IEATA Interviews: Tamalpa Institute

IEATA Educational Resources Committee member Naomi Kimmelman had the pleasure of speaking with Daria Halprin of the Tamalpa Institute in San Rafael, California, U.S.A. on Jan. 16, 2018.  

Tamalpa Institute Website

  1. What is your Institute’s vision and philosophy?

The vision of the institute is to make accessible to a diverse public with diverse interests and needs the healing power of movement and the expressive arts. Tamalpa is interested and passionate about serving its local community and international communities.

Part of the Tamalpa Institute mission is to reach out globally as an educative but also as a healing force in the community. Embedded in the mission is Tamapla’s social engagement and social justice program (Tamalpa ArtCorps). See more about the Tamalpa Institute ArtCorps below.

“Dance and healing arts are for everyone – Tamalpa wants to make their approach accessible to everyone. We want to train people to be stewards of this work all over the globe.”

Tamalpa Institute is also about to celebrate 40 years of being a school/training center! The Tamalpa Institute was formed in the late 1970’s and is one of the earliest training institutes for movement and expressive arts! Before that, the Institutes methods and philosophy in dance and expressive arts were informed in the early 1950’s by Anna Halprin.

Tamalpa Institute

Tamalpa Institute

  1. Is your programming open to the public as well as students?

Yes! We offer public workshops, classes and an intensive training program comprised of three levels of training. We also have several international branches! Our main home and studio is located in the North Bay Area of California.

But, we have centers in France, Germany, South Korea, and the U.K. where you can engage in the first level of training for the intensive training program, and we have lots of chapters of Tamalpa graduates all over the world.

  1. What are your training programs; Their levels and length of time?

We offer a three level intensive training program. Level 1 is the Personal Embodiment segment of the training which teaches what our work is all about. The Level 2 training is our leadership and teacher training portion of the work and the Level 3 Training is our fieldwork segment of the training in which students bring this work out into the community, putting the work into practice.

The Level 3 training dovetails into the ArtCorps which is a student developed fieldwork project for social justice and work in the community.  The ArtCorps is similar to a peace core concept but grounded in expressive arts. ArtCorps programs are sponsored by Tamalpa and Tamalpa’s sponsors to take our work to folks that wouldn’t have access.

We have an immersion program which is full time (M-F) for two full semesters (9 month cycle). Students write papers, do research and engage in movement and expressive arts training.

We also have a weekend training program (Friday through Sunday) which is one weekend each month for two years.

We generally have four concurrent training programs running at a time and in the Summer, we offer training for students from the international branches–to come to the Mountain Home where this work began.  

  1. About how many students go through your programs?

We have approximately 50 students in the intensive training program every year. Workshops are probably about 100 people a year through Tamalpa Mountain Home in San Rafael. There are hundreds of people every year that participate in the wide reach of this work.  

For the intensive training programs, the first level training often starts with approximately 20 people give or take in each cohort (1st level). Gap years between levels is okay and there are often 12-16 people in 2nd/3rd year trainings at a time.

  1. Who goes through your programs? What is the population like?

We have a real mix of folks who come through our programs. In age, anywhere from folks in their early 20’s to 60’s is common.

People who come to train with us are artists who are looking to use art in a way that is educative or more actively engaging with and helping out in the community. We also get therapists wanting to learn more embodied somatic practices.

Our faculty represent these different interests. We employ educators, therapists and artists. We take an interdisciplinary approach.

  1. What kinds of space do you have and is it both indoors as well as outdoors?

We have a beautiful, historic indoor/outdoor studio. It’s one of the most renowned indoor/outdoor dance studios in the world. Public workshops are also offered at the local mountain home studio.

However, graduates are invited to bring this work all over! Individuals who have gone through our trainings teach at CIIS, Meridian University, travel all over Europe, EGS faculty, Saint Mary’s Faculty, and bring the work to different spaces in San Francisco and Berkeley to present our work in urban centers.

  1. As part of the ed resources committee, we are discussing the advantages of using social media technology for our educational resources section on the IEATA website. Would you be interested in social media outreach?


  1. Is IEATA posting the information you need?

YES, I’ve been a member since the beginning. For me the conferences are really important.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for the IEATA Committee for Educational Resources?

Another association that may be of interest to you marketing wise is the International Somatic Movement Therapy and Education Association. They do a quarterly email strain – in which people can place ads through them and post listings. The organizations that place ads need to be members of the association and need to meet a standard for excellence. This gives the quarterly email announcement substance and lists notorious substantial players and programs in the field. Its essentially advertising amongst joined associates and you need to meet a certain bar which focuses on institute/or well know practitioners and or pioneers.




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