Dance Movement Therapy
Body stiffness often reflects a deeper mental and psychological stiffness
Dance therapy is an artistic method of psychotherapy. Through improvisational movement, through dance and art, it offers deep awareness and freedom, regarding our way of thinking, feeling and communicating. Practitioners have the opportunity to explore, extend and release their habitual patterns of movement, broadening thus their range of psychosomatic and mental expression.
Our body, since its embryonic life, records memories, many of which are relegated to the unconscious mind where they reside secretly. Eventually they activate a harmful influence with negative psychological and behavioral impact.
Dance movement therapy helps the body feel, embody and express these unconscious and unmanifest experiences, in a therapeutic process. The manifested expressiveness releases creative energy which unfolds and widens the body-mind range, heals stress, melancholy and pessimism infusing the practitioner with joy, enthusiasm and strength.
This shift allows a deeper understanding , new means of communication and goals in life.
The sessions are done in a group. No dance steps or other techniques are taught. Dance unfolds either within the practitioner’s personal space or, at other times, within an expanded space of a small or larger group, where the unforeseen, improvised interactions, changes and exchanges happen.
No previous dance knowledge is required.
- Dance Movement Therapy sessions are held once a month on Sundays, as a 4-hour workshop, in set dates, between 11:00 and 15:00. These form a 9-session cycle from October to June.
- To achieve an in-depth understanding of our psychic structures, it is recommended to attend at least two cycles.
A Sorbonne Graduate in French Literature. Choreographer, Dancer, spiritual master in Yoga, Teacher of Indian Classical Dance Bharata Natyam, Dance movement therapist GDTR Senior, Creator and Director of Shantom House of Culture.
After graduating in Paris, France ((Dipl. Licence Es Lettres Paris IΙΙ Sorbonne), where, among others, she studied yoga, modern dance, ethnology and humanistic psychology, Leda Shantala travelled to India following a powerful inner call. She stayed and studied in Chennai. For three years she was trained in the art of classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam (dance, expression, music, rhythms, singing) graduating from the Indian Dance Academy «Bharata Kalanjali» and the Indian School of Exression «Abhinaya Sudha» in Chennai, where she still returns for the creation of performances and for artistic collaborations.
She studied yoga, theory and practice -deeply delving into the ancient texts of Indian philosophy- in the most distinguished schools of India. She is a graduate of the “Kaivalya Dhama Υoga Research Institution”, in Lonavla (Pune) and was a disciple of many contemporary yogis and sages.
Her teachers were sri Rocketti, Arnaud Desjardins (France), Leopoldo Chariars, (Argentina), Baba Khan (Egypt), Swami Satyananda, B.K.S Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikatchar, sri Chandra Swami Udason (India). She is still in constant contact with the latter and visits his ashram Sadhana Kendra with every opportunity.
She studied Dance Movement Therapy with Dr. Marcia B. Leventhal (of New York University) as well as the African “Mombwiri” dance therapy of the Mitsogo tribe in Gabon. She is the only Western student who was accepted by the Pygmies to learn with them this primeval healing method.
After her return in Greece in 1985, Leda Shantala brought the Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam to the Greek public. In the same year, she created the Mandiram Centre, the only institution in Greece for Indian dance and artistic/anthropological research in the culture of ancient civilizations, while also offering regular lessons in Yoga, Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam, and later on, Dance Movement Therapy sessions. In 1987 she founded the Leda Shantala Dance Theatre, through which she has been applying her multicultural research to dance-theatre performances.
In 1987 she founded the Leda Shantala Dance Theatre, a unique culturally diverse dance company, which presents innovative multimedia productions combining the art of Bharata Natyam with the art of theatre and the contemporary dance idiom with the ancient Greek art form of the Muses.
In 2003, with her mother Smaro Stefanidou, she created the Shantom House of Culture, which she is still heading. A three-storey modern multi-purpose building in Kato Halandri, of multi-cultural scope, hosting regular courses in yoga, dance movement therapy, many kinds of dance, martial arts and fitness methods from all over the world.
In 2006 she co-wrote, with Irene Maradei, the book "Bharata Natyam", in Greek, about the Indian classical dance.
In 2022 she was chosen by the EICBI (Europe India Centre for Business Industry) among the 60 European people, 60 legends who EICBI believes have played a key role in influencing EU-India relations over the past 60 years and included in the publication EUIndia60 Legends Coffee Table.
She is the daughter of singer Vassos Seitanidis and actress Smaro Stefanidou.
After 30 years of teaching, she has developed a personal way enabling her to approach her students in a direct and personalized manner enriched by her personal experience and daily practice. Experiences which enable her to see and interpret the above studied system drawing from her personal source of wisdom.