The Story of UZAZU:
Pioneering Embodied Intelligence
How it all began...
UZAZU began twenty years ago as Dylan Newcomb's personal quest as a professional dancer & musician, determined to find ways he could use voice & movement to cultivate more positive thoughts, emotions and relationships in his life.
His 'personal quest' was to lead him to something larger.
Several government research-grants, hundreds of workshops, and thousands of participants later, UZAZU Embodied Intelligence has grown & evolved into one of the most practical and effective personal development & state-shifting methods within the rapidly growing field of Embodiment Practices.
The Intersection of Art and Science
In 2001, Dylan began his exploration into the relationship between sound and movement with a small research project in Amsterdam, funded by a movement research institute. Working with fellow dancers, they investigated the connections between vowel sounds, body movement, and mental-emotional states. To their surprise, they discovered consistent patterns between specific vowel sounds, body movements, and the resulting mental-emotional experiences.
This ground-breaking revelation led to further research grants, allowing Dylan to delve deeper into the voice-body-movement connection across various cultures and age groups. By studying these patterns in relation to existing models of personality and developmental stages, he began to uncover the somatic roots of personality and behavior, as well as how specific movements and embodiment practices could support growth and re-integration at various stages of development.
From Artistic Exploration to Embodiment Method
UZAZU's early development took place within the dance and music world, funded primarily by research grants from Dutch cultural institutions. However, the focus of the work gradually shifted from the arts to the realm of personal development and the burgeoning field of embodiment. In 2008, Dylan presented UZAZU at the Integral Theory Conference in JFK University, alongside collaborator Peter Merry, which marked its first appearance outside of the arts world.
Following the conference, invitations to teach workshops poured in from around the globe. Dylan, along with his partner Kyung-sun Baek, taught over 100 workshops across three continents and sold thousands of UZAZU practice DVDs. In response to growing interest, Dylan trained and certified the first group of UZAZU teachers and coaches, laying the foundation for a thriving community of practitioners.
A Period of Reflection and Deepening
In 2013, Dylan's life took a personal turn as he became a husband and father. He and his family moved from the Netherlands to rural Maine, USA, where they focused on raising their daughter Kiana. During this time, Dylan turned inward, refining and deepening the UZAZU method within the context of his private coaching practice.
This period of intensive one-on-one work provided valuable insights into UZAZU's effectiveness across a wide range of topics, from life purpose and limiting beliefs to family dynamics and early childhood trauma. Concurrently, Dylan pursued further study in related fields such as Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience, Polyvagal Theory, Phonology, Dynamical Systems Theory, Personality Theory, and Developmental Ego Psychology. This inward journey ultimately led to the emergence of what Dylan informally refers to as "UZAZU 2.0".
UZAZU 2.0: Making Embodiment Accessible to All
In 2018, UZAZU re-emerged as a highly accessible embodiment method and daily practice, with the launch of the first complete online course in over four years: The Foundations of UZAZU Embodied Intelligence. This comprehensive course guides learners through a simple yet powerful approach to harnessing embodied awareness for a deeper, more connected, and joyful life. Around this time, Dylan also resumed teaching live UZAZU workshops in various countries, reconnecting with the global community of practitioners.
Dylan's collaboration with Deb Grant, a body-oriented psychotherapist, somatic movement therapist, and expert in applying somatic approaches to Polyvagal Theory, brought a new depth to the UZAZU trainings they offered together. Their combined expertise further expanded the potential of UZAZU as an effective method for personal growth and healing.
UZAZU Today: Expanding Reach and Impact
UZAZU is committed to expanding its reach and impact in the field of personal development and embodied intelligence. The growth of the UZAZU community has been remarkable, with four consecutive Practitioner Certification Trainings, the latest of which is scheduled for September 13th. These trainings have cultivated a strong network of 40 well-trained, highly capable certified practitioners who are offering UZAZU Embodied Intelligence to clients around the world (see our Practitioner Directory). As a result, more and more people are experiencing the transformative power of UZAZU in their lives.
In addition to the Certification Trainings, UZAZU has reintroduced live in-person Foundations trainings, providing an immersive experience for individuals to learn and practice UZAZU techniques firsthand. These trainings cater to a diverse range of learners, accommodating different learning preferences, and fostering deep connections among participants. UZAZU's primary focus remains on making its methods more easily accessible and learnable, with the goal of reaching a wider audience and empowering individuals to create meaningful change in their lives through embodied intelligence.
Working towards a Brighter, More Embodied Future
Looking to the future, UZAZU has ambitious plans to create a broader impact on society. One of the key objectives is to introduce UZAZU Embodied Intelligence into schools and educational systems, enabling young people to develop a strong foundation in embodied awareness and self-regulation from an early age. Moreover, the establishment of a non-profit organization will facilitate more in-depth research and expand the accessibility of UZAZU to a diverse audience, both personally and professionally.
UZAZU is also laying the groundwork for collaborations with a diverse array of technologists to implement its 'language of embodiment' as an operating system or bridge. This will empower humans to interact with technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality in healthier, more embodied ways. This innovative vision aims to encourage individuals to bring more of their whole selves into the process of engaging with technology in more integrative and non-verbal ways, fostering a more balanced and healthy future. Simultaneously, UZAZU plans to make its Embodied Intelligence more widely available as a shared language for 'trans-verbal' whole-person communication, interaction, and ongoing personal development.