Walk of Life Training
The Walk of Life Training Programme in Non-stylised and Environmental Movement was developed by Helen Poynor as a result of 40 years of professional practice as a movement practitioner, performer and teacher. Established in 2007 it attracts regional, national and international participants from a wide range of movement backgrounds and has proved stimulating and fruitful for all the participants. It consists of three 5 day intensive training sessions in spring, summer and autumn combined with ongoing personal practice.
The Walk of Life approach to movement is grounded in an experiential understanding of the structure of the body, an awareness of the relationship between the moving body and the self and of the responsive inter-relationship between body, earth, self and environment. Movement scores are used as a springboard into motion awakening vitality and heightening awareness, transforming personal explorations into creative expression. In a process which unfolds over time each participant is supported to follow the evolution of their movement practice within the context of the group. This approach fosters an embodied sense of presence in daily life and in performance.
The grounding principles of the Walk of Life are explored in the studio and in the inspiring environment of the Jurassic Coast. The sessions include individual work, pair work and working in response to the group as a moving environment. The natural environment becomes both partner and teacher. The changing seasons, weather and tides present continual challenges, each element stimulates different experiences and elicits a different range of movement qualities and skills.
The programme is envisaged as movement training rather than teacher training. It is not a programme for beginners. A commitment to personal practice is required.
The Walk of Life approach is grounded in:
- a three dimensional awareness of the body and of space
- the integration of upper and lower body through the spine
- the integration of limbs and torso
- released joints and the interconnection of the whole body allowing movement to flow freely through the body
- a mobile sense of grounding
- the ability to follow a movement as it evolves and moves through space
- clear but permeable body boundaries
- an awareness of the layers of space
- the inter-relationship of sensation, feeling/atmosphere, images/associations and state of mind
- a receptive and responsive attitude to oneself, to others and to the environment
- the capacity to move in a mutually responsive relationship to others without losing a sense of self
- the ability to be simultaneously aware of personal and environmental landscapes
- the integration of moving and seeing
The practice is supported by a personal reflective journal and log incorporating creative visualisations.
Helen gratefully acknowledges the influence of Anna Halprin and Suprapto Suryodarmo from Java with whom she trained intensively in the 1980s and 1990s. Their work has served as a springboard for the development of her unique approach to non-stylised and environmental movement.
Training participants' comments:
I so much enjoy the juice of creative exploration amongst such a diverse group of dedicated movement practitioners. Thank you both for your guidance and for your letting go, you create such a rich environment in which to see and be seen both through the human body, the human group and out into the complexity of the natural landscape.
The spacious boundaries of the training enable me to follow my own path and also be accompanied and accompany others in their practice…. I have found working in a non-stylised way gives me the possibility to flow between the many styles that I have learned…. Commitment and curiosity are replacing imposed discipline and guilt.
Walk of Life Training Update
A new series of movement study groups in non-stylised and environmental movement intended for experienced and committed movers who have already worked with Helen, is envisaged commencing early in 2024. Full details will be available from April 2023. Please contact Helen directly if you are interested or check this page of the Walk of Life website after April for details.
Watch this space!
Embodied Landscapes a training level workshop for people who have already participated in the Walk of Life training will take place on September 29th - October 1st 2023 see programme for details.
The Mentorship Programme for people who have completed two years of the Walk of Life Training is currently running until May 2023. Please enquire for individual mentoring arrangements.
01297 680155 (Mon-Sat 9am-7pm)
Helen Poynor, 8 Mill Lane, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DS, UK