Movement groups to re-establish safety & connection
in the body, develop the inner witness, & restore intuition
Kendal McDevitt has been involved with dance, contemplative movement and embodiment practices for most of her life. She trained extensively in ballet and modern dance and attended summer sessions at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the American Dance Festival. Additionally, she has trained in Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation, Body-Mind Centering, Body-Mind Psychotherapy, Soul Focused Energy Healing and Contemplative Dance Practice (CDP).
Kendal’s Authentic Movement training began in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Melinda Ripps, and continued with her master's degree program for Somatic Psychology (Dance/Movement Therapy focus) at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her Authentic Movement teachers in Boulder included Patricia Mowry-Rutter, Cassie Bull and Eleni Levidi. She later experienced an Authentic Movement immersion weekend with Paula Sager and Joan Webb, and subsequently applied for and was accepted into Janet Adler’s Circle of Four Authentic Movement Discipline training program. She co-founded an ongoing Authentic Movement peer group in Boone, North Carolina in 2005. For a more thorough list of her embodiment training and experience, review her Embodiment Training Vitae.
Kendal’s previous professional experience includes teaching dance and movement classes, being a therapist, and working in higher education (primarily in public health and wellness) for 15 years. She currently runs a private practice centered on Soul Focused Energy Healing, Neurofeedback training, and Authentic Movement facilitation. She is dedicated to the development of consciousness and believes that the body is the vessel through which consciousness grows.
Lumini Merced has been involved with creative endeavors and healing practices for most of her life. She has trained extensively in Zen Shiatsu, Authentic Movement, Continuum Movement, and Expressive Arts. Her Authentic Movement background includes study with two of the esteemed elders in this discipline, 5 years with Zoe Avstreih and 4 years with Janet Adler, as well as 12 years of practice with a dedicated peer group in New England.
Her professional background includes teaching movement workshops, being a senior instructor at the Ohashi Institute, and being a shiatsu therapist in private practice for 15 years. Her academic background includes degrees in Biology and Dance from the University of California, Irvine, and she has also studied modern dance at the Erick Hawkins School in New York City. She has lived in the mountains of North Carolina for 30 years.
Lumini experiences her body as a vessel of transmission and expression. Through her somatic studies, she has learned to be empty and listen, to find ease with the unknown, and to allow energies and ideas to flow through her. Her somatic practices have deepened her capacities for expressing subtlety and intensity, for trusting her instincts and intuition, and for healing trauma in body and psyche.
Lumini is dedicated to ever-deepening embodiment and remembrance of our belonging within the web of life. She finds rejuvenation in wild places, where she enters into communion with the living presences of earth, water, air, fire and cosmos. She is especially inspired by the ocean, where the vast seascape draws forth spontaneous movement, chant and prayer from her. She believes that the more we can attune to the wisdom of our bodies, the more we can attune to and honor our planetary body and the greater web of life.
Authentic Movement has been a significant contemplative and transformative movement practice for both Lumini and Kendal. Their intention is to create a sacred space and supportive circle for embodied discovery and development. Their hope is to bring together a group of embodied movers dedicated to the practice of Authentic Movement in the High Country.
They have plans to teach a series of modules to share the fundamental skills of Authentic Movement and support the cultivation of embodied movement, speech and presence. The first module is open to any person interested in exploring and learning about Authentic Movement. Subsequent modules build upon the knowledge and skills taught earlier, so completion of previous modules is a prerequisite. The tentative schedule of classes is:
Autumn 2023: Module I:
The Mover: Coming Home to Our Bodies through Authentic Movement
Winter 2024: Module 2:
The Witness: Cultivating Unconditional Presence and Conscious Speech
Autumn 2024: Module 3:
The Collective: Expanding into Group Consciousness
Authentic Movement is an expressive, contemplative movement practice involving movers and witnesses that allows participants a type of free association of the body. For both the mover and the witness, work is concentrated in the development of the inner witness. With eyes closed, movers listen to and follow an inner impulse to move in the presence of an accepting witness. Movement may arise from sensation, imagery, memory, thought, and/or direct experience. This practice supports individuals to align with and move from an intuitive, aligned state in the presence of another, strengthening their ability to track embodied experience, and practicing self-referencing speech as a means of bringing consciousness to their body’s wisdom. Through this form of deep listening and conscious speaking, we literally return to our senses, reawakening our innate knowing of our own unique experience of Wholeness - a return to our Soul and to God/Spirit - which together are the source of our intuition.
In these groups, we co-create a safe space, honoring the profound gift of each person present and the embodied expression of both personal and collective that are available to come through. We begin each session checking in, briefly discussing the practice and then exploring the rich landscape of listening to our inner impulses to move.
• A simple yet profound practice for deep listening and connection
• An opportunity to slow down and be with direct inner experience
• A safe space to move and express freely without judgment or limitation
• An invitation to explore our relationship to being seen & supported unconditionally
• An increased understanding of our habitual patterns and "authentic" movement impulses
• An opportunity to deepen our ability to differentiate between personality, Soul & Collective
• Anyone wanting to develop their intuitive self
• Anyone wanting to expand their creative skills or embodied expression
• Parents wanting to reconnect with their own bodies, rhythm, and trust
• Professionals who want to slow down and listen to their inner voices
• Anyone who wants to strengthen their body-based connection with Soul and God/Spirit
"As a witness, Kendal is grounded in her physical body and owns her inner experience while offering witnessing to others. She is particularly gifted at speaking from an embodied perspective. Kendal has both strong leadership and collaboration skills, and is attentive to the group’s unfolding process. She is an excellent communicator, and I’ve watched her introduce the basics of Authentic Movement to newcomers with ease and clarity. She is deeply caring, has humility, and has the inner strength to make difficult decisions within a group context." -MO
"Kendal consistently modeled for us the power and importance of conscious speech, and when needed, helped others to learn the skill through feedback. She taught us the concepts of the collective body as distinguished from the individual body, as well as different forms of witnessing. Most notable of these was her ability to be present to her own felt sense as she witnessed another moving." -NB
"She was an incredible organizer & quiet leader. She was passionate about the practice, about sharing it, and the value it brought to her life. Her ability to teach the principles through didactic interactions demonstrated a deep commitment to her knowledge base and her desire to share the practice in its purest form. The quality of this aspect of her teaching was only surpassed by the way she actually lived the principles of AM as she moved with us and processed with us." -KP