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Karin Rugman

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Personal statement

Karin Rugman is an experienced performer, choreographer and teacher who has worked extensively in education and the local community for over 30 years. She has a background in contemporary dance and is an experienced somatic movement educator in Shin Somatics, with additional experience in Alexander Technique, Tai Chi, Ideokinesis and Feldenkrais Technique. She is also a qualified Holistic Massage Practitioner and her somatic work centres around the use of touch as a medium for health and well-being.

As a freelance performer/choreographer, Karin has initiated and created numerous performance projects within the local community, schools, colleges and theatre groups, as well as devising and performing her own dance works both locally and internationally.

Karin is currently a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Bath Spa University, where she has established an advanced programme of somatic studies in the Dance Department. Her research feeds directly into undergraduate study and is concerned with the value of somatic practice in dance education. Students are introduced to the foundations of somatic practice, developing an understanding of kinaesthetic awareness in dance technique and performance, whilst investigating a deeper sense of self and exploring choreographic possibilities through somatic research.

Karin has a BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Diplomas in Shin Somatics and Holistic Massage. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK (FHEA), a registered somatic movement educator with ISMETA, a registered practitioner in Holistic Massage with MTI and a member of ESN (Eastwest Somatic Network). She is also a published writer in the field of somatic investigation.

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Performing Arts
  • PGCE.

Professional qualifications

  • Dip. Shin Somatics, Eastwest Somatics: Institute for Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies
  • Dip. (Level 4) Holistic Massage, MTI, Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association), full member
  • ESN (EastWest Somatic Network)
  • MTI (Massage Training Institute).

Other external roles

  • Founder teacher/choreographer to Kazdanz and Danzatak, Somerset Youth Dance companies (continued role as external consultant)
  • Certification Trainer for Eastwest Somatics Institute
  • Member of ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association).

Teaching specialism

  • Somatic education in movement, health and well-being
  • Somatic approaches to dance choreography and performance
  • Dance in education
  • Dance in the community.

Current scholarship

Karin’s ongoing research explores the value of somatic practices in Dance Education.

The development of a more comprehensive understanding of the body's mechanics both externally and internally enables the student to cultivate a deeper awareness of themselves, whilst promoting health and safe practice.

Karin is interested in exploring somatic processes as methods of creating, learning and teaching in choreography, encouraging students to be more experimental and playful in their understanding and development of composing and constructing movement material.

Her research interests include, somatic improvisation in performance, Butoh as metaphoric dance, somatics and self-authority and methods of assessment in somatic education. These feed directly into her current modules, which emphasise the potential of working somatically in the physical, creative and performing body. 

Karin has a particular interest in researching the educational and therapeutic aspects of teaching through touch. She has recently written about contact unwinding, a partner exploration, which employs movement-based teaching through touch and is performed in an improvisational dance context.

