Functional Awareness Training

Functional Awareness® (FA) is a practical somatic approach that provides a series of explorations in experiential anatomy to:

  • Enhance our understanding of movement function
  • Facilitate ease in body action
  • Improve dynamic alignment

Functional Awareness®: Anatomy in Action explores the relationship between the skeletal structure, the muscle structure and the myofascial tissue to sustain a dynamic elasticity and to promote efficiency of movement. It provides strategies to ease tension in daily movements as well as improve one’s practice in movement skills such as dance, yoga, running, and other physical training.  

Workshops and Summer Study.

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Functional Awareness® - Tips for Hips

  • The skeletal components of the pelvis.
  • The importance of muscles of pelvic M.
  • The hip joint and 4 primary factors that restrict or enhance range of motion.
  • SI joint and its role in stabilizing hip function. 
  • Strategies to improve resilience and strength of the hip.
  • Current research on pelvic and hip joint function in dance.
  • Somatic movement sequences to support dance training and self-care.

Workshops are offered through Towson University with the ability to obtain a video if unable to attend in-person or virtually. 

18+   12 noon - 2:30 p.m. Virtual $50

This workshop will take place online via Zoom.

Summer Study 2022

Functional Awareness Summer Study week will be held in-person from Towson University

Strategies to integrate the principles of Functional Awareness® Anatomy in Action & FA Somatics to improve dance techniques

18+ August 1 - 5 9:30 a.m.  - 4:00 p.m. CA 1001 $350 (early bird rate before April 15; $450 after April 16)

Sample Schedule:

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Optional movement warm up
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Functional Awareness® practice & application
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch break
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m. Functional Awareness® practice & application
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Applied practice in dance training: optional technique class

Day 1: Investigations in Embodied Anatomy, Postural Assessment, Skeletal properties

  • Identify all the articulating bones in the human skeleton
  • Practice cueing systems to enhance motor learning for dance skills
  • Learn/review skeletal and muscular features of the head and spine
  • Recognize the role of habit in movement training
  • Integrate applied practices of Functional Awareness® in teaching

Day 2: Breath, Core and Domes of Support

  • Learn/review basic anatomical principles of the breathing mechanism
  • Examine elements of core support practice explorations to improve function
  • Explore assessments tools for hip joint function
  • Tools and applications to develop greater potential of expressivity of movement in dance training through breath practices
  • Practice FA somatics for self-care to enhance hip joint resilience and whole health

Day 3: The Pelvis and Hip Joint: The Conduit from Torso to Legs

  • Investigate the basic structure and function of the hip joint
  • Examine individual differences in hip structure and explorations to improve function
  • Explore assessments tools for hip joint function
  • Employ applications to improve expressivity of hip action (i.e. developpé, turnout)
  • Practices for continued self-care to enhance hip joint resilience and whole health

Day 4: The Foot, Ankle, and Knee

  • Identify key the skeletal and muscular features of the foot, ankle & knee
  • Examine the importance of gait in dance training & injury prevention 
  • Investigate the ‘screw home’ mechanism to improve stabilization of standing leg balance
  • Identify assessment parameters and prevention strategies of injuries of lower extremities
  • Integrate practices for injury prevention and self-care of the ankle/foot

Day 5: Factors of Expressivity and Stability of the Arm Structure 

  • Learn/review key skeletal and muscular components of the arm structure
  • Examine the relationship of the axial to the appendicular skeleton
  • Identify effective cueing strategies to enhance expression of the arms in action
  • Practice functional movement cues for arms in load bearing & non-load bearing actions 

Functional Awareness® Movement Educator Certification

Join the FA community

Functional Awareness® Movement Educators develop a firm foundation in anatomical and somatic approaches to movement. Participants learn specific strategies and skills to improve dance skills and facilitate efficiency of movement. Dance educators learn to practice the principles of efficiency in action in the studio and to integrate FA into daily life. For additional information on Functional Awareness® education, please contact


What people are saying about Functional Awareness® Anatomy in Action:

“…your workshop (Functional Awareness® Anatomy in Action for Alexander Teachers) was incredible. You are organized, incredibly knowledgeable and well versed. Your workshop was jam packed with practical information and procedures. What I liked the best of all is your integrity, commitment and love of the work…that was so encouraging to me!!”
—Eve Silver M.AmSAT

“I wanted to tell you that we did the FA theraband activity for tendu today in my Ballet 4 class.  It worked like a charm.  All the dancers said they could feel the musculature they needed to support themselves and they felt more turned out.  The best part of all was that they felt strong and as a result, more confident.  The power and balance they took into the center floor was amazing.  It was one of our best classes this year.
“Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and learning with us.  I will certainly be back for more.”
—Maria Royals, Director of Dance at the Carver Center for the Performing Arts

“The concepts that I learned during the Functional Awareness® workshop have come into play every day in both my personal and teaching experiences since I took the class.  One of the most powerful ideas that I have retained is that of encouraging my students to release held tension rather than suggesting an alternative posture that would merely end up substituting one tension for another.  It seems quite radical to think that our bodies might still intuitively know what to do, and how to be, if we can only get out of the way. Overall, I found the Functional Awareness® workshop to be an extraordinarily useful filter which I am applying to almost every aspect of my physical life as a person and as an educator.”
—Sharen Camille Becker

For more information about Functional Awareness® and Nancy Romita -


TU Community Dance

Center for the Arts
Room 1002V