Madonnas, Goddesses & Cultural – Sacred Dance Retreat, Italy

Madonnas, Goddesses & Cultural – Sacred Dance Retreat, Italy

Madonnas sacred dance retreat

I offer this very special private sacred dance retreat, exploring the ancient feminine in Italy.  Italy for me is one of the most majestically beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. From every town and city, from the two seas to the vast mountain chain there is something to see to know and to explore, much of which has directly or indirectly affected us in occidental societies, no matter where we live. As I have written before, you do not need to go to Rome to see Roman antiquity or even Greece to see Greek ruins and goddess sites. I have a Greek temple to the Goddess Venus or Aphrodite only an hour form me under the beautiful cathedral in Ancona.  As for Madonnas if I look out my window to the left, in the valley there is the church of La Madonna della Rosa. In this church there is a fountain fed by a spring, where pilgrims have come since the 1600‘s for the healing properties of the water.  One hour south of Ostra is the Black Madonna of Loreto. Every time I go to Loreto my experience of this healing place and its power deepens.

I look forward to sharing this exclusive, personal and private

Retreat with 4 women as guests in my home in Ostra.  

The emphasis of this retreat is not luxury accommodation with a pool, spa and perfectly pressed white linen. You will all receive personal individual attention from the time I pick you up, until we part.  I cook for you, drive you everywhere and create a space where together we care for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. I am holding you in a quantum healing dance. From this place you are able to weave your story through the dance and what transpires in-between.  The dance is about the inner work and it will be deep intense work. In the depth there are always moments of joy.  Our visits to the Madonnas will be about reflecting on the feminine story in ourselves then taking this back to the dance.  Every moment spent together no matter what we do is the dance.  Things will keep evolving all the time. This workshop is a total emersion into the divine intention of what is created between each of us.

My personal story is much entwined in symbols of the feminine, as they hold great meaning to me. I have now spent 4 years surrounded by Madonnas, they are a part of kit of power tools. They mean many things to many people. I respect that they are a part of the Christian faith, but I and many others like me see the Madonna as much more than that and we must not forget  Magdalena.  Women today are going deeper and deeper into their beings, we are looking for truth, wholeness and the essence of who we are. We are remembering who we are. We are finding ways to live in this world, as marvelous as it is, it is swiftly moving towards such great happenings and we must be ready. As grateful as I am to wake up each morning and bless the day, as appreciative I am to be surrounded by the most amazing women, our Terra Madre is becoming more and more contaminated with violent acts towards the earth and its people, in all aspects of human existence. 

During this week spent together, we can take in what we see and experience to explore it through the dance. Whichever  of the modalities you chose that are on offer, we will set an intention to be a part of the great feminine healing force that is quietly and powerfully doing its work. 

I invite whomever wishes to explore your sacred and divine self through dance to embark on this rich journey of the feminine, in a land steeped in herstory, to come forth and journey with me. 

The Dance

As guests in my home we will share this very personal, deep transformative experience, moving between the dance space and our daily activities. We will dance together for 3 1/2 hours a day in my studio.

I have a lot to offer and a number of streams of which one can choose to take. One may choose either to explore an aspect of Embodied Bellydance® (EBD) or Dance Journeys for the Awakening Heart, or a combination of the two. No  matter if you are 4 women who know each other or not, this will be worked out together before your arrival so that we are ready to begin.


Do you need dance experience to attend? 

No. You only need a willingness to dance. You can come from a non-dance background or be a student, no previous experience required.

Will there be choreography? 

No. I will not teach choreography. If you choose to move from the Dance Journeys for the Awakening Heart the focus will be on dancing freely to express your feelings, sensation and thoughts.  If you choose Embodied Bellydance® the focus will be to create a framework of learning and applying techniques of moving the body. This will then lead into improvisation in the Genre of Egyptian dance as a baser for your preferred dance style. 

Can you be a group of professional/teacher dancers, wanting to deepen the dance practice? 

Yes.  Together we can choose a theme of daily practices of what you need as a group and individually. 

If we are professional dance teacher will this count towards further training.

Yes. At the end of the week you will receive a certificate of attendance stating the time, date and place. This will qualify towards hours required to begin to train to be a teacher of Embodied Bellydance®.

Can the group be made up of professional /teacher and non professional participants? 

Yes.  It can be used as a learning tool for the teacher and create a richer learning field? 

