Catherine Lewis

Embodiment and Empowerment in Meaningful Life Activities

Catherine Lewis


Occupational therapist with emphasis on the mind-body connection as it relates to health outcomes. Addresses all components of an individual’s health and well-being to promote maximum functional outcomes, leading to meaningful engagement in life.

Artist Statement

Movement Fundamentals was my first experience in using the body as a source of healing. I observed how dance can increase range of motion, balance, strength, proprioceptive awareness, skeletal alignment, and social interaction. As a student of occupational therapy, I found the MF tenets of practice reflect the evidence-based models and theories that guide rehabilitation practice. As an occupational therapist, I use meaningful activities (occupations) as therapeutic tools to enhance and enable individuals to participate in roles, habits, and routines. For example, the activity of donning a shirt may be used to increase upper body strength and range of motion, but also to allow an individual to participate in their morning dressing routine and/or in the role as a worker who has to wear a specific outfit. In this way, I am constantly examining alignment, function, range, efficiency, and intention within each patient.

MF provides me with skills in deconstructing movement patterns and alternative ways in which one can move to achieve the same outcome. I use aspects of the creativity and “thinking on my feet” demanded of improvisational dance each day as I strive to meet clients where they are at that moment. Through my background in MF, I am able to guide patients through “witnessing” their current bodily state and performance. I believe this is empowering to patients, as they become an active part of their healing process and wellness outcomes. Perhaps most importantly, my MF training serves as a constant reminder for myself to be present and embodied, both in life and work. In this way, the “occupation” of dance provides tools that enable me to embody the role of occupational therapist.