Dance teachers at the Obrador
Sara is the director of Obrador de Moviments (along with Hervé Costa).
She teaches contemporary dance for children of all ages, Feldenkrais dance and movement for older adults. She is a Feldenkrais-accredited teacher.
Together with Hervé, she is in charge of the “Supervised space” for young trainees.
How did you first come into contact with dance?
It was at the cultural centre in Hospitalet (Barcelona). I think it was a demonstration of activities. I was very young, but I do remember the feeling… it was different. My mum introduced me to the teacher (Angels Bataller) and asked me if I would like to attend her classes. I said yes!
It’s a really nice memory that marked a turning point in my life. I believe that we make the most important decisions during our childhood. The hard part is remembering them and staying connected to them. I used to love going to her classes, I felt totally at home. Creating and moving helped me connect to a part of myself where everything was effortless.
Angels based her work on expression and improvisation. We used to experience movement without comparison or judgment.
It made us feel great —every class was an adventure.
What do you enjoy most in class?
I enjoy the exchange. You connect and identify with people, from the youngest to the oldest. When you get in touch with the body and movement, changes start to happen, something is transformed. It’s amazing to witness.
I love witnessing each individual’s process, seeing how they feel when they become aware of what is happening. Watching how children organise themselves and play, looking at their happy faces when they create moves. Teaching means being connected to the creation process. You create a context for things to happen within. You take part in something beautiful. It is an ongoing learning process.
Which other disciplines have you combined with your training, and what is your teaching approach?
Years ago, a French dancer told us about the Feldenkrais Method. She was training at that time, and talked enthusiastically about her experience. I understood that she felt freer; she talked about self-image, other ways to achieve movement, to transform patterns. It was a few years before I had the opportunity of experiencing the method myself. It is hard for me to describe how I felt during the first few sessions; I normally intuit or emote things.
I felt that this new way of being aware of the body in motion allowed me to access and recover aspects of myself that I had forgotten, but which greatly supported me.
I discovered this method at a time when I was questioning many things. I needed to give meaning to the effort and pressure of being a dancer: being exposed, recognised, living up to expectations… I really didn’t want to keep forging ahead. I thought of going back to where I’d started and rediscovering what made me want to dance in the first place.
Through the Feldenkrais Method, I began to gain awareness…
I became aware of the shortcomings in the training of most dancers. I became aware of my own lack of pedagogical tools to teach in a healthy way.The Feldenkrais Method uses movements and gestures that are very basic, yet extremely important for developing more complex skills.
It opens up a world of possibilities where you can free yourself from limiting patterns. The Feldenkrais Method brings me closer to all the reasons I chose to dance. It connects me with that clear idea that children have about what motivates them.
In addition to everything, I have learned in my career, my classes are based on and inspired by the Feldenkrais Method. It makes it easier for me to work with children, adults and older people. It enables me to help them in their learning process, regard them as unique beings, and look at them with an open mind.