Recent Graduate with even MORE to Teach
By Renée Tillotson
When you learn, teach. When you get, give.
– Maya Angelou
Still & Moving Center’s own Katharine Harts – whose Aerial Hammock Dance class most recently performed her gorgeous, inspired choreography at our 2022 Diwali festival of lights – has just upped her teaching certifications yet again! Katharine is now a graduate of the MELT technique’s 6-month Level 3 training.
Before answering your very good question of “What on earth is MELT?” please allow us to tell you a bit about this fascinating woman who has been teaching at Still & Moving Center for the last three years!
Coming from a small town in Kansas, Katharine went to college as a featured baton twirler. YES! A baton twirler. I don’t know of any other Still & Moving teachers over the last almost 12 years with elite baton twirling experience!
Nor do I know of any others who have been church pastors! Especially a church pastor who had aerial artists hanging from the rafters of her church!!! So Katharine is truly a one of a kind individual.
And as a dedicated lifelong learner, Katharine is bound to continually change and grow. She is currently enrolled in training at Still & Moving’s sister program: the Academy of Mindful Movement, attracted by the concept of treasuring the human body.
Back during her college days, Katharine’s drive to acquire more baton twirling moves took her to a modern dance class, which eventually led her to earn a Master of Fine Art degree in Dance Choreography at the University of Arizona.
For Katharine, the body wasn’t simply a physical instrument. As she earned her Master’s in Divinity, with an emphasis in creation-centered spirituality, she came to view the human body as Divinity made flesh.
She also came to understand that a lot of human psychological problems are stored in the body – long before The Body Keeps the Score book came out. She studied for years a field of somatic psychology called Eutony, eventually coming to understand that the body’s traumas can provide keys to unlock greater self-insight.
Katharine also became intrigued by the concept of self-healing the trauma and injury stored in the body. She relates: “When I was dancing the same choreography every night, I would get tighter and tighter. I was particularly prone to getting cramps in my calves and the arches of my feet. I began using a tennis ball to “iron out” my muscles. I now know that my fascia was dehydrated, and as I sought to relieve my muscle cramps, my body intuitively drew me to a method that would help to rehydrate my fascia.”
Eventually, taking a yoga class near her San Francisco Bay Area home, Katharine got introduced to the MELT technique of tissue rehydration. She recalls: “The MELT practitioner did the hand and foot treatment with me, and I couldn’t believe it! Just this little soft ball relieved so much of my pain and cramping!
“That got me hooked. Then I took that treatment from Sue Hitzmann, founder of the MELT technique. Sue was on a fascia research team and was one of the first to understand that our fascia matrix is an example of “tensegrity” – not in building structures, but in a living body model. Our body is held together by bio-tensegrity. It’s SO fascinating!”
Through MELT, Katharine – our perpetual learner – found out that our fascia interacts with our nervous system, which in turn is an extension of our brain. So when we begin healing problems stored in our connective tissue, our fascia, we also begin to rewire our nervous system and ultimately impress our brain in positive ways.
As Katharine has dedicated herself to helping students to self-heal, her students are noticing themselves gain in body awareness.
Alice Smith, one of Katharine’s Still & Moving Center students who has her medical degree as a radiologist, reports: “I’m not the kind of person who knew how to sense their body. Things like dancing were beyond my reach with 2 left feet and no idea where my arms and legs were in space. The concept of body sensation made no sense to me until I started MELT. MELT taught me how to interpret what my body was saying to me – what muscle is tight? How is that affecting the other structures adjacent to it and how can I position my body to improve it? MELT has made a big difference for me. I am better able to sense my body.
Another of her students, Lani Kwon, says of MELT: “Not only am I relatively pain-free, but
I have an increased range of motion and mobility. This may be the closest thing to a fountain of youth!”
Katharine has discovered through her own body that self-treatment can really help the healing process, and now she sees how her students can successfully reconnect with their bodies to self-heal. She feels glad to have chosen this as her retirement path. “It makes me so happy to help people help themselves in their own bodies!”
Thanks, Katharine, for your never-ending explorations and discoveries as a student, which you share with us as a teacher at Still & Moving Center!
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