Will there be a 1 on 1 sessions for each person?  

Yes. It is included in the package. The 1 on 1 sessions will be individually tailored to suit your needs and wishes and can also include body work. You will be given a recording and some follow up notes of your private session. It will give you a chance to fully consolidate aspects of your dance or your self inquiry.

With only 4 of you in the group a very deep and personal space will evolve where each persons needs can be met.

Madonnas & Goddesses

There are 100’s upon 100’s of Madonnas in my area alone. If that’s all we did in 1 week, I am sure we wound not be able to visit them all. The ones that I have chosen have touched me in some way. They have and still do offer some kind of healing experience. These include, Madonna della Rosa in Ostra, that I have already talked about. The Black Madonna di Loreto who gives refuge to all races and is the link between, pre Christian faiths, the goddess and now.  The Sanctuary of la Madonna di Frasassi set high up a rock face in a cave that was once the home of Benedictine nuns. Santa Maria Appare of Ostra, the Madonna who appeared to a shepherd in the 1500’s and said that if a church was built at the site of her appearance the inhabitants of Ostra would not be afflicted by the black plague that was rampant in Italy at the time.  Along with the Madonnas we must include Santa Maria Maddelena of Senigallia. The story goes that some of the remains of Maddelena were take to Senigallia from Provence in France. At that timed, attracted many pilgrims. I personally have a great love and affinity with Maria Maddelena. 

As often happens with many ancient sites, the Temple of Venus (Aphrodite) is under the Cathedral of Ancona, there is not much that remains, but we will visit the Museum of Ancona where they have recreated a model of the Temple.  We will visit a very powerful goddess site where all that remains is a fountain and washing well. This pre-celtic goddess site is where 100 of clay vulvers were found. The fountain is in a small picturesque town called Montefortino of Archevia. 

Culture – Food & Wine

Breakfast at home could be anything from a smoothie, ground seed, yogurt and fruit, eggs or whatever you desire to kick start your day. You are invited to join me in preparing home meals. I am a passionate cook who generally improvises, so come ready with a pen a paper to write down recipes. I believe in ‘food as medicine”. I use locally grown and organic products, a lot of seeds, nuts and vegetables in my cooking. I am certain you will go home with new recipes and perhaps new ways of thinking about food. The theme will be incorporating Italian flavors with contemporary healthy eating ideas. I am not a vegetarian or vegan but I often prepared food based on both. I tend to avoid sugar, wheat and gluten. However I am happy to cater to your special needs and desires. We will dine out a number of times in a variety of places typical to this area, where some locals may join us for the meal and a chat. One day will be spent with Marco Candi a Somilier and olive oil producer of Marco Way Tours.   He will take us on a journey into the heartland of the local Cheeses, wines, honey, and olive oil producers, tastings along the way.  One evening you will be guests in the home of Michele Ugolini (our local Master Chef) and his family. He will prepare an exquisite meal for you mixing modern and traditional Italian cuisine.

My home is an old large apartment on the second level in the centre of the Ostra.  It is next to the main piazza with a beautiful view of the patchwork hills and near by towns dotted over the hill tops. You will share a room with one of the other guests. Every day the rooms will be cleaned; beds made, towel changed, sheets changed when needed, cloths washed and ironed on request. There is one shared bathroom and we have WiFi. 


Ostra is situated at the foot hills of the Apennine Mountains, 15 minutes inland from the sea side resort of Senigallia on the Adriatic. It has 6800 inhabitants. Originally built by the Romans and was called Monte Bodio. It was later destroyed by the barbarians, it was rebuild  in Medieval times and renamed Ostra. 

It is a well kept town with much character and charm. You will enjoy exploring the cobble stone streets and alleys and to be taken on a tour by the local tourist officer of the beautiful Teatro La Vittoria and a few other places if time permits.

Getting to Ostra 

From Rome: Take train from Roma Termini to the town of Jesi or fly direct from the Rome airport to Ancona Airport.

From Milano: Take train from Terminal 1 or 2.  Milano Central to the city of Senigallia.

From Bologna Airport: Take train from Bologna Centrala to the city of Senigallia

We will pick you up.

Cost      (All fees are in euro to be determined per person )

Retreat in Ostra

7 nights & 8 days  

Includes everything except, meals at restaurants.

