Seónagh Kummer, Ph.D.
Somatic movement specialist, choreographer, dance educator and performer, I use a lens of movement research to guide my choreography, teaching and coaching practices. I love to offer workshops in professional and educational settings, open to all levels of dancers. Improvisational practices are an important aspect of my coaching, and as a coach I emphasize how to carry transformative somatic experiences into daily life. My artistic works will often start with a research question or a social justice concern that I explore in dialogue with a community. Likewise, I engage in collaborative processes with dancers and other artists as I prepare movement for the stage, and have developed numerous meaningful choreography projects in this way. As an award recipient or guest artist, I have presented at venues throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Originally from Vancouver, I love to travel the globe, and early on I was drawn to dance somatics and ceremony to overcome my suffering. During my 20’s, I lived in Africa where I first attended a Bayangi dance ceremony, and I saw something extraordinary could be communicated there. After returning to North America I worked in the Northwest assisting indigenous elders, and I saw firsthand how somatic processes re-educate the neuromuscular system. I was personally transformed by the effects of working with sound, breath, movement, and visualization in ceremony. As I watched other individuals growing beyond the effects of trauma, I further explored crossovers between dance/ceremony while training and performing in Vancouver during my 20s. Later when teaching and working with artists on the East Coast in my 30’s I further solidified my commitment to this profound work. Ultimately, I returned to integrating arts of choreography and healing, earning a Ph.D. in Dance at Temple University as a Fisher Center Fellow. I also have an MA in dance/theatre education from the University of British Columbia as a Graduate Fellow.
I worked for over 14 years as a tenured dance professor in New York, Hawaii, and Los Angeles. I loved teaching my students and watching them blossom, but with the pandemic I saw a rising need for somatic dance education among a wider population that was experiencing anxiety and stress. I began directing my attention full time toward somatic coaching, to developing choreography and workshops through Dharma in Motion, and to creating a radical movement of positive spaces for community and human connection.