SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT
The Open Floor movement teacher training is for experienced dancers who dream of offering others the joy and healing they have experienced on the dance floor. If you have an established conscious dance practice, experience in other embodied movement practices such as yoga, aikido, tai chi, and other somatic studies, then you may be ready to join our international community of Open Floor movement practice teachers.
This training is also geared towards people working in various professions who want to integrate embodied movement into their current work environment. This includes:
- Teachers (of children and adults)
- Those in social care and group support
- Addiction/recovery specialists
- Alternative health practitioners
- Business specialists (human resources, corporate training, etc.)
- Corporate and life coaches
- Body workers (massage therapists, osteopaths, etc.)
- Mindfulness and meditation teachers
- Professionals working/volunteering with under-served populations (teens, elders, women, homeless, etc.)
- Those in other professions which would benefit from this work
We don’t expect you to know how to teach movement or to be accomplished in all areas – that’s why you’re taking a training. We’re looking for people who already have the experience, embodiment and relational maturity to consider teaching others.
You can expect training and mentoring as you learn to:
- Design an infinite variety of movement scores using movement resources
- Tend to your dancing body so you can dance forever
- Build community on your dance floor
- Catalyze full, creative, exciting classes and events for people of all ages and abilities
- Craft provocative and exciting musical soundscapes
- Include and attend to natural emotions that arise when we dance
- Develop emotional intelligence through mindfulness and movement
- Track thoughts, stories and patterns that hold us back – and turn them into creative fuel
- Understand group dynamics and embody fluid authority
The Open Floor teacher training includes attendance at three ten-day core modules which are designed to build upon each other. You will learn the basic elements of teaching Open Floor practice in Module 1 and then add layers of dimension and more advanced skills in Modules 2 and 3. Interim assignments, reading, peer support, mentoring sessions, self-study and teaching practice will keep you connected to the learning and your fellow teachers-in-training in between modules.
Three core modules
Three core modules Residential training which includes attendance at three ten-day core modules to be taken in order over a period of 18–24 months. (These specific are subject to change in the next round of training.)
Module 1: Common Ground
Module 2: Common Sense
Module 3: Common Good
Twelve-to-fifteen hours of individual and small group sessions with a designated mentor. Your experienced mentor will support you as you develop new skills throughout the training period.
Six additional days of Open Floor study, planned with your mentor according to your skills and interests. You will find all the workshops and on-going groups that count towards elective study in our calendar.
You will be required to complete practice classes/sessions, reading and music research assignments in between each training module. Graduation as an Open Floor teacher requires completion of all modules, mentor sessions, peer group sessions and assignments.
Module 1 – Common Ground
Learn the basic skills you need to teach deep and engaging movement sessions.
This includes learning how to:
- Build musical skills, both technical and energetic
- Create evocative soundscapes
- Mix and match movement exercises in the moment
- Move and include all aspects of embodiment: the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual experiences that arise on every dance floor whenever people move
Module 2 – Common Sense
Now we add more flesh to the bones and bring depth and complexity to your skills, with special focus on how to:
- Grow your skills, as both teacher and student, in emotional intelligence, mindfulness and spiritual awareness on the dance floor
- Create movement scores that touch our essential human hungers for solitude, connection, belonging and spirit
- Combine Open Floor tools to create more elaborate movement sessions
- Integrate imagination, imagery and metaphor
- Extensive teaching practice, with in-the-moment coaching
Module 3 Common Good
Here we take what we know and what we’re still learning and make it an offering for others. This is about being skillful as we meet the world as a teacher, and includes:
- How to incorporate movement of the mind (thoughts, beliefs, imagination, etc.) in your teaching
- Movement as meditation
- Movement as a gateway to soul and spirit
- Knowing your teaching style: how to make it your strength and how to stretch beyond it
- Building quality relations with individual students, colleagues and the community at large
- Navigating the most common group dynamics a teacher encounters on the dance floor (resistance, power, sexuality)
- One-on-one live coaching as you practice your teaching skills
- Debriefing your teaching experiences and getting individual coaching (difficult students and situations, creative challenges)
- Building fluid authority and presence as you hold an unpredictable and wildly moving field
We are looking for people who already have a strong love of movement practice, together with a passion that is palpable in their hearts and visible in their bodies – people who have danced long enough and deeply enough to be an inspiration to others. The following represents a bare minimum of study to apply for training.
