World-renowned as the major center for the development and study of the principles of movement analysis formulated by Laban, and further developed by Bartenieff, LIMS is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). The institute was created in response to the need for extensive training in Effort/Shape theory beyond what was available through the Dance Notation Bureau in New York City (founded in the 1960s and where Bartenieff taught as a senior member of the DNB). At the DNB Bartenieff and her assistants Forrestine Paulay and Martha Davis had established an Effort/Shape Training Program designed for professionals from the performing arts and the behavioural sciences. This intensive two-year program reflected the converging interests of many professionals. Already applying Effort/Shape in various projects in diverse areas such as psychology, physical therapy, child development, anthropology, and performing arts, in 1978 the Certificate Program separated from the Dance Notation Bureau and the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, now the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, was created. Opening opportunities for the application of Effort/Shape, LIMS has certified approximately 1400 Certified Movement Analysts (CMAs) who are professionals all over the world. LIMS has also been a special home for its graduates as a venue to present their work in conferences, performing arts events, publications, and workshops.


Irmgard Bartenieff’s sojourn in the USA that began in New York led finally to the founding of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS).

IB's LIMS certificate

The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, LIMS®, is a non-profit educational organization, centered in New York/Brooklyn, with a global network of movement professionals. Founded in 1977 (officially a 501(c)3 in 1978) by Irmgard Bartenieff and a small group of movement analysts, LIMS trains individuals in movement observation and analysis. Upon completion of a full course (four modules plus a Final Project), LIMS trainees are given the title Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). Graduates work in fields as diverse as health care, the performing arts, sports, education, diplomacy, leadership studies, and communications. The LIMS archives covers the period 1977-1997 and consists of administrative records, governance papers and Board minutes, correspondence, student records, books from the LIMS library, audio and video records, LIMS publications, and photographs documenting the activities of the organization. 

Click here to view the finding aid for the LIMS records at SCPA

To read more about the LIMS organization click here for a Link to LIMS website