Calder Navigation

Rosalind Arden

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Calder Navigation, where we have the pleasure of introducing Rosalind Arden, a somatic therapist.

Join us as we embark on a transformative exploration of mental health, creativity, and the profound impact of therapeutic conversation.

Before we delve into our enlightening conversation with Rosalind, we would like to acknowledge that the audio quality of this episode may not meet our usual standards due to unforeseen technical issues during the recording process. Nevertheless, we urge you to look beyond this minor inconvenience and embrace the invaluable insights and compassionate thoughts that Rosalind shares with us.

A headshot photo of Rosalind over a green watercolour and grey skyline background. She is a white woman with short blonde hair. She is wearing a brown vest top and is smiling.


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A headshot photo of Rosalind over a green watercolour and grey skyline background. She is a white woman with short blonde hair. She is wearing a brown vest top and is smiling.

About Rosalind Arden

Rosalind’s expertise lies in working closely with individuals who have confronted challenges such as depression and chronic fatigue. Through various modalities including movement, drawing, and writing for health, she guides her clients on a journey towards rediscovering their inner strength.

Rosalind’s personal mental health journey serves as a driving force behind her unwavering commitment to assisting others on their own paths to mental well-being. She marvels at the innate wisdom of the bodymind, recognising its ability to thrive and express creativity when provided with the appropriate support and connections.

Rosalind is also a regular participant in our classes and has recently joined our team as a volunteer, helping ensure everyone is looked after with a good brew after each session!


[00:00:01] – Samantha

Welcome to Calder Navigation, the podcast that embarks on a transformative journey through the lives and stories of the incredible people of Calderdale. I’m your host, Samantha McCormick, Artistic Director and founder of Curious Motion, and I’m thrilled to have you join me on this adventure.


[00:00:18] – Samantha

Calder Navigation invites you to open your hearts and minds to the tapestry of everyday moments and significant events that shape our lives. Through authentic and relaxed conversations, we’ll delve into the complexities of what it means to be human, celebrating the diversity and resilience of our community. This podcast is not just a collection of stories. Each episode is a unique exploration, a tribute to the rich tapestry of our shared experiences.


[00:00:47] – Samantha

So come and join us on this journey and let’s celebrate the remarkable individuals who call the Calder Valley home and let’s uncover the depth and beauty of the human experience together.


[00:00:58] – Samantha

We are delighted to welcome Rosalind Arden, a somatic therapist, to the very first episode of Calder Navigation. With her expertise in working one on one with individuals who have faced challenges such as depression and chronic fatigue, Rosalind helps them reconnect with their vitality through the power of conversation and creative processes like movement, drawing and writing for health.


[00:01:22] – Samantha

Her personal mental health journey fuels her dedication to supporting others on their own mental health path. Rosalind is constantly amazed by the body mind’s innate wisdom to thrive and express creativity when provided with the right support and connections. Rosalind is also a regular participant in our sessions and has recently joined the Curious Motion team as one of our fantastic volunteers.


[00:01:46] – Samantha

Before we dive into our discussion with Rosalind, please note that the audio quality for this episode might not be up to our usual standards due to technical issues with the recording. We hope this doesn’t detract from Rosalind’s brilliant insights and the kind thoughts she shared with us.


[00:02:02] – Samantha

Welcome, Rosalind.


[00:02:04] – Rosalind

Thank you. It’s great to be here.


[00:02:07] – Samantha

It’s really nice to get this time, actually to talk to you often. It’s lots of hellos, goodbye. Thank you so much for doing the tea and coffee, dancing together, which is lovely, but not often we get a chance to chat a bit more. So I’m really excited to talk to you and thank you very much for agreeing to do this as well.


[00:02:28] – Rosalind

Yeah, you’re welcome. I’m really excited to be here and I’m really excited with the whole expansion of Curious Motion’s kind of journey and great, happy to be part of it.


[00:02:38] – Samantha

Thank you. Yeah, it’s an exciting time, definitely. So I thought, could we start with a little bit of a whistle stop around your-, not your entire life because we haven’t got that long, but maybe like where you grew up. A little bit about your background before we get into the minutes we’re going to chat about today.


