Kanika Batra is a seasoned shapeshifter and bridge builder and has 20 years of experience working at the intersection of youth, art, and social change. Kanika was born and raised in New Delhi, India. At the age of seventeen, she traveled to Soka University in California to pursue her undergraduate studies in liberal arts with a Social and Behavioral Sciences major. She went on to do her postgraduate studies in Dance Movement Therapy in Barcelona, Spain.
Kanika has a gift for clueing into the needs of a community as they arise and responding in culturally-relevant and sensitive ways. Her twenty years of experience doing just that include working in India developing Bridge Programs for rural and urban youth, Arts for Social Change Programs for adolescents, and embodiment and sex education programs for young girls from the slums. She led integration programs for immigrant and refugee women in Spain, along with bringing the expressive arts to classrooms in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Kanika taught embodied leadership courses at the University of Valdivia, Chile, and psychosomatic approaches to peace-building at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica.
She is currently living in an Indigenous community in Guatemala working with under-resourced children and families. Her work is focused on cultivating trauma-informed and art-based alternative educational opportunities for young and old. She is deeply immersed in the community she works and lives in, and is dedicated to establishing a safe learning container for the children and families she serves.
“I began studying SomaSource in 2006. It was my introduction to the world of arts and movement for social transformation, embodiment practices, and an opening to the world.
That was when and how I realized that the world is my oyster, that I am not limited, and that wherever I go into the world, there’s work to do. My SomaSource training informs me on how to be an embodied agent for change. Through my own embodiment practice, I am able to connect with my heart and therefore serve from a place of oneness with whoever crosses my path. On the Golden Bridge dance floor, I was truly met for the first time. My apprenticeship to this work has taught me how to “meet” whomever I am working with, to find the heart at the center, regardless of differences, barriers or challenges, to create a container that empowers everyone.”