Open Source Forms Teacher Certification in 2023
"Some of the best teaching and guidance I've ever received in my dancing/movement life!" Jeremy Steward, Certified OSF Teacher, 2017
We faculty at Open Source Forms (OSF) are raising funds to help cover expenses for our Teacher Certification Program, instigated fourteen years ago by Stephanie Skura.
OSF is deeply rooted in and fluidly expanded from Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT). Working closely alongside SRT creator Joan Skinner for fifteen years. Stephanie created with Joan the SRT Teacher Certification Program, managed annual Seattle programs, provided non-profit sponsorship, taught SRT technique and improvisation, created a radical composition class called ‘Finding Forms’, trained teachers, and introduced SRT worldwide during her teaching and choreographic residencies.
Stephanie instigated Open Source Forms (OSF) in 2008 to emphasize the creative empowerment of SRT teachers and their students, accommodate our changing world, pioneer ways to effectively integrate SRT with other practices, and respond to many requests to train teachers.
Seven groups of OSF teachers have since been certified and now practice around the globe – in the US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria, Paraguay, Australia and Turkey. And, via apprenticeships, we’ve now trained several more skilled faculty to train future OSF teachers: Nathan Dryden, Susanna Hood, Keely Isaak Meehan, Manuela Bondavalli and Meaghen Buckley – each bringing diverse forms of expertise. Though we continue to hold open OSF workshops, we feel that certifying OSF teachers gives us maximum bang for our psychic buck. Each certified OSF teacher goes forth into the world to create inclusive, seemingly magical environments in which transformation is possible for more and more participants.
It’s rare to find a practice so effective in healing body, mind and spirit, so remarkable in integrating technique & creative process in a way that’s much greater than the sum of its parts. Our fervently felt mission is to make this practice available to as many people as possible. And thus to train as many OSF teachers as possible in a way that is rigorous, enjoyable and empowering.
Since pandemic times, as our world experiences health, political and climate challenges. we’ve felt OSF to be even more relevantly needed. Key values – diversity, mutual respect, deep reflection, processing time in states below waking consciousness, collaboration, opening our voices literally and figuratively, understanding creative process, strengthening our core sense of self and inner connections with each other – along with revelatory technical benefits and healing aspects – are needed now more than ever. During 2020 & 2021, we migrated online; those sessions were life-saving oases during the various challenges we all faced.
After two years of teaching exclusively online, we returned to in-person programs during Summer 2022.
During our pilot training years of 2009/10, we were grateful for support from Juniata College’s theater program, where Stephanie was a frequent guest artist. With grants of studio space and housing, we could solidly experiment to develop our training process. Since then, OSF income derives exclusively from trainee tuition. Due to rigorous prerequisites to qualify for our two-year program, trainee groups have necessarily been small. Though this means less income and less faculty pay, we’ve learned that small groups are much more beneficial for trainees, and participatory learning is crucial to viscerally understand complex concepts. Our OSF faculty has worked long hours for very small fees, fueled by love of the work and belief in its beneficial effects on the planet.
Until recently, housing in Seattle was cheap for trainees. Now, Airbnb has rendered Seattle housing so expensive that fewer out-of-town trainees can afford the costs, along with travel & tuition. And the pandemic years of staying home for classes seem to have dampened willingness to travel and show up live.
Nevertheless, being together in space with each other once again last summer felt like a glorious renewal, with an unexpected ease of intimacy we'd missed during isolation times. I vowed to never again take this together-in-space experience for granted.
Because our in-person class numbers have yet to return to pre-pandemic level.
we applied for a small business loan; sadly, our application was sat upon for three months, and then we were told the SBL money was gone!
And so…we’re requesting donations of any amount to help cover costs to keep Open Source Forms workshops and OSF teacher certification programs for 2023/24 available – to pay for studio rent, administrative hours, travel & housing for faculty, website costs, and some scholarship funds for needy trainees who travel from afar. Our goal is to raise $6000 for 2023.
The benefit of this work radiates into the world to do its planetary healing. Well-trained, inspired teachers travel the globe to teach, and their students move out into their own spheres. Creative freedom, healing, deep sense of self, curiosity, openness to learning, sensory aliveness – so much benefit happens when this work is available. As Joan Skinner once said, the work fosters ‘a high degree of consciousness without self-consciousness.”
There is great satisfaction in knowing that we are living our lives as part of the solution. Thank you in advance for helping us continue to make this work available to more people by supporting our OSF Teacher Certification Program.
"This work has transformed my life - my way of moving/being/relating in this world, and I continue to grow because of it. With ever deepening gratitude," Michelle Erard, certified OSF Teacher, 2022
So grateful for your support ,
Stephanie Skura, with Keely Isaak Meehan, Susanna Hood, Nate Dryden, Manuela Bondavalli
Photo: Bettina Neuhaus & Susanna Hood during pilot OSF Teacher Certification 2009/10
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