- A minimum of 125 hours of Open Floor movement study, including: – One Ground Floor Lab (= 30 hours) and One Libido Fundamentals (any Libido Fundamentals workshop regardless of when you took it, fulfills this prerequisite)
- Strongly recommended: at least 25 hours of Open Floor study with Founders Kathy Altman, Lori Saltzman, or Andrea Juhan
- An additional 200 hours of study in any accepted movement modality, for a total of 330 hours of instructed movement practice. Open dances with minimal or no instruction, while important for your own personal practice, do not count towards training prerequisites
- Thirty hours of mindfulness training and/or practice
- Recommended but not required: study in emotional intelligence, non-violent communication, conflict resolution, cultivation of compassion or forgiveness
- Teacher references
The next training will likely begin in 2021. We are pausing as we complete the current cycle of training, to evaluate the program and see what ways we can improve it for the next round. So none of the dates are set yet for the next cycle.
Between now and the next round of trainings, we are redesigning some aspects of the program based on what the first 250 new teachers found most helpful. While the basic curriculum will Open Floor curriculum will remain the same, there might be a change in some details (e.g., prerequisites, number of modules, length of modules, cost, etc).
When you apply, you will be asked to submit:
- A written application
- A video
- A current head shot (no professional photos needed – just the real you)
- A list of the Open Floor classes and workshops you’ve done (and the approximate hours of each)
- A list of additional hours of study/diplomas/qualifications
- Contact information for your referees will be applied to your tuition should you be accepted into the training
We’re looking for a minimum of three teachers who are very familiar with you as a dancer, as a learner, as a student on the dance floor. You can also ask a supervisor, mentor or teacher – someone who has worked with you and seen your psychological progress. We will ask your referees to feedback on:
- How clearly you communicate through your movement and your words
- What role you tend to play in a group, eg. catalyst, critic, loner, leader, talker, willing experimenter, clown
- Whether you are fully engaged when dancing alone and generous in your partnering
- Where you shine
If possible, choose at least one Founding Member of OFI as a referee. If that’s not possible, just be sure to include someone who can reflect on how you move alone, in partnership and as part of a group.
After we receive your completed application, application fee ($200) and all references, a member of our team will begin to review your application. The biggest delay in beginning the review is waiting for your references to come in. You can speed things up by contacting your referees in advance to see if they are both willing and able to send us the references in a timely manner. Once the reviewer has everything in hand, they can usually complete the process and contact you within three-to-four weeks. Please note that if you have not yet taken a Ground Floor Lab and/or done a lot of Open Floor work, we may hold your application until you have the prerequisites and review it then. Given the commitment this training entails, we want to be sure you’re familiar with the curriculum before any final decisions are made. We will hold some spots open in each training for those who are waiting to take their Lab.
Once your application is complete and we have your references, members of the application team will review them. They might speak with other Open Floor teachers who know you, or call you or your referees for more information. Final decisions are made collectively by Open Floor International.
We don’t expect you to know how to teach movement or to be accomplished in all areas. We’re looking for people who are far enough along in their own embodiment and relational maturity to learn how to teach others. You may have great passion for your practice but not enough experience to teach. You may have many years of dance floor experience yet not enough actual physical expression to instruct and inspire others. You may be accepted right away or asked to do some more focused work before starting to train.
We also consider geography (communities that have many Open Floor teachers versus those that have none). We’re very interested in training people who already work with under-served communities, eg. elders, recovery programs, schools, teens at risk, people of diverse ethnic or gender identities.
We get applications from students all over the world who we may have met only briefly. We ask for a short video (three minutes maximum) to witness you in motion. While some of you may cringe at this request, to be a movement teacher requires us to be seen, exactly as we are. Just as you will encourage your own students to be. Our only purpose is to see how you express yourself through movement. Your hair and your outfit don’t matter. Being a great dancer is not the most important thing. Real is best.
- A smartphone is all the technology you need. Forget the professional film-maker!
- Choose a setting with a plain background if possible. Make sure we can see your whole body as it moves through space.
- Warm up well first.
- Play any music that you love – music that moves you physically, emotionally or otherwise. You’re also welcome to move without music.
- If you’d like, you can film yourself for half an hour and choose the three minutes you like best.
- At the end, speak for one to two minutes, no more, describing something you are passionate about besides dancing. One thing. Anything. Your cat, sailing on the ocean, a person in your life, making pottery, writing poetry, political activism, reading history books, napping, singing …
- Upload the video to your online application (directions will be sent).
Are scholarships available?
Open Floor International has a fund set aside to give a limited number of small discounts. Once all the applications are finalized, we have a lottery to decide who receives them.
Are there any crew discounts?
Yes, we have a crew for each module. Crew members work in exchange for a partial discount. Crewing is a first-in-last out job. You have to arrive at least one day before the module, come early and stay late each day, and stay late on the last day, until everything is completely packed up. The crew will be selected approximately 60 days before each module.
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