AFC

Tune-in: Somatic Movement for Mental Wellness with Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen

April 11, 1- 3 pm ET on Zoom

Where do you feel your stress? If you experience it in your body, this free movement-based workshop is for you! Join somatic movement educator Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen for an introduction to somatics and holistic practices that serve different purposes related to wellness, mental health, physical health, chronic illness, and disability.

The workshop will include guided exercises on visualization, touch, movement, and breath that explore the body’s different systems through senses and perception. After each exercise, there will be an integration to allow us to learn from each other’s experiences through active listening, curiosity, questioning, and shared experience.

Accessibility: closed captions and ASL interpretation. If you require additional accommodations to make this event accessible for you, please get in touch, and we will do our best to meet your needs.


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Meet Mary-Dora

Mary-Dora (MD) Bloch-Hansen (they/them) is a queer millennial, multi-disciplinary performance artist, care worker, somatic movement educator, pleasure activist, writer and 2nd generation settler based in Tkaronto. 

Their work focuses on queer & trans-affirming body-centred practices and healing arts for a more livable future. They show up in their community as a birth/postpartum doula, childbirth educator, therapist, and emerging abolitionist. They are passionate about creating inclusive and brave spaces for equity-deserving communities. 

As a disability and reproductive justice advocate, MD prioritizes holding neurodiverse-affirming and trauma-informed spaces to foster resilience in the people they work and co-create with. MD is interested in weaving the praxis of art, physical expression, and care work as tools for community liberation and collective healing. 

MD and their alter ego (Claude) have been developing their artistic voice through a slow nurturing of a new solo work, which has been supported by residencies at DanceMakers Toronto (2020), Lake Studio Berlin (2022), Toronto Dance Theatre (2022), National Ballet of Canada’s Open Space Program (2023), and Jaberi Dance Theatre (2023). Since 2009, MD has performed, collaborated and toured works for many artists, including Amanda Acorn, Amanda Smith (FAWN Chamber Creative), Aszure Barton (Springboard Danse), David Earle, Nicole Negro, Pamela Rasbach (Typecast Dance), Ismael Ivo (ImPulsTanz), and Alyssa Martin (Rock Bottom Movement/RBM). With RBM, MD performed as a founding company member for ten years and was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Ensemble in the performance of MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS (2017).

MD holds a BFA in Performance Dance from TMU (2013) and a BA in Psychology (Honors) from Laurentian University (2022), where they were awarded the Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence for their honours thesis. Currently, MD is pursuing a Master of Social Work Degree at the University of Toronto.

Photo: Omar Al-Samadi / @abandonedaffair