20 October 2014

Bonding with your Baby - Netherlands 2014

Little Sammi!

 Thank you Abby for your sharing on our Embodied Movement programme "Bonding with your Baby"
(3 - 10 months old).  Abby attended 2 sessions of our class in October 2014 with her husband and her little girl, Sammi.  I am always moved when I witnessed family bonding together in my programme.  Below is her sharing. 

"My daughter of 7 months old is very different from my first child as she has reflux so badly that she was hospitalized six times in her first six months. Due to the stress we got from it and in particularly the food aversion, we were very glad to have found such baby bonding class. It is not a class that you take and you walk out as a complete different person. It is a class that we as parents learn more on how to decode our baby, going with her flow and giving her what she needs. We have found the massage technique very useful as we really noticed our baby enjoying it and relaxing from it. Also my holding the baby swinging with her while my husband stands behind me swinging along really gives us a good bonding time. We are definitely undo-ing the stressful time and catching up on it. Thanks Elizabeth for the nice class. Really enjoyed it." ~ Abby Lin-Ho

I am holding new classes next year in January 2015.  I am travelling back to Singapore and will only be back in mid-January.  Interested in our programme, email to dancetherapy.kmp@gmail.com to be updated in our mailing list or visit our website Embodied Movement.  New dates and timing will be out soon as I am managing all the work by myself. Thank you for your patience.  

Check our workshops too in Singapore for November & December!

Shalom, Elizabeth <3

16 September 2014

The Art of Play

Having been an educator in the main-stream and as a drama and movement teacher in the early years of my life, I would have said I never understood the idea of play.  Now as a dance therapist and Ways of Seeing Practitioner, I finally understand the meaning of play.  Partly, I discover my own inner child during my therapy in my training ;and partly, I have been processing a lot of my own materials which I have been imparted, inculcated and taught when I was a child. To rediscover play, the essence of play, I first have to learn to play myself. 

Play is such a simple word.

Anyone can play.

Yes, of course anyone can play.

Children are the best models of showing us how to play in fact. However does an adult, a parent, an educator, a facilitator know how to play, interact in play, connect through play, bonding through play with children?

Often, I get parents telling me, "There's no difference in what you do and I do." Or educators saying, "I can do what you do."  I marvel.  They try.  Only when they try to follow exactly what I do, then they shared that it was not so easy after all. 

Seeing is easy, doing is another.

How the child would want to engage us in play or not, withdraw or involve, resist or join in, it is a joint effort of shared play rather than being imposed or expected or directed purely from the adults, telling a child what to do.  Often the child does not have the room and freedom to explore and express in the play, often being directed and led by the adult's expectation.  Free play also consists of a safe environment where there is a freedom of expression yet feeling safe, held and contained at the same time, to explore, create, play and take risks without being judged.

I love playing with children.

They bring lots of creativity, amazement, imagination and wonders.

How do we facilitate, support and encourage play with our children where it is their ownership and creativity? And yet they enjoy the shared space of play together with us?

Until I have to spend time explaining what the differences are, what are being entailed, what have happened.... then it rings and makes sense to the parents that there is a difference in the way how they play and relate to and with their child or how I have facilitated play in the program. There are many reflections going through my mind and body  - through observing, questioning, sensing, reading nonverbal cues, listening to myself and to the child, use of tone, words, body language, eye contact, proximity, and much more....... during the interaction of play.  These impact the way we nurture or hinder play with our children.

* Imagine I took years to relearn, rediscover and redevelop the aRt of pLay. Please give time and space for self to play and to relearn the art of play with your children.  It is not an hour's or a day's lesson to learn to do so if we have not tapped on our inner child for a long long time. ;) 

Ready to play? Join me in my workshops!
Take a peep at our website, Embodied Movement programme in Netherlands & Singapore.