Recent professional updating

  • HEA Membership Forum - Bristol University: Problems with student assessment/Disseminating your practice and research into teaching and learning/Assessing students with dyslexia
  • New Connectivity: Somatic and Creative Practices in Dance Education, Palatine, Laban
  • Architecting the Body, Palatine, Bath Spa University
  • Alexander Technique Training, 2006, Bristol
  • Feldenkrais Technique Training, 2007, Bristol
  • Body Perspectives: Internal and external considerations of the body in process and in performance'. 2007, Palatine: Bath Spa University
  • Shin Somatic Certification Training: 2008, Wales, London & Bath, 2009, East Sussex, 2010, Italy, 2010-11, Bath Spa University
  • ISTD Conference, July 2010, Bath Spa University
  • Dance, Bodywork, Imagination: Shin Somatics Workshop, Feb 2011, Bath Spa University
  • Land to Water: Form to Flow. Shin Somatic certification workshop, May 2011, Bath Spa University
  • Dance and Somatic Practice Conference: Fostering trans-disciplinary perspectives in embodied process and performance. July 2011, Coventry University
  • Moving into Autumn with Shin Somatics: Reflecting, Rooting and Regenerating. Shin Somatics Workshop. Oct 2011, Bath Spa University
  • New Beginnings: Shin Somatics Workshop. Feb 2012, Bath Spa University
  • Earth and Alchemy: Image, Myth and Transformation. Shin Somatic Certification Workshop, April 2012, Bath Spa University
  • Shin Somatic Tuscany Retreat. Certification Training. May/June 2012, Ebbio, Tuscany
  • Ignite: Shin Somatics Workshop. Nov 2012, Bath Spa University
  • Cultural Health and Well Being Conference, Bristol. 24th -26th June 2013
  • Authentic Movement Workshop (Jane Bacon) 23rd-25th June 2014, Decoda Moved Series Summer, Coventry University
  • Dance with Older People. 9th July, 2014. Foundation for Community Dance Summer School, De Montford University
  • Introduction to Dance for Parkinson's. 10-11th July, 2014. Foundation for Community Dance Summer School, De Montford University
  • Diploma in Holistic Massage. 2015-16 Massage Training Institute, Bristol.

Professional workshops, presentations and practice as research

  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Somatic explorations moving from form to flow’. Land to Water: Form to Flow. 3-7 May 2011, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Investigating seasonal change through the body’. Moving into Autumn with Shin Somatics: Reflecting, Rooting & Regenerating. 29-30 October 2011, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Explorations in dance, bodywork & imagination’. New Beginnings Somatic Workshop. 11-12 February 2012, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Exploring nature, creativity & presence’. Winter’s Song Somatic Workshop. November 2013, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Explorations in dance, bodywork & imagination’. New Beginnings Somatic Workshop. February 2014, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K and Smith, K ‘Embodying presence and active imagination’. Dancing on Your Path Somatic Workshop. April 2014, Bath Spa University
  • Rugman, K (2014) ‘Ideokinesis: Educating Through Somatic Application’. (Presentation/ Staff Training), New Fosseway School, Bridge Learning Campus, Hartcliffe.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Contact unwinding
book_section

Rugman, K (2015) 'Contact unwinding.' In: Fraleigh, S, ed. Moving consciously : somatic transformations through dance, yoga, and touch. University of Illinois Press, Illinois. ISBN 9780252039409


Organisational change: ‘developing a more empowered and collaborative individual’
conference_item

Rugman, K (2017) Organisational change: ‘developing a more empowered and collaborative individual’. In: Bodily Undoing: Somatic Activism and Performance Cultures as Practices of Critique, 16 -17 September 2017, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Examining the use of tactile aid in somatic teaching: a practical paper in contact unwinding
conference_item

Rugman, K and Coe, K (2011) Examining the use of tactile aid in somatic teaching: a practical paper in contact unwinding. In: Dance and Somatic Practice Conference: Fostering Trans-Disciplinary Perspectives in Embodied Process and Performance, 8 - 10 July 2011, Coventry University, Coventry, UK.


Landscape Dances: improvised group piece [performer]
performance

Rugman, K (2010) Landscape Dances: improvised group piece [performer]. Ebbio, Tuscany, Italy, 25 May 2010.


Flux: an improvisational investigation into loss [performer/choreographer]
performance

Rugman, K (2010) Flux: an improvisational investigation into loss [performer/choreographer]. Ebbio, Tuscany, Italy, 25 May 2010.


1 Dusty Floor, 6 Broken Chairs & a Few Lost Souls [director/choreographer]
performance

Rugman, K and Steadman, M (2010) 1 Dusty Floor, 6 Broken Chairs & a Few Lost Souls [director/choreographer]. Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, 9 - 11 May 2010.


Investigating embodiment of emotionally sourced movement and its impact on movement memory and performance [director/choreographer]
performance

Rugman, K (2009) Investigating embodiment of emotionally sourced movement and its impact on movement memory and performance [director/choreographer]. Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, 26 March 2009.


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