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  • Belle Alvarez

Tones of Home: Movement Workshop Reflections

Movement, dance, and embodiment are all around us. They are the first way we perceive and understand the world. As a movement artist, I work with the understanding that the body is the first thing that takes in experiences and memory. We can learn, think, and remember with the body. In his book, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk speaks on how the body stores traumatic memories. He also talks about healing approaches that are embodied as a way to heal the neurological and physiological symptoms of trauma. Safe, creative spaces bring together the science and art of healing, cultivating hope, healing, and resilience. This allows for beauty and sacred connection, and is what I love about Buildabridge’s mission.

I led an open level creative movement workshop at the last installment of Buildabridge’s Tones of Home series on December 5th. This session allowed the attendees to experience the Buildabridge model and its emphasis on social values and self efficacy through art making. I guided a movement warm-up, and I gave prompts for participants to create their own movement phrases individually and collaboratively. We created a larger phrase of movement as a bigger group, and we also explored improvisation and social connection. Participants experienced freedom, a sense of play through movement, and joy in being connected with an ensemble of co-creators. A few participants joined halfway through the session because they overheard the music we were playing and the fun we were having!

I am passionate about dance as community building and collaboration, and co-creation movement as a source of empowerment. In spite of all the forces that can keep our communities divided in the world, being present with our bodies and sharing movement is a way to (re)discover connection with ourselves and the people we share life with. Being empowered as movers and creators, and sharing that in community, is a powerful space of reciprocity and wholeness.

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