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meet allison

Allison has spent the past 20 years traveling, training, and teaching in major universities, hospitals, private dance and wellness studios working with groups and individuals to find healing, enhance performance qualities and support in life transitions through the dance, movement and the healing arts.

Allison's training at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Lismore and the University of Melbourne Australia have given her a solid background of understanding humanity through the lens of anthropology, dance and holistic health. Allison has been a certified bodywork therapist and Reiki Master since 2000. Her yoga training was completed through Integrative Yoga Therapy (Brazil, 2005) and Wild Grace Arts (Olympia, WA, 2011). She holds certifications from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (NYC, 2006), the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, (Hawaii, 2007) the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Austria, 2003), and the Simonson Method of Dance Teacher Training at Dance New Amsterdam (NYC, 2012). 

Allison has studied and performed with the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, the Center for Modern Dance Education, University of Melbourne Dance Dept. Art of Motion, Ballet Northwest, Dance Theatre Northwest, The Barefoot Collective, and Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends. Her work has been featured in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, the Carve Your Body Fitness DVD series, Natural Awakenings Magazine, the Union Arts Center, the Garden State Opera, William and Hobart Smith College and Iona College.

 

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She is a former lecturing professor at Iona College and former professor of dance technique at Manhattanville College. She completed her MFA in Dance through Montclair State University in 2018.

Her choreographic credits include Somatic dance festivals, Iona College, Hackensack Performing Arts Center, the Union Arts Center and the Garden State Opera.

Allison believes that dance is a universal art form with the power to heal and transform individuals and audiences when approached with mindfulness at the core of its process. Her background in Cultural Anthropology and world travel shape her perspective that 'all people are meant to express through dance'.

Embodied Dance was born out of a desire to fill in the gaps in dance training where the mind body connection is often missing. She seeks to provide experiences using dance as a communicative tool to explore how we interpret, address and envision what it means to be human; evolving and responding to our changing times.

She currently offers the Embodied Dance Teacher Training Certification for dancers who wish to be supported on the path of soul artistry, healing transformation and conscious leadership.

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The story of...

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“Dance has an innate ability to connect us to the deepest parts of ourselves. It frees, clears and heals if we are conscious to allow it to be the medicine that brings us back in balance- at home with ourselves and the world around us” –A.P.

How many of us walk around feeling unseen, unheard and unimportant?...Like a stranger in our own body? Craving a more meaningful, vibrant existence, but have difficulty weeding through all the technology, apps, latest trends, things we think we need to be ‘happy.’ I can only speak for myself, but after being on a healing journey of 22 years, I can say that it all comes from within, but not without eyes that are ready to see.

Yoga is on the forefront of changing so many lives. It is doing great for our communities, families and world. We are breathing, connecting and raising our consciousness more now than ever because of how saturated our cities and towns are with yoga studios. I took my first yoga class in 1995, became a teacher in 2000 and couldn’t imagine my life without it.

 There was another first I had in 1995, my first dance class. It was the beginning of my journey home. As an intensely introverted person, I often felt locked inside myself. I was going through the motions, feeling frustrated with no means of release or joyfulness. I couldn’t connect to myself, let alone anyone or anything else. There was a big void; and it felt heavy.

Moving my body to music in a structured way gave me a means of deep release, expression and connection to a part of myself I couldn’t previously access. I felt a lot of mixed messages though. At the same time I was feeling freedom, expansion and trust, I was also being ‘shut down’ by the same people providing the opportunity. Many teachers approached teaching in a very abusive way, yelling about how wrong our bodies were and that we would never be good enough to do anything. At that time, I remember thinking “dance must not be for me because if I continue on this path, I’ll apparently be a very unhappy person.”

I attended University studying pre-physical therapy, anthropology and the healing arts. Again I was told by the head of the Dance Department at UMASS Amherst, that If I didn’t start dancing when I was 5, I would have no chance at doing anything in the field. Stubborn me, I didn’t listen. There was a fire inside me that said otherwise.

I studied abroad in my major, Cultural Anthropology, at the University of Lismore Australia in 1999. In one of our courses, we touched on spirituality and culture and had to present our concept of what we felt to be of the ‘Divine.’ Our class was held in a dance studio on campus. I knew I would have to utilize this experience to dance and dig deeper within myself to provide something worthy of this topic.  I would come into this empty studio week after week and face and challenge my demons at the time- as I was battling an eating disorder. I began to ask myself questions about what kinds of movements felt most interesting and challenging to explore. I would journal my process each week and noticed that there was an ease that developed in my body as I gave a voice to what I had been internally ‘stuffing.’  The developing choreography began to nurture and release parts of me that felt stuck or held. Performing this work for the class was a pinnacle experience and deeply fulfilling as well as scary to be so vulnerable. I realized I had given myself an opportunity to address and move through some profound things within myself that I may not have otherwise. (However, this process mostly was dormant until I began to produce performances with my own dancers over the past few years).

 

Returning from Australia and finishing my degree, I began to see clients for bodywork and healing while establishing myself as a yoga teacher in the early 2000’s. Through all the inner work I had done, I began to feel more and more dissatisfied with how I saw dance being taught. I got tired of the unnecessary yelling and abuse. I also felt discouraged by not finding what I was looking for in more free form styles of dance such as “The Five Rhythms” or “Sweat Your Prayers” The movement felt good, but didn’t satisfy a deeper part of me I desperately wanted to find.