Restaurant meal average between €20 – €50 

(does not include airfare from original destination to major airport and travel to and from the nearest train station or Airport)

The retreat only runs if there are 4 participants.  

Booking & Making Payment

Make a deposit is €450 to secure your place.  

If 4 people in total do not book your money will be refunded to you in full. 

Australians please pay by DIRECT DEBIT


Add on Extra Possibilities:

Trip to Assisi

I love Assisi. Although San Francesco and Santa Chiara are not a Madonna or a Goddesses they both touch my heart deeply. I have been there many times, so I felt that if you wanted to extend your visit, I could share my love of Assisi with you. We will stay at St Anthony’s Guest house in the centre of Assisi. A day will be spent with a good friend of mine Nadia Cibruscola. She is a local and leads specialised and personalised tours of the significant places of Assisi. 

2 nights in Assisi (cost based on 4 people to be determined per person)

  • Includes 2 night accommodation with Breakfast in Assisi, 
  • Extra night and breakfast in Ostra, 
  • Travel to and from Assisi back to Ostra. 
  • Private tour with Nadia Cibruscolo
  • Does not include meals, snack and drinks and entry fees to churches and venues.

The Assisi trip can run with less people but the cost will increase. 

Four women who together would like to participate in this Feminine, Transformative Journey please come together and chose your own dates.

The Madonna’s Goddesses Sacred Dance & Culture Retreat runs anytime of the year.  Best times are Spring and Autumn. 

SensingFeelingDancing the Chakras

SensingFeelingDancing the Chakras

6 Inner Trance Ajana dance  low res 13:11:12

Sensing our way through the Chakras, we acknowledge our deep & potentially transforming Feelings

Feeling where that takes us now today through Movement & Dance

Dancing the expression of what we feel & Sense

Sensing our truth in the Feeling

Feeling the need to Dance




SensingFeelingDancing the Chakras is an ongoing Dance Movement ritual that is run in eight-week cycles. It began in 2004 and was originally called Raqs Chakra. Each week one Chakra is featured begging at the Base Charka and dancing through each of the seven bodily energy centres till we reach the crown, culminating at the eighth Chakra – the Soul Centre above the head.

What Yvonne had to say

“Thank you, Maria, for providing an exquisite space in which our inner feelings, our inner life really, can be explored and expressed through dance.  I’m finding this experience tremendously purifying and healing. Each week, as another Chakra becomes enlivened and strengthened, the process has assisting me in my journey from fragmentation to wholeness.”

These dance journeys are a Dance Movement process for people who love to move, physically, spiritually, emotionally & mentally.
There is no right or wrong way, just your way.
The space is held for you to explore your inner dancer.
Come & journey the many aspects of each Chakra either over an 8-week cycle, or one day or a three-hour workshop.

I work with guided meditation, Imagery and music. as a vehicle to align to each of the 7 Chakras, the central channel and the Left and the Right channels. Bringing into focus aspects that my draw out your personal inner dance that can then be explored through your outer dance. Using Somatization, Movement, Dance, Sounding, Drawing, Writing & Authentic Movement as a vehicle for you exploration.

It is your choice how deeply you journey; whatever that choice is I will support you in this journey

The Divine Dance – Trance

The Divine Dance – Trance

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJoin me in the sanctuary of dance and rhythm. Abandon yourself to an ecstatic trance state to bring harmony to your inner life.

Listen to your breath; hear the pulse of your heart as it pumps billions of blood cells through your veins. Follow the Beat of the drum.

Be guided towards Whiling as a Dervish woman; be taken as deeply into the Zaar trance state as you wish to journey. You will hear the divine and inspirational words or Rumi as you move in this sacred space.

Please wear comfortable lose clothing, perhaps something very special and flowing. Bring plenty of water and eat very little before you come.

Dance / Trance has been in my life since I was very young. You can read more about this journey and how it evolved into where I am tody in an article on my wedsite. This will also give you some information about Rumi and my love of Rumi as a poet and as the founder of the Whiling Dervishes.
I began dancing to devotional poetry in 1993. My first performance was with the late Adrian Rawlins at Mietta’s in Melbourne. We featured Rumi, Hafiz, Chandidas, and Ancient Egyptian Poetry to name a few. But Rumi is the one that touches me to my core. Perhaps it is because he was a Librans as I am and I understand his longing to unite. For a number of years now I have been a part of the Sanctuary Ensemble. This group of musician, dancers, singers have held a sacred space in churches halls and festivals locally and nationally, again featuring the words of Rumi, as poems and songs.