28 August 2014

Embodied Parenting

Supported by numerous photos from her work with parents and infants all over the world, Dr. Tortora explains the concept of "embodied parenting." Drawing from interpersonal neurobiology and dance/movement therapy, she shares why attuned nonverbal communication between parent and child is crucial to infant mental health and how dancing is needed in this world now more than ever.  ~ ADTA

17 August 2014

Nonviolent Communication

The Language of 9 needs based on Manfred Max-Neef's research :
(shared by Marshall Rosenberg on Honesty.) Marshall has rephrased them very nicely and explained them in his video on Honesty, posted in my pin interest.

1. Subsistence : food, air, water, shelter
2. Safety/Protection
3. Love
4. Empathy
5. Rest/Recreation/Play
6. A Warm Community
7. Creativity
8. Autonomy
9. A need for meaning/purpose; to contribute to life to make people's life richer

11 August 2014

Move in Art Jam - Parent & Child

We have run "Move in Art Jam" for a number of series with children and adults in Singapore.  I have also introduced it to the children with Autism as part of an activity program in the Netherlands, modifying the art segment, taking the dynamic of the group into consideration, exploring the art in paint as a group on the table.  In this round, I included the parents in the session with their children.  It is a pleasure to collaborate with my friend, Emilia again when she is in Singapore in this visit.

A mum who has attended my "Sharing Dance with your Child"  joined us again in the jamming session and this session has brought a shift in her mindset and being comfortable with mess.  It also brings about a shift in the relationship with her child.  (See below for her sharing.)

I recognise and acknowledge the culture I was raised in - where we are not comfortable with the idea of being messy and getting dirty.  However in this creative artistic fun way of exploring and jamming in movement and with paint brought us to a safe place of expression and being comfortable with being messy.  One of the rhythms in the KMP, Twisting Rhythm, children are often interested in fine and small things, textures of different materials. They would often touch their food and mess them up.  They are seeking sensory input and it is a very important developmental phase for children to let them play, touch, get dirty and messy. Exploring fine little small things is actually developing fine motor skills and interested in tiny details. Thus, when children miss that moment of getting messy, children at the older age, would seek the missing developmental milestone in this "Move in Art Jam". They have so much fun, freedom and the permission to get messy.  Two brothers who came for the session, later shared with their mother.

"Boys thanked me for giving them the permission to really have fun and be messy. They said they will remember this day till adulthood and share this with their own children in future."
"You're welcome, boys. I love you."

In my own personal process, I identify getting messy as chaos.  Being able to bear and tolerate chaos and stay calm is an innate resilience I have built over the years - being comfortable with getting messy and being dirty, in the process, being comfortable with chaos, especially working with children. To give children the space and room to express and run is necessary.  Children who have come to my sessions often leaving feeling happy, radiating with joy, smiles on their faces because they have the freedom to be free and being themselves which most of the time, they do not have the space to do so.  Being a dance movement psychotherapist and Ways of Seeing practitioner, I advocate Dance - Play as part of my program which is so essential and lacking these days.  It is not just an ordinary dance-play activities but I also incorporate bonding time between parents and children, individual expression and group togetherness in a creative fun artistic ways, catering to the need of each individual, a client-centered approach, building emotional and social themes in the sessions.  

"Looking through the Lens, Into The Inner World" workshop for adults also touches on chaos on 24th August, Sunday, 6 - 8.30pm.  Registration is still open if interested on our website, Embodied Movement.

Embodied Movement travels to bring the program to you! 

* Sharing from a mum. Thank you Siew Lee for your permission to put it in the blog.

"Elizabeth, thanks for today's session. Me and En Yue really enjoy today's Art Jam.

We really have fun and mess today! In fact, still not consider as extreme mess

but compare as usual, it is messy today. That's why en yue not really comfortable when the mess start especially when she saw Angela's children start having fun and mess. After few minutes, she started to adapt to it. :)

When on the way home just now, she told me that she is very happy today and she wan to play again. I feel so happy too... I didn't expect tat such a mess will bring joy n fun to all of us. May be since young, I am trained to be clean and neat.

