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Mark Taylor's
Classes & Workshops

Body-Mind Centering ® classes and workshops are based on principles of embodied anatomy: the process of reminding the body of its intelligence, and investing it with awareness of its own function and nature. Taylor's goal in presenting BMC to groups is that each student should have a feeling of coming home to the body—an experience of deepening or enhancing his or her self- understanding.

Each class is an invitation to research the uncharted territory of internal sensory experience whether the class material is based in developmental movement, a particular body system, regional anatomy, cellular awareness or a specific application such as dance or yoga. Most classes will have a cognitive structure, an experiential arc and several layers of information presented, and will take into account both the simplicity of direct experience and the infinite complexity of the human organism.

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A typical class taught by Taylor will include much of the following:

  • Movement, games or other physical activities

  • Guided imagery

  • Discussion and feedback

  • Lecture

  • Hands-on work with partners or groups

  • Demonstration and observation


Taylor has taught and presented Body-Mind Centering ® for:

  • College and university dance programs

  • Professional dancers and other artists

  • Community groups

  • Elderhostel Pittsburgh

  • Senior centers

  • Health care professionals and care providers

  • Bodyworkers, yoga teachers and other holistic practitioners


Sample topics taught by Taylor include:

  • Enjoying our Bones: The Skeletal System

  • Dissolving Edges and Flowing into Form: The Dialogue of Fluids and Membrane

  • Standing on the Earth: The Foot

  • The Joy of Breathing

  • Balancing the Three Brains

The Faculty

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Mark Chandlee Taylor is a certified teacher and practitioner of Body-Mind Centering ® . He has taught in the School for Body-Mind Centering in Massachusetts and Germany, and served as the school’s U.S. Program Director and Program Coordinator. He was artistic director and choreographer for Dance Alloy in Pittsburgh and Mark Taylor & Friends in New York, and served as a member of the Princeton University dance faculty. Mark teaches movement and embodiment practices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, and maintains a private practice in Pittsburgh.


Ray Eliot Schwartz is a movement artist and activist committed to developing an experiential understanding of the body. He attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from University of Texas-Austin. He is the Academic Coordinator of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in México, founder of Performática: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes del Movimiento, a research associate at the Center for Mind Body Movement, and a consultant and teaching artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Ray co-founded four contemporary dance projects in the southern U.S.: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective and THEM.  He has been fortunate to share his love of movement practice and somatic education with diverse populations in the U.S., Turkey, South East Asia, South America, and Mexico and has served on the faculty of the American Dance FestivalBates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, Verano Chilango, Camp_iN, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival,  SFADI, and the Mexican television series showcasing national and international talent in the Mexican Contemporary Dance Scene - Opera Prima@elcolectivo, among others.  He is a published scholar who writes in Spanish and English about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice. His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method® . Additional studies include Zero-Balancing®, Gross Anatomy (Dissection), Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Traditional Thai Massage.

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Lou Sturm (RSME) is a German dancer, choreographer, multi-media artist and Somatic Movement Educator, who has lived and worked in Mexico since 2006 and is currently studying in the MA program in Transdisciplinarity at the arts school ZHdK in Zürich. As the founder and director of the dance company Tempesdanza, she has presented her choreography, both dance-theatre and site-specific pieces, and performances in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, India and Mexico. Her video-dances “welke & blume” (2005) and “Zebra Me Red” (2006) have been screened at Short- Cut Festivals in Hamburg, Stockholm, Glasgow, San Francisco and Xalapa (Mex.). Lou is a Rolf-Method therapist and member of the Rolf Guild for Structural Integration and Swiss Association for Rolfing & Structural Integration. She is also a yoga teacher and contact improviser who continues to study with Julyen Hamilton, Frey Faust, Nita Little, Nancy Stark-Smith, David Zambrano, and Richard Freeman. She co-teaches with Mark Taylor and the Center for BodyMindMovement in the training programs at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, as well as in São Paulo and Recife, Brazil, and Pittsburgh, PA.