Embodying the Feminine Women’s Retreat, March 3 – 5 2015

Embodying the Feminine Women’s Retreat, March 3 – 5 2015

with Psychologist Denise Greenaway and Dance Movement Therapist Maria Sangiorgi

North Stradbroke Island QLD

Moon on the full : March 3, 4, 5, 2015

Freahwater swimming

Look up, my people, The dawn is breaking The world is waking To a bright new day (Kath Walker) Oodgeroo of the Noonuckle tribe, Stradbroke




Beach Yoga with Island woman, Linda Rago


DeniseShared accommodation, workshops, dinners and farewell breakfast

$950 early bird to be paid in full end Oct $1050 full price due Jan 1

Deposit now: ($450) to ensure your place

Brought to you by DeeTours ©


A Personal Dance Movement Therapy Exploration

Describe, outline and communicate, from your personal observation and response to the movement process. Link and analyse, the movement experience of at least one of the Eight Theoretical Principals of Dance Movement Therapy (1995) of Dr Marcia B. Leventhal. Reflect and evaluate the relevance and value of the principles that you have chosen in light of your movement experience, reading, from Dance Movement Therapy theory and practice.


I came to the module in a new skin. I had shed over 20 kilos. I wore my clothes with confidence. I had recreated a body structure that was familiar to me 12 years ago. My limbs moved in a way that I had forgotten. My bones were the same bones but the joints now again, have the space to bend and fold as they did before. There was no longer this feeling of great effort and restrictions that had placed an enormous strain on my mobility. I had shed the layers of fat that had protected me but at the same time taken away my sense of whole self and confidence. As I moved through each of the experientials I found that my theme was centred very much on the issues of my identity, over eating and specifically my intestinal constipation. This became the focus of my primary movement experience, which I have linked, analysed and discussed in this paper. I am using a number of the Eight Theoretical Principals of Dance Movement Therapy (1995) of Dr Marcia B. Leventhal. I have named each principal as I relate to it and describe and give light to my experience. I have reflected and evaluated the value of my chosen principles to give meaning to my experience.


1. Constructive Rest Experiential

During the Constructive Rest experiential I felt very at home. I always find that it permits me to reinvent myself. It is a rejuvenating process that allows all of the cells in my body to arrange themselves so that I have the opportunity to be in a place of Primary Control. . (Gleb, M. J., 1994 p 44)“ Primary Control is a dynamic ever-changing relationship that functions all the time, for better or worse in every position. Yet some positions of the body are obviously better than others in terms of both their practical efficiency and their effect on functioning.” I can be totally present in my body and mind. It is like a meditation, a spiritual process. I am held in an experience that allows the natural spiralling patterns to work through me and take me where I need to go to heal and align to my “best self” to my free flowing self. From here I can also find Navel Radiation and can move through the Starfish Pattern. I used it as my support through most of the experiential. When I am conscious and in a dance/movement space my perception of Navel Radiation has become nearly second nature to me. (Cohen Bainbridge, B., 1993 P17)“Navel radiation, the second pattern, establishes the navel as a centre through which all the extremities relate individually and to each other.” From here I can find breath, bones, organs, muscles and fluids support. It is this active place of rest that allows me to know who I am and where I need to go next. Through being held by other, which was Jane and the person I was paired with, during the module, I was moved to the source of my healing. A journey that weaves the layers of my “quantum self” between the past, the present and the future. I feel that the first Theoretical principle underpins this process.

Principle One: The body, the mind and the spiritual aspects of our personalties are in constant and continual connection and integration. This three-dimensional state of our deepest essence is foundational and core to all healing and change; insight gleaned on one modality will impact or affect experience, perception and/or movement expression in each others modality.

Action follows thought. This is a spiritual experience that through this right action a divine course of events takes place that creates healing. During the process my body, mind and spirit are weaving and interacting through being held and guided with intention. My intention, Jane’s intention and the connection to the Spirit. In this active still Quantum state that is held with intention is deep healing and change takes place.


2. My Digestive System

From my Journal

My digestive system

Filling my self up

Looking for sweetness.

From child hood no sweetness, abuse mistrust. Worry responsibility.

Filling my self up with the joy of eating.

Eliminating slow to let go, afraid to let go. Hereditary.