Just share with u. Last week, En Yue took a pen and drew a quite huge drawing on one of the room's wall. I didn't know abt it as the room is now vacant and I didn't notice abt that wall. This morning, she tried to stand on the wall and cover it. I just realised there is a drawing on it. At that moment, I didn't scold her and I also didn't know how to react to her abt her drawing on the wall. In my mind, I just know tat she is growing up and coming to another stage.

After today session, I find that the drawing on the wall is nothing big deal anymore. Is just an art and her way to express herself... Is ok to be messy..."

Siew Lee

6 July 2014

Mindfulness in Authentic Movement - Sharings

 Thank you Over the Rainbow for the invitation to facilitate an introduction to Mindfulness in Authentic Movement.  A non-profit organisation to promote Youth Mental Health Wellness.

Embodied Movement is holding a series of three sessions of "Mindfulness in Authentic Movement" in Singapore - July/August and another workshop "Looking through the Lens, Into the Inner World." For more information, visit our website "Embodied Movement" and to register.

13 May 2014

Interview with Mum

Rasilah (R) has attended Embodied Movement ‘Sharing Dance with your Child” Thaqif in 2011 and continued with “Move in Art Jam” and "Movin’Tales" after for three years. She also did a private “Embody with your Body and Baby” session with her unborn baby in her womb and now Tisha is 5 months since.

Thank you Rasilah for sharing and supporting Embodied Movement programme.  Witnessing the growth of Thaqif and Tisha is a great joy and to support Rasilah by empowering her with tools to further deepen her bonding and connection with both her children is such an honor.  

Sharing Dance with your Child

E: What draws you to attend Embodied Movement programme?

R: Elizabeth has shared with me about the programme and I think it is a good programme for my boy to attend. It is a total new experience as I don’t think we have such programme here in Singapore.

E: What struck you most in the session “Sharing Dance with your Child” with Thaqif?

R: Initially I followed his move to get to understand his body language and later through the session I realised he is able to follow my moves too thus this help us to understand each other's body language.


E: What have you observed in Thaqif in the “Movin’ Tales” sessions?

R: He is able to listen and follow instruction during the sessions.

E: What has benefited you and Thaqif in the session?

R: This session made me realise that instruction doesn’t have to be always come from parent. We need to give the child the space to voice out their opinion too. I cultivate the two-way communication through observing the communication between Elizabeth and my child, Thaqif.  I can see the improvement in our bonding & understand one another as we listen to each other.

Embody with your Body and Baby

E: How has the session dancing and attuning with your unborn baby been?

R: This programme was just MAGIC!! I would strongly recommend it to mum-to-be. It’s just speechless to learn that I am able to communicate with the unborn and how beautiful it was when my unborn child responded to me.

E: Was the first pregnancy different from the second pregnancy? How is it so? How has the private session support you in the pregnancy process?

R: Yes. It was totally different. During my first pregnancy, I usually acknowledge my unborn whenever the child ‘kicks’ but after I attended this session and learned few patterns/technique of attuning to the unborn child, I no longer wait for the unborn to give me the  ‘kick’ but everytime I attune to the same rhythm, my unborn will responded with the same attuned pattern.  Miracle!!! Attuning to my unborn has become a regular routine throughout my pregnancy.

E: What happened right after Tisha was born? What took place in your connection with Tisha? How did Tisha respond to you? How did you respond to Tisha?

R: I am surprise that the very first time I held her in my arms, I felt that there was no ‘introduction’ needed between us. It seems that we had known each other & understand each other. I gave her the first attuned pattern on her arms and she responded by wriggling her body. I tested out if my first attuning was just a coincidence but as I continue with the attuning for the next 2 months, she never fails to give me her response.

E: Does the " Embody with your Body and Baby" make a difference in your bonding with Tisha?

R: Definitely. As we had an active communication since she was in the womb, we adapt to each other well and the bonding we had was almost instantly, breastfeeding was totally a breeze, even the lactation nurse was surprised on how hassle-free was my first breastfeeding session, Tisha just latched naturally.


