Amanda Peñaloza-Banks


Amanda Peñaloza-Banks is a Certified Movement Analyst & Somatic Practitioner, a Registered Somatic Movement Educator, and a facilitator/teacher of dance and movement with people of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Amanda grew up in England, where she choreographed and performed as a contemporary dancer for 12 years. Her 25+ years of teaching began in Europe, teaching in the professional dance community, dance training and teacher training settings, universities, colleges, and schools, and for community-based projects. Since relocating to San Diego, USA, Amanda’s teaching has included movement for actors as adjunct faculty for The Old Globe & University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program and arts integrated education as lead artist with CoTA (Collaborations Teachers & Artists).

Amanda’s movement practice, research, and teaching is driven by inquiry into how we as individuals and communities can experience our embodied nature, bestowed as we are with the gifts of sensation, emotion, imagination, creativity, cognition, and intuition. She finds the Laban-oriented question of “what happens if…” to be an essential guide on this path of curious inquiry. What happens if we invite awareness of sensation and feeling as we move? What happens when we visualize and move in
relationship with our body systems, such as skeletal, respiratory, lymphatic? What happens if we infuse movement with imagery, metaphor, and meaning-making? What happens when we extend our physicality into lesser known, or less preferred, ways of moving?

Amanda is currently researching, writing, and illustrating a book about the five classical elements as they exist in the inner microcosm of our body-mind selves and the outer macrocosm of the universe in which we dwell.

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