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Austin Somatic Movement Education


Ellen Bartel
an intelligent body is an empowered body

About Ellen Bartel             

Ellen Bartel MFA, CMA, RSME, Moving For Life™ cancer exercise specialist and hospice volunteer, and is an award winning independent choreographer and an established dancer and teacher in Austin TX. She recently served as the Interim Education Coordinator and Assistant Instructor at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC, as a facilitator of creative and somatic approaches to grief in NYC and Austin and, previously been a peer review dance panelist and Creative Ambassador for the City of Austin. She has been a dance educator for over three decades teaching in Central Texas and New York. She is an adjunct professor at Austin Community College and continues to choreograph original work and teach independently in Austin. In 2012 Ellen lost her husband of 20 years to cancer. Movement was one way she was able to manage her grief. Ellen believes that living fully in one’s body is a positive step toward self-care, and that an intelligent body is an empowered body. 



Due to Covid-19 I will not have any one-on-one sessions.

Ellen's training is in the ability to see inefficiencies in physical movement in order to offer solutions to feeling more grounded and integrated in your body during daily life. Clients should wear clothing that will not inhibit range of motion.  The suggested amount of visits are 4 to 6 times, once a week.


What ASME offers:

  • Training and movement analysis for dancers, athletes, actors and public speakers     

  • Wellness for people who are in any stage of fitness who need tools for more effective workout or to get back into working out after some time off

  • Self-care for people who need re-booting from repetitive movement, poor postural habits, and/or commute or travel often

  • Grief Processing for people who seek movement exercises with the attention to how grief can be stored in the body and recuperative breath and flow  to aid in recovery during profound loss

What to expect:

  • Specialized, personalized attention   

  • Exercises are mostly practiced lying on a matted floor but also sitting, standing, the use of props

  • Hands-on guiding and cueing and sometimes acupressure (upon permission by client)

  • Private session has 2 flights of stairs (and a cat on site) 

  • Group sessions are at a dance studio

Our sessions use these key ideas:

  • Integration

  • Breath Support

  • Body Organizations

  • Developmental Patterns

  • 3-Dimensional Breathing

  • Full expression of movement

  • dynamic alignment

  • Flow

  • Weight Sensing

  • Stability/Mobility

  • Exertion/recuperation

(SME) Somatic Movement Education, by definition, is a field within bodywork and movement studies which emphasizes internal physical perception and experience, "the body as perceived from within." It can also be described as movement that affects the somatic cell.

(CMA) Movement Analysis, by definition, is a method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting and documenting human movement


Somatic Movement Education Sessions (currently on hold)

 Introductory Session
 Private Session
Group Classes

Training Program

at Austin Community College

Group Class
2400 East Cesar Chavez Street, Suite 202,
Austin, Texas 78702

"As someone with a less than friendly relationship with their body, I was nervous about starting SME. But sessions with Ellen met me right where I was and offered a gentle push towards more awareness and alignment. I came away from each session feeling stronger and more integrated. And it was actually fun!" SB 2018

"As someone who recently took a bad fall, resulting in a shattered knee, requiring knee re-construction surgery, (3) fractured vertebrae, and (3) cracked ribs !! - I was actually quite keen to hear about the Somatic Movements class Ellen Bartel is offering. Having said that, I was also quite nervous to do something outside of my normal physical rehab therapy. However, after discussing it in depth with Ellen, we both felt this could in fact, be quite good for me! Indeed it is. We go at whatever pace I can manage. But I also thoroughly trust Ellen to spot opportunities where I can push a little harder. Not aggressive, just beyond, what I thought I could do. The Somatics Movement classes help me to stay aware of my alignment, which is critical for me. It also helps me to just re-learn HOW to think of my body, and how to use different muscles in ways that result in a stronger stance, and stride for me. A stronger way to use my core muscles, or even just rotate my ankles. It certainly gave me a new appreciation of how we’re put together, and how we can easily slide into that slippery slope > the ‘slump’ !! I encourage anyone who wants to have freer movement in general, to give it a try. Ellen is very easy going, and a pleasure to work with. I guess I could sum up the experience as: Awareness & Gentle Movement. Just what the doctor should’ve ordered". ~Cindy Light 2018

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