I began to teach dance… my way. I made dance accessible. I took my learning of Injury free dancing of the Simonson technique and gave my students permission and space to be, move and explore who they are without judgment. I honored the presence of the students that walked into my class. I saw the deeper gems shining behind their glistening eyes and knew I could bring them out. I began teaching contemporary modern infusing my background of yoga and the healing arts. I witnessed beginners learning choreography and leaving class with a bounce in their step and elated smile. I didn’t see a look of defeat. I saw empowerment, growth, connection and community building. They reported feeling ‘safe’ to explore themselves. These dancers were feeling beautiful inside and out while creating a body that felt good to dance and walk through life with. I had found what I had been looking for all those years by creating it.

Our first student showcase, the Embodied Dance Project debuted in April 2015 to 100 people and a standing ovation at the incredible Union Arts Center. More than half of the performers had been dancing 1-2 years with me and had no prior training. Yet, they moved an audience so deeply by being in their unique presence, power and light. There have been MANY shows since then. During my Graduate degree, I compiled the years and pieces of healing, coaching, personal growth and mind body movement with teaching and choreography to produce the work I now share today. I am a student of the work as it continues to teach me daily.

For me, Dance is truly the ‘new yoga’. I have a fundamental belief that the way we do anything is the way we do everything. Dance is one of the number one activities that uses more parts of our brain than anything else. Therefore, as we create new neural pathways in our brain, we create new ways of being, not just in dance class, but in every aspect of our lives. Receive all the benefits of a mind body connection of yoga, while expressing the real, authentic you. Find your voice, your passion and live from your heart. This is more than possible. It is your birthright.

TESTIMONIALS

"Only a small percent of the population is mad and or gifted enough to create as effortlessly and frequently as Allison does. Every time I step out on the floor with her, I am in the act of not only being, but becoming and what I become is usually a pleasant surprise. Yet, I never think to myself "oh, this ought to be like that, I should be like this..." What fun we have probing these beautiful mysteries together, ever present and ever evolving..."

Val (Art Therapist and

Embodied Dance Project Participant)

"Allison is not only one of the most talented and beautiful dancers I have ever known but, it is who she is as a person who keeps me coming back every week. She is helping me be my true self through her teaching and unconditional love for us."

jean (teacher)

"I find everything about Allison's teaching wonderful... her kindness, humor, musicality, lovely voice and manner and beautiful dancing! I particularly love the extended warm up. The choreography is challenging but organic and works well for the many levels of dancers in the class. I took my first Modern dance class in 1969 and she is my favorite teachers ever!! Dancing with Allison is a truly divine experience"

"Through working on my personal choreography, Allison was able to see the essence of who I am as a woman and my strengths as a dancer. She helped me infuse this essence, moving me through my heartache and guiding me to a deeper understanding of myself and my capabilities. Allison helped me free myself!"

jenna (teacher)

anita (dancer)

"Allison has the ability to connect you to your heart in any moment so that you can move, speak and feel from a more open and honest place. She is a beautiful example of a modern day cupid in that way. She brings such wisdom from her many experiences in dance, yoga and Bodywork. I feel she has helped me have more unconditional support and acceptance of myself. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with her in creating more avenues for healing"

"A lot of people are afraid to dive into their minds and bodies. Allison makes it a very comfortable experience. If you are open, you can see results very quickly. She is amazing and clearly has a gift. I am so glad I had the opportunity to work with her. She helped me to understand and work with my mind and body in a completely different way. I feel more balance now, which is key to success in life".

John (Owner of Launch Snowboards)

Amy Lou, San Francisco (RN, LMT,

Kundalini Yoga Instructor)

"With a healing touch, Allison coaches you through whatever you are ready to let go of. To the extent that you are willing to engage or let it happen, the process is like a cleanse of your old stories, your old programming. Allison carefully listens, then turning the stories on their head, she facilitates access to possibilities you may have unwittingly closed yourself off to. Emotions are engaged and the body receives cues to decompress and de-stress on its own for hours after. You feel relieved and happy, appreciative of who you are in your own skin".

Jackie (Architect)

"I have been a movement artist and theatrical dancer my entire career. Meeting and working with Allison has forever changed the way I interact with my body. A holistic way of looking at dance and movement that is truly unique in the dancer realms. I’ve studied and performed her Embodied Dance technique for two years and will carry it with me through many lifetimes."

Contessa, (professional theatrical performer)

”I am reminded that to create means to heal by honoring the wound from within and acknowledging the pain of having lived through it. It means having the determination to be uncertain about the result and claim the transformation that is choosing you. It means becoming more real to you than ever before. It means leaving who used to be behind. It means shedding the old skin and dying to know who you once were. It means facing the unknown within yourself. It means trusting yourself. It means feeling the discomfort of failure and shame. It means rising above the small stories you tell yourself. It means being of service to that part of you that knows there’s more. It means stepping into the fullness of possibility and not knowing what that looks like. It means believing in yourself without proof or approval. It means opening up to the life-force that wants to move through you. It means letting go into the unspeakable presence of new places within yourself. It means facing fear. It means transformation. It means owning your power. It means stepping into something far greater and more beautiful than you could’ve ever imagined."

Andrea, (Evolutionary business owner and Embodied Dance participant)

“This process has provided me with a fuller understanding of the emotional plane and has brought the process of healing down to earth for me. Healing has literally become something I can see and move through, and self love has become something that I can almost touch—it has stopped being abstract and belonging to a plane outside of myself. Incorporating the body has brought substantial clarity to all my emotional experiences, as they are now something that I have walked through and have seen.” 

Patricia, (professional dancer and Embodied Dance participant)