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Department of Music, Multimedia, Theatre & Dance


Minor in Somatics

The 12-credit Minor in Somatic Studies consists of four courses, plus 2 elective credits in dance.  It addresses philosophies and techniques related to the mind-body connection. 

Degree breakdown:

DNC 222: Body in Society (3 credits)

DNC 230: Somatics I (2 credits)

DNC 330: Somatics II (2 credits)
DNC 340: Mind Body Connection (3 credits)
Two additional credits in Dance

The term “somatics,” created by Thomas Hanna in 1970 and drawn from the Greek word “soma” meaning “the body in its wholeness,” refers to a group of techniques that use increased awareness of the body to change habitual psychosomatic patterns and increase ease and self-knowledge. Some techniques included in the realm of somatic practice are, tai chi, yoga, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais technique, meditation, Body Mind Centering, Ideokinesis and Carl Stough breathwork.

Using each individual’s experience as a starting point, these courses address the ways that physical and mental habits, culture, systems of governance and the media affect our perception and experience of the body. Each class will combine physical/experiential learning as well as intellectual inquiry to address the relationship between the physical reality of the individual and the world.  Lectures, discussions, videos and readings will be complimented with physical practices designed to reveal the ways in which our bodies absorb and reflect our culture, environment and history.  These exercises will also give students the tools to reduce anxiety and improve overall health and well-being.