SomaticApp - Dance, digital software design and inclusive practice
This project aims to bring together expertise across disciplines of health and dance to develop the concept of an app that can be used by students to promote self awareness and relaxation through mindful movement. This can also be linked to dealing with related physical recurring pain such as neck and shoulder pain from desk work, etc. In particular, it will draw on somatic movement practices which are a group of activities that link body and mind for wellbeing such as Feldenkrais and Alexander technique.
Somatic movement practices offer tools to challenge old movement habits and develop movement capacity as well as easing stress. For example, skills such as developing mindful body awareness, and the attention to the relationship between self and context are principles that are used in somatic forms. However, there are questions about how this can be presented in an app format that would be easily accessible but also share the key principles of the approach.
The app would aim to provide a resource for students in dealing with ongoing stress and pain problems, made accessible through technology. There are many mindfulness apps on the market to deal with issues such as stress, sleep disorders and so on, which are hugely popular. Somatics can offer additional features drawing from body-based methods, of benefit for body-mind wellbeing. The app could create new ways of sharing research and teaching practices in dance and health by creating videos, animations, audio guided movement meditations, and so on, as a means for tracking progress.
DMLL will host two talks by industry professionals and scholars on design for e-health and dance apps, which will lead to workshops on how this learning can be applied in developing the somaticapp. The aim is to explore possibilities and sketch ideas that could lead to the design of a mobile app specifically devised to facilitate the adoption of somatic movement practices by HE students.
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For enquiries please contact Dr. Emma Meehan