Gina Holloway Mulder
BADA Hons. (WITS), PGDA (WITS), MAP (WBS),
VMTR (NCF – USA), MA Drama (UP).
A Bit of My Story
I started speech and drama classes when I was about 7. Throughout my childhood these weekly classes were a lifeline. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was being provided with a non-judgmental space to nurture my self-expression, to play and to explore, in an embodied way, all aspects of myself and my experience of being. After school I went on to study drama at WITS University and graduated with an honors degree with majors in choreography, physical theatre performance, design and film.
After varsity I taught creative movement and choreographic technique at the Dance Factory in JHB and also at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation, at the same time I developed an effective communication program that I presented at various companies and also regularly at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. While continuing to teach movement and create theatre I also went on to lecturing a number of communication, media and creativity courses at Boston Media House, I worked in the television and advertising industries. In the early 2000s I received a grant from the National Arts Council to run a five-month program at a psychiatric rehabilitation center, the culmination of which was a one-week run of a physical theatre show at the Dance Factory. It was at this stage that I knew that I wanted to pursue the therapeutic value of movement, dance and the expressive therapies. I had known that for me movement, dance and drama had been therapeutic and this was now verified. I did some investigations to find that studying Dance Movement Therapy overseas was completely out of my financial reach. I decided to enroll in a part-time postgrad program at WITS to do my own research into the power of movement and took courses in directing, screenwriting and research methodologies.
I then went to Borneo. I was part of the film crew of one of the first ever 3D IMAX films. I worked with British and American filmmakers and the film was actually nominated for an Oscar. When I returned to SA I worked in the television industry and a while later went to study at WITS Business School. It was during these years that I lost touch with my dance and movement and creative self. I worked myself to the bone and got caught up in the rat race. I had a nervous breakdown and the golden opportunity to re-asses my life and what I wanted.
Then, one day I found Paul Newham’s book “Using Voice and Movement in Therapy.” This was it. Where earlier I had been teaching and sharing movement and voice separately and knowing their therapeutic value, Voice Movement Therapy streamlined all three. I contacted the person on the back cover and soon I had been offered a scholarship to study Voice Movement Therapy in America.
To say the training was life changing would be an understatement. I found my calling, my voice and my truth. Contributing to the Voice Movement Therapy body of work my thesis focused on using VMT in the context of anxiety and depression. After completing my training in 2007 I became South Africa’s first internationally registered Voice Movement Therapy (VMT) Practitioner and a global pioneer of the modality. There are currently only about 50 people globally trained in VMT of which only 31 are fully registered with the IAVMT). I served on the International Association for Voice Movement Therapy board of directors as Vice President (2013/2014), as President (2014/2015) and as Secretary (2018/2019) and have been the Editor of the International Journal for VMT, the PVMTJ, since 2010. In January 2019 I assisted VMT master trainer Christine Isherwood in teaching level 1 of the VMT professional training.
Combining my skills and experience I have developed a unique approach to facilitating professional and personal development through embodied self-expression. I have run a successful private practice since 2007 traveling locally and internationally to work and engage with people. I passionately share my skills and knowledge with people of all ages in the formats of one-on-one therapy, executive and performer coaching, teaching, lecturing at universities, workshop facilitation and retreats. I have shared my approach in various contexts, industries and sociocultural settings within South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and China. Some of these programs have been in-depth training programs and facilitated over a two-year period. I also work with children and adults with different needs and in the mental health sector with great success.
In 2013 I enrolled in a Masters degree at the University of Pretoria where I graduated with distinction for my research into the integration of Maskwork into Voice Movement Therapy. As a result of this research I have developed a unique embodied process for vocal development and personal transformation that incorporates Maskwork and Voice Movement Therapy. It is called the Demasking Method® and I am in the early stages of writing a book about this way of working.
As an artist I have performed in South Africa, America and Australia. My physical theatre work could be described as ritual in nature; I integrate the audience in the performance space and incorporate voice, movement and strong image and symbolic elements to find ways of expressing the experience of being human. For me an audience member needs to leave a performance in some way changed, and if I can help people to find their Voice by daring to voice the things we are often silent about, then my work is successful.
In addition to working with private individuals I also apply my work in the corporate and business context. You can visit www.voice360.co.za for more information on this aspect of my work.
I am often asked the question “what do you do?”… I use my understanding of the integration of bodymind and voice to help others to re-claim their voice, free their body, empower themselves and ultimately to thrive.