* Elizabeth holds her Embodied Movement programmes both in Netherlands and Singapore, even in Malaysia.  Her schedule of her program, training, workshops and courses are on her website "Embodied Movement'.  Request for special individual private session or therapy can also be arranged.  Just frop Elizabeth a note on Contact Us

14 April 2014

Movement Meditation in the Garden

Last Sunday, Embodied Movement facilitated "Movement Meditation" based on the discipline and principle of "Authentic Movement" in the Nature.  It was a lovely beautiful weather!  It was a great start to our debut of movement in the garden.  Every $50 sign up has been donated to the Shanti Rani Project in Nepal. In the next visit in July/August, some sessions of Authentic Movement will be held at the Botanic Garden in Singapore.  Thank you for the support!  Below is a sharing of testimony of a participant and photos of the day.  ~ Elizabeth

The movement meditation was a 1.5 hours session conducted by Elizabeth in the beautiful botanical garden, amongst the tall trees, wet grass, gentle breeze and strong sunlight. The session could be divided into three parts. The first part of the session was focused on centering into the self and being in tune with the natural environment, our breath, our thoughts, our motions, our awareness, our emotions; our senses in relation to the external environment – the sounds, the smells, the sensations across the skin. We breathed, we walked, we looked, we felt at ease. The second part was the movement meditation, we brought out own mats and were encouraged to find a comfortable position; to close our eyes and surrender ourselves to the will of our body. The last part was a sharing of our personal experience.

Elizabeth provided us with some guidance on how the movement meditation was like. Ultimately, when one transfer the control from the mind to the body, the body will naturally move to its own tune, its own rhythm, its own wishes and desires. Movement has always fascinated me. Being able to move is like telling a story, my story. It wasn’t easy to be able to move from within. It took time, it took efforts, but it was worth it. Through movement, I came to understand myself, and the world around me. It taught me self-love and to love the world, to live authentically, and be true to the heart. Sometimes, this movement (from within; the heart and the soul) can be difficult to achieve. 

The idea of movement meditation, if I may share how I view it:
1) being able to completely surrender the reign of control from the mind to the body
2) have a sub-conscious awareness of what the mind and the heart/soul wants
3) the body is our tool of expression and ultimately we want to achieve that peace by integrating the mind, body and soul into one. 

Moving is a joyous thing on most occasions, but moving amongst the nature is another thing entirely. When one physically in contact with the earth and surrounded and loved by the skies and trees, the inner, oldest, youngest, most authentic self from within will be re-awaken, one will find renewed love for nature once more. People can tell us, share with us and provide us with the best in the world, but ultimately the only time change will occur is when we grab that opportunity and to try everything new that comes our way.

In summary, being able to move freely in the gardens was a liberating experience, and the sharing session was also lovely. Kudos to Elizabeth for always being so supportive and always encouraging us to monitor our personal journey with movement for self-growth.

~ Wan Ting

 I am always neutral to the nature in term of trees and garden. I was not very keen on the idea of waking up early in the morning to go to the garden at all. However, when you are there, it just feels different. The breathing exercise which Elizabeth helps to facilitie make me realize why waking up at 7am in the morning is worthwhile.

Surprisingly, the way that my feet feel under the wet grass is not that bad either. Elizabeth is a wonderful facilitator. She helps me realize what is happening around my surrounding, something that I usually never pay much attention to due to the busy schedule of mine.

 Next, she began her lesson in the authentic movement. The instruction is clear and precise. I followed the instruction and execute accordingly. True to what she said, my body actually knows more than what I give it credit for. Through this 1 1/2 hour authentic movement in the botanic garden, I have discovered a deeper myself through my own body movement.  ~ Guo Yi