[00:02:58] – Rosalind

Yeah, well, I think-, I’m from Heckmondwike, so over the hill, if you like, sort of grew up around Kirklees area and lived there most of my life, been away and come back and so on, but always been around this area and as a child, always sort of went to the local towns. My mother used to take us shopping in Halifax and Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford. So always felt part of a bigger, wider kind of network, had a very ordinary childhood in many ways, but I think it was colored by my mother’s depression. And so that was always a thread through our lives.


[00:03:44] – Rosalind

I had one sister and I think so mental health has always been on the agenda, if you like, in some shape or form. Yeah, and then my own kind of journey as I kind of left home and sort of went out into the world and started to realise that I too experienced, I didn’t know it was depression, but I felt strange. I didn’t understand what that was, really. So I had to navigate the world through that lens of something’s not quite right, I can’t quite function fully in the world and trying to find my way through that.


[00:04:24] – Rosalind

And I was like a lot of people, I was very successful at that in some ways. I ended up going to university, having a family, doing all the normal things, but always with this kind of edge of actually, sometimes I just can’t do this. And so, obviously that at a certain point, I was a mature student at university and it was actually at university that I got access to a counselling service for the first time, because I really struggled through my final year and I didn’t think I was going to make it. And so that was my first taste of counselling. And then that opened a door for me because I’m the kind of person who wants to demystify things. It was like, well, what is this? What’s happening? What is counselling?


[00:05:21] – Rosalind

And so then I started training and I kind of switched career paths. I’d kind of trained as a housing manager in local authorities, housing associations. I worked for Stonham Housing Association in Halifax at one time, but then gradually I shifted over into the counselling and psychotherapy world and that now is a big part of my work, really. And then coming right up to the present, I suppose, my journey through my own depression history.


[00:05:57] – Rosalind

And also, I should mention, two very long periods of chronic fatigue syndrome, which again required me to investigate, well, what’s going on here in this body mind. And so lots of explorations in lots of different systems of what can support me, ultimately leading initially to somatic meditation, going to the States and training. And that opened the door to somatic movement and dance and that whole world, which ended up with me doing a master’s degree in dance. And somatic wellbeing, which, like, who would have thought it?


[00:06:38] – Samantha

I know, and I just can’t wait to ask you about all of that. I’m going to hold off slightly. It’s really interesting, the range of experience. Like you said it’s-, who would have known that you would have ended up doing that? And I just picked up there, you were talking about how you want to demystify things and what does that mean to you, demystifying something? What’s the impact of that?


[00:07:03] – Rosalind

Yeah, it’s kind of like something about there was the wanting to understand myself and then there’s the wanting to understand, well, what is this process called counselling? And what is it that makes it different to other types of talking or other types of activity? What is it that’s actually helpful, what is it that actually really helps? And I have that same curiosity now about somatics well, what is it we’re really doing? And I kind of ask it every day, well, what am I doing? Like I’m just kind of rolling about on the floor sometimes or like waving my arms about and kind of going, oh, this is nice and why do I feel better afterwards? And just that whole question about what is it help, what is it that helps me? And then what is it that helps other people? Can I find a way to apply this in my life to support me and then to support others? I think that’s almost my curiosity.


[00:08:06] – Samantha

Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I know you’ve mentioned to me before and partly why you were happy to come on the podcast is that you are open about talking about things and I suppose the demystifying links into that because like you said, it’s supporting your own self. But there is a lot of value in that for other people and for our wider community and society. And it’s really nice that you have this approach that is always curious and is always like, but why is this happening? And it isn’t just like, right, I know this now, done, because life isn’t really-, I think we get told that you go on a journey and things get better all of a sudden and then everything is great forever. That would be wonderful, but it’s not the way it is, isn’t it? And that idea of just always questioning it is really interesting.


[00:08:59] – Rosalind

Yeah, and I think that just something to mention there is that it’s true that these days, I’m very open about my mental health, my history, my health. And there was a time when that was not true because as we know, and it’s still true to some degree, sometimes there is stigma and shame around mental health. And so for many years, I didn’t talk about my mental health to a lot of people and I was careful about where I spoke about it. And it was like it was only when I started working with a depression self help group in Batley that it was like coming out. It’s like, yes, me too, I have depression.