Debra Clydesdale (RSME/T) integrates bodywork, movement, and touch into her Somatic Experiencing practice, specializing in early life trauma resolution, head injuries, medical trauma and syndromal trauma patterns. She has a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with a board specialization as a Diplomate in Acupuncture Orthopedics, with additional certifications in Hellerwork and Acupuncture Detoxification and Addiction (NADA). With a background as a dancer and professional vocalist, Debra trained as an electrical engineer at Penn State University and worked for corporations such as Eastman Kodak, IBM and GTE before moving into the field of trauma resolution, health and healing. She currently serves as Somatic Experiencing Basics provider for the Southwestern US region; as an Advanced Assistant, Advanced Consult and Advanced Group Case Consult Provider for the SE US Program; and coordinates the Los Angeles Somatic Experiencing Training. She is enrolled in an MA in Psychology MFT/PhD Program and is interested in bringing trauma resolution and resiliency to the local community through groups and integrating the work with movement and acupuncture. She maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach California. 


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Course Completion

Students must attend the 12 SME courses with passing grades and pass the culminating Competency evaluation. Students must submit a complete packet no later that 6 months after Competency evaluation including written homework reports, personal session forms and complementary studies reports, as outlined below.



Homework is intended to guide students in the process of communicating the work to others and in theprocess of integration and self-study. Written reports are required for:

  • 20 case study reports (application of the work to sessions with individuals or with groups). Four reports for each of the following courses: Senses & Perception, Skeletal System, Organ System, Basic Neurological Patterns, and Reflexes.


Personal Sessions

Personal sessions with certified teachers or practitioners of bodymindmovement or Body Mind Centering © are required in order to address personal issues and questions that arise in context of the courses. Session reports are required for:

  • 5 guidance sessions: one session on any five of the courses (one-half hour each, may be done in groups)

  • 2 individual sessions (one hour each)


Complementary Studies

Complementary Studies are required to initiate or advance the student’s mind practices and physical practices as applications of body• mindmovement studies. Short reports are required documenting the following:

  • Movement Practices (100 hours)

  • Mind Practices (50 hours)


Individual Sessions

Touching hands are not like pharmaceuticals or scalpels. They are like flashlights in a darkened room. The medicine they administer is self-awareness. And for many of our painful conditions, this is the aid that is most urgently needed.
-Deane Juhan, Job's Body

As a somatic movement therapist, Mark Taylor works to create space in the body and mind for internal healing processes to take place. Attending to a client's fundamental health, rather than a specific pathology, he assesses movement and energetic patterns through the body and facilitates repatterning of these habits toward increasing ease and personal transformation. In order to facilitate change he works with several skills:

  • An understanding of the patterns of human developmental movement and how these patterns express in daily life.

  • An understanding of human anatomy and body systems, with the ability to initiate movement and touch from each specific system.

  • An understanding of how deviation from a path of ease in one system or movement will affect other systems or movements in the body.

  • A systematic approach to trauma resolution, based on Peter Levine's practice of Somatic Experiencing.

Unlike some other modalities, somatic movement therapy dictates no protocols for sessions; Taylor works improvisationally with the client in each session to uncover layers of sensation and understanding which will contribute positively to the integration of body, mind and spirit. 

As an example, if pain in the knee is being addressed, we will not only address the structural issues in the knee, but-- to explore the root cause of the injury-- might

  • assess the flow of weight through the torso into the leg;

  • support subtle skeletal relationships between the foot and pelvis;

  • find supportive energy in specific organs;

  • discuss and help to release emotional components of the injury.

A session typically includes hands-on work, movement observation and discussion of anatomic principles. The client is requested to wear loose, comfortable clothing, and is invited to play an active role in the session. Sessions are conducted in a studio in Taylor's home or a professional dance studio.

Repatterning refers to guided movement and touch that allow a client to regain patterns of movement which may have been impeded or lost due to stress or trauma. Each of us is born with specific strengths and areas needing support; repatterning directs the body toward the most efficient lines of movement and flow of energy.

  • Dance

  • Child Development

  • Yoga

  • Sports

  • Recuperation from surgery, trauma or illness

“Somatics” is a term coined by Thomas Hanna, from the Greek root soma, “the luminous body transformed by faith”, and distinct from the Greek sarx, referring to the body as an object. Hanna uses “somatics” to indicate knowledge of the body through the sensory division of the nervous system— how we deepen our knowledge from sensing specific structures and states— rather than from forming objectified or projected mental images of the body in the brain. A soma is a body perceived from within.

”The salutary results of self-teaching, self-learning, self-healing, and self-regulation should not be understood as “miraculous” but as somatic: they are genetically-given capacities intrinsic to all human beings.
— Thomas Hanna

Embodiment is the process of becoming somatically aware. In BodyMindMovement it is understood as an ever-deepening process, engaging attention at the cellular level, at the level of the whole body, and at the level of the individual's relationship with the outer world.