A Coaching Model Created by Laura Valenti
(Embodiment and Holistic Coach, SPAIN)
Rhythm is our universal mother tongue. It’s the language of the soul. (Gabrielle Roth)
I started dancing as a child in a little town in Italy.
I would go wild to heavy metal and dance until I was nearly exhausted. That was my first intuitive form of self-soothing during a challenging childhood.
I met in my mid-twenties the pizzica, an original form of healing and ecstatic dance from the South of Italy. I reconnected then consciously to the dance, after spending many years drunk in clubs and needing alcohol to be able to move.
After graduating in law, with an interest in human rights, domestic violence, and protection of women trafficked into prostitution, I moved to Hungary to work in an NGO and a small theatre company. While I was living in Budapest, my curiosity for the body as a source of wisdom grew. I was hungry for healing, understanding, and knowledge, so I decided to move to the UK to study physical theatre.
In London, I met the 5 Rhythms and Movement Medicine, which are considered forms of mindfulness in motion/embodied meditations.
I was gutted that I couldn’t attend the second year of theatre school because I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In that challenging time of my life, I danced as much as I could while having chemo. I started to learn more in-depth about health, transformation, and self-care, and I walked out of the hospital, knowing that I was ready to refuse radiotherapy.
I spent the last two decades studying various forms and modalities that support human growth, transformation, and liberation. I am a qualified Movement Medicine teacher and facilitator, sound&voice therapist.
I traveled extensively in South America, working, studying, and connecting to the wilderness of mountains, to the Andean cosmology and indigenous wisdom.
Why the DANCE model?
There is a vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. (Martha Graham)
Everything is in movement, everything dances, everything vibrates, including the trillion cells in our bodies.
Life without movement is stagnant.
Even when we are still, our heart is still beating, our bellies are rising and falling, and we are not aware of are tons of micro-movements in our bodies.
Everything has rhythm and vibration in life. Anything can be a dance: the relationship we have with ourselves, with others, and the way we relate to things or challenges.
Dance is a metaphor and a symbol for healing, evolution, magic, beauty, possibility, growth, change of perspective, energy, passion, and life force.
In ancient times and societies, dance was a tool for sacred connection, for ritual and rites of passages, for prayer and for invoking the mystery and that which is greater than us.
In industrial countries, we give much more importance to the head rather than the body. The DANCE model is designed to include the natural intelligence and wisdom of the body holistically as a source of liberation, creativity, expression, and transformation. It is also intended to allow the mind to rest, to be calmer and be more in resonance with the heart.
The model is dynamic. It is designed to support clients to dare to dream, to be who they are while also becoming the best version of themselves, and take action consequently with courage.
- Who are you right now?
- What can you celebrate about yourself?
- What do you want to change now in your life?
- What is your biggest dream?
- What is your vision for the next five years?
- What does it mean to you to dare?
- What would you do now if you were tapping into all the strength and courage in your heart?
- How do you imagine the best version of yourself?
- What are the first steps that you need to take to move closer to that?
The Dance model is designed for people who want to be awake, be effective change-makers, be part of the solution in these uncertain times of crisis, and contribute to the wellbeing of their community.
- Which kind of new narrative do you want to create for yourself?
- In which areas of your life do you want new perspectives?
- What is working well in your life? What do you want to change?
- What are your values?
- Which are the most important things in your life?
- What is awake and alive in you right now? Where do you feel it in your body?
- What is the legacy that you want to leave behind you?
- What is an essential thing that you want to be remembered for?
- What is your role in your community? What do you have to offer, which is unique to you?
This model is designed to support people as they navigate their challenges so they can be grounded, calm, healthy, and also centered when they are facing a storm. It is designed to support people orientate towards more excellent health, to remind them of their strengths and resources, and anchor them in the present.
- Which are the most significant challenges that you did overcome? What did you learn from it?
- Which are your strengths?
- What does resource you?
- What does make you feel calm and centered?
- Where is your northern star leading you?
- What motivates and inspires you?
- If an old sage had some words of wisdom for you, what would they be?
- What does your body need right now?
- How can you dance in the storm like a tree?
This model is designed to support people developing a greater sense of connection to themselves (including their body, heart, and mind), to each other, to their community, to nature, and the visible and invisible web of life.
- What does connection mean to you?
- What do you feel the most connected to?
- What do you want to connect to?
- How do you feel when you experience disconnection?
- What can you do to increase your sense of connection to the web of life?
- How is your relationship with nature? What can you learn from it?
- What does it mean to you to be connected to your body, to your heart and your mind?
- What does the connection with the invisible and spiritual world mean to you?
- How is your relationship with your community?
The coaching model is designed to support people to fully embrace who they are, their gifts, potential, tenderness, sensitivity, greatness, woundedness, and humanity, with love. It is a model designed to support people to accept who they are while they are also striving for excellence and becoming the best version of themselves.
- What do you want to embrace in your life?
- What do you love the most in yourself, in others, and in life?
- What can you learn from your wounds?
- What do you need to forgive yourself or others?
- When are you the most at peace?
- Where are you right now in your life? How can you surrender to it?
- In which areas of your life do you want to relax more?
- Which gentle words can you offer to yourself?
- Which new challenges do you want to embrace?
- How do you balance rest and action in your daily life?
We are currently in an unprecedented time of crisis. I feel more than ever that my work is dedicated to change-makers who want to create a better world for future generations.
We are all at risk of enormous stress. These are unsettling times. DANCE is a holistic model designed to offer grounded tools to people who need their strength and resources to be able to support others.
I feel that in a society that disconnected us significantly from the wisdom of the body, this model is an offering to reconnect to a broader intelligence and our hearts.
This is an integrated and blended model, and it also includes mindfulness in motion practices, somatic and embodiment tools, visualization, and breathing exercises.
This coaching model is inspired by the work I have done with the School of Movement Medicine in the last 11 years, my studies in various holistic modalities, and rooted in my understanding of the intelligence of the body.
In my ICA Power Tool Separation vs. Connection and my research paper – Embodied awareness in coaching- I speak extensively about the transformational and restorative power of movement, connection to self-other-community-nature, and the value of body-oriented practices in coaching.
References and resources
ICA Power tool: Separation vs. Connection, Laura Valenti
ICA Research Paper: Embodied awareness in coaching, Laura Valenti.
Movement Medicine, Ya’Acov, and Susannah Darling Khan, Hay House.
 Laura Valenti, ICA coaching model: Dance.
Laura Valenti, ICA Power Tool: Separation vs. Connection.
Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan, Movement Medicine, Hay House.