Photo credit: Johnathon Cliff

[ ACCESSIBLE (+) ] IN STUDIO: ERYN DACE TRUDELL (MTL) — Skinner Releasing Technique

Apr. 11 to 15, 2022— 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
$75 with the support of Emploi-Québec (or $250, non-eligible rate)
Open to artists of all disciplines
Language of instruction: English and French
Capacity: 9 people — priority for full week attendance

As part of its professional workshop programming, Studio 303 offers accessible (+) workshops to provide Deaf and disabled artists with professional development opportunities that address broader accessibility needs. More details here >

PRIORITY REGISTRATION — artists with disabilities and Deaf artists* > as of Feb. 16, 2022
GENERAL REGISTRATION > as of Mar. 28, 2022

By registering for a workshop, you agree to cancel your participation if you have symptoms or suspect you may have COVID-19. Please read the Participant Engagement before registering. Thank you!

*The notion of disability is understood here in a broad sense to include a nuanced and open range of personal conditions and realities. 


CONTENT // Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT) is a a somatic approach to dance training developed by Joan Skinner. It combines technique with creative process, and has greatly influencing contemporary dance aesthetics. By cultivating effortlessness, one begins letting go of unnecessary holding in the physical self, gaining flexibility, efficiency, freedom. Through guided imagery, music and hands-on partner studies the practice facilitates a deep kinaesthetic experience of movement and in time a shedding of outer layers. It is an experiential, intuitive approach that utilizes imagery as a powerful tool for transformation. Open to all, with or without formal movement training.

ACCESSIBILITY // The power of SRT is in the effect of imagery on kinesthetic experience. SRT breaks with western dance training tradition by introducing somatic exploration, through guided improvisation structures and tactile partner work, rather then steps and phrases to be learned, imitated and rehearsed. It honours the technical and creative aspects of dance, equally. There is no ideal to obtain, no right or wrong way to participate.

Most activities are facilitated by verbal guidance followed by music. Most of the movement is improvisation inspired by the verbal and musical guidance.

At times the work focuses on moving specific parts of the body and at other times the whole body is integrated. There is partner work, but it is not obligatory. The physical qualities and effort used is left to the discretion of the participant. All ranges are possible; from movement that is subtle, even imperceptible from the outside (thought movement and imagination) to very high energy. This is the individuals choice. Music is played sporadically to enhance certain somatic states. Volume is managed carefully. There is little to no discussion – a sharing at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week only. The facilitator guides with vocal instruction. Demonstration occurs only for partner work. 

The structure is flexible in timing. The instructions are adaptable. There is a similar structure to each class. 

The content of a SRT class has its origins in somatic movement education, specifically Alexander Technique, but also with aspects that can be recognized in practices like Feldenkrais, BMC and Contact Improvisation and other influential approaches to contemporary dance.

BIO // Founder and artistic director of MamaDances since 2006, Eryn Dace Trudell is a multiple award-winning versatile dance artist. For three decades, she has excelled as producer, dancer, choreographer, facilitator, teacher, researcher and entrepreneur.

As a graduate of Juilliard, a certified Skinner Releasing Technique facilitator, and Masters student at Université du Québec de Montréal, her research investigates dance as a relational art and means of cultivating a sense of wholeness and wellness through the enhancement of kinaesthetic awareness, sensation and empathy – deepening connections to the self, to others, and the environment.

Her work demonstrates the ways in which dance contributes to the quality of life for individuals and communities, including new mothers, seniors, and other populations who frequently lack visibility and forums for expression in the dance world.  It is her conviction that by engaging in practices that help us to feel connected through presence and to sensation, we can cultivate the ability to bond, love and be loved: to care and be cared for. Eryn’s knowledge and skills are a consolidation of her formal training in ballet and modern dance at Juilliard, contemporary dance and somatic movement education, as well as her developing integration of theories of Dance Movement Therapy and the pursuit of history and practice of folk dance, culturally specific dances, and dance as ritual.