Sondra, I was just thinking about you! I am currently hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and the experiences I have had with you and your work are bearing amazing fruit!
I have basically been (over 1300 miles, so far) re-learning to walk. My spine stacked, my muscles relaxed, and - as I remember you showing me before - walking as if I was simply falling and catching myself over and over!
I would not be having such a pleasant (though VERY strenuous) hike without the kinesthetic awareness I developed through the now life long practice of somatic awareness.
So thank you!
"My somatics training is useful in everything I do here-from teaching modern dance technique to working with student actors in alignment and posture-in other words, you continue to be a big influence in my life!"
Eastwest Somatics Graduate
Faculty of Dance, Auburn University in Mississippi
"I need to find some special words for my teacher Sondra who is the soma of somatics and an exceptionally talented and original, kind and wise teacher who creates a beautiful atmosphere and whole interesting world around her. I see many benefits of somatics for myself and my students."
Argentine Tango Dancer from Russia, Tango Teacher and Bio-Chemist, originally working with the Russian Space Program.
Eastwest Somatics Graduate
"Thank you for all you did for me this summer. It was wonderful as usual."
Professor of Dance, Texas A & M University, former dancer with Cirque de Soleil.
"I especially appreciated your informed and encouraging approach and the way you easily and gently conveyed so much wisdom."
Activity Therapy, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley California
"Professor Fraleigh is one of many teachers I have studied with in the area of dance science and somatics. As an educator, somatic movement specialist, and author, Sondra outshines them all. Her workshops are infused with brilliance that cuts to the core of somatic integration.
Sondra's work is both intuitive and grounded in solid academic knowledge. She treats all individuals in class equally and with the greatest respect. Quiet yet firm, her presence is forthright and nurturing. She challenges us as students and professionals, always providing a synthesis of knowledge and hands-on techniques affecting the whole person. The work is non-invasive, subtle, and powerful.
I highly recommend Sondra Fraleigh as an educator and body-worker. She has dedicated her life to healing and teaching through somatic processes and investigation. Each year she imbues her classes with fresh eyes, ears, and information. She has subtly and powerfully changed my life, allowing me to discover the true power that lies within the human soma - the power of love, the power of touch, and the power to heal. My study over the past five years with Eastwest has enormously enriched and transformed my work as a dancer, educator, choreographer, and practitioner.
Professor Fraleigh's latest book, Dancing Identity, numerous articles, and teaching manuals, exemplify her wealth of knowledge and wonderful philological style. She generously and eloquently shares metaphysical perspectives on movement and healing arts through her writings. Sondra teaches by example in a very Zen-like manner. By this I mean, sometimes you don't even know she is teaching. Three words that come immediately to mind in describing my teacher are are: transcending, synergistic, evolving. Her hands and mind work magic."
Catherine A. Schaeffer BS, MEd, MFA, LMT
Assistant Professor of Dance
Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA
"Sondra has an impressive breadth of knowledge that only comes from years of teaching and the active mind of a student at heart. She has a unique knowledge of movement combining dance, somatics, and the Feldenkrais Method. Her incorporation of Eastern and Western philosophies is unparalleled.
She has the ability to relate to a wide range of students and manage group dynamics effectively, making each person in her class feel at ease, knowing that they have a place in the classroom.
Sondra has a nurturing style. The nature of somatic study often brings people to inner realizations about their bodies and movement patterns that spill into emotionally charged arenas. I have witnessed numerous movement and somatic epiphanies during Sondra's classes, all deftly midwifed and cared for.
When I first met Sondra Fraleigh and attended one of her workshops, I had no idea what somatics was, but as a dancer and movement teacher, I was looking for things to incorporate into my life that would help keep my aging and sometimes injured body healthy. I was awed by the simplicity of learning about our own movement awareness and the power that our bodies have to hold patterns that can affect our daily existence. Sondra's work in somatics promotes an insightful way of developing our body intuition so we can harness that power for our own uses. I was inspired to take up the study of somatics through Sondra's teaching and graduated from her program at East West Somatics, Institute for Dance and Movement Studies, as a Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator.
Sondra is a true teacher, helping students find healing from the wisdom that lies within their bodies"
Kim Sifter, SMT
Dance Arts Project, Alameda CA
Teacher, Ballet & Modern Dance, Eastwest Graduate