My name is Michael Kellenberger, I`m a certified Advanced Rolfer®, Rolf Movement™ Practitioner and as well a former dancer and choreographer.
As a dancer, why did you decide to become a Rolfer?
I became a certified Rolfer in 2006. Before I danced as freelance dancer and choreographer doing my own projects.
But as a dancer / choreographer usually there will be a time where you have to decide you want to continue dancing, choreographing, teaching maybe,
Because at a certain age there a limitations in the dance world to continue dancing. That was the main point why I started to think about doing a new education to dive into a new profession.
So I was on searching for a new education quiet early on in my career as a dancer because there was always a part of bodywork involved also some kind of massage forms in a certain way. And it was always subject I was interested in. Not as much as a profession but as a aspect working on my own body or body of my colleague dancers which fascinated me.
I got in contact with Rolfing not via Rolfing actually but in a workshop where a Alexander teacher introduced me via the book of Ida Rolf specifically looking on anatomy and how anatomy works in the way how the body moves.
That was my first contact to Rolfing. And also Alexander Technique was a long time a field I was working with also taking single sessions with a teacher in the place where I had my first education as a dancer.
But Alexander Technique was a little bit to much in the head for me and not so much physical contact which is something I really enjoy. So therefore it wasn’t really fitting. But Rolfing was the perfect combination of working directly in physical contact on the body, as well as the movement part, as well as the emotional aspect to movement to body expression.
Therefore, Rolfing was much more the field I was feeling comfortable in and to become a Rolfer.
Then I met in my second education as a dancer in London I met Russel Maliphant which gave me also the 10 Series, and at that point it became clear that at a certain point I will do the Rolfing education. Because it was so profound the changes that I experienced in how I move how I feel in my body, how I perceive the world. Then I decided to become a Rolfer.
For me was a perfect combination using my knowledge as a dancer, about movement, expression of the body. How the body moves in space and also quiet a lot of knowledge how the body moves in the gravitational field which is related to space for sure.
What benefits can Rolfing® bring to dancers?
I would say you can gain a much deeper knowledge in how the body moves in gravity when you do the Rolfing education because it’s really a tangible subject when you work on the fascial network in the body. So, you can experience it quiet directly in how your body changes in terms of how you body moves in space. And also all the techniques you learned to be upright in space become more clear in how this will be expresses in your body.
And I would also say you can fine tune your body in a much easier way in how you move and how this movement expresses certain things. And how easy it can become to move in gravity and do movement with much less effort.
The Rolfing process can profit from the knowledge of how movement express inner experiences form the view of a dancer. So, I would say there is a lot to gain as a dancer from the Rolfing process but also as I said the Rolfing process can profit from your knowledge of what movement can do, what movement can express.