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Saturday, June 10 • 3:30pm - 5:00pm

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Fawn is a movement workshop rooted in somatic investigation of the 'fawn' trauma response.
In contrast to the more commonly known trauma responses of 'fight', 'flight', or 'freeze', in the fawn response, when danger is perceived, we make ourselves physically smaller, act to appease the source of threat, or lose sight of personal needs and wants.

Combining movement and skills in self-defense and with a class structure rooted in somatic dance practices, this workshop will lead participants through a progressive series of individual, partnered, and group exercises that aim to help them explore ways to identify and assert personal boundaries. Creating a safe container for exploring psychological and embodied patterns, the workshop creates a container for participants to explore finding a sense of safety and agency within the body — as individuals, and relationally.

Alternating between movement exercises, brief writing prompts, and partnered / group verbal share outs, participants will be led through a safe container in which to explore embodied and emotional patterns and reflect on what safety and agency means to them.

The precedent for conversation will be framed by pointing out that we cannot control our safety, and how we live in an inherently unsafe world. Taking an intersectional lens, we will consider how at the same time, the world is more unsafe for certain confluences racial, sexual, gender identities than others.
Dance experience is not required from participants. Individuals with self-identified movement practices as well as those without are welcome – one of the aims of the workshop is to expand the accessibility of somatic, movement based practices to outside of the dance world, where participants who have not been exposed to such modalities will likely benefit most.

The structure of the workshop is as follows:
15 minutes: Introductions, name circle (pronouns, accessibility needs). The structure of the workshop will be briefly introduced, main concepts framed, and safety considerations will be discussed.
20 minutes: guided meditation and movement improvisation to guide participants in arriving in the room physically, mentally, and emotionally. Check in with the self, and warm up physically.
35 minutes: self-defense and consent exercises alternating with writing exercises. The self-defense exercises consist of participants getting into pairs.
5 minutes: closing remarks and cool down.


Spencer Ratanavanh

Student, New York University

Saturday June 10, 2023 3:30pm - 5:00pm EDT
Room B