Get Active Online! Transforming “social distancing” into “social discovery”


22ndApril 2020

Dancer Tiago Gambogi. Photo: Andrew Hastings

We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” (S. Kelley Harrell)

Formed as a response to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation Get Active Online! is a 360-degree approach to wellness through physical activity and mental calm – reducing stress, giving clarity of thought and the experience of being fully present in mind and body.

This new initiative features live and full interactive online health and wellbeing sessions held via Zoom, providing a hugely diverse range of body-mind-spirit ‘embodied practices’ that have health, wellbeing, artistic and educational benefits at its heart.

Cross Pollination Group in discussion

Organised by the Intercultural Roots’ team we also propose a solution to the growing fear and worry that people are experiencing.

Right now, the doctors and nurses in our hospitals are on the front line. Get Active Online! is a back-line solution to support people’s mental & physical health. Previous government and medical reports had already pinpointed a nation-wide mental health issue before Covid-19 appeared and, for many people, this crisis will increase the mental health burden.

There is also a growing crisis for many self-employed people. Although a package has been announced there is already a hard-hitting effect from numerous contracts and live work being cancelled, a stressful and extremely worrying period for those affected with no financial support available until potentially June.

The practices Get Active Online! offers can dissipate the fear that many people are experiencing. When people feel they are alone it can lead to unbridled fear, which in turn can lead to panic and social unrest. People need support in order to not give in to the fear they experience. They need to be aware but not fearful. Panic can be seen as a “hot” response and this can be “cooled down” through the practises offered, developing courage to dissipate the fear and create a benevolent spirit of solidarity. These attitudes are encouraged in the weekly QigongDaoyin and Traditional Chinese Medicine sessions Get Active Online! includes in its’ schedule.

Get Active Online! enables this connectivity between people and we are part of a huge movement that’s connecting people together.

What IS an embodied practice?

It is the experience you have of your body as perceived from within. It’s thinking done physically. It encompasses practices like yoga, dance, Qigong, Pilates – any practice where you experience the body with higher than normal awareness or concentration.

Get Active Online! is part of Intercultural Roots’ Health & WELLth Programme that supports our growing community in this time of physical distancing. (We don’t like the term ‘social distancing’ as it implies being socially cut-off).

The Zoom sessions are for anyone who would like support during this very unsettling time. Whether you’ve done this sort of class before or not doesn’t matter. The sessions foster a self-cultivation and connection with others. nourishes your inner vitality and essence and shows you how to emanate this feeling through movement.

While people are “physical distancing” we are developing virtual connections, being ‘in touch’ to support and engage our community and assist those people who are in isolation. We’re building an online community that will last beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s open to anyone who is interested in feeling less stressed, who wants to move in an expressive way and who wants to feel full of vitality.


Editors Notes

Intercultural Roots:

Get Active Online! is a new initiative from charity Intercultural Roots. Founded by Dr. Alex Boyd PhD, a Research Associate with the University of California at Davis (Theatre & Dance) yet who lives in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Dr Andrea Maciel, an artist and research scholar from Brazil, is a trustee for Intercultural Roots and is supporting the artistic programme and developing a community of practitioners delivering content.

Intercultural Roots (IR) is an embodied practice movement that brings the not-for-profit, public and private sectors together as one,  raising consciousness through embodied practice worldwide.


What we do:

  • Facilitate the organisation and promotion of collaborative workshops, performances and teach training internationally.

  • Provide access to research through conducting embodied research projects and sharing results from relevant research

  • Attract funding and donations ( so that we can give grants to embodied practitioners, researchers and indigenous communities to support them to do what they do best and to preserve and sustain cultural heritage.

  • Provide ways in which members can exchange and host one another and thereby access venues, spaces or studio laboratories in which to teach, perform, collaborate and research, at much reduced costs.


IFTR News Update (23 Mar 2020) ‘‘Get Active Online!’ Help to support psycho-physical health with Live embodiment Zoom sessions.’ by Dr Alex Boyd.


For press / media / sponsorship opportunities contact: [email protected]


Intercultural Roots Founders:

Dr. Alex Boyd

Dr. Alex Boyd has a passion for developing collaboration between embodied knowledge practitioners. He is the the conceiver and co-founder of the Embodied Research Working Group at the IFTR and is Executive Director for ‘Intercultural Roots’. Alex is a practitioner-scholar who graduated in Performance Studies and Critical Education from the University of California at Davis (UC Davis). His PhD dissertation entitled ‘The Sustainability of Traditional Knowledge Systems’ draws on 20 years of professional work teaching the wide-ranging Taoist arts that he has immersed himself in since 1985. These include energy cultivation and expression, healing, martial and sacred arts that (re)connect humans with nature, the earth and the heavens! Alex is a Research Associate with UC Davis researching how actors and performers can cultivate and utilise chi (qi) in ‘presencing’ and how ideas manifest into happenings. He also works as a coach and mentor working with performers, athletes and CEO’s internationally implementing his ‘Personal & Professional Practice’ embodiment toolkit.

Dr. Andrea Maciel

Andrea Maciel is a dancer, performer, teacher and scholar from Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Her academic/artistic work investigates the physical resonance of space in urban landscapes through dance, performance and installations. Teacher of the Department of Theatre – PUC / Brazil, Andrea holds a PhD in Political Performance for UNIRIO with a visiting scholarship at Performance Department – New York University. She has conducted several research groups in the field of Performance to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Universities of Bristol, New York and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, Brazil. Andrea has 15 years of practice in physical theatre (Grotowski technique) training for dancers and actors.


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