Over weight, armouring, family pattern. Over eating family pattern.

Oral obsession Masochistic tendency

Fulfilment in life. Trust myself

The 9 sphincters of the body.


The main movement process that I have worked through and reflected upon is the Digestive system. This process began with the Endocrine Dance. Through the exploration of the Endocrine System my focus was taken into the Pancreas and belly area. The theme that began there became the prelude for the Digestive System dance and continued during and after watching the mothers and babies DVDs. During the Endocrine dance I went into my food issues, the over eating, the taking in and the letting go. Taking in too much and not letting go. Taking in so much that it becomes difficult to eliminate it all. I played with the connection and support that each gland gave to the other, always being mindful of the connection between the glands and the chakras.

The digestive system experiential took me to a deep place. It deepened the eating issues that I had begun to experience in the Endocrine Dance. Taking in, letting go, anger, rage, sweetness, happiness, sadness, watching the journey through each section of the digestive tract as it passed through each sphincter and made its way along the elaborate path from beginning to end.

Taking in through the mouth and swallowing.

I reflected on how much I have swallowed and taken in on the physical and emotional levels. The speed at which I still eat, as if I am being chased and as if it is all going to disappear. The emotional feeling of eating, depending on what, how and when. If I feel guilty about eating, I become tense in the stomach and I want to get it over and done with as soon as possible so that I can move on or move away from the food. The half chewed half digested food reaches the stomach that is tense. That tension is debilitating.

My stomach feels so much.

I danced my stomach. I left my body weight behind but I still carry the anxiety, feelings and challenges. My stomach churns the food and breaks it down and sends it on its way through the rest of the process. I tried to see it, to watch it move through each sphincter through each process.

3. Mother and Babies

From a vulnerable place I watched the mothers and babies DVD that Elizabeth Laughlin has show us as part of the module. I felt the collective experience of the group as they watched too. I began to identify with the mother’s internal anger and rage. As a young mother I had experience depression whilst begin pregnant alone with my second child. I did not parent well at that time. The trauma that I was experiencing at that time awoke in me the memory of being sexual abused as a very young child that had lain dormant until then.

(Pert, 1997, p 273) “When emotions are expressed – which is to say that the biochemical’s that are the substrate of emotion are flowing freely – all systems are united and make whole. When emotions are repressed, denied not allowed to be what they maybe, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital fell-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behaviour. This is the state of unhealed feeling we want so desperately to escape from . . . .”

I used pot to escape from my pain and felt so alone and unsupported except for my sister, it did not even occur to me to look for professional assistance. Although the Mothers and babies part of the module won’t be written about in this paper, I feel that it needed to be mentioned. It had an enormous affect on me for the duration of the module and I am still processing it now. It is also entwined with the process of my digestive system and all that is being analysed in this paper.

4. My healing dance

What is this dance? What is my new dance and the lightness that I feel?

At a later time I decided to dance my digestive system again. I began in my mouth. Dancing on my soft tongue, exploring the sponginess of it and its mobility and rolling action. I danced the sides of my mouth my gums and I played my teeth like instruments. I gave attention to the time that it takes to chew my food and to feel all the sensations.

Later on when I ate I observed that I had a strong feeling in my mouth of where the food went as I chewed. I observed that if I was not contemplative or mindful I would feel anxiety in my intestine. This gave me a new perspective: it was definitely my intestine and not my stomach that felt the anxiety. I had previously placed a lot of focus on my stomach did not notice my intestine, particularly the small intestine.

As I moved down and through the esophageus I felt ok. It was pretty straightforward. I had a sense of my vocal cords, my pericardium and heart. As I passed by these vital organs I noticed that I was not far away from the emotional, physical, or spiritual state that they were in. These states can be determined by the way that food is digested or situations are digested. When I arrived at my stomach I had to be very clear about opening the door, I did not walk in, I fell in. I began to walk around combing all the filaments, feeling the spongy fluidity of it. Feeling the lining of the stomach, knowing how sensitive it is and that if I eat the wrong food it becomes aggravated. Then I lay down and went into my feelings. I began to weep very deeply; I have had to stomach so much. The times that I have eaten so much and thought to myself how does my stomach handle this? How can I fit any more in? And the parallel in my life experience, how much pain I stomached and how much hurt I have taken in. I stayed there for quite a while and found myself tapping a rhythm on the floor with my hand. I then felt that I needed to dance my stomach to music. I was very clear that I wanted to dance to two particular pieces of music. During the first piece I noticed a pool of tears on the floor. I danced around the tears then rubbed them into the floor. My dance was light, flowing, expansive and lyrical. In the second piece I danced with a silk veil I put over my head and it hung over my whole body and became the lining of my stomach. I pressed into it and turned under it and let it fall and mould itself around my movements. I felt that I could not continue the rest of my journey through my digestive system. The body, mind, and spirit knowing that we could go no further at this point. (Levanthal, M., 1992 p 5) “Dance Movement Therapy works on two tracks simultaneously: 1. The movement – Release and body-self re-education, and 2. The dance – unfolding and creating a new resonation field in which an emerging, larger concept of self may be expressed, realized and gently held”