[00:09:43] – Rosalind

And then I set up a counselling service and train people in counselling skills so that we could help each other. I was probably in my mid 30s before I was able to do that, before I was able to speak out. And I suppose now it’s kind of like, well, actually, we’re all going through stuff every day to different degrees and we all carry different histories and we all have every day is different, isn’t it, for everybody. But there is something about what I know now is putting words on things or putting expression on things that might be movement, painting, drawing, whatever works for you. Something about expressing it in the world that allows it to shift.


[00:10:38] – Samantha

That’s very interesting. And would you say that the shift from that experience you had when you were younger around having to maybe mask and you couldn’t say those words, it wasn’t a thing that was possible at that point. And now you look at things now, would you say there has been a sort of societal shift in some way? I’m not saying a perfect one. I’m absolutely-, we’re nowhere near that, are we? I suppose there’s more things happening now that are supporting people to express themselves.


[00:11:12] – Rosalind

Absolutely, yes. I can remember my mother saying when she was younger, there wasn’t counseling, there weren’t mental health groups, there wasn’t anything for her to access. And she knew that antidepressants were not the answer for her. And they can be very helpful for some people. There can be life saving and there can be a support system, and there’s still something in you that wants to be expressed. I think over time, we certainly are shifting as a culture. I think we are talking more. I mean, things like the Mental Health Foundation, obviously, things like Curious Motion.


[00:11:58] – Rosalind

There’s lots of different people in organisations and groups now who are speaking out, celebrities who speak out, social media people who are willing to kind of say, hey-, like Ruby Wax has just kind of got a new book out. So I think there is a shift and what we know is actually mental health challenges are on the rise. And so what is it that we’re doing as a culture that’s actually creating some of this stuff? And for young people at the moment, it’s like, it’s a real concern. And that although we might be able to talk about it more, services are not necessarily accessible and available when people really need them.


[00:12:43] – Samantha

Very true. It’s very, very true. I think a lot of it has come to the forefront, hasn’t it? Maybe society in general, I am massively generalising, is paying more attention. But like you say, why is this now? Well, not now. It has been on the rise a lot more than just now. But why is that happening?


[00:13:03] – Samantha

And it’s not always, in my opinion, about just the treatment. Once it’s happening, it’s what can we do to prevent? And obviously there isn’t one answer to that as well. There’s millions of possibilities around that. And it’s just really interesting to hear your experience, having had your own personal journey with that and come through different cultural approaches to this place where we are now and what that might mean for you, your extended social circle, family and the wider community and are even wider and wider.


[00:13:37] – Samantha

So expression, let’s go on to expression, which, I’m very biased. I mean, most people listening would know that. My background is in dance, so let’s just get it out there and obviously Curious Motion’s core art form is dance. And it was really interesting to me when we were chatting about you coming on the podcast before today. You were saying how you saw the arts originally as something that was absolutely not for you. And I wondered if we could start there. Why did you think the arts wasn’t for you?


[00:14:12] – Rosalind

Yeah, well, I mean, I grew up in a family where my dad was a skilled labourer as an electrician and my mother was actually a French teacher. And my mother did have very much an arts bent, but she was very much into literature. She dabbled in a bit of drawing, painting, she had a little bit of skill that her depression never meant-, she never managed to kind of go any places with. And I kind of knew about that, but I never felt as a child through school that any of that was like my aptitudes. So I was fairly-, I probably didn’t pass my O Level in art or whatever. And I can remember doing dance at school, at grammar school in Bradford, we did do dance. And my dance teacher left maybe when I was in the third or fourth year. And I can remember years and years later that I realised that I had a lot of grief about his departure and that that maybe had got in the way for me, that I really didn’t know that. And then somehow through my therapy process, realising, oh, you know, like that was an impact on me that I didn’t even recognise at the time. So maybe there was something there.


[00:15:35] – Rosalind

I did have strong aptitudes in things like organisation and management and I did a housing studies degree and I ended up working in the local authority for many years. So I had some strong aptitudes around those things. And of course, you follow those things where you can feel like you’re a bit successful in the world despite whatever your mental health is, state is. But somehow I never saw myself as artistic, creative, kind of like that was for other people. It was only like, as I say, doing the somatic meditation and then feeling like, oh, that’s a doorway to somatics that I really had no idea what it was really, apart from, it was the body from the inside out rather than the outside in would be a very shorthand way of saying it. And having investigated the inner body through meditation and realising that actually there’s something missing here for me. Meditation has been a very core practice for me and it was like, actually, there’s two things missing, movement and sound. It’s like if you’re sitting in a shrine room meditating, you’re not moving and you’re not making a noise.


