Can’t find the answers you’re looking for here? Just get in touch and ask away, and I’ll be happy to help.

Somatic Movement FAQs

(Scroll down for salsa FAQs)

I’ve never done Somatic Movement before – where do I start?

If you’d like to know more about what Somatic Movement is, and what it can do for you, have a read of this blog post.

If you’re ready to get started and would like to access something NOW!! to try Somatic Movement out, you can get hold of a recorded introductory session here.

Finally, if you know that you definitely want to get a good sense of this approach, and a deep enough foundation to enable you to make big shifts over time, you can access the full, recorded beginner’s course here.

What are the membership options you offer?

We have two membership options - one is for people accessing the work online, and the other is for those who wish to attend in-person classes. Both options give you access to attend as many live online drop-in sessions (Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings) as you wish, as well as access to recordings of sessions, access to the full recorded beginner’s course, and lots more besides. In-person membership also guarantees you a space at our small-group, Monday night, in-person sessions, as well as giving you access to all the resources that online membership gives you. Obviously for the in-person membership, you must live locally! (Berkshire, UK.)

Where are Somatic Movement sessions held, and how will I receive details of classes?

In-person sessions are held in Finchampstead, Berkshire UK. Online sessions are held on Zoom. You will receive venue/Zoom details and all other information you need via email after booking. All 1:1 sessions are currently only available online via Zoom.

I’d love to do the beginner’s course but don’t want to wait for the next live round!

If you can’t wait for the next live round of the beginners course, you can do the recorded course instead.

I’ve heard the words ‘somatic’ or ‘somatics’ in lots of places – what does the term mean?

The word ‘somatic’ just means ‘related to the body’. The term ‘somatics’ was coined by Thomas Hanna, the creator of Somatic Movement, and describes the field of movement practices which focus on your personal internal experience. There are lots of them! My classes are specifically Somatic Movement in the tradition of Thomas Hanna. When I use the term ‘Somatics’ with a capital ‘S’ it refers to Somatic Movement only. Somatic Movement is a specific approach for consciously releasing habitual muscle tension at the level of the nervous system. You can read more about it here.

I’ve done some Somatic Movement elsewhere – what’s the best way to get started with the live classes?

The best thing is just to get in touch so that we can establish what you’ve already done, and see whether the live classes will be accessible for you right away, or whether it’s best to access some of the other available resources such as the beginner’s course or have some 1:1 sessions first.

I can’t get down to the floor at the moment – can I still do Somatic Movement?

Yes, absolutely! My group classes are currently geared towards people who can get down on the floor - but there are many ways to access Somatic Movement. The best thing would be to get in touch and we can establish your needs and how we can best meet them.

Can you do Somatic Movement on a bed?

Yes, you can. It’s best to do the lying down movements on the floor (on a carpet or yoga mat), as you get feedback from the floor that you don’t get in the same way when lying on a bed. But doing Somatic Movement in bed is much better than not doing any. Another option, if getting down to the floor is hard for you at the moment, is to learn some chair movements as well. Get in touch if you need some guidance about the best ways for you to access Somatic Movement.

I’m not sure if Somatic Movement can help me - what should I do?

Here are a few ideas to help you decide if Somatic Movement is right for you:

Have a read of my blog post and see if it sounds like something you would be interested in trying.

Just try it and see! I have a low-cost, pre-recorded introductory session which is ideal for just giving Somatic Movement a try and seeing how it lands for you in the first instance.

Or, you can get in touch and we can explore whether it’s the right approach for you at this time.

How quickly can I expect to see results from practising Somatic Movement?

There is no single answer to this question. Results will depend on a number of factors, like how long you’ve had any particular issue, and how much time you spend practising Somatic Movement. It’s best to go into Somatic Movement with no particular expectations! It’s an exploration, and things will shift for you over time - and the more time you put in, the more shifts you will see.

I’ve just had an operation/injury – when can I (re)start Somatic Movement?

All the movements we do in Somatic Movement are anatomically safe and normal movements of the body. So if you are good to move around and do normal everyday things, you can bring in gentle Somatic Movement practice, as long as you practice slowly and carefully. Somatic Movement is not exercise and is certainly not about pushing your body - nevertheless, always remember to keep your Somatic Movement practice within your own comfort and confidence level. Never do any movements that cause you pain. Never force any movements. If in any doubt at all, please consult your doctor.

Can Somatic Movement help with healing (emotional) trauma?

