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Discipline of Authentic Movement Teacher
Circles of Four Faculty

Mandoline Whittlesey

Language : French, English

Location : Drôme, South of France

Website :

Email :

Phone : 33 (0) 6 26 96 25 79

Mandoline Whittlesey first practiced Authentic Movement at Oberlin College (BA creative writing & dance,1999-2002). Meeting Andrea Olsen in 2001 was foundational, connecting the practice to writing and an acknowledgment of place that continue to infuse her work. Over the next decade, Mandoline participated in retreats with Susan Schell, Alton Wasson, and Celine Gimbrère, and began teaching Authentic Movement in 2007.

Mandoline immersed herself in a solo retreat with Janet Adler in 2014. Janet remained her mentor during deepening study in the Discipline of Authentic Movement, alongside Celine Gimbrère, Jane Bacon, and Fran Lavendel. Mandoline received her blessing as a teacher of the discipline in 2021, joining the faculty of Co4 in 2023. 

As a dual citizen of France and the United States, Mandoline holds annual and individual retreats in the discipline in Drôme, where she lives. She leads workshops year-round and collaborates with colleagues in somatic, academic, artistic, and spiritual fields. Her offering of the discipline includes the healing potential of community, creativity, and the outdoors. She welcomes the mystery of direct experience, knowing the discipline as a mystical practice. Her personal spiritual path includes an embodied approach to self-emptying, resting the mind in the heart. She embraces humor, clarity, and the boundless gifts of silence. 

Letting words emerge from the heart of her experience has been a transformative path that remains crucial to her teaching. Exercising precision, allowing speech to shape new dimensions of perception and relationship, and holding space for deep listening are integral aspects of her work. Fluently bilingual and passionate about language, she surrounds herself with poetry and lets it infuse her teaching. She translates poems to share and teaches Embodied Writing in dialogue with the discipline.

As a certified practitioner of Body-Mind Centering® (Soma, France, 2010), trained in body-centered psychotherapy (Somatosynthèse, France, 2003-2006), Mandoline taught a holistic, movement-based approach to female body sexual and reproductive health (2006-2016). Today, she teaches in-person and online courses about developmental wounds, attachment injuries, and nervous system regulation and encourages self-directed healing within a heart-centered community. 

Involved in improvisation-based movement research, Mandoline led and participated in labs and performances in Europe between 2003 and 2018, while teaching post-modern dance, contact improvisation, and somatics. She received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts (choreography and visual arts, Wilson College, 2017). Her past in dance continues to ground her commitment to embodied knowledge, and she remains an improviser at heart.