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The Somatic Roots

of Creativity

A Movement-based Mentorship Program
With Lani Weissbach, MFA, RSME/T, E-RYT 500
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The Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective is excited to offer a new, short-term mentorship program for people in such fields as dance/theater/music performance, visual arts, therapy, education, and social justice who are interested in cultivating creativity through experiential, embodied practice. Using a discovery model of learning, Lani will facilitate a variety of somatic (body-based) practices that will then serve as a springboard for simple movement composition experiments in solos, duets and small groups. Other artistic disciplines, including visual art, writing, spoken word, etc. will also be integrated into the curriculum. Each of the four workshops will have a distinct theme and can be taken as stand alone workshops.  However, a deeper understanding of how to work somatically and the benefits of this approach will build upon itself with each session, so participation in the entire program is encouraged.  By the end of the program, the participants will have created several short movement-based "vignettes" around each unique weekly theme, and a select number of these vignettes will then be presented in a final, informal showing for the public.  

The informal showing is an important aspect of this educational program and is an alternative to more traditional approaches to dance performance.  Through a lecture-demonstration format designed to be a dynamic, shared experience, viewers will learn about some of the ideas, structures and processes that the movers explored throughout the workshops. Rather than being passive spectators, viewers will be invited into the act of seeing in new ways and may even be given opportunities to participate. Ultimately, the showing is an opportunity for participants to deepen their experience with the material and to ignite new curiosities, insights and understanding for movers and viewers alike.

What is the purpose of this program?

IMAC is strongly committed to supporting people who are interested in developing both individual and collective creativity to further the growth and well-being of our community. As such, we are seeking participants who have a desire to learn through the body and to take this knowledge into their lives/professions in a meaningful way. We encourage people of all walks of life and levels of movement experience to join us - whether you have little to no dance experience or a decades-long career in the field, we meet ourselves fresh and open to learning and growing together.  Among its many benefits, this mentorship program will guide participants to:

  • Discover the authentic and expressive self through the moving body​

  • Build empathy by moving with and observing other nonjudgmentally

  • Expand one's movement palette and abilities

  • Develop the ability to give thoughtful and meaningful feedback

  • Challenge and re-pattern unhelpful beliefs and ingrained habits

  • Develop our multiple intelligences, with emphasis on somatic/kinesthetic intelligence (awareness of the body from within)

  • Cultivate a sensitive and alive interplay between self, other and the environment

  • Build fluency with movement-based improvisation as a medium for creativity, connection and collaboration

  • Learn to use the fundamentals of dance/movement composition to co-create simple yet compelling movement compositions

  • Spark fresh and innovative ways of being in one's body, with others and the world

  • Grow self-confidence and self-worth

  • Discover ways to integrate embodied practice into one's personal and professional life

The Curriculum

The first part (approximately up to the first hour of each 2-hour session) will focus on growing a somatic body of knowledge through experimentation with the weekly theme. Weekly themes will focus on a variety of ways to explore the basic building blocks of dance/movement composition - time, energy, and space. Lani will guide participants through a variety of somatic and creative processes around each theme. The second part of each session will provide participants time to work individually and/or collaboratively on short compositions for which Lani will provide simple parameters. These compositions will be shown toward the end of the two-hour period and recorded on video. (Note: these video recordings will not be shared with anyone outside the group and are for the sole purpose of reference for the informal performance and for archival purposes.) In addition, some focus on giving and receiving verbal feedback will be part of the process.  


Participants will be encouraged to download the SLACK app for group communication and sharing of resources. Slack will also serve as a forum for discussions and communication outside of the weekly sessions as well as a place to store all video.  

Is this program for me?

The short answer is, YES!  IMAC encourages people from a variety of professions/interests to participate, and formal dance or movement training or performance experience is not necessary to benefit from this program. If you are:

  • Passionate about movement

  • Interested in growing your creative and intuitive self

  • Have a curious and open mind

  • Open to working with improvisation (in-the-moment exploration) 

  • A team player

  • Comfortable or open to developing comfort with being seen in informal performance settings

  • A lover of learning and growing in community with others

We strongly encourage you to join us for this unique opportunity in Indianapolis!

Program Details

Workshop Dates and Times:

  • Sunday, May 7th from 3-5pm (SOLD OUT)

  • Sunday, May 21st from 3-5pm (SOLD OUT)

  • Sunday, June 4th from 3-5 pm (SOLD OUT)

  • Sunday, June 11th from 1-3 pm (SOLD OUT)

Informal Showing Rehearsal: Sunday, June 11th, 3:20-5 pm

Informal Showing: Monday, June 12th, 6:30-7:30 pm

Where: Indy Movement Arts Collective

Fee: $22 for each workshop ($88 for the full program of four workshops). Payments made by credit card will incur a $2 processing fee. If you would like to register and pay by cash or check, please email to make arrangements. 

Cancellation Policy: Workshops, like The Somatic Roots of Creativity, must be cancelled at least 1 week advance in order to receive a full refund. 

About the Facilitator

Lani Weissbach is IMAC's director of Embodied Learning and brings over 30 years of experience as a movement artist and educator to the Indianapolis community.  To learn more about Lani, please visit:

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