Walk of Life
 Movement workshops with Helen Poynor

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Training Programme 2018-2019

The Art of Being in Motion with Helen Poynor and Shelagh O'Neill
Sept 2018

Spring Awakening
April 2018

Embodied Landscapes
Training workshop
May 2018

Wild Women
June 2018

Walk of Life Summer School
July 2018

Autumn Trees and Autumn Seas
October 2018

including Sumarah Meditation

Movement Ritual Explorations
February 2019


Walk of Life Training 2018-2019 

The Walk of Life Training Programme in Non-stylised and Environmental Movement will run from October 2018 until May 2019.

The programme was developed by Helen Poynor as a result of 30 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.

A commitment to personal practice of at least two hours a week (one in a studio/hall and one outside) throughout the training is required. Between the training sessions the participants will receive an individual session with Helen to support their ongoing movement practice. Arrangements can be made for international participants. The programme is envisaged as movement training rather than teacher training. It is not a programme for beginners.

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.


Dates and Locations for Training 2018-2019

October 10th - 14th (Wed - Sun) 2018 Branscombe, East Devon

January 23rd - 27th (Wed - Sun) 2019 Branscombe, East Devon

May 19th - 23rd (Sun - Thurs) 2019 West Dorset

Applications for Training 2018-2019

The deadline for applications is June 26th 2018 after which all applications will be considered. Please send a short statement about why you want to participate in the training and what you hope to gain from it, together with details of your movement background and your current practice. A minimum of four days non-stylised and environmental movement practice with Helen is required. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to deepen their experience of Helen's approach before applying.

Please send a non-refundable deposit of £175 made out to Helen Poynor with your application together with your telephone number (landline if possible) and postal address to the address below. Please indicate if you are happy to have your phone number and email address (if you have one) circulated to other participants so that you can contact each other about accommodation and travel once places have been confirmed. Places will be confirmed by July 24th 2018. If you are not offered a place, your cheque will be returned. Late applications will only be considered if places are still available. Maximum 10 places.

Price: £175 deposit followed by three payments of £275, one at each session. Payment by monthly installments is possible.

Enquiries:01297 680155 (Mon-Sat 9am-7pm)
Helen Poynor, 8 Mill Lane, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DS

Continuation Programme

The next Continuation Programme open to applicants who have completed the Foundation Training is due to be offered in 2019-2020.

Mentorship Programme

The Mentorship Programme in the application of non-stylised and environmental movement in professional/artistic projects, open to those who have completed at least two years of the Walk of Life Training, is offered periodically. Please contact Helen as soon as possible if you are potentially interested in the forthcoming mentorship.