7 April 2014

Sharing by participants Singapore 2014

It was a magical time that I could momentarily put aside my self-consciousness and be submerged in the space where all my senses were fine-tuned to receive the pulses of my my inner self. We were asked by Elizabeth to close our eyes and sink deep into our soul, and then let our bodies flow freely in a relaxing, non-judgemental environment. As a person who is rather weak in the controlling faculty, I have been very cautious in running my mind and letting off my feelings. Especially when I am getting older, my natural defense system tries to keep me away from all the potential "dangers" in society. I think, I reason, I act, without much time to feel and have an honest conversation with myself. It is not easy to be given the freedom to express my feelings in a direct, spontaneous and non-verbal way. It took me a while at the beginning to build trust in myself and translate my emotions into movements. I was surprised at what I could do and what I have actually done in the end. The sharing session sheds lights on my understanding of myself. I wouldn't say that I have since transformed for I have only attended this one session of authentic movements, but the experience does give me a different perspective in approaching myself in relation to the world. Thanks Elizabeth for your guidance. The workshop is fun and rewarding! ~ Stella, attended "Moving The Rhythm" and "A Call for Dance" workshops

* On 13th April, Sunday, we are running the "Movement Meditation" in the Botanic Garden.  Registration is still open.

* "Authentic Movement" will be offered and re-run in July/August 2014 in the next visit.  Interested to be updated in our mailing list,  welcome to visit our Embodied Movement website to Contact Us.

27 January 2014

Embodied Movement News - Singapore - 2014

Greetings! Peace, Shalom, Namaste!


How has your beginning of 2014 been for you and your family? 
I hope you are well.

First of all, I would like to thank you for your encouragement and support over the last three years. Without you, I could not have grown in my professional work in Embodied Movement.

Embodied Movement is coming back again to Singapore and Asia in March and April. I hope to bring you more new hope and inspiration through our workshops, training, education and dance movement psychotherapy. 

My life has always been inspired, healed, touched and transformed by creative arts. As a dance movement therapist, educator, facilitator, friend, my wish for you is 

I Hope You Dance, the inspiring Embodied Movement theme for the year 2014. 

Dance has changed, healed and transformed my life both literally or metaphorically. With the skills, knowledge, education, experiences and expertise in my field over the last 20 years, I hope to further bring, share and sparkle off what I have learnt, studied, reflected, to you in the “Dance”, with yourself, your child, partner, family, colleagues, friends, people whom you interact… and in your everyday life. My mission is to lead you into a holistic experience: “To dance in, through and with the flow of life.” In my work as a therapist, facilitator and educator, I have witnessed numerous transformations and growth in my clients and participants in the last 8 years in internship, training and as a fully pledged dance movement therapist, my heart experiences unspeakable joy when I witness the “gem” glow in you and your child. What an honour! Thank you! 

To share another piece of great news, I am also a Ways of Seeing (WOS) practitioner, growing professionally in the intensive advanced studies with Dr Suzi Tortora, author of “Dancing Dialogue” and experienced international infant mental health leaders in infant mental health and early childhood, in the last two years. With this, I am offering new services, workshops, trainings, education, consultation to further support parents and educators in early childhood and in the family system in Singapore and Asia other than in my work in the Netherlands.

My travel schedule to Singapore will be:
10 March to 11 May,
23 June to 31 August,
November (dates yet to be confirmed)

I am delighted to present and update you:

For Adults:

For Parent-Child:

For Children:

For Parents & Educators:

  • New Service: Talk/Training/Education/Consultation/Support for schools, association, institution, organisation, centres

For Children & Youth with Special needs:

  • Children Camp by Igniter: Dance Movement Therapy is one of the programmes in the camp. 
  • Youth camp will be held in June 2014.  

For Private Dance Movement Psychotherapy:

  • Individual private therapy appointment has to be made early before March to make the necessary arrangement with studio.
  • Parental review session is incorporated in the therapy when your child is in therapy.
  • Continued email and online consultation for follow-up.

For Registration: 
  • Enrolment is open for registration on our website. Check our Early Bird Registration and promo!

For Testimony: 

Embodied Movement also has a new email: elizabeth@embodied-movement.com and all news will be sent out from the new email.

You are always welcome to email me if you have any questions, like to collaborate or invite me to your organisations/schools.

Looking forward to seeing you and your child again! 

Love & Hugs,
Founder & Director of Embodied Movement

9 January 2014

Mindfulness - Being Presence

Photo is accredited to Kevin Hoo, a friend photographer
Mindfulness is being presence with your whole entire being - mind, body, emotion, spirit within ourselves and with the outer world.

