barnard, Connecticut, Hope and Hampshire colleges, San Francisco State University in the Kinesiology department and currently with low-residency programs at Montclair State University, St Mary’s College (Bay Area) MFA, UNC-Greenboro Masters in Dance Education. These three universities together with the State University of New York’s Empire State College Graduate Center (where she held the title of Body-Mind Cultural expert) have invited her to offer her unique certification programs as part of their degree granting programs. This forty year blend of Laban/Bartenieff Studies with Body-Mind Centering® is called Dynamic EmbodimentTM and has an international draw.
Dynamic Embodiment Somatic Movement Therapy is a type of experiential education that conveys how to maximize embodied cognition for deeper psycho-physical understanding. The method is called OSO – Observe, Support, Optimize Options.
Observe: Dynamic Embodiment Practitioners begin with statistically reliable observation based in neuro-motor development based in the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, OT, RSMT as well as that of Irmgard Bartenieff, PT and founder of Laban Movement Analysis together with parameters from Kestenberg Movement Profile and the work of Dr. Christine Kris. The form of Laban Movement Analysis utilized is that which is taught at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) where Dr. Eddy was on faculty with Irmgard Bartenieff, served as President and Executive Director, and is now a Senior Research Associate and Advisor.
Support: Dynamic Embodiment derives from the attunement that comes from embodied observation, and the activation of kinesthetic empathy, interventions that provide support for what is working in the person. Next support is provided for areas that are untapped resources sometimes held back by blockages and ineffectual habits. This support often leads to satisfaction and the desire for new choices.
Optimizing Options: Options are explored using the vast range of resources identified within Body-Mind Centering® – from embryological knowledge to brain-body connections; initiation of movement from different types of tissue; balancing the autonomic nervous system and activating the musculo-skeletal system with efficiency, and using Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and its exploration of each facet of human personality and behavior as reflected in movement. LMA systematically and precisely records movement through space with related dynamics and interactive uses of shape.
This work culminates in Embodying Peace – understanding tenets of Conflict Resolution as a baseline for better human communication. The Dynamic Embodiment approach recognizes and appreciates different styles of negotiating conflict, including using diverse dynamics in voice and body language when speaking one’s truth directly.
Dynamic EmbodimentTM takes many forms including:
BodyMind Dancing: a system of anatomically and conceptually based dance training and improvisational structures for learning embodiment and enjoying the pleasure of movement. These classes are for both the everyday person and for trained dance professionals. Dr. Eddy delights in bringing her system of BodyMind Dancing to communities for fun, group cohesion, or for entertainment. The extension of this work involves shaping performances for citizens of all ages, most recently an evening work called Dance is a Healing Force for Iona College.
Eyes Openers are Mind Openers Curriculum of Visual Enhancement for ages 3 – 99.
Kris-Eddy Neuro-Motor Assessment Scale and related CKE rubrics for assessing neuro-motor status.
Moving For Life DanceExercise for Health® promoting longevity with a special focus on cancer prevention and recovery. Dr. Eddy developed Moving For Life in 1999, now a non-profit providing free dance classes to women and men in hospitals, community centers, and public libraries. Moving For Life’s (formerly Moving On Aerobics) multi-lingual somatic movement exercise programs been featured on NY1, CNN, the Today Show, CBS News, Forbes, National Public Radio, and most recently News12 NY.
Peaceful Play ProgrammingTM School-wide or classroom programming and Embody Peace Programs that engages children, youth and adults in sports, dance, creative movement and/or cooperative games in order to foster peace and solve conflicts creatively. School systems for anti-bullying, conflict management, violence prevention and trauma recovery are uniquely tailored in close advisement with school administrators.
Relax to FocusTM – a Brain-Based 5 – 20 movement activity used worldwide for regaining homeostatis and attention in classrooms, traumatic situations and inter-group dynamics (Read more on the book page).
Dr. Eddy worked with Linda Lantieri and the TIDES/Inner Resilience Program from September 2001 post 9/11 working with over 900 teachers. In 2003 she founded the Center for Kinesthetic Education to provide professional development and pre-K-12 programming within NYC public and independent schools with a focus on how to use movement and dance for self-regulation, expression and health. She is engaged nationally in research using her CKE assessment tools and curricula. In this capacity, she is facile in working with administrators, educators and students involved with inclusive classrooms and shaping movement experiences for anyone with behavioral, physical, and emotional disabilities.
She maintains a private practice with a small group of individuals each year while still maintaining an active speaking schedule and guiding performance events.
Most recently she has been touring her book Mindful Movement zeroing in on specifics such as:
- The history of the field of somatics and the evolution of its related fields – somatic psychology, somatic bodywork, somatic movement, somatic dance, social somatics, eco-somatics, somatics and spirituality, and body-conscious design. Watch Dr. Eddy’s lecture here.
- How does the renowned creator of dance notation and human movement analysis – Rudolf Laban – still influence the world today?
- What is somatic awareness – the body-mind connection and how is it infused in higher education.
- Politics and Somatics: how does the body, race and activism impact the world? How is race important to one’s relationship to practicing or teaching Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body-Mind Centering®, Dynamic Embodiment, EastWest Somatics etc.
As a dance advocate she collaborated in the development in 2008 and is part of the ongoing steering committee of Global Water Dances. Global Water Dances guides choreographers worldwide to develop dance works that inspire environmental awareness through site-specific performances about water concerns. Over 200 cities in over 60 countries have been engaged.
Graduates of her programs – Dynamic Embodiment Practitioners (DEP), Certified Teachers of BodyMind Dancing (CTBMD), and Moving For Life Certified Instructors (MFLCI) are beacons of light and social action internationally.