[00:16:52] – Rosalind

And there’s something about those very human instincts that we all have to move the body and sound in whatever way that I started to realise, actually, there’s something here that needs attending to. And that then enabled me to apply for the Masters in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing, having looked at that course for many years, I’d gone on that website for years and kind of gone, oh, that looks really interesting, but I’d never get in because I’m not a trained dancer and I haven’t done that and so I wouldn’t even get an interview. And I suppose doing the somatic meditation and because I’d reached a certain point, done all the trainings and so on, and done my counselling and psychotherapy, and starting to frame that course as, oh, you know, it’s kind of a wide remit gave me the confidence to apply. And the staff were so open to making the course accessible to all. And of course, when I got there, actually, there were very few professional dancers. There were certainly some people who’d done some formal dance training, but at least half the course were from all sorts of backgrounds that you wouldn’t have imagined that had found their way there through.


[00:18:15] – Rosalind

They might have been physiotherapists or any walk of life, really, but had come to explore what it means to be in a body and to be able to be creative. So that was like, opened up, like, a whole new field for me. And it was kind of like and I kind of always said it’s like, this is my retirement gift to myself. I’m going to go and do this Masters and I’m going to go and play. And I always knew the child in me had not really played. I suppose my mother’s depression had impacted on that. So it took me a long time to kind of access my sort of inner child kind of playfulness. And it’s still sometimes feel a bit restricted. But that whole thing was like, oh, my goodness, I’ve just stepped into a whole new world where people are talking about things that I’ve never talked about and using movement practices in a dance studio, using drawing and writing and sculpting and working with objects in nature. And it was like, oh, here we are, like playtime.


[00:19:34] – Samantha

It just sounds like complete heaven.


[00:19:35] – Rosalind

Yeah, yeah.


[00:19:37] – Samantha

Did you feel a sense of freedom?


[00:19:41] – Rosalind



[00:19:42] – Samantha

Is that-, am I right to say that?


[00:19:43] – Rosalind

Yeah. And I think that is the essence of somatics. And that was why I was able to go on that training, even though at the time I was like two years into a period of chronic fatigue syndrome that lasted six years. And the staff supported me every inch of the way because the whole point of the training was about listening to soma, listening to body, listening to the inner experience of the body and allowing that to be the guide. And that’s a healing journey in itself. It’s a whole healing journey. And that was what a big part of my recovery through my physical and mental health was through that process.


[00:20:33] – Samantha

I’m just thinking about what you said there about, it’s the body as the guide. And we live in a world where that is not the case. And the majority of our experience, regardless of who we are, really, those of us who are trying to live in that are still in a world that is very thinking brain led, which is fine, we need that too. It’s all welcome, isn’t it? But it’s tapping into this sort of innate ability for healing. And I wondered, was there any moment where you had a realisation that you had that in you and you could do that for yourself, tapping into your inner experience and there was something that your body knew that maybe your conscious mind or academic or whatever maybe hadn’t quite connected to.


[00:21:31] – Rosalind

Yeah, and I think I started to get in cleanse of that through the somatic meditation because we were kind of moving, you know, giving attention to the inner body space. But I think with movement, what I found was it’s like, oh, the body this sounds strange to say, the body has a mind of its own and the body has a wisdom that we’re kind of completely neglecting. It’s like we really prize our intellectual capacities and our minds to, as you say, absolutely necessary for making things happen and being in the world. And yet there’s this whole untapped resource that could inform the mind that actually there’s an innate wisdom in the body. And that there was something for me about, once I kind of had enough experience of learning to move from impulse, learning to-, all that kind of training of just-, and we call it training, but it’s so simple. Like, well, what is it like if we just pay attention to the weight dropping through your feet or whatever and just making that connection with ground and experiencing gravity and these are things that most of us never think about, talk about.


[00:22:52] – Rosalind

But when we pay attention and we experience, it’s like, oh, there’s a whole shift in how we experience our bodies and how we experience our minds, because our minds get some new information that kind of gives us a bit of-, it’s like we get rearranged.


[00:23:12] – Samantha

Yeah, rearranged. I like that, yeah.


[00:23:17] – Rosalind

In a good way.


