This week’s Dance First Spotlight is on Tamalpa – with a special insight from Sophia Ali on completing Level 1 Training!

My level 1 journey made me dive into the work that Tamalpa offers. Learning from highly experienced professionals and enthusiastic batchmates out here, helped me open my horizons.

I was aware of my movement expression earlier, but here I explored my verbal expression and my voice with movement. It was beautiful to notice how my nonverbal expression holds hands with my verbal words, voice and movement. Words and voice weren’t present before but I found it now. I was scared to speak in front of people of authority; putting my views forward I was doubting myself, doubting my abilities, doubting my qualification and my skills.

After my self-portrait performance, I could feel the connection of anthropological traditions in performing arts providing a platform for quest, longing, realizations, fulfillment, union, harmony and salvation through various symbolic movements and postures.

Being in the process, I feel the power of healing and transformation that the Tamalpa work carries. I want to take this opportunity to carry the work forward in India to the communities experiencing challenges and who need support voicing it out. My core focus will be to ensure that the ‘voices of the most marginalized’ are heard, reflecting an acceptance that too many have suffered for too long, and that the tide can turn with the right kind of wind behind it.

In order to expand my learning, I will be volunteering with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and Schurig Center for brain injury recovery during my break after my Level 1 completion. I’m glad that I entered into this field and particularly, Tamalpa institute. I hope to be working on different modalities and building new concepts in my home country and I believe leadership training would help me to develop skills to coach individuals, facilitate groups, and apply the principles of embodied awareness into the field of movement based expressive arts therapy and would deepen my theoretical, experiential and practical understanding of the Tamalpa Life/Art Process. I believe it will help me to support my further research in the field of movement based expressive arts therapy as well.


Reaching home,
Finding myself,
Unknotting the mystery,
Giving birth to my space,
Uncovering discoveries,
Holding and releasing,
Listening and moving,
Reflecting and building
Reaching and creating, The change.

Changing for growth,
Growth to stay, to move, to pause, to hold, to release.
Getting help from the art, music, nature, movement, solitude…..
Reaching home,
For my legs and feet, ribcage, spine, head, shoulders, arms, hands, pelvis, abdomen.
Reaching home for my body,
For body is my soul,
My home,
My temple,
My life line….


To learn more about The Tamalpa Institute click here!