Yes, it can help. Working with emotional trauma is not the purpose of Somatic Movement per se, but since we hold trauma in the body, releasing tension that we hold in the muscles can help trauma to move through. If you think you will have a lot coming up as you do this work, I would recommend 1:1 sessions at first, so you can see how you might respond, and get the support you need in the moment. Whilst people do have emotional reactions which come up in group classes, you’d have to take responsibility for finding the support you’d need in that moment, as it’s not possible to stop the class to give 1:1 support.

Note, Somatic Movement is in no way connected with Somatic Experiencing (Peter Levine’s approach to healing trauma) - people sometimes get them muddled, and understandably so given the similarity in the names!

Can Somatic Movement help with flexibility?

Yes. Because Somatic Movement helps you to release chronically held muscle contraction at the level of the nervous system, over time you will find that your movement frees up and you become more flexible.

Can Somatic Movement help with chronic pain?

Yes. This is one of the main reasons people come to Somatic Movement - pain is a great motivator to do the work!! Many chronic pains we carry are caused by habitually held muscle tension. Because Somatic Movement works to release unconciously held muscle tension (i.e. muscle tension that we don’t currently have control over), it can also help with chronic pain. It’s no magic wand - you have to do the work! - but over time, it’s very likely that you will see your chronic pain reduce, and your comfort in and freedom of movement increase.

Can you do Somatic Movement if you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia?

Yes. Somatic Movement is a very gentle form of movement, and can be done to whatever capacity you have in a given moment. Take it slow, stay within your capacity, and Somatic Movement can help both with reducing chronic pain, and increasing energy levels, due to releasing muscle tension at the level of the nervous system.

Is there a way to connect with other people doing this work?

Yes! You’d be made very welcome in our community space, to connect, ask questions, and access information.

Got more Somatic Movement questions? Just get in touch to ask.

Salsa FAQs

I’ve never done salsa before – can I turn up any week?

Yes! We start from scratch every week, so you can just turn up for the beginner’s class and you will be just fine! Our beginners class starts at 7.45pm.

I’ve done some salsa before – which class is best for me to join?

It depends. We teach cross body style salsa - so if you’ve learnt salsa in the Cuban tradition, you may wish to experience cross body style as a beginner before moving on to the improvers class. Although the basic rhythm in the two styles is the same, there are significant differences in the moves, as well as in the lead and the follow. Our beginners class starts at 7.45pm.

If you’re familiar with the cross body style basic steps, left and right turns, and the cross body lead itself, you are likely to be ready for the improvers class - we don’t teach those moves from scratch in improvers, so you do need to know them before joining that class. Our improvers class starts at 8.45pm.

If you’ve done salsa for a while but fancy learning the other part (so if you’re a follower but want to learn to lead, or vice versa), it’s best to start right from scratch in the beginners! Our beginners class starts at 7.45pm.

Can I come just for the social dancing?

Yes, you’d be most welcome. Social dancing starts at 9.30pm after the improvers class, and costs £5/person.

I’d love to be able to practise some of the moves at home - what do you recommend?

Our recorded Salsa Library is perfect for practising your salsa at home, or just checking in on that one move that you kind of sort of maybe got the hang of but want to double check before next week!! It has a huge number of the shines (individual footwork) that we dance, as we well as the footwork for basic partnered steps, and some lead/follow partner work as well.

Do I need a partner?

No, you don’t need a partner to join our classes. We switch around partners throughout the classes, as well as encouraging people to dance with a variety of people in the social dancing after the classes, so it’s fine to come on your own or with friends - you’ll be made most welcome.

What should I wear?

You can wear whatever you feel comfortable and can dance in. Some people like to dress up a bit, others not so much - it’s all welcome! You do get quite warm dancing salsa, so some removeable layers is not a bad idea!

What footwear is best?

In terms of footwear, just make sure it’s something comfortable that won’t slip off. Trainers are fine to start with, for example. Once you get going, you’ll probably want some shoes with a slippy sole - but at first you don’t need anything like that, so whatever you have is fine.

Where can I get some dance shoes?!

There are lots of online dance shoe shops. I tend to look for ones where I can return items for free, as of course often you need to try a few times to find shoes that fit! For information, this is one I’ve used in the past and been happy with - of course it is your responsibility to choose the online shop that suits you! In terms of shoe choices, you might want to go with heels, or more formal dance shoes - or you might enjoy some simple, slippy-soled shoes like my jazz shoes, which I love for comfort and spin-ability!

If you have a local shop of course, that’s even better because you can try a range of shoes on right there and then - not to mention you might be supporting a local small business.

Got more salsa questions? Just get in touch to ask.