[00:23:20] – Samantha

Yeah, absolutely. It’s new information. New, I was going to say energy. I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but yeah, it’s kind of like another area of being a human, isn’t it? That, like you said, we are neglecting a part of our being. And in my opinion, I’ve always tried at my best to try and live a life where I can experience things and do your best to, whatever that means, and that would be unique for different people. But there is something about that untapped part of the human experience that is just almost dormant, maybe.


[00:24:00] – Rosalind

Yeah, I think that’s right. And that’s what’s great about what you’re offering with the Curious Motion dance classes and so on, is that opportunity, although you’re structuring it within a formal dance session, but still, that enough kind of slowing things down and really noticing what’s happening, really experiencing the body, understanding how moving the body impacts the brain and how all that, all that is just feeding the whole system. And we are whole systems and we’re sometimes just so occupied with heads, aren’t we? We’re like these kind of talking heads. And it’s like, oh, my goodness, there’s all this resource. And then particularly when our mental health goes off a bit awry, it’s like we don’t even know that actually, we could support our mental health through being more connected with our bodies.


[00:25:02] – Samantha

Yeah. And as somebody that didn’t have a dance upbringing and by that I mean, I didn’t have the most traditional dance upbringing, but I danced through all of my childhood, not informal ways. I did dance training, I went to uni, I actually went to three unis. I did what I thought you had to do. I also thought I wanted to do certain things in dance that I haven’t ended up doing. But I’m just thinking about, it’s really valuable to hear about this from somebody that didn’t sort of do the-, like you said, about not being able, thinking, oh, I can’t go on that course, I’m not a trained dancer. I’m sure hundreds and hundreds of people have probably thought that. And I think we get told that. And I was just thinking about the flip side of this, is that sometimes somatic work or if we use words like somatics, or we talk about particular things, for a lot of people, it’s so alien that it’s almost off putting.


[00:26:07] – Samantha

So I was wondering, are there any little tiny little things that we could do in our everyday? Maybe if we’ve never experienced this before and we’re thinking, oh, wow, okay, I don’t really understand what you mean. But this is really interesting because it is a very accessible practice, isn’t it? Like you said, it’s very simple. It could be done by anybody. And I just wondered if there were any little examples or little kind of things that would support somebody who was very new to this to tap into it.


[00:26:36] – Rosalind

Yeah. Well, right now, I’m sitting here and part of my attention is on you and part of my attention is within. And where my attention is going at the moment is like, to my seat, to my legs on the chair, to my feet on the ground. And I’m just being here, I can feel the, I can feel the sofa supporting my back. And all of that feels like a ground of support whilst I’m sitting here in a strange situation. We’re being recorded and I’m kind of going, it’s okay, it’s okay. The ground’s here. I’m safe, I’m supported. So something about having we can develop what we call dual attention, we can have inner and outer, and often we’re giving a lot of attention to out there and then we’re kind of disconnecting from our bodies and then we start feeling anxious or we start, you know, it’s like I’m not safe. The nervous system really needs to feel safe, and we know that now from a lot of modern studies. And so there’s something about the body feels safe when it’s supported, when it’s in a safe relationship, when we’re with other people we feel good with, but we can use very simple things like we are connected to the earth.


[00:28:09] – Rosalind

This body has a relationship, we have a primary relationship with gravity, and we can tap into that. So just bringing your attention to the soles of your feet and just noticing what that’s like. Sit here with my cup of tea and just feel my hand, feel the warmth of my hand against the cup and just feeling that texture relationship and the taste of the tea. And so it’s just slowing down enough to kind of go, this is actually really what’s happening right now. And the mind can be busy going off with what am I doing this afternoon? Or is this podcast going to be okay? And all that stuff. But actually, right here, I can see you, I feel safe with you, and I know that I’m safe here sitting on this sofa.


[00:29:11] – Samantha

Yeah, slowing down. Nice. And it is, I mean, I have kind of worked in this field similarly in a more formal dance way, and I know all of these things in a way, in my own experience, but I struggle to do them. Just you then saying, I’m feeling my cup, I’m holding a cup of tea as well. I’ve nearly finished it because it’s lovely. And just you saying about the texture of the cup, I was like, oh, yeah, I can feel that. And there is something reassuring and being right here, right now. And I know we get a lot of that. I think sometimes we get sent messages about mindfulness or being in the present moment over and over and over again, and it can get a little bit diluted, potentially. But there really is something about that slowing down, isn’t there?


