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.


Summer Intensive

5-Day Summer Study in Functional Awareness®: Anatomy in Action

ages dates times room cost
18+ Monday, July 23 - Friday, July 27 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. TBA $300 before May 1 ($400 after May 1)

The Summer Intensive may also be taken on a day-by-day basis at a rate of $90 per day.


Day-By-Day Summer Intensive Schedule

Day 1:  FA Principles to Enhance Movement Function & Improve Alignment

  • Learn strategies to guide students towards balanced alignment
  • Explore guided movement to enhance understanding of anatomical terms to move toward balance
  • Discuss common spinal conditions & implications on movement potential
  • Implement skills to analyze and coach dance students towards a more balanced postural alignment
  • Identify applications for specific dance training and dance populations


Day 2: The Pelvis: The Conduit from Torso to Legs

  • Learn strategies to strengthen the hip in turnout through imagery, exercises, and & rotators discs
  • Develop strategies to stabilize pelvic alignment and core support
  • Recognize the affect of habit on stabilizing or mobilizing the pelvis in action
  • Learn visual, proprioceptive, and tactile cues to coach students towards improving technical skill
  • Identify applications to dance technique and daily life


Day 3: The Breathing Mechanism and Core Support

  • Learn visual, proprioceptive, and tactile approaches to improve breathing
  • Recognize habitual breathing patterns through a nonjudgmental approach
  • Identify the muscular considerations during breathing and the relationship of breath in core support
  • Practice exercises & movement explorations to improve core support for stability and resiliency in action
  • Identify applications to daily life and dance technique


Day 4: Factors of Balance and the Foot, Ankle, and Knee

  • Learn several body systems that contribute to enhance leg balance in dance technique
  • Deepen an understanding of the relationship of foot, knee, and leg for standing leg balance and turns
  • Learn the phases of gait/walking and it’s significance in training dancers
  • Practice strategies using imagery, tennis balls, embodied awareness, and rotator discs to stabilize the ankle, foot and knee in dance training
  • Learn applications to technique class and daily life


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

  • Explore the relationship between spinal sequencing and integrity and expressivity of the arm structure in dance phrasing
  • Develop strategies to improve stability in the arm structure during actions requiring strength such as plank, dance falls, or contact choreography
  • Learn skeletal and muscular considerations that influence the arms in action
  • Practice strategies using imagery, exercises, and embodied explorations to improve arabesque
  • Integrate verbal cueing and ‘hands on’ assistance to assist in coaching during dance training


summer intensive registration links

Full Week
Tuesday Only



Functional Awareness® & Horta Hayden Approach to Integrating Rotator Discs in Ballet Training to Improve Alignment, Turnout, & Expressivity 

18+ Saturday, September 15 2-5:30 p.m. 1006 $90

Participants will:

  • Develop FA® cueing strategies to improve movement skills for ballet
  • Learn sequences incorporating rotator disc training into ballet class work
  • Deepen understanding of functional anatomy of the foot, ankle, and knee
  • Practice strategies using imagery, tennis balls, embodied awareness, and rotator discs to stabilize the ankle, foot and knee in dance training
  • Learn FA® Self Care strategies for technique class and daily life
Register here.



Functional Awareness® for Somatic practitioners & Body Workers
(NCBTMB Approved Provider #1402 ​for CEU credit)

module 1: investigations in embodied anatomy and postural assessment
18+ Sunday, September 16 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. TBA $100

 Participants will:

  • Deepen cognitive and experiential understanding of movement function
  • Explore applications of embodied anatomy to self care during body work
  • Understand the role of daily movement habits and implications of these habits during the protocols in body work
  • Implement practical skills to analyze & adjust postural alignment toward balance
  • Learn verbal cuing & hands on tools to guide others towards balanced alignment
  • Learn and practice Functional Awareness® ‘hands on’ protocols as integrated into table sessions


Here is 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

Phone: 410-704-3495
Fax: 410-704-3752