When we become mindful, we stay with the presence between self and others including the environment.

Developing mindfulness is part of self-care. Listening to our body, when we need to take a pause, when it is too much, when it is enough....

When we do that, with the mindfulness and conscious awareness of being presence, we are able to practice self-care daily.

Especially when we cultivate a mindfulness presence, with children, children sense our whole presence with them. To interact, connect, relate and sense our children, the dynamic of the relationship goes into another state and level of bonding.

It goes the same with our partner, colleagues and people we interact with.

Mindfulness is also about practising groundeness in our body especially when we may encounter unexpected crisis or situation which calls us to stay calm and able to have a clear mind to cope at hand.

I witness a reaction to an action plays a huge difference in the interaction and connection with self and others. It does creates a ripple effect on how we are with ourselves and others in any kind of situation and relationship by being mindful and consciously aware of self and outer.

The innate internal reflection holds the key to nurture a mindfulness presence.
Reflection by Elizabeth Rutten-Ng, Founder & Director of Embodied Movement. She gives workshops which touches on Mindfulness in her Embodied Awareness Programmes in using a various combination of approaches. 

7 January 2014

Sharing by a Mum - In Dutch

Photo of Parent-Child is taken in Singapore in 'Sharing Dance with you Child' session, the sharing by a mum below is a similar programme in Netherlands. Photo taken by Jeroen Rutten, my husband.

De "Sharing Dance with your Child" sessies waren in de eerste plaats heel erg leuk om te doen. Ik had het idee dat mijn dochter van 2 het ook erg leuk vond dat we samen ergens aan meededen op een andere locatie. Het is niet alleen het kind dat deelneemt. Je doet samen als ouder en kind mee. 

Daarnaast leerde Elizabeth mij al spelender- en dansenderwijs op een nieuwe manier kijken naar de bewegingen van mijn kind en leerde mij zo eigenlijk de bewegingen van mijn kind te lezen. De communicatie met peuters (mijn peuter althans) is niet altijd even makkelijk aangezien ze zich verbaal nog niet helemaal verstaanbaar kunnen maken maar we hebben niet alleen spraak nodig om inzicht te krijgen in wat er in een kind omgaat. Elizabeth liet mij door de fysieke bewegingen te benoemen die zij mijn dochter zag maken terwijl wij aan het dansen waren, zien waar mijn dochter mentaal mee bezig is. Het springen, het hurken, het ordenen, het klein maken, het strekken, het stampen etc.. Allemaal uitdrukkingen die laten zien waar ze zoal mee bezig is (krachtmeten, geborgenheid, zindelijkheid, plek zoeken in en aarden op de wereld etc.). 

Daarnaast leerde ze hoe je met simpele attributen zoals sjaals de interactie kan vergroten en gunstig kan be├»nvloeden door je kind te helpen of juist in controle te laten zijn. Ook het spiegelen van elkaar en het volgen of juist leiden be├»nvloedt de interactie. Je leert op een leuke manier een nieuwe vorm van communiceren. Het helpt natuurlijk ook bijzonder dat Elizabeth zelf  een fijne en warme persoonlijkheid is en zij interfereerde of hield zich juist afzijdig op de juiste momenten zodat het uiterste uit de tijd kon worden gehaald. 

Ik had heel graag aan de sessies die Elizabeth ook doceert aan ouders /baby’s willen deelnemen toen mijn dochter nog zo klein was. Wie weet had me dat een heleboel hoofdbrekens gescheeld maar het had me in ieder geval meer inzicht kunnen geven in dat soms ondoorgrondelijke karaktertje waardoor je sneller vertrouwt zult raken met je kind wat door sommigen wellicht als iets vanzelfsprekends wordt gezien maar zeker niet altijd geldt. ~ Mieke

Thank you Mieke for sharing about the sessions which is held in Netherlands. Interested in our programme, visit our Embodied Movement website for more information. Registration is also available on our website. New classes are starting this week. If the time does not fit you, welcome to email for a possible new time slot.
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