It's all movement and it's all dance. Often times we think of dance as something graceful, that keeps beat with the music....we have a mental image of how that looks. Your movement may look like that, it may look quite different, it may be on the floor, in a chair, or jumping around. All are welcome....we all have days of feeling inspired to do each of those things, and all of those movements have space on the dance floor. When it's inspired from your curiosity and attuned to your needs...that's all that matters. There is no judgement, this is a safe space to play and learn.
You'll learn how to tune in to your body....give it time.. There is the external beat of the music you may be attending to or the internal beat of your heart, your breath. You don't have to be in tune with the music. Your dance, your movement, is your own to explore and express.
Once again, this is about you. Choose something comfortable, layers are great.
It will vary....diverse and danceable. Some songs you will love, some may not resonate with you. The music has been chosen to set a mood, to evoke emotion and energy. Maybe some African drums, an old Motown hit, some disco, classical piano, Bossa Nova, a waltzy tune.....lots of variety.
Another way this practice is practice for life.....sometimes things are amazing, sometimes less than inspiring....how do you show up regardless? The music will start slow, then will take you on a fun path, returning you to a calm place to head out the door.
Everyone is welcome. You may be injured and need to dance in a chair or on the floor. It's about movement.....however small or big. Sometimes the dance is happening more on the inside than anyone would be able to see on the outside.
Yes! Thanks for asking....
Dance in bare feet, socks, or your dance shoes. Please no street shoes. Please come with a clean, un-perfumed body.
No talking on the dance floor. If conversation is necessary, please leave the room to do so. Eliminating talking on the dance floor allows us to move out of our heads and into our bodies, hearts, and souls. We leave behind the words and worries of the day and connect with ourselves and other in new ways.
Please make sure that your phone is silenced. No recording of any type is allowed during our dance.
Because this is a mindfulness practice and space, I've limited attendance to those aged 16+.
Openings and closings are important in group coherence and the experience of all involved. Arrive a few minutes early if possible and stay until the end. Let the me know if you are unable to do so. We'll also have an opportunity to connect afterwards.
Honor your own boundaries as well as those around you. If you seek to connect with others on the dance floor, listen for a yes (which may be through eye contact), respect any no (like when they are ignoring you), and respect a solo dancer's right to their space. Hands in prayer at the heart means, "I see you and thank you for this dance (that just ended)". Both hands on heart communicates a declination of an offer or a desire to dance alone.
Listen to your body. This practice is about being "conscious", moving in ways that are right for you. It is an invitation to discover your own ways of being, where you get stuck, and where you resist. Experiment, play, explore, and also be aware of your own limitations and what your body may need. If you decide to take a break from moving, you are welcome to sit and observe all that is going on in the room or all that is going on within you.
Use your dance as a practice in presence. When you find your mind wandering to how you look, judgment about the other dancers or the music, thinking about your plans for after the event, bring your attention back to your feet, your breath, the beat of the music.
I've been dancing as a practice for the past decade, but more intensely with Soul Motion over the past four years. I will be a certified teacher in this modality in November of 2022.
My primary teachers and influences include Vincent Martinez Grieco, the founder of Soul Motion. He has gone on to teach his Next Steps and continues to be an inspiration and to have an impact on how I teach.
Michael Molin-Skelton has also had a huge impact on me....I've admired his teaching, his connection with ritual, his ability to hold a dance floor while inviting movement with challenging topics, and his dedication to this practice and leadership in Soul Motion. I'm honored to call him my teacher and mentor.
Winky Wheeler is another star in my sky....my first teacher in Soul Motion, she truly embodies her work and is able to share in words and movement what she is trying to convey so beautifully. We've done one online series together and our hope is to collaborate more regularly.
Michael Zipkin was my choice as a co-facilitator of Emerging, a workshop in Berkeley California, to help us to step back in to the world after a long period of separation. As a seasoned Soul Motion teacher, he was an easy choice for me....he is magic with his music, tunes in to the flow of the dance, is an expert at both allowing and guiding, and I so appreciate his connection with dance as a bigger teaching, a spiritual teaching, a way to create ritual.
I am also grateful for the work of Education for Racial Equity around Somatic Abolitionism and find it impacting my work in a bigger way than I had imagined when I started the journey with them.