5. The Intestine dance

In a Dyad the next day I went on. I walked up and down the ascending and descending colon. I walked across and in and out of my small intestine. The Duodenum and the Jejunum. It is a long long journey I thought. But once I got to the first anal sphincter I could not go any further and that is how it is in real life. It often happens that my faeces stop there I can’t let it out, I unconsciously hold onto it as if I want to control it.

I also found my liver and I needed to spend a lot of time there. I walked on it and squeezed it and tapped it and rolled over it. I wanted to squeeze it out. I felt the anger. The words “I feel livered” were coming into my head. I know that my liver has had a lot of stress put on to it but it is actually quite ok at the moment. I feel that whatever is happening around the anal area is very important and significant and when I can dance my way through and out something profound will happen.

Re evaluating now the experiences I can see strong links to Principles Five and Six

6. Principle Five: Becoming aware of maladaptive patterns.

In re-learning how to move expressively we are able to expand as well as become aware of maladaptive patterns

A crushed spirit – feeling ¨unseen, misunderstood and rejected.

By expressing myself through movement I expanded my awareness of how I maladapted I have been, how I established a compensatory mechanism of functioning. How I compensate for the lack of care and affection by stuffing my belly with food to fill up the emptiness of the essential real food missing: love, validation and support.

I became aware of how compressed I was by my family and the foreign culture that I was brought into. These two forces, the family and the outside culture both saying, “who are you, you don’t fit in, you can’t be yourself”. I had to stomach, in a redneck country town being bullied, teased and shamed. Being the first child and the only one who spoke English in the family, I had to take on responsibilities that were beyond my capacity and age. This created tension in my belly that I was not aware of.

My authentic self has always felt rejected by my parents and the world I inhabit. This caused an eternal anger, rebellion, irritation, volcanic explosions and a lot of defensiveness. (Leventhal. 1995 M., p2) In order to survive, we adapt – a form of change, psychological, creative, emotional, physical and spiritual. Even in rebellion against an authority, or various dogma, we wish to please to be recognized, supported. Eventually usually at the cost of feeling real joy, real, satisfaction, real love, we have a loosely constituted persona or “self”, which is accepted to our perceived outside world . . .” Like the last part of my intestines I’ve been saying inside: “no I won’t do what you want”, “I won’t be vulnerable”,” I won’t go where you want me to”. “I won’t shit I will hold on.” From a Reichian point of view, Constipation = compression. My internal movement has been severely compressed and the expression of my real self in outside world has been limited. If I am compressed, the soft tissue is compressed and all the digestive and secretive organs. I don’t move for what I want, I resist to outside pressure. There is a lack of free movement that from my core self towards what satisfies me. I don’t let all the motility develop; a lot of energy is trapped inside and not released. This experience of my blocked movements not only affects my bodily functions, my excretions but also my thinking process, how I think about myself and the way that I think about others. For instance, even if I have an understanding of the eight principles and have the perceptions and the sensations, I hold on and keep them inside, they are in my body, but the brain has not found the words to express the meaning.

Motion – Slow       Energy – Limited       Emotion – Suppressed

7. Principle Two

This movement pattern gave me insight about Principle Two: Our expressive and functional movement do express aspects of our personality, our collective unconscious and our own personal development history; thus by letting the body work through and find themes, – traumas, patterns, and blocks can be accessed and healed (Freud, Reich, Kesternberg)

The way I move reflects the history of my development. The work consists of letting my body find and access the blocks and the traumas through movement. I had a lot of outside pressure on me, It was such a heavy weight.

