COVID-19 has inspired me to teach open and donation-based classes online and in Prospect Park.
Morning Movement and Meditation: every second Thursday of the month. 9:30-10:30 EDT CLICK TO BOOK 
Sensorial Dancing in Prospect Park: 11am in Prospect Park. Contact for location (and privately donate) or sign up via MINKA

::: links go to MINKA workshop calendar. Scroll to your preferred second Thursday and click "Morning Movement..." or to Friday and click "Sensorial Dancing..." and follow instructions to sign up!

Contact me
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Payment options:
venmo: @isabel-umali
paypal: paypal.me/isabelumali

My movement class is based on my history of Gaga, Feldenkrais, Craniosacral Therapy, and Physical Therapy.** I incorporate free movement and codified exercises led by verbal cues and, since I am also moving continuously throughout class, visual cues. The class focuses on developing and heightening the awareness and clarity of physical sensations, movement patterns, skeletal alignment, and energetic movement through the physical body and the surrounding space. This provides healthy preparation for the movers’ physical bodies, injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as creative tools and creative impulses for everyone. This class is for athletes, dancers, office workers, people who've never danced, and anyone else. Anyone can participate, and I lead a mixed level class that is fulfilling for all.

A private movement education session is an excellent (and fun!) way to bring awareness, harmony, and balance to the body. I use my knowledge and sensitivity to meet each client where they are, and finely attune my attention to their needs. Whether you want ballet, contemporary, free dance class or codified exercises based in Pilates and Yoga, I can taylor your class to fulfill your desires. Please contact me for information

"I'm hopelessly out of touch with my body. Inflexible, uncoordinated and lacking grace. And I'm very self conscious about dancing or expressing myself physically. Isabel threw all of that out the window and got me out of my head and into my body. I moved in ways I'd never moved before and when I left the class I could feel my whole body humming."

-Ben Cohen

There is something special that happens here that is unlike most other forms of movement class. By settling and focusing, we can access more of our energy. By beginning with simple awareness of sensation, we can build towards greater range of movement. By noticing and riding the present movement in our bodies and in the space around us, we can let go of effort, stress, tension, and unhelpful thought. By noticing the space around our bodies, we realize we are connected to each other and every other living being; this connection is palpable and tangible, through rooms and across countries. All of a sudden, we are not alone. By settling into our bodies through movement and sensation, we start to notice how our brain reflects back thought, emotion, memories and messages. By quieting the body and settling in a sensation-based meditation, all of those reflections, aspects of the Self, can be witnessed. They have meaning and can be understood. I am here to guide and support you if emotion starts to feel overwhelming. 

You may leave class having shed a layer of protection or having found new meaning to a problem within. You may leave class feeling supported by your fellow community of participants. You will leave class feeling settled yet enlivened, more connected to your Self, empowered, juicy, and satisfied. 

This class is not rigid or execution-based the way other exercise classes such as Yoga or Pilates are often taught. I use my training and background in dance and conditioning techniques to teach alignment, core strength, how to maximize your physical power, and gain flexibility. 

This class also offers connection to creative impulse and innovation. 

What I’ve listed so far is true for most dance classes. What is special about this class is its orientation to embodied healing through the principles and techniques of BCST, SE and Feldenkrais. Class might focus on a specific are of the body such as the TMJ and cervical region, or might orient to the movement history in the body that has either been expressed or thwarted. We find great dynamic ranges of motion, energy and play without effort. We ride a collective wave of movement and Self exploration. 

If you are a beginner to movement, Welcome! Each participant moves at their own pace and volume. If you are an experienced mover, such as a professional dancer, you will be challenged in your movement capabilities and may open new connections to your physical body. If you are a therapist of mind, spirit or body, you will enjoy integrating these aspects in a new way. There is space for individual exploration and I offer combinations of concepts that will feel new and inspiring. 

 

** I am not a certified Somatic Experiencing practitioner or Feldenkrais teacher. SE techniques were included in my BCST training and I am continuing my SE education. I took weekly Feldenkrais ATM classes and worked weekly and closely with a Feldenkrais FI practitioner for two years. I continue to practice Feldenkrais as well. I have a similar experience with intensive work with Physical Therapists.

You will leave class feeling settled yet enlivened, more connected to your Self, empowered, juicy, and satisfied. 

photo by Elizabeth Romanski
"Sensing the body from inside out, feeling the support of the ground
align... connect foot to shoulder to hip to finger... I zoned in to a moving meditation guided by clear and evocative instructions from Isabel." 
-Angela Morris

If you're curious about my background, please check out these links!

Gaga Classes: I was in a company for two years where we practiced this movement language developed by Ohad Saharan. I continue to practice in NYC and have gone to Naharin’s company several times.

 

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy- certified therapist through STILLPOINT

 

I took weekly open FELDENKRAIS classes as well as private sessions for years in NYC