Who we are...
Erika Eichelberger trained for years in somatic, contemporary, and classical European dance forms, performing with New York-based choreographers including Noemie LaFrance, Milka Djordjevich, Sam Kim, Shen Wei, Denisa Musilova, Elizabeth Motley and Shannon Gillen. She also spent two years as a dancer-collaborator with the wonderful Deganit Shemy. She then went into political journalism, eventually focusing on the US carceral system. After struggling with health issues brought on by abandoning her body, Erika found her way back to dance—and to somatics. She graduated this year from the California Institute of Integral Studies with an MA in Psychological Studies with a focus on Somatics. She has also trained at the Tamalpa Institute in Anna Halprin’s Life/Art Process, an art-based somatic movement therapy approach.
Natalia Oncina is a multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist and somaticist who reveres and delights in all the mediums, creatures, and entities through which Life moves.
Information on her somatics practice can be found at www.waxinglightsomatics.com.
What is somatics?
The term "somatics" refers to practices that build awareness of our internal experience in order to support greater understanding of our physical or emotional selves, as well as resilience and healing. Somatic movement means movement that is initiated through internal sensation (and imagery) as opposed to movements that we generate by copying others.
The field labeled "somatics" originated in Europe and the US in the last century, but somatic practices—dance, song, music, drumming, chanting, etc.—have been a bedrock of all traditional cultures. Mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation also often contain a somatic element; body of knowing differs from these practices in its use of sensation as a driver of movement, and in the use of highly specific imagery that encourages a rich and diverse experience of the physical body. Instead of focusing on emptying the mind, we aim to fill the whole self with aliveness.