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“Emotions are physiological cascades that want to complete their cycles, and they will complete those cycles when you allow them to; they want to be travelers, not residents.” Emily Nagoski

Encounter is an exhilarating postmodern remix of the 60’s Encounter group, explored within Open Floor movement practice. It evolves out of Gestalt Awareness Practice, psychodrama, and somatic psychotherapy, midwifed by Open Floor Founder Andrea Juhan, who began to formulate this work in 1992.

Encounter is a carefully structured and mindful ritual, a powerful compassion practice embedded in embodied movement. Group members are supported in connecting with, expressing and embracing whatever emerges in the process.

All participants are actively engaged in the unfolding wholeness of the process. The powerful moments of meeting constantly shift the direction of the group interaction. Regardless of what is encountered, the clarity of the structure invites inclusion, which enriches and challenges the group body.

Open Floor Encounter is offered in a variety of formats, including:

Encounter Fundamentals: an introduction workshop. This can be a week long, a weekend, or a series of one-day workshops.

Unfolding Encounters: a series of workshops, taking place over time, with the same group members.

On-going Encounter Groups: these groups are designed to focus more deeply on the interactions the group members have with each other over time. Called Undercurrents with Andrea, they meet for five modules, each lasting 4–6 days, over 2.5 years

  • Movers investigate underlying personal and interpersonal issues that arise spontaneously on the dance floor and in the group.
  • One person at a time initiates an Encounter when they come onto the Floor and move with whatever is calling their attention. Other dancers are invited to support this mover by mirroring them.
  • We expand our experience of ourselves when mirrored by others. This ability to witness each other, as well as oneself, is an essential part of Encounter.
  • We practice dancing the Core Movement Resources to encourage pathways of new possibility.
  • We take time to creatively integrate and settle the process through dancing and moving.

Encounter workshops are for those who:

  • are interested in exploring and moving beyond habitual patterns and protective defenses in the relational field
  • are curious to challenge long-held beliefs and assumptions they have about themselves and others
  • are keen to understand their impact on others
  • want to learn embodied skills for connecting with and expressing powerful feelings and experiences within a group setting
  • are looking for a profound opportunity to know themselves and be known, to learn to stand in intensity and make clear choices, both individually and collectively
  • are fascinated and willing to meet what arises through conscious dance.

Encounter Fundamentals workshops are open to dancers with at least 12 hours of Open Floor Movement Practice. Other Encounter workshop series and on-going groups may require different prerequisites. Please check the calendar event for more information.

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