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 Study 2019


Strategies to improve dance training & self care for dance wellness

18+ Monday, August 5 - Friday, August 9 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. TBD $350 before May 1
Optional movement classes from 9-10 a.m. included in cost


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

  • Explore FA® movement sequences to enhance embodied understanding of anatomical terms
  • Discuss common spinal considerations & implications on movement potential
  • Learn and implement strategies to guide dance students toward a more balanced postural alignment
  • Identify applications for specific dance training and dance populations 

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

  • Recognize the affect of habit on stabilizing or mobilizing the pelvis in action
  • Experience exercises with imagery and rotator discs to strengthen the hip
  • Develop strategies to stabilize pelvic alignment and core support
  • Learn visual, proprioceptive, and tactile cues to coach students toward improving technical skill
  • Identify applications to dance technique and daily life
  • Learn and practice sequences to integrate into warm up for dance class

Day 3: The Breathing Mechanism and Core Support

  • Recognize habitual breathing patterns through a nonjudgmental approach
  • Identify the muscular considerations during breathing and the relationship of breath to core support
  • Learn visual, proprioceptive, and tactile approaches to encourage awareness of breath in dance phrasing
  • Practice exercises & movement explorations integrating core with breath support
  • Identify applications to daily life and dance technique
  • Learn and practice sequences to integrate into warm up for dance class

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

  • Learn several sensorimotor systems that contribute to posture control in dance technique
  • Deepen an understanding of the role of foot, ankle, and knee 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
  • Learn and practice sequences to integrate information into warm ups for dance class

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

  • Learn skeletal and muscular considerations that influence the arms in action
  • Develop strategies to improve stability of the arm and expressivity in axial to appendicular action
  • Applications to port de bras, floor work, contact choreography and partnering

Summer Study Registration


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