[00:30:03] – Rosalind



[00:30:03] – Samantha

And then how do you integrate that into your movement and into your dance and your expressive approach to that as well? What’s that like for you?


[00:30:12] – Rosalind

Yeah, well, again, I suppose, in terms of the kind of, obviously you do things like warm ups, so I would be doing a warm up and I might be more emphasising. Just things like, okay, so I come into the space, where’s my body drawn to this morning to start from? Oh, actually, I really want to be over there where the light is this morning. Or I’m wanting to hide in this corner today and just following that. Yeah, so that might be like, okay, so I’ll follow that. So I go to that spot and then it’s like, how does my body want to start today? Okay. I’m actually feeling a bit tired, so I’m just going to lie down and just allowing the body to lie down and feeling the contact with the ground. And is there any movement in the body or is the body needing to rest?


[00:31:15] – Rosalind

So for me, movement and rest is the dance. So movement and rest and again, we can emphasise movement and then it’s like, well, let’s come back to rest. Let’s move from a place of rest. And again, this slowing down, this really paying attention and just, oh, actually my hips are starting to move a bit. I’m noticing there’s just a little bit of rocking coming out of that rest, that stillness. And I’m just following that now and you can see me doing that now. I’m just noticing that happening in the body and then it’s getting bigger, it’s getting bigger. My arm’s moving now, isn’t it? And it’s like, okay. And so this is the body. It’s just unwinding, really. It’s just doing its thing.


[00:32:06] – Rosalind

If I allow it enough time and space to do that and then it might eventually, we might take off into maybe wanting to get vertical, maybe it’s wanting to run around, maybe it’s wanting a bit of, like, really speeding up, but it’s allowing the body to guide the pace to the tempo. And of course, that helps if you’ve got some guidance as well. If someone’s facilitating a process where you might be getting some cues, but the invitation is always, well, here are some cues and you follow what works for you. So it’s much more about finding one’s own in a process. And of course, that might also be we might work in pairs and we might one person might move and someone else might be witnessing your move and then someone else might mirror your moving or move in response, which might not look like you’re moving at all.


[00:33:07] – Rosalind

So lots of things like that, there’s lots of different methods. And then you might take that into, let’s do some mark making, some drawing, some painting, whatever. How does that get expressed after you’ve moved? Is there some writing that wants to emerge? Stream of consciousness or three words about your experience? Or taking that back into movement so you can make cycles of creativity. So lots and lots of different methods.


[00:33:38] – Samantha

When you’re in a group setting, so let’s use our class, for example, that you come to, just because it’s something we can both imagine and we’ve experienced. We’re in a group setting, whether it’s our Tuesday classes, it doesn’t matter, but we’ve got other people around us and we live in a world where most of us are very very very concerned about what we look like, feel like, anybody’s opinion of us, the external expression of us and that person or those people’s opinions. And in dance, I have found that it is a very vulnerable place to be for most people, including myself. And I have danced my whole life. I still feel vulnerable. I have never, ever, other than when I’ve done performances, that I have massively rehearsed, which is a huge process to go through, got to a point regularly where I’m not feeling vulnerable. I always am, even when I’m teaching.


[00:34:33] – Samantha

And what I have found, in my experience is a lot of people are so concerned about that part, which is absolutely not a criticism. It’s a completely ordinary thing, and it’s an expected thing. I think all of us have that. At whatever scale, how do you enable yourself?


[00:34:51] – Samantha

And I know this is a journey, and it’s not a case of like, oh, well, today I just don’t care when people say, I just don’t care anymore what people think. And I think, really how do you do that? I can’t do that, it’s really hard. But I just wondered if there are any, if you’ve had any experience of that, were you ever in a place where you were very conscious of what you looked like when you were dancing?


[00:35:13] – Rosalind



[00:35:13] – Samantha



[00:35:13] – Rosalind

Yeah. And as you say, all of us are self conscious and all of us are vulnerable, and we all have our different edges about where our vulnerability lies and what we’re exposing or whatever. And so I think the first step is like, oh, yeah, I feel a bit vulnerable here.


[00:35:35] – Samantha

Yeah, okay.


