About me: Léon Arthur Beckx
I grew up as the eldest son of a Dutch/Frisian mother and an Indo-European father. Movement was a staple diet in my family and I got into martial arts and hip hop from an early age. My active upbringing and mixed heritage fostered a passion for movement and a curiosity for what moves people. After receiving my MA in psychology, I studied Gestalt therapy in search of a more integrated bodymind approach to mental health and personal growth. My first 5Rhythms experience in 2001 hit home and set me off on a global dancing journey, eventually becoming a 5Rhythms teacher in 2008.
After finishing university I worked as a psychologist in mental health care, education and business. I loved working with people, but struggled with the professional roles that restricted body awareness, creativity and that put me on a safe distance from the people I worked with. In 2006 I ran into the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), a conflict transformation program that originated in the US prisons in the 1970's. Although I had been educated as a trainer in different programs, AVP was a revelation. It showed me ways of creating shared experiences in which we can all grow. I became a lead trainer in the methodology and from 2007 till 2014 I co-directed the Dutch NGO Diversity Joy, offering AVP and other training programs on community development, conflict resolution and bridging diversity. I currently serve as a board member and trainer of this organisation.
My community work and dance had to meet somewhere. That opportunity arose when I met Sarah Kate Gardiner, a British dancer and choreographer. In 2010 we developed and co-directed PLATFORM 1660, a cross generational community dance project. Sarah Kate and P1660 inspired me to explore dance further as an art form. I started practicing Instant Composition and Contact Improvisation, became part of different art collectives and performed dance on a regular basis. I also delved into different somatic practices to deepen my understandings of the bodymind foundations. In 2014 I did the Somatic Practitioner training at the Somatic Movement Institute. A year later, while living in Stockholm, dance and community bridged again when I co-founded the Artchitects, a collective keen on building social infrastructure through art.
I'm currently back on my basis in Amsterdam, weaving the different strands of my career(s) together in new patterns. My recent studies with Paul Linden play an important part in that. Paul is an Aikido sensei who integrates martial arts with somatics in working with trauma and conflict. My recent Dance Dojo is partly based on his work, but also on the many people I have been blessed to work with -students, teachers, colleagues- all of whom helped to shape and inform my teachings. Thank you.