In Reichian understanding; you crumble or you compress under pressure. There is a thickening of the neck muscles and a shortening of the waist, I wanted to express myself but the outside pressure over weighted me. Because I couldn’t break through, I went back in, I held it inside and I couldn’t mover freely. I had to resist or I would be crushed, so I spent my life resisting, instead of pushing forward. So if someone provokes me then I bring my energy out, I get angry when someone insults me offends me and puts me down. I am so used to react if I was able to and not to act. I don’t take my own initiative to move, a lot of my movement is outer directed not inner directed. I feel like I am the victim. I feel that if I fully move and express myself, I will be on my own with no acceptance, no love, no mother. I lived with the unconscious assumption:

submission = love             freedom = no love.

8. Expanding and Re-establishing contact

Principle Six: Re-learning to move expressively helps us re-establish contact with out inner most being or essence causing an integration of our personality at the deepest level.

I explored this principle experientially in another dyad.

I lay on a bed lifting my legs up and down in a running motion and letting them drop relatively hard into the bed. This action lasted about 5 minutes and made me tired and angry. I felt like I was running up a hill, I could not see the end or the goal and I gave up. That is the story of my life it gets too much and I give up. That is the same body story, I don’t reach the end of the digestive system all the movement stops at the last door. I then did it again but much more slowly whilst I dropped my legs there was much more strength and force. This made me angry and emotional. Angry at all the time that I started things and then became self defeated or let myself be defeated by others. I also expressed anger towards a person that had taken something very big away from me a long time ago that was really important to me, I let myself hit at her with my legs and feet and wanted to hit her chest so that she could feel what she had done. I knew my part in this, in that I gave up and gave it away; I had also given up on expressing the anger that I felt about what had happened. I began to use my voice but my voice was not loud and clear it was a muffled. I did allow it to be loud for a moment but then I felt I had to stop, I could not go on, I could not let it all out.

Evaluating this experience it is clear to me that I am still not allowing my potential to be what it is and also prevent the feelings of rightly directed anger to come out all the way, the same way that happens when I defecate. I incorporated the tension that I felt as a child and it deposited itself around the anal sphincter. The girl that has been compressed and repressed, the child that was running wild and free had to be stopped. I could not let go and release, I could not let the peristaltic wave finish its natural course. The masochist holding of squeezing inside causes bloating and weakens the peristaltic movement.

“The dominant, self-sacrificing mother literally smothers the child, who is made to feel extremely guilty for any attempt to declare his freedom or assert a negative attitude.” (Lowen, 1975, p. 166)


My attempt through this essay is to analyse and make sense of an issue that has plagued me for many years, over eating and chronic constipation. What I have discovered through my own healing dance and movement, done predominantly through dyading, has been mind and soul opening for me. Experiencing and observing at a deeper level the movement process has helped me enormously. I was able to integrate and bring into consciousness how I move inside and outside in the world (Principle Four). It has made me aware of certain masochistic traits of my personality, of unconscious attitudes, but mostly it has given me insight in to the potential of my being and of where I need to expand personally and as a dance movement therapist.


I moved my body in an expressive, feeling, guided and spontaneous way. Following my Digestive track as a metaphor for my life


I gained a new momentum. I expanded my movement range and increased my level of energy.


I felt the emotional response to my movement and danced with, through and towards my feelings. I experienced a number of emotional releases and conscious realisations.




  1. Gleb, M. J., (1994) Body Learning, An introduction to Alexander Technique, Part 2 The Operational Ideas, Primary Control, p 44


  1. Cohen Bainbridge, B., (1993) Sensing, Feeling and Action, The Experientieal Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering. Developmental Patterns, p17


  1. Pert, C., (1997) Molecules of Emotion: why you feel the way you feel. Scribner, Chapter12 Healing and feeling. p 273 & 274.


  1. Leventhal, M., 1992 ‘Knowing and Beyond: Out of the Fragmentation and into the Wholeness, Notes on the Dance Event as a Catalyst for Change and Healing’, in Dance in a Changing World JABADAO, Leeds England, p 5
  2. Levanthal, M., 1992 p 2


  1. Reich, W., (1950) Character Analysis.


  1. Lowen, A., (1975) Bioenergetics: The revolutionary therapy that uses the language of the body to heal the problems of the mind, Chapter 5, Pleasure; A Primary Orientation, p 166