About Open Floor

Claire Alexander

Claire Alexander is an Open Floor Movement teacher with twenty plus years experience as an educator of embodied movement practices. She is adept at creating a container that invites her students to tap into the instinctual wisdom of an integrated body, heart and mind. Claire’s open, intuitive and playful teaching style encourages students to deeply engage with the transformative nature of movement as mindfulness practice.

Claire was trained by Gabrielle Roth in both the Waves and Heartbeat maps of the 5Rhythms practice. She also holds a certification in Somatic Experiencing. In 2014 Claire joined Open Floor International as a working member and is on the faculty of the Open Floor School California.

Joseph Machado

Joseph always wanted to be a teacher.  Being a leader and facilitator came naturally and impassioned him to pursue that dream.

He officially began living the teaching dream in 1999 by teaching middle school in the California public school system. After a decade of teaching youth, he was inspired to focus his teaching efforts on expanding the minds of his fellow educators by providing them with the skills to adapt their instruction to the needs of today’s classroom and ensure their students’ success.

His passion and curiosity for how we as humans learn led him to California Institute of Integral Studies where he earned his M.A. in Somatic Psychology. This education gave him an understanding of how the interaction of our body structures with our thoughts, feelings, and actions affect how it is we learn. 

Today he is a teacher and counselor at an alternative public high school in San Francisco, a Somatic Therapist, and an Open Floor Movement teacher in the SF Bay area, as well as at Esalen Institute in Big Sur.

Open Floor Movement Practice is a lively, sweaty, full-on dance inquiry:

  • How can we move and include it all – feelings, other people, thoughts, wild passions, limitations?
  • Can we use movement to soften the tight spots in our tender hearts and stretch our capacity for relationship?
  • What happens if we turn old repetitive thoughts into choreography for creative dances?

We start small, end quiet. We respond to obstacles and mind the gaps. Ask, how am I now? What’s possible? Find direction. Add fire. Push the limit. Embrace paradox.

There’s an essential movement language we all speak when we take these questions to the dance floor. We call on universal elements that are inherent in any moving body, such as breath, gravity, centering, expansion and contraction. This is the common ground that all embodiment practices share.

Open Floor is where the rubber meets the road – a place for creative focus and loving attention.

Since the beginning of time human beings have gathered to dance. Mindful movement is surging all over the planet because it’s good for us. People who dance regularly have keener minds, greater emotional intelligence, and a calmer presence. Connection, compassion, and communities grow. In this challenging world, common sense tells us to spend time dancing.

The ripple effect is inescapable. One dance can change someone’s day, one act of kindness can inspire a whole community. Students often leave a session able to bring a more generous presence out into the world. We dedicate our work to the common good, to the benefit of all beings.

Common ground.  Common sense.  Common good.

This is what we cultivate on the Open Floor.

You can find more information at openfloor.org