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OPDI-M27
Functional Awareness: Mindfulness Practices in Embodied Anatomy for the Dance Educator
Allegra Romita holds her foot and smiles while sitting on the floor teaching a Functional Awareness class

June 10 -  July 21, 2024

Professors: Nancy and Allegra Romita

Tuition: $310 member / $385 non-member

6 Weeks; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

Register Here

Functional Awareness® (FA) is a practical approach to dance pedagogy using anatomical imagery and reflective practices to enhance movement potential, facilitate ease in action, and improve dynamic alignment. This 6-week course curriculum is an opportunity to reinvigorate teaching practices and renew personal movement practices for self-care. This mini course utilizes engaging lectures, readings, and active movement explorations that present current research on motor learning skills for core strength, improving standing leg balance, and other dance skills.

Course learning outcomes include:
Utilizing Functional Awareness® (FA) verbal, tactile, & visual cues to enhance efficacy in action
Employing FA rubrics to assess student learning
Acquiring a language for providing feedback to students that encourage student agency.

The mini course is conducted as weekly sessions. The sessions include asynchronous webinars and optional opportunities to meet synchronously with the instructors and cohort to share insights and questions.

Each week, participants learn strategies to improve movement skills while employing tools for dancer wellness and injury prevention. The course content is appropriate for all movement populations and is applicable for all dance styles. The modules integrate practical applications in functional anatomy and somatic mindfulness practices to support inclusive learning and diverse perspectives in dance.

Book Required: 2nd edition of the Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers. Order it here

Questions about this Course?  Email opdi@ndeo.org

Past Student Testimonials

"I loved this course, I felt that I have learned more in the past six weeks then I have in the past few years of teaching. I feel more confident as an instructor, I can explain movement in more depth going into more detail with the muscles that are the primary movers."

"This class deepened my appreciation of the interrelatedness of technique and anatomical understandings of the body. I liked the open spirit of creative engagement that both professors brought to the material. There was a dialogue between moving and reflecting that I found extremely useful. I saw weekly opportunities to reframe my teaching and to apply this material to students of all ages. Amazing Course!"

"It validated things I am already doing in my technique courses/ things I am saying.... and will impact my Dancer Wellness course! I loved the visuals, and how we took time to FEEL what we were studying."

"I love how the knowledge from this course complements my previous knowledge. The materials were really presented in a way that learning was interesting and fun and easy. It made me even more interested in anatomy and Functional Awareness. I have benefited personally because it helped me with my alignment and releasing unnecessary tensions in my body and it will affect my teaching a lot."

"The course made me more aware of what I consciously or subconsciously model in my movement. It also gave me a deeper understanding of relevant anatomy and fresh imagery and cueing."

"This course was incredibly beneficial to my teaching and my own daily life. The reminder to bring awareness to our body patterning was definitely necessary and is going to prove to be extremely helpful in the classroom for students of all ages."

"Nancy and Allegra were so warm and inviting and such a wealth of knowledge combined. They made it easy to explore new ideas and always were available for additional information and conversations. I loved the layout of the course, we moved through different areas of our anatomy and then brought it all together with movement explorations."

Professor Bio
Photo of Professors Nancy Wanich-Romita and Allegra Romita

NANCY WANICH-ROMITA (MFA, RSME, M.AmSAT) keynote speaker, dance educator, somatic practitioner. Romita is Senior Lecturer at Towson University (http://www.towson.edu/dance/fac-wanich-romita.asp), director of Alexander Technique Midatlantic Teacher Training & co-founder of Functional Awareness® (www.functionalawareness.org) She is former Artistic Director of NanDance (1981-1985) and The Moving Company 91993-2003), and has choreographed over 50 professionally presented work at such venues at DTW/New York Live Arts, the 92ndStY, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center,  Her research in dance science and somatics has been presented at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, NDEO, CORPS de Ballet International, AmSAT ACGMs, Alexander Technique International Congress. She is co-author, along with Allegra Romita, of several books published by Oxford University Press. The revised edition of Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers recently released June 2023.

ALLEGRA ROMITA (MA, CMA, EdM, RYT) is co-creator of Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action®. Allegra has presented workshops and keynote speeches on the Functional Awareness approach worldwide from New York City to San Diego, from Helsinki to Hong Kong. She has presented sessions at the American College Dance Association (ACDA), the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and as a keynote speaker at the Somatics and Dance Conference. Allegra serves as the Program Administrator and Faculty for NYU Steinhardt Dance Education program. Since 2011, Allegra has been performing regionally and nationally with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and is the Artistic Visioning Partner with the collective. Allegra graduated from the University of Michigan with honors with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Movement Science. She received her MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt and EdM in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her passion for somatic investigation led her to certification (CMA) in Laban Movement Analysis through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Allegra teaches at Brooklyn Yoga Project and Heatwise Yoga in Brooklyn, NY, and co-teaches in the teacher training programs at both studios.

How Courses Work