A Few Responses from the Feldenkrais/Luigi Dance Workshop 
at the New York Annual Feldenkrais Conference, February 2012


Dear Donna;

​Thank you so much for inviting me to the Feldenkrais/Luigi workshop two weeks ago.  It was a great class, and I'm still remembering the fun and useful aspects about it.  It was a perfect melding of Moshe and Luigi, and you're the perfect person to teach it.

One thing I particularly like about the Moshe/Luigi workshop was the work we did sitting in a chair.  It was excellent preparation; by sitting and getting the movements in our minds and bodies before standing, we could concentrate on these movements first.  Then, we put it together and suddenly - look at us! - we're dancing.  Thank you.


In your Feldenkrais classes I've learned, or relearned perhaps, how to move in a simple and "mindful" way.  As I've told you before, I live with fewer aches and pains now, at over 50 years of age, than I have since my teenage years.  I'm still athletic, too, running, swimming and surfing.  So I really appreciate these new methods.  And I enjoy the chance to dance with a Luigi expert, too.


Let me know when you offer another class or workshop.  I'm ready to sign up.  


Thanks a lot,
Juan Martinez


Good morning Donna!

Many, many thanks for your invitation to participate to the above wonderful two hours last Saturday,  February 11th at the Studio. I was very much  impressed, not surprised, with your teaching "by example" and I have reason to believe that everyone felt the same way. You inspired me to be at another level with dancing, exercising and learning to feel and understand my body. At a certain moment I felt that I could be a dancer! What a wonderful feeling! Wish I could have your posture and be as supple and elegant like you.


You are THE BEST!
Liliane Petit

Hi Donna;

Thank you for the exciting and energizing Feldenkrais workshop you conducted. You always manage to teach some things I have never heard before, like, the importance of physical body movements as related to depression. That body movement can actually initiate healing of emotions, like depression,is encouraging to me. In the workshop, you also spoke of each of us being our own universe. You speak of that universe in ways that improve my self-esteem. Your words make me feel important, unique from others and encourages me to like myself more. The depth of your knowledge of The Feldenkrais Method is evident, as you taught many different movements in the workshop and answered questions from the class with confidence and ease. Feldenkrais, to me, is the most challenging exercise I have ever experienced. Because of that, I feel(know) that it takes someone like you, Donna, to teach the workshop so effectively. Among other things, in the workshop, you carefully guided all the students individually, offering helpful 'tweaks'. I took away with me, from participation in your workshop, a feeling of joy and well-being. I hope you will offer another workshop soon, as the 2 hour format is excellent (as are you). Thanks again for teaching Feldenkrais Method with such energy, enthusiasm and care. ​


Leslie Bernstein

Here are Workshop Package examples geared towards people

of all walks of life.  Workshops are custom-made according to the

requests and needs of the clients/students or event.


    For Info & Appointments:
          ph: 646-267-3865  ​
      or  212-496-9339
  Email: dg@bodymindfreedom.org


The Luigi/Feldenkrais Dance Movement Class and/or Workshop


AS A CLASS :
​1. The first Luigi jazz technique warm-up exercise is conducted like an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson, exploring the movements safely while standing, sitting – perhaps even doing a few of the moves lying down. This may or may not be done with meditative music.
​ 2. Then the warm-up is done to the Luigi Jazz Dance music.
Students then get to experience the beneficial effects of what they've done: a.) How it frees them up; b.) How they are more balanced, coordinated and exhilarated from moving thru space to jazzy music – esp. those who inhibit themselves from dancing because they feel they are clumsy and have “two left feet”. As in a Feldenkrais ATM, they “float” out of the room feeling more confident. Participants will have fun and get a lot of insight about using the Feldenkrais Method in ways other than ATM. Whenever I have taught this, people have been amazed at how light and free they feel, and how well they can move through space.

 AS A WORKSHOP: More than just the first exercise of the Luigi Jazz Dance Technique is explored and "danced" and a fun dance combination completes the experience.


​  ​​​ Body Mind Freedom

"The more comfortable we are in our bodies,

the more comfortably we move through life."

