Ken Gilbert, MA, is a Theater Artist and Somatic Educator. He is a physical-based actor/director in the theater; directing and performing with DramaDogs, a Theater Company (www.dramadogs.org) with his wife, E. Bonnie Lewis, in Santa Barbara, California. Ken is one of the First Generation Nia Trainers in White and Green Belts (currently apprenticing in Blue Belt); a visual/kinesthetic learner who has adopted auditory styles of learning. He taught group fitness and practiced as a Personal Trainer for 20 years at Santa Barbara Athletic Club. Since 2007, he teaches “Integrating Pilates” and Nia Classes; practicing Nia’s “Sensation Science” at local studios.
Ken initiated his somatic journey into self-awareness, realization and actualization in 1983 when he began re-birthing. Wanting to sense more depth into his psyche and physical integration of body•mind•emotion•spirit he began Reichian Therapy in 1986, truly beginning his inner journey of “self” as an artist in the world. Later on, he trained in Hakomi, body-centered psychotherapy; not to be a therapist, rather to be more lovingly present when teaching group classes and facilitating private and semi-private training sessions.
Recovering from a divorce, in 1987, Ken decided to take responsibility for his health, well-being and fitness. Receiving a professionally traded membership at Santa Barbara Athletic Club he began finding wonder and satisfaction in group fitness classes as well as the weight room. During his 20 years at SBAC he taught High/Low Impact, Interval Training, Step, Slide, Spinning and Resistance Classes. For 5 years he worked with the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) as a Certification Specialist – training and testing Aerobic Instructions at the level of Primary Certification. He also worked with clients one-on-one using the Personal Training principles of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Ken’s work in somatic precision was initiated in 1994 when he began training in Pilates; he became a Pilates Teacher in 1996 when he met Ron Fletcher, with whom he studied for 10 years finding the depth, dimensionality, and expressivity of detail in spinal mechanics “for the body|the mind|the breath|the spirit.” From Ron he learned how to live in the spirit of moving in the details of each breath. Currently teaching “Integrating Pilates” based on the fundamentals inherent of the work of Joseph H. Pilates, The Ron Fletcher Work™, and Nia®.
Expressivity has always been a part of Ken’s life journey. In 1997, Ken began his study and work with Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas, co-creators of Nia® (www.nianow.com). In Nia, Ken found a program and fusion of transformational health and fitness, well-being and life-style. He became a Nia Black Belt in 2003 and in 2005 one of the Nia Training Faculty (www.nianow.com/ken-gilbert), internaionally facilitating Workshops, Master Classes, and Nia White and Green Belt Trainings; training in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and North America including Canada.
His theatrical artistry is demonstrated within DramaDogs, a multidisciplinary theater production and education company, where as co-artistic director he produces, directs and performs. Somatically based from inception to performance, DramaDogs creates challenging and entertaining theatrical productions and provides enriching workshops and theater arts programs. His creative work gives voice to the unconventional and offbeat; providing audiences and students with the opportunity to experience a greater compassion and understanding of ourselves and others.
Currently living in Santa Barbara, Ken owns EmBODYment, Somatic Education in Movement and Creative Integration (www.embodyment.com) and “Awakening into Awareness – Journey into Body•Mind•Emotion•Spirit.” Ken teaches in Santa Barbara at CenterPoint Pilates and Yoga Soup as well as other locations in the United States and Internationally. Ken’s philosophy is based on the belief that we are here to Awaken into the Awareness of sensation; to become more connected to our physical|mental|emotional|spirit realms through the physical body. Ken helps people awaken into the awareness of their body through the joy and pleasure of movement.