[00:35:36] – Rosalind

Yeah, it’s like acknowledging. Yeah, actually, it’s fine actually, it’s human to feel vulnerable, because, in a sense, the word that’s coming up and wouldn’t be everybody’s word, but it’s like, well, kind of exposing your soul, and it’s kind of like, am I going to be received here? Am I going to be judged? How am I going to be viewed?


[00:36:05] – Samantha

Am I safe?


[00:36:05] – Rosalind

Yeah, exactly. And it’s like, we don’t lie down in the middle of the road to be trampled on, do we? And so we need to feel safe enough, you know. But I think that acknowledging, just noticing again, it’s like noticing, it’s like-, and it might not be every time, but I might be going, oh, gosh, I’m feeling a bit shaky today. I’m feeling a bit like, I don’t want people to see me moving today. And even just that allowing that to be here and just kind of going, oh, yeah, okay, it’s there. And that just gives me a little bit more space, a little bit more breath, a little bit more, yeah, okay, and how is it? And maybe I don’t want to be seen today. And that’s okay. We’re not trying to become superhumans. It’s more about being authentic to ourselves, because I think almost like the worst thing is, like pretending, oh, yeah, it’s like, I can do this sort of like which is a very cultural thing to do, isn’t it? Like drive a coach and horses through it kind of thing. And you can hurt yourself in that process. So for me, it’s about being tender towards our vulnerabilities.


[00:37:33] – Samantha

Yeah, that’s really wonderful. And I suppose in a group setting, you say, if you sign up for a class or a session or whatever, there is so much, I’m going to say responsibility for the person, people, group, organisation leading that space. And there will be. It is sometimes about finding your people a little bit, isn’t it? We’re all going to have different things that we need. And I’ve always thought as well, when I’m delivering things, my aim is to create that feeling of safety with a recognition that vulnerability is coming with that and that we are not going to shy away from it. But we’re going to try and make a space that enables the people in the room to work with that in the way they need to.


[00:38:24] – Samantha

But again, my space, our space isn’t going to be for everybody. And it’s a case of, I suppose, it’s that thing of finding it. And just maybe it’s being curious again. Maybe it’s keeping that open mind about, ‘I’m going to try this today. And it doesn’t have to go well’. Things can go a bit rubbish. Not to the point where you enter a space and something is happening that is harmful, but maybe it’s just not the thing you need. And it might not be a dance context, it could be anything. But trying a few things and maybe exploring and maybe it’s accepting that thing of… things can be good, bad and everything in between. And we don’t need a black and white approach to this. And sometimes things take time as well. And day one isn’t going to be the time when everything is solved. And most things aren’t ever going to be solved.


[00:39:20] – Rosalind

No. And you’re very good at that. About getting people to play with things. This is about practice, and this is about the brain kind of finding ways to do things. And it’s about playfulness, experimentation. And it’s like, well, we can’t get away from the fact that we did have all this baggage at school of being judged and you’ve got to get to this mark or whatever. And I suppose the thing in the classes you’re running in terms of like, well, they are more structured in terms of, well, we are doing a dance, we are doing ‘making shapes together’ and that kind of stuff. So there is something to practice, slightly different in a more somatic class where we might be moving together, but there’s no specified form that we’re trying to get to so that it’s less of an issue. I think in somatics, it’s much more about finding your own way and meeting those places in you. They’re still there, but they don’t show up as strongly, I think, as in something like, well, oh, gosh, I’m dancing, and I don’t feel very good at this or-,


[00:40:41] – Samantha

And I’ve got to learn a very complicated step or whatever it is, yeah. It’s really interesting to me how we can combine some of that tapping into that awareness from a somatic experience or an inner experience, whatever you want to call it. You don’t have to have been to a somatics class to access it.


[00:40:56] – Rosalind

No, absolutely not. No.


[00:40:58] – Samantha

But how can we allow that to happen? As well as if we are in a session where we’re saying, yeah, I really actually want to learn a dance, or, I want to make a dance with a group and I want to learn some technique, or whatever it is, and keep that awareness of yourself and still be led by your own body. That’s a really interesting thing, isn’t it? And again, it’s a skill, I suppose. I say that in a funny way because I feel a little bit like it’s not a checkbox, oh, I’ve learned this, I’ve got a certificate. It’s not that at all. It’s still an experience that is going to shift all of the time. And no matter how much we practice different approaches to movement or creativity, there will be days when things aren’t working on all sorts of scales. And I always think of journeys as they’re not this sort of A to B. They’re a very cyclical, messy, wobbly thing. And I suppose it’s, I don’t know, helping us embrace a bit of that as well.