– Donna Gianell


Examples of Past 1-Day Workshops in the Feldenkrais Method 


​“The system develop by Moshe Feldenkrais … has as much potential for understanding
the mind/body relationship as Einstein’s general theory of relativity had for physics.”  
​– Bernard Lake, MD


 The “organic” movements explored in these workshops are designed to improve:


Coordination      Core Strength


Balance      Flexibility


Better Absorption of Nutrients into the Bones

Relaxation & Youthing of the Body



 “This is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the 

prevention of deterioration of function.” – Margaret Mead


Workshop #1:  Common Sense Survival Movements 

Gain better balance, strength & coordination. How? By coordinating big (extrinsic) and little (intrinsic) muscles to move efficiently through small & slow movements. This will enable correct communication between these muscles, thus gaining more strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance. It can also allow overly tight muscles to “let go” and not become fatigued. The less tense and rigid your body is, the quicker it can respond/react more quickly in times of need. That’s one of the reasons why Tai-Chi is considered a martial art.  Movements that aid absorption of nutrients into the bones will also be done.


Workshop #2:

Common Sense Survival Abilities & Movements, Part 2: The Voice

If you find yourself in a situation where a good resounding yell of “Help!” or a good resounding scream could change everything, do you have the ability to do that? Can you coordinate your abdominal muscles with the vocal chords to make it so that the world knows you are there, especially in emergency or life-threatening situations?


Workshop #3: The “Eyes” Have It

How much do we “exercise” -- not strain – but exercise our eyes? Your eyes affect balance, body posture, and your judgments in how you move. They can also cause stress and tension in the body when overused, misused or limited use. Here you will learn movements and relaxation techniques to help strengthen and improve the range of your eyes and eyesight abilities. 


Workshop #4: Strengthening Pelvic/Hip Joints & Sockets

These movement exercises strengthen the muscles that hold and carry you, and improves your overall posture. This makes for easier walking, running, and standing for a long time because it strengthens the ability to stay on top of the hip sockets and not cause wear and tear in them. It is also an excellent preventative for osteoarthritis in the pelvic & hip areas. 


“Feldenkrais was one of the first neuroplasticians.” – Norman Doidge, MD; “The Brain’s Way of Healing; Remarkable Discoveries & Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity”


“I have long been intrigued with this subtle form of re-training the nervous system, which I currently recommend to patients whose movements have been restricted by injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain.”Dr. Andrew Weil






1 to 4-DAY WORKSHOP SUGGESTIONS


You can design combinations of workshops to fit the needs and times of the type of audience you want to attract. Ex: During the work week, workshops can be done before or after work, even lunchtime; morning or day workshops for dancers/active people according to schedules. On weekends more workshops can be scheduled.



1. *Feldenkrais Method of Movement Awareness & Therapy

   (Includes a lesson to Stimulate 3 Systems Vital to Health: Respiratory, Blood,

    Lymphatic/Thymus)


2. *“Change Your Age – Movement Explorations & Therapy to Promote You by

    Rejuvenating, Regenerating, and Repairing Your Body no matter what your age is. 


3. *Active Sitting Lessons for People Working on Computers & other Sit-down jobs 

    & Active Sitting Lessons while on Planes, Buses, Cars, etc.*


4. *Understanding and Improving Posture: Lengthening the Spine Through Rotation

 

5.  For Equestrians: Improve Posture & Movement on and off the Horse


6. The Feet – A Hologram of Your Body, and Your Foundation. Your feet are the first

    thing to set how you take a stand in life, to differentiate the surfaces you are walking

    on. The alignment of toes to ankles to knees to hips are your foundation. These

    lessons have helped people with knee, ankle, hip and balance problems. You will

    learn how to pump your lymphatic system and massage the organs and parts of

    your body via the feet. Even students with neuropathy have reported improvement.


7.  *Dance as a Therapy – Physically, Mentally and Spiritually. No competition,

     no judgments. Free your body, mind and spirit in movement.


8. *Intensive for Dancers for Balance and Lengthening, Strengthening Muscles

    Warm-up/pressure up exercises to do before class, rehearsal or audition for better

    extensions in second, arabesques and attitudes, and rotation in the hip socket.


9. *The Luigi Jazz Dance Technique Intensive for Dancers


10. **Argentine Tango Technique & Steps for Dancers  

        

11. **Social Dance Tango for Everybody** – Learn how to listen to your partner and

        dance together socially and comfortably to the exciting & romantic sounds

        of Tango music. 


12.   Movement as a Meditation– Focusing on Relaxation and De-Stressing Techniques for             all types & ages from all lines of work. 


* The 5th Day is set for a Review of the other days and a Celebration

** A Social Dance Evening on the 5th Day