School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: January 2010
The Genie in the Snow & Mr Jefferson

By Roland

With great care I set my alarm clock on the evening of 9th Jan to go off at precisely 3.58 in the morning.   Susanne and I were due to be at Susannah and Ya’Acov’s house at 5.0 on Jan 10th for the ceremony to mark the
School of Movement Medicine’s 3rd birthday.  Snow was forecast and I had left plenty time so that we would be able to walk if we couldn’t drive. As I laid my head back on my pillow a rather conceited thought went through my head.  “You don’t really need to set that alarm clock” my smug self told me.  “You know you always wake up 2 minutes before the alarm is due to go off.” 

….. I woke from a disturbing dream, to the incessant beeping of the alarm clock.  I turned the light on and checked the time.  It was 8.0 o’clock!  How could this have happened after all my care and my famed ability to wake up before the alarm actually went off?  Something was strange about the situation but I couldn’t work out what it was.  I rushed downstairs to look at the clock on the wall in the kitchen.  It said a quarter to 5!  It was then I realised what was strange.  It was completely dark outside.  If it had been 8.0 it should have been light.  There was no time to work out what had happened to my alarm clock as we had to dress as fast as we could and drive to Susannah and Ya’Acov’s house. 


Ten minutes later we set off.   A thick layer of pristine snow lay on the road.  The world had acquired a certain kind of new born quietness.  A small flurry of wind picked up the fresh snow from the road in front of us and pulled it up into the air in a vortex like a storybook illustration of a genie coming out of a bottle.  "Genie," I said, "Here are my three wishes for the school."


We arrived only slightly late and quickly took our positions around the wonderful altar Susannah and Ya’Acov had built.


Later, after the beautiful prayers and songs, we sat and talked.  In my slightly deranged state I found myself telling them about another anniversary celebration that  I had recently learned about.  The 4th of July 1826 was the 50th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence.  There were on that day only two surviving members of the group of representatives who had signed the declaration 50 years before.  They were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who had both gone on to become presidents and were now extremely old men.  On that day, the 4th of July 1826 they died within a few hours of each other.  Famously John Adams said on his deathbed “Thomas Jefferson survives.” But in fact Jefferson had died just a few hours before him.


I was unclear about why I should make a connection between the story of these two statesmen and Movement Medicine.  Later I realised that the connection was to do with the power of commemoration and ceremonial celebration and of course just as Jefferson and Adams are the parents of the American declaration of Independence, Susannah and Ya’Acov are the parents of the Movement Medicine..

I am very impressed by how much Susannah and Ya’Acov have achieved over the past 3 years.  Not only has their first book “Movement Medicine: How to Awaken, Embody and Dance Your Dream” and their CD Movement Medicine Movement Meditations Volume 1 been published by Hay House Publishers but they are now half way through the first Movement Medicine Apprenticeship Programme.  Many of those who are on the Apprenticeship Programme will go on to the teacher training programme next year and this wonderful work will then have grown up and left home and will be taught by many different teachers in many different places.

At the beginning of this year we made the decision that we would postpone the start of the second Apprenticeship Programme until January 2012 so that we could complete the full cycle of the first Apprenticeship and teacher training before embarking on the next one.  If you are interested in becoming part of the next Apprenticeship Programme, then there is still time to complete the necessary prerequisites which are: one Ongoing group with either Susannah or Ya’Acov (Journey of Empowerment with Susannah and Ritual with Ya’Acov even though doing both is strongly advised), the Initiation workshop and the Phoenix Retreat.  There are still some places left on both The Journey of Empowerment and the Ritual groups which are taking place this year.  By the way you can book for individual modules of the Ritual group if you wish to.  Click on the titles above to take you through to our website for more information where you are also able to download application forms.  You can also get application forms by emailing me at  And there are still a few places available for this year’s Phoenix Retreat. 

In July last year Susannah and Ya’Acov led the first Summer Long Dance for their apprentices.  This year we are opening this event up to other dancers.  If you want to take part in this event you will need to fill out an application form and commit yourself to raising £200 for a charity or project of your choice.  Please contact me at if you want an application form.

It is still possible to book the Awakening workshop 13th – 17th April and get the early payment discount.  This four day workshop will now take place in Rattery, South Devon and we will be providing a free coach service to take participants who are staying in either Totnes or Dartington to and from the venue each day.  The workshop is our only intensive workshop open to those who are completely new to the work and is great value at £325 for a 5 day workshop led by both Susannah and Ya’Acov.  The price includes an excellent lunch each day which is provided by Carrie Allcott and if you book and pay the deposit by Jan 31st you will get the early payment discount of £65.  Contact me on 00 44 1803 762255 or if you want to book.

Over the next month Susannah and Ya’Acov are off teaching in the following places:

Warsaw.  29 -31 Jan.  Ya’Acov   For All Our Relations   Contact.  +48 509 774 884 

Hamburg  5 – 7 February.  Ya’Acov Emotion: Dancing with the Heart of the World. Contact: Jens +49 40 729 100 61

Olten 5 – 7 February. Susannah will teach a Move! evening on Friday 5th. and Fusion: Dancing Yin & Yang on the weekend. Contact  Katriona +41 33 676 2708

London Wednesday 17 February. Ya’Acov Move! evening (the first of five such events taking place in London over the coming months). Contact Alex + 44 7868842219  Please note that this a Wednesday evening and gives a great chance for those in London to experience Movement Medicine.  The cost is £10.  Just turn up for 7.0 pm at the Toynbee Studios at 28 Commercial St E1 6AB.  Nearest tubes Aldgate East on the Hammersmith line or City on the District Line

Prague 19-21 February. Susannah DanSing. Contact Raduca +42 224 827 417

Paris 26-28 February. Ya’Acov Return of the Light. Contact Pierre-Henri + 33 615 325 816

And if you’re wondering about that alarm clock I concluded in the end that I must have altered the time on it when I was resetting the alarm.

Wintry greetings,


Back to contents

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.