Moving Ecologies

Develop your ecological sensitivity through physical engagement with the natural world on this in depth course.


2-weeks onsite: Monday 6 May – Friday 17 May 2024
Followed by 3-weeks online: Monday 27 May to 14th June 2024


Course Leader: Dr. Rachel Sweeney
Other Teaching Staff: Dr. Marie Hale


Schumacher College, Dartington Trust, South Devon


Deposit: £150* | Full Course: £1,500 (accommodation and meals not included)

Short Course bursaries are available – find out more here.

Course fees include field trips, materials and teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday of the first week to Friday afternoon of the last week.  


29 April 2024


 This short course will explore how to create tools for physical engagement with the more-than-human-world to promote ecologically sensitive encounters that will help participants attune with our environment in transformative ways. The aim of this course is to promote new notions of interconnectedness and entanglements as developed through kinaesthetic empathy and attentiveness, whilst also exploring dimensions of affective ecologies.

Working across the Dartington estate and combining a critical and collaborative movement ecology approach, participants will be encouraged to find diverse sensory modalities, including exploring inter-species storytelling, exploring trees (hi)stories, fungi networks and conversations with the river Dart. Participants will explore in lectures, practical seminars and workshops, the role of movement across different environmental experiential scales, from microscopic to climatic, as well as engaging in current critical sources exploring eco somatic movement, critical phenomenology and decolonial approaches to land-based movement. This transdisciplinary approach will further extend critical dialogues between embodied experiences and environmental theories, and to allow participants to reflect and debate on current contemporary challenges.

Dr Rachel Sweeney is a practicing movement artist specialising in transdisciplinary approaches to decolonizing body-place relationships. Dr. Marie Hale is a geographer specialising in more-than-human geographies and embodied ecologies.  This course is suitable for movement-based practitioners, ecologists, environmentalists, social scientists, or anyone working in physical dialogue with the natural world. Please come prepared to move both indoors and outdoors.

 On this course you will:

  • Be introduced to methods of practice led inquiry that involve physical engagement with the more-than-human world
  • Develop your own active, physical practice that can be used to help communities embrace their own connections with place



On-site teaching dates:
10am Monday 6 May – 4.30pm Friday 17 May (weekdays)

On-site teaching sessions will take place on weekdays during the dates of your course usually starting around 10am and finishing at 4.30pm, with occasional evening sessions. As part of our learning community you are also invited to join morning meeting, and a variety of events and student-led activities that will likely be happening during your course.

Online teaching dates
Monday 27 May – Friday 14 June

Teaching sessions generally take place between Monday to Wednesday. The online timeframe enables participants time to reflect and provide time for individual study. The course rhythm is designed to accommodate participants work and caring responsibilities.

Please note that the course fee does not include accommodation and meals for the on-site portion of your course. Should you be accepted onto the course, our Short Course team will advise you on how to book one of our accommodation and catering options.


    Rachel Sweeney

    Dr Rachel Sweeney

    Rachel is a practicing movement artist specialising in transdisciplinary approaches to decolonizing body-place relationships, engaging creatively and imaginatively with cultural heritage and sustainability discourses.
    Rachel is currently Programme Lead for the MA in Movement Mind and Ecology at Schumacher College and is graduate of the BA Theatre Degree at the former Dartington College of Arts. Read More

    Marie Metenier

    Dr Marie Metenier

    Marie is associate lecturer for our Movement, Mind and Ecology MA. She completed two Master’s in environmental law and geography (sustainable environmental management) at the University of Limoges. Her PhD thesis focused on social change in protected areas of England (especially Dartmoor National Park) and paved the way for her move from France to Devon to further her research and academic career.

    Read More

    Book now

    Begin your online booking below. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at or call us at 01803 847008 with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

    If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us four weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

    Please note that in most cases bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

    Monday 6th May

    Offer: Special course rate for Dartington Members

    Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount (applies up to the value of £1,000), applied when they log in during the checkout process. Please note that for events over £1,000, your discount will apply only if you pay in full, or when you settle the remainder of your course fee (if you choose to place a deposit initially). For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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