Ida Rolf Memorial

The following was written by our invaluable community member Susan Shockett.

A re-occurring theme emerged this year of the need for reconciliation within our Structural Integration community, in order to move forward. The idea for a community event to bring us together was initiated in March, and was brought to life by Susan Shockett, with the help of Rey Allen and Anita Boser. In honor of Dr. Rolf’s birthday on May 19th, our Structural Integration reunion came about.

Our Memorial for Dr. Rolf was beautiful. It was a perfect summer day, sunny and warm. Woodlawn Cemetery, where we gathered at Ida Rolf’s gravesite, was lush with blooming trees and new growth. A small bouquet of flowers lay at the foot of the Rolf/ Demmerle plot, brought by Joy Belluzzi and Alan Demmerle, Dr. Rolf’s son.
Our Structural Integration community joined together on this day, June 7, 2015, with love and laughter. Our Tribute to Dr. Rolf in Bronx, NY was attended by over twenty SI’ers, as well as friends and family. Patrick Clough and his wife joined us, as did Robert Toporek from Philadelphia, William Kaye, Karen Crowe,  two SI’er babies, two dogs, and many more, including a random Brazilian woman (Priscilla Soto from DC’s air b&b host). In addition, over 100 members of our Structural Integration community joined us virtually to share tributes, and meditate on our shared future of SI, the work that Dr. Rolf conceived.

From the start, our gathering was touching, and joyful. Our ceremony started late due in part to a tour led by the cemetery historian, who stopped at one of the Demmerle plots to tell stories of the family history. We then sat in a semi-circle in the grass, around Dr. Rolf's grave. Original students of Dr. Rolf and heads of IASI–approved SI schools had pre-recorded tributes and wishes, which we all listened to both in NY, and around the world. A virtual event space on our private SI Facebook page allowed us to share the audio recordings and other tributes, and connect with our SI community remotely.
Both on-line and in person, many of us shared our thanks to Dr. Rolf and our desires for the future of SI. Everyone contributed something unique to make the day unforgettable. Rolfer™ Tam Tran, who attended our Tribute with her family, created videos of herself leading Qi Gong to guide our community in movement remotely. Judith Aston, in flight at 3:30, planned to wave from her plane. Around that time, we all shared a moment of silence to join forces in meditating on our visions of the future of SI. We were joined virtually in meditation by SI'ers from around the world, including Mexico, Egypt, and Czech Republic. And finally before we concluded, Priscilla Soto led us all in song.

After our Memorial we opened watermelon and wine and enjoyed a wonderful picnic together, both at Dr. Rolf’s gravesite and at the beautiful adjacent Van Cortland Park. What a special day. Wonderful to resume this tradition of celebrating Dr. Rolf’s birthday by bringing our SI tribe together. Marcelo Coutinho reports that Rosemary Feitis was very pleased. And without a doubt, Dr. Rolf would approve.

Dr. Rolf would also be happy to know that our SI community is alive and well in 2015, actively engaged in daily discussions about our collective body of work and related inquiries. Our private Structural Integrators Facebook page has become a connecting hub for our community, and if you are not a member already, please join us. We also have a public Structural Integration Facebook page, a rapidly growing social media platform to bring our work to the world – please join us there too! And of course, connect in and support IASI on Facebook and wherever/however else you can. Let's continue to build bridges and strengthen and grow our profession. Together, we can move SI forward!!

Please have a look and listen to the two videos created for this event, Gratitude to Ida Rolf and The Future of Structural Integration, and the written tributes by Buddy Frank, Jan Sultan and others. Thanks to Stefanie Dworkin and David Lesondak for creating these videos.

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