[00:42:00] – Rosalind

Yeah. And I think that is, I suppose, the essence of what I learned through doing the Masters about opening up to creativity is that creativity is a messy process and it is changing moment to moment. And then that’s the point of it, is we’re tapping into ‘what can we access?’, ‘what’s really here?’, ‘what helps us to do the next thing?’, ‘what’s showing up?’ And so there is something about embracing the messiness of life and the chaos of it, because that’s, again, the culture is, well, keep it neat and tidy, keep it controlled, let’s have some order. And actually, life is messy, life is chaotic, life is-, creativity is always bursting forth, if we let it, and often we’re kind of damping it down. I think that is like just allowing the messiness.


[00:42:58] – Samantha

Just let it be as best you can.


[00:43:00] – Rosalind



[00:43:01] – Samantha

Wow. Rosalind, I could talk to you about this for days.


[00:43:05] – Rosalind

We could have a whole series.


[00:43:10] – Samantha

Oh, let’s just do the whole podcast. Oh, I love it. Yeah. There’s so much value in it. And I’m really grateful to you for sharing your perspective and your journey to this as well. And I think it’s really important that we can talk about a dance kind of training, experience, whatever, interest that didn’t come from traditional dance routes. You don’t have to have danced when you were 4, 5, 6, 7 to the age of 18 and then done blah, blah, blah, blah to tap into this. And, like, you’ve trained professionally in a practice that is incredibly valuable and it’s part of the dance sector. It’s part of the arts sector, it’s part of wellbeing, it’s part of all of these amazing things and I’m just really grateful to you for sharing that with us. I think there’s so much we could learn and I hope maybe we can keep talking about this as we-,


[00:44:02] – Rosalind



[00:44:03] – Samantha

As the future happens and as we explore our own creativity in class. Yeah, I’m very excited to see what else might come from getting to know you as we keep going.


[00:44:15] – Rosalind

Yeah, me too. And I’m just loving my own little stepping into Curious Motion. I was so excited to find yours and Matt’s classes and it’s like, oh, my goodness, just up the road, I can go to the dance class, which I wouldn’t ever have joined a dance class before I’d done that Masters. Whereas now it’s like, well, I’m still not a formally trained dancer and I’m coming along to have some fun and to play and just to move my body and meet some people and have a cup of tea.


[00:44:52] – Samantha

Oh yeah, we have to have a cup of tea. Yeah, exactly that. It is that, isn’t it? It’s dance, but not what you think it is in a way, I suppose, if we’re comparing to maybe what we’re told about it. Well, thank you so, so much. It’s been absolutely wonderful talking to you.


[00:45:08] – Rosalind

Thank you. Likewise. I’ve really enjoyed this, yeah. Let’s do it again.


[00:45:12] – Samantha

Definitely. I’m going to definitely do that again. Thank you, Rosalind.


[00:45:17] – Samantha

And that brings us to the end of another captivating episode of Calder Navigation. Thank you for joining us on this voyage through the stories that shape Calderdale. We hope that these conversations have touched your heart, inspired your mind and reminded you of the power of human connection. As we navigate life together. Let’s carry these stories with us, cherishing the lessons they teach us and the bonds they strengthen.


[00:45:40] – Samantha

Remember, Calder Navigation is just one part of the Welland Activator Project, a collective effort to combat loneliness and isolation in our community. We encourage you to explore the various classes, workshops and walks offered through the programme and join us at our special showcase event, Welland, where we can come together and celebrate the magic of Ellend and Calderdale.You can find out more about the project at  curiousmotion.org.uk. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Calderdale Council, Reaching Communities from the National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England for their invaluable support in making this podcast and the Welland Activator possible. Thanks to Untold Creative for production support. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Calder Navigation on your preferred podcast platform so you never miss an episode.


[00:46:30] – Samantha

And please help us spread the word by sharing the podcast with your friends, family and anyone who might find solace, inspiration or a sense of belonging in these stories. As we conclude this chapter, we invite you to keep exploring, keep connecting, and keep navigating the currents of life with curiosity and compassion. Remember, the journey continues and together we can make a difference. Until next time, fair winds and warm hearts.

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