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“Jamie McHugh is not adequately nor accurately described by words like dancer or movement therapist - he is much more for which there are no good words. Transformative artist may approach his ability to utilize the non-verbal (movement, vocalization, drawing) not only expressively but also conjointly with the psychological/ insightful to promote a healing integration of awareness."

George F. Solomon, M.D., Psychiatry and Biobehavioral
Sciences, UCLA

About Jamie

Jamie McHugh, MA, RSMT is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist through ISMETA, a somatic movement specialist, and an interdisciplinary artist.

McHugh is the creator of Somatic Expression®, an integrative approach to the art and craft of embodiment, and of NatureBeingArt, abstract contemplative photography and video.

From 1978-87, McHugh was a teacher of creative dance/drama in Madison, Wisconsin and an NEA Artist-in-Residence in K-12 education throughout the state. He apprenticed with dance pioneer Anna Halprin at Tamalpa Institute in 1986, served as core faculty from 1988-94, and then as adjunct faculty until 2017.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, McHugh was also adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University in the Master’s Program in Holistic Health Education from 1991-2015 where he taught practicums in somatic movement education. He was also affiliated with the Institute for Health and Healing at Columbia Pacific Medical Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation from 1998-2005.

McHugh has presented his work internationally since 1989. From 1997-2007, he was a consultant for the Swiss AIDS Federation and facilitator of "Movement as Medicine" workshops for HIV+ people and their caregivers, and directed a Healing Arts Training Group in Dusseldorf, Germany.

McHugh has also been a guest teacher in diverse educational, artistic and healthcare settings, including L’Atelier de Paris, the Bristol (England) Cancer Center, Esalen Institute, Kobe University, Stanford University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Alanus University.

In addition to Halprin, McHugh’s primary teachers have included Marjorie Barstow (Alexander Technique), Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (Body-Mind Centering), Emilie Conrad (Continuum), Thich Nhat Hanh (Engaged Buddhism), and Lorin Smith (Indigenous Healing).

McHugh has been published in various periodicals since 1988, including Contact Quarterly, Yogi Times and the Monthly Aspectarian. See the Articles section of this site.

His oral history "Alive at the Edge: A Life in Dance" was documented by the Legacy Project in 1996 and is housed at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library. He is also included in a book about dancers over 50, "Beauty is Experience" (2017).

Currently, McHugh serves on two advisory councils in the United States: Embodied Jewish Learning and Continuum Movement.

For more about Jamie McHugh, see his most current resume here, and the article A Personal Journey to Somatic Expression on the development of his work.

Photo by Dale Schweppe.