Sian Palmer

EM Bio          ExpMovement-27

I grew up in Johannesburg and found myself in choreographed dance classes from age 3. Dancing quickly became an integral part of my life and I committed the majority of my spare time to rehearsing and perfecting my technique as a contemporary and modern dancer.

Over time, technical dance became quite a mixed bag for me. It assisted me in developing a sense of mastery and helped me develop my relationship to my physical structure and form – learning how to isolate muscles, position my body correctly and sense the relationship between my body parts. On the other hand it assisted my drive to control my body and my seeking for perfection.

My relationship with dance shifted dramatically when, in 2007, I embarked on my journey to the UK to study my Masters in Drama and Movement Therapy (Sesame). Finding my way onto a dancefloor that encouraged spontaneous expression was, I can safely say, the most liberating experience of my life. While it was uncomfortable and anxiety provoking to begin with, I slowly learned to trust my body, to soften into it, and to let the movement happen. What a thing to be danced!

I danced the 5Rhythms as much as I possibly could, studied Laban movement analysis within my MA and discovered Movement Medicine, which has formed part of my own personal development since then.

I returned home to Johannesburg at the start of 2009 after completing my MA. Although grateful to be home, I yearned to continue the practice that connected me with my own vitality, and on realizing that there was little happening in the field of movement meditation here in Joburg, I started up my own form, Expressive Movement, in May 2009 and have been holding dance spaces ever since.

The dance has been my biggest teacher and most practical tool. It facilitates the healing and development of the relationship to one’s body; developing trust in body wisdom as a means of moving towards a more authentic and healthy connection to oneself, one another and all of life.

I hope that this practice offers you something of what I have discovered and more!