Falkner Discher choreographer – Inspiration in the therapeutic model

personSlađana Milošević
history5 minutes reading

Falkner Discher is a dance instructor in Baltimore City County, Maryland, USA. In addition, Discher is a professional independent ballet artist, instructor at the Dance Conservatory at St. Paul’s School and Underground Dance Academy.

As a producer and choreographer of thematic, recent choreographies, Theme & Intention, he was inspired by Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, known as ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy).

For Dance and the City, Falkner has prepared details of his choreography entitled:

Acceptance and commitment therapy

There are two motifs within ACT that I focused on:

  • Personal awareness and mindfulness
  • Being aware of thoughts and feelings without preconceived notions or bias

Personal awareness and mindfulness were particularly attractive motifs of ACT viewed through the lens of dance. For me, one cannot move intentionally in either a cognitive or kinesthetic way without awareness and mindfulness. To support this in the choreography, I worked to include the dancers in the choreographic process. For instance, I would ask them where they felt that a choreography phrase is taking them in the movement space. Additionally, I might ask if they felt a jump or turn would feel more natural within what had already been set. My goal was to emphasize the role mindfulness plays during the creative process to stay true to theme. This ultimately served to be an important part of the puzzle that allowed the dance to take on the artistic personality it did.

Being aware of thoughts and feelings without avoidance or bias is the second motif from ACT that I focused on. An analogy that my mother uses is that of a train platform. Trains come and go from the station just as thoughts come and go from the mind. We can observe the thoughts and feelings from our perspective on the train platform while also recognizing that they are transient. In this way, as the station allows the trains to come and go, we must also allow the thoughts to come and go. For awareness to actively shape the choreography, I challenged myself to be open to movement phrases as they came to me. Historically, I would outright think that a movement phrase wouldn’t work without properly evaluating it. This limits the creative possibilities of a choreographer since they haven’t explored the ways that a movement phrase may support their theme. In contradiction to this precedent, I worked to be open to movement phrases and styles that normally wouldn’t have been explored. My goal was to challenge my own bias and preconceived notions. While this proved difficult, it was a step that challenged me and continues to be a tool I rely on to recognize when I may be limiting myself.

ACT has served as a tool for many to explore feelings, emotions, life events, and much more. Further, it has served as a theme for me to choreograph a dance. I hope that in sharing ACT, many more may benefit from the model of thought it provides.

The choreography video can be seen here:


More about Falkner and his work are available from:




More about ACT:


Photo: instagram.com/Falkner Discher

Sladjana Milosevic
Blog Author Sladjana Milosevic

Accredited coach/mentor (MP EIA). Accredited coach/mentor supervisor (ESIA)

Diplomate in Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl Institute, USA)

Logocoaching – coaching by applying basic principles of logotherapy.

Coaching – Sir John Whitmore defines coaching as: “Unlocking person’s potential to maximize their own performance” (Source: Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance, Third Edition: Growing People, Performance, and Purpose).

Coaching is not a therapy in any sense!

Logotherapy – Logotherapy provides answers to questions about the meaning of existence. As a psychotherapeutic approach, it brings into psychotherapy the knowledge that in addition to the physical and mental dimension, a person also has a third, spiritual dimension. In Logotherapy, the focus in on the future, on tasks and meaning.

You can find more about Logotherapy from: Viktor Frankl Institute, Vienna/Austria.

For more information about logocoaching, coaching and coach/mentor supervision you can send e-mail to Sladjana: kontakt@plesigrad.rs