Wellness Education

This page provides an overview of the types of Wellness education opportunities available. 



Wellness courses provide our students with the tools they need to support their physical and mental well-being. For-credit courses available include Yoga for Performers, Yoga for Dancers & Athletes, Alexander Technique, Wellness for the Performing Artist, and Contemplative Studies.

Contemplative Studies Course Descriptions

Reminder: please visit the University Registrar’s Office Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date information on course offerings!

JAZZ 450/550: Contemplative Practice Seminar (2 credits)
Explores contemplative disciplines through historical, theoretical perspectives, and through direct experience. Instructor permission required; typically offered Fall, Winter, Spring

JAZZ 455/555: Creativity and Consciousness (2 credits)
This course explores the idea that heightened consciousness may be a central aspect to creative activity in diverse fields. Instructor permission required; typically offered Winter

Wellness Course Descriptions

Reminder: please visit the University Registrar’s Office Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date information on course offerings!

WELLNESS 200/500: Wellness for the Performing Artist (1 credit)
This class introduces students to wellness topics such as performance anxiety, stress management, vocal health, Yoga, Feldenkrais, and Laban Movement Analysis, with the aim exploring the intersection of physical movement, mental health and performance. Active participation through movement and in-class performance are required. Instructor permission required; typically offered Winter

WELLNESS 220/520: Alexander Technique Intro (1 credit)
The goal in this class is to restore the ease and enjoyment of performing by examining habits of tension that can interfere with fluid movement and expanded creativity. Using the self-awareness principles embodied in the Alexander Technique, students learn to restore free and easy breath, let go of unnecessary tension, and reduce self-defeating thoughts that interfere with instinctual freedom. Group and individual instruction provided. Typically offered Fall, Winter.

WELLNESS 412/512: Yoga for Performers (1 credit)
Balancing body, mind, and spirit for optimal performance. Breath-based focus on exercises to increase flexibility, balance, mindfulness, and release of entanglements. Instructor permission required; typically offered Fall, Winter



Mind-Body Balance Series
Free, virtual classes on topics such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, Self-Compassion Meditation, and Self-Massage. Open to SMTD students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Yoga for Faculty and Staff
Wednesdays, 12:00-12:45pm, January 25 – February 22
B222, Walgreen Drama Center
Instructor: Catherine Matuza, SMTD Lecturer, 500 RYT
Open to UM faculty and staff.
Register here.

In this class, postures are practiced to align, strengthen and promote flexibility in the body, in a fun and safe manner. This is a perfect class for anyone looking to bring more balance, energy and ease into their daily life. 

Yoga for Students
Thursdays, 6:30-7:15pm, February 2 – February 23
Keverson Rehearsal Hall, Moore Building (except February 9 in Studio 4, Dance Building)
Instructor: Cristina Gonzalez, 200 RYT, SMTD Wellness Ambassador
Open to SMTD Students.
Register here. 

Unwind from stress with 45-minute yoga classes led by Cristina Gonzalez, a certified yoga instructor & SMTD voice student. Classes incorporate flows and restorative postures. Beginners and students of all levels are welcome!

Mindful Movement to Ease Your Upper Back and Shoulders
Tuesdays, 12:30-1:00pm, February 7-21, Zoom
Instructor: Joanna Myers, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
Open to all.
Register here.

This workshop will help you move more freely and get unstuck from a rounded posture, without strain. You’ll learn how to move more with less effort and “unlock” movement patterns your body has forgotten, leading to more comfortable sitting posture, better ease, and healthier arms and hands. The practices will build over the three classes, and participants will learn a simple progression that can be done in 5-10 minutes and brought into everyday life. Joanna Myers is trained in the traditions of Feldenkrais, Tai Chi, Neigong, and Taoist Yoga. She has been an educator and practitioner of integral bodywork for over 20 years.

Meditation: Soothe Your Inner Critic
Thursdays, 12:30-12:50pm, January 26 – February 3, Zoom
Instructors: Laura Amoriello, MNDFL Certified Meditation Instructor and Open Heart Project Certified Meditation Instructor, and Paola Savvidou, SMTD Wellness Initiative Program Manager
Open to all.
Register here.

Self-Massage Workshops
Lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, Thursday, February 9, 12:00-12:30pm, Zoom
Neck and Shoulders, Thursday, March 23, 12:30-1:00pm, 3213 Moore Building
Instructor: Slávka Jelinkova, MA, Lecturer in Dance, ABT® Certified Teacher, Certified massage therapist specializing in sports massage
Open to all.
Register here.

Self-massage is a safe, therapeutic hands-on approach to self-care that everybody can benefit from. Due to the intensity of our work, our muscles tend to be overused or misused. In these workshops, we will be learning safe strategies for releasing tension. Open to SMTD students, faculty, and staff.


Wellness Mini-Series

Guest presentations offered throughout the year. Topics include injury prevention, hearing health, performance anxiety, nutrition, and more. Watch a selection of prior presentations:


Performing WellCAST

This series of educational talks on topics of interest to the performing artist is available on the SMTD Wellness YouTube playlist.