About Hannah, BFA, MA, PhD, RPP, Reiki Master
A little bit about me. I came to healing first through dance, where I learned to feel, to observe myself, to express the inner world. Through dance I discovered an abundance of healing and alternative methods including yoga and tai chi, body mind centering, massage, reiki and energy balancing. I became certified in Polarity Therapy, a complete system of bodywork, yoga, nutrition and counselling, and held a private practice in the United States alongside my dance career. Later, I became certified in reiki and then shamanism showed up. As I worked with clients on the bodywork table profound journeys into the subtle dimensions began to take place, with great results. Seeking supervision in this area, I learned from colleagues, books and through practice, always observing the quality and results, and with a great love. Then my life changed and I moved to England, where almost immediately I discovered Sufism and then traditional indigenous paths. Eventually this me to Turkey where I connected with Dr. Rhami Oruc Guvenc, and with his profound guidance and inclusivity, experienced the full sacredness and deep beauty of a truly lived Sufism. It is with the fullness of this love and inclusivity that Hannah shares the Sufi path. As Sufism and indigenous shamanism came to me close together, these paths overlap and influence each other greatly. The shamanic work I do is grounded in compassion, tradition and a deep well of femininity.
I hold a BFA in Dance from SUNY Brockport, an MA in Dance Anthropology from Roehampton University, and a PhD in Practice as Research from The University of East London. My doctorate thesis ‘Actualising the Contents of the Heart’ analysed the Mevlevi initiation process through three seasons of performance making, interrogating levels of healing in the psycho-spiritual body, metaphor and feminine healing processes.
I have taught movement analysis, somatics, energy therapies, research skills and performance making at The University of Surrey, Southampton Solent University and East London Dance as well as given guest lectures and presentations at universities internationally. I have been an invited speaker at The University of Surrey and Oxford University and an invited performer at Wake Forest University and The American Dance Festival in the United States.
I am a Registered Polarity Practitioner, Practitioner and Trainer of Neutral-Space Relaxation and Reiki Master. From 2002-2008 I maintained a clinical practice in North Carolina focusing on women's issues, bereavement, movement and journey work. Since 2017 I have been training practitioners in Relaxation and Light Touch Energy Therapies.
From 1999-2000 I was a founding member of Shen Wei Dance Arts, New York and in 2000 I co-founded and then artistic directed Open Air Dance, producing seven seasons of work in North Carolina. I have taught dance and awareness methods to the general public since 1998 and whirling since 2012.
I now offer Reiki, Relaxation and Light Touch Therapies in both London and Tunbridge Wells. I train and certify practitioners of Neutral-Space Relaxation and Light Touch Therapies. And I offer Integrated Healing Sessions which include talking and sharing, light touch therapies, harp and vocal healing and postural alignment.
Professional memberships include The Relaxation Academy, The UK Polarity Therapy Association and The International Federation of Theatre Researchers.
Publications include guest editor of ‘Global Journeys of Sufi Whirling’ in Dance, Movement and Spiritualities 2016, ‘Dervish Dance’ in Critical Muslim 2018 and ‘Sufism and Performance Philosophy’ in The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy (forthcoming). In 2017 I produced ‘The Woman Who Whirls’, a short documentary/experimental film, screened at The Barcelona Short Film Festival, The University of Surrey and Liverpool Hope University.
With profound respect for indigenous and ancient lifeways, peace, healing and beauty emerge as the foundations of my work. In all avenues of my work, I facilitate development and inspiration in my students. The medicines I bring, of healing, Sufism and shamanism, are not something I do, they are something I am which is not me, but a universal love flowing through. On a one-to-one basis or in a group, the work that takes place is a compassionate celebration resulting from the integral, basic, profound purpose for which we have been born. We are born to love and be loved.