Posted by: Dr Martha Eddy | December 6, 2018

The Body Dancing with Race and Somatics in Mind

There is so much going on.  We know the body feels what is happening in the world. And there is a lot pain out there. Always has been but at the moment at least 4 world leaders are condoning/supporting/exacerbating humiliation, inequity, hatred and fear.  This makes for a moral low and low morale.  

As artists we must give voice to this pain and when appropriate provide hope.  Beauty even when depicting the ugly truth can provide peace.  My father was a big proponent of stirring up love, beauty, compassion, joy, wonder and awe. Listening, being with, watching without judgment are some ways to do this whether talking, dancing or getting a job done.  

A big part of what is going on these days is the exposure of the Under Belly of America – what people feel, hide, dream about, worry on.  Our history of slavery and the slaughter of our native people’s is unlike that of any other country on this planet.  I have spoken with people with darker skin color born in the Caribbean who really dont have an experience of gangs, or of intense white supremacy based racism until they arrive here, and feel it, in the USA. People from Africa share their stories of Americanization – commercialization, and sometimes the freedoms of our USA social constructs as shocking or liberating.   The undercurrents of America hold polarities – freedom of sorts, but only for some. Freedom for what? To do harm? To buy stuff? To pollute? To act anyway one wants even if in a leadership role? To be a bully? 


These are topics I want to talk about. Today I am just taking a moment to be grateful for all I have learned from friends who also are willing to have this dialogue. People like Paul Dennis, Kent Alexander and Cheryl Clark – professors who are experts in the arts and of the body and its knowledge.


  1. America’s underbelly seems to be an issue of conflict that has been deep-rooted since the beginning of days. In order to understand the future, as well as our current days, we must understand our past. Although stories do not always hold a happy ending, understanding our nation’s real history is where most of our problems lie. Many people do not seem to know their culture’s history. Whether that dates back to their ancestors being slave traders, or their ancestors being slaves themselves, it is important to know all stories about the land that we live on. Just as much as it’s important to know about history, it’s important to know about our origins too. Latin American history holds a lot of truth for those of that origin, and many will find that knowing about this history can really help them understand themselves right now. We talk about violence and fear in our current day in age, and many of us do not know where it stems from. Looking back and taking a step back in time can really help us get a better eye on our world and help us progress the future.

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