Back in my ballet years, the biggest criticism I’d get from teachers is that I wasn’t emotive or expressive enough. My technique was solid, but it was too rigid and technical and was missing that oomph, that spirit, that passion from within.
I tried soooo hard to figure this piece out:
Pushing harder in the studio.
Journaling about my frustrations.
Even experimenting with sex, just because I thought it would open up feelings in me that would make my dancing better. (you didn’t hear that, Mom.)
The problem was that I was trying to “figure it out.” All I cared about was the end goal: being good enough to be accepted into a ballet company.
I wasn’t aware that dancing could also be about MY experience, MY freedom, MY body, MY joy in movement.
It took me leaving the dance world for YEARS to discover this on my own.
And that’s exactly why I seek out every moment I can to dance freely. Now that I’ve discovered it’s possible, I just want to do it and share it all the time.
That’s also why I created my upcoming You Can Dance Again program.
Since I discovered the freedom in dancing for myself, I wanted to share the process with you, my fellow dancer, because I realized I was not alone in the desire to feel fully expressed and free in movement. And I know that there aren’t many dance classes and venues out there that nurture this kind of process.
I’ll share more about the dance program shortly, but first I want to share a story of contrast from those ballet days…
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, which happens to be almost 14 years after leaving the ballet world:
As I galloped down the stairs of the West 4th subway station (the same station I would travel through daily during my days at the Joffrey Ballet School) I heard drum beats. Without thinking, I b-lined it over to the drummers and just went for it.
I danced it out right there on the subway platform, with my backpack on and belly full of just-eaten falafel sandwich.
I started dancing because my body had to.
It was coming from a deep place within my gut and soul. And although people were watching around me, I knew it wasn't about the performance. It was more like a worship - I felt so deeply connected to something outside myself and within myself at the same time. The beat of the drum flowed so deeply through me that I surrendered to it and lost track of what was happening around me.
As the song came to a close and the F train arrived, I shook hands with the drummers, exchanging big smiles and words of thanks. And then a woman who had been watching us dropped a dollar into their bucket and put another dollar into my hand while looking me in the eyes saying, “Thank you.”
I accepted the dollar and almost cried.
It felt radical to me.
In all the years I had trained hard and bled my toes in the ballet world, there were only rare moments when I felt so sparked up doing it, or when I received money from a kind stranger’s hand for it.
Thinking back to those early years of dance in my life, I would never imagine myself dancing freely on a subway platform.
(And what could help YOU if you’re seeking a similar kind of release in your life, body or dancing?)
- I stopped focusing on the end goal of a ballet company.
- I experienced the messiness of life: pain, love, loss, and all that jazz.
- I finally learned how to seek my own joy, rather than what I was expected to be happy with.
- I developed the courage to try and the willingness to fall.
- I waited until the moment when I HAD to dance again from deep inside of my soul. (Not when my brain thought I “should.”)
And then I just danced. And danced again. Because I felt like it.
There are energies inside of me now that I didn’t yet have access to in my ballet days.
From the perspective I have now, I’ve started to see what those energies are. I’m really excited that I get to experience them now AND share them with my dance students and clients.
Having gone through the feelings of frustration, restriction, and paralyzing perfection in my younger years, it’s one of my biggest passions to help other dancers and creators bust free of those kinds of restraints.
If the idea of discovering your own hidden dance powers is exciting - and maybe even a bit scary...
If you crave more self-expression and confidence on and off the dance floor, the confidence to really free yourself while you’re dancing, to not just learn the steps but to really dance it out and give it your flavor of expression…
I welcome you to step into a 4-week dance experience that I created just for you, both online from anywhere in the world and live in NYC.
It combines deep and reflective inner exploration with pure joy and fun.
It’s about connecting to parts of you that have been hidden or yet undiscovered, and then making something with them.
It’s about dance. Your dance. The way YOU dance. The way you WANT to dance. The way you don’t even know you’re capable of dancing yet.
You can find more specific details here:: http://youcandanceagain.com
This experience is for any level of dancer. Sometimes having no dance training is an advantage in this kind of thing, because you have less preconceived notions of what your body should be doing. All you need is a desire to have fun, explore your inner world, feel free and empowered, and dance. it. out.
One more thing to close this baby up -
Whatever might be up for you in life right now, remember that your body is meant to move and speak and dance through it.
When those random moments of impulse to move strike, follow them! You might not want to bust out moves on the subway platform, but your living room or best friend’s kitchen is just as good.
Dance is way more than being able to kick your leg up high or do those fancy flip moves you see people doing on So You Think You Can Dance.
Dance is more about what’s inside of you than what your outside form does.
Dance will not only free you in the moment you’re dancing, but it will free you in your life as it lifts and shifts your mood and helps you feel more connected to yourself and to others.
Dance is available to all of us, anywhere.
Just dance it.
to the beat inside of you,
Why dance? Why now?
It’s clear that our world is in a challenged state: war, global warming, crazy politics, tragedies...
Why take the time to dance and explore your inner landscape when that is the case?
Because change starts with you.
The suppression of feminine energy in our world has been a huge part of the global crisis we are in, and I believe it’s through reawakening that feminine energy inside of us that we are going to find a way out of it.
In this same crazy and challenged world, why are pop-stars worshipped?
Sure, they are beautiful and sexy and entertaining, but there’s also something much deeper at work. They are living manifestations of goddesses, channeling powerful energies and reminding us of the power inside ourselves, too. They are popping the lid off outdated standards and putting an emphasis on self-expression and liberating the female form.
THAT is why I feel that dancing along with Beyonce or Lady Gaga is a radical move.
THAT is why I choose to dance and share my dance videos.
THAT is why I’ve been in a deep process of exploring ancient goddess archetypes and the healing, powerful energy they can channel through us.
I see it as my responsibility to start the change from within me, through my body, through dance.
If you feel called to explore this kind of work in more depth, I’d love for you to join me.
In this upcoming 4-week experience, you'll be guided through exploring a handful of goddess archetypes that touch on important themes: self-worth, shadow, and creative power, as well as the integration and expression of it all through YOU and the dance you create.
We’ll look at the pop-star artists who have been channeling these goddess archetypes - whether they know it or not - and explore their styles of dance along with the weekly themes.
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Feel free to private message me if you have any questions or want to chat more before signing up.
I truly feel that this is one of the most powerful and exciting programs I’ve created, and I’m really jazzed about getting it to share it with a group of conscious, creative, powerful women.
Let’s do this!