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New body movement classes begin at cultural hub in Roath

Cardiff MADE is hosting a new dance form course that uses imagery and imagination to work with the body

Photo by Grace Gelder

A new somatic dance course is starting at Cardiff MADE, which focuses on the power of movement to nurse the body and mind as a whole entity. 

Movement@MADE is led by somatic dance artist Zosia Jo Downmunt with an emphasis on creating a safe space where dancers can reconnect with their body and find tranquillity. 

Zosia said that, similarly to mindfulness and meditation, somatic dance uses specific imagery that can help calm anxiety, reduce tension and stress, while connecting with other dancers. 

The discovery of somatic dance changed Zosia’s life. “It saved both my mental health and my career.” she says. “I was very depressed at dance school, with low self-esteem and huge anxiety about eating, which I believe was brought about by patriarchal attitudes to female bodies that are especially prevalent in the dance world.”

Zosia explained that, unlike traditional dance classes, the way she taught was non-hierarchical; that somatic dance placed higher importance on the experience of the participant rather than on ‘getting it right’; and that there was no wrong way to move in her classes. 

Focusing simply on the body and the mind, the course welcomes everyone and can be as beneficial and enjoyable for a beginner as much as it can be for a professional dancer. 

The course is divided into classes for adults, Can Dance, and for parents with toddlers, Contakids. 

Briony Goffin, who attends the Contakids classes with her 3-year-old toddler, said that the course was particularly attractive because it was an activity for toddlers and parents. 

“I felt this could be a way of rediscovering and enjoying my body for myself. But, mainly, this course would be an opportunity for me and my eldest son to share some dedicated time together, which has been limited following the birth of my youngest son,” she said. 

Adults courses start on 7 November and parents with toddlers courses will begin on 16 November.

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