You probably made your first dance moves at the age of two in your living room either dazzling your parents or getting in the way of your big sister and brother. From that day forward you couldn’t stop. There was a pulse that kept you bouncing, moving, dancing.
You may have channeled that energy into sports like soccer, baseball or snowboarding. You may have hit the dance floor hard, either studying to be a professional ballet or broadway dancer, or you may have gone out clubbing. Chances are, you still are…
Bouncing, moving, dancing. And if you’re not, you are missing out, girlfriend!
I got my first yoga teacher certification six years ago. To celebrate, I attended my first yoga rave. It was being held by my teacher, Aimee Senise Connors, a long-time yogi expert in the area.
I loved it!!! With full theatre swag, we layered light-up bracelets on our wrists, unicorn & evil-eye stickers on our arms, and fake jewels on our faces. It made the ensuing 75 minutes of synchronized yoga moves both doable & enjoyable. The DJ spinning a yogi’s dream mix was awesome, too.
But the best part of the yoga-rave was the dance at the end. And did we dance!
Strobe lighting streaked the high ceilings of Harro East ballroom. The party was on.
Until we were were called to Savasana, that sacred zone where you bring your energy back, honing it into your heart chakra. Feeling a sense of peace and vitality.
Needed: Lights, music, stickers, space
Benefits: Fun! Socializing. Weight-loss. Fitness. Balance. Peace. Vitality
The first time I took Yoga-Dance was at Kripalu, my favorite yoga & wellness retreat center located in the Berkshires. It was led by Jurian Hughes, a former Broadway Dancer. She combined dynamic yoga poses along with freestyle dance movement to create a playful session that wakes up not only your body but your soul.
This style of combining yoga with dance is, simply put, fun! The best part? You don’t need any background in either, just a willingness to release inhibitions and let go.
Needed: Openness to explore the ways your body can move
Benefits: Theatre fun! Great workout. Release.
I was also introduced to this style of movement at Kripalu. Led by the one and only Toni Bergins, a rock star of movement.
Journey Dance is described as a movement that “… leads participants on a ritual journey of physical and emotional transformation.”
This is a great reminder that when we truly get into our bodies and out of our heads, we are able to get in touch with inner wounds. Dance or movement allows the body to release this.
Her website continues its description, "Through breath, sweat, and expression, you gain a palpable experience of yourself as pure powerful energy.”
Awesome! That’s what we all want and need - to access our own inner power. Toni has trademarked her style and offers classes around the world.
Bringing it all together
Back in the day when Grow 2 B U studios was in full swing, my colleagues and I collected our gifts, techniques & teachings to create Goddess Dance, a culmination of love-inspired movements, meditations, and activities.
I was leading one of my Goddess Within Retreats during the summer. We were having so much fun, literally dancing in the parking lot with scarves and jewels. The feminine goddess had been awakened in each of our hearts!
Simultaneously, Aimee Ruscio-Condon was leading her Women Circles throughout the month also in our studio space. Collaboration was a natural.
Meet Aimee Ruscio-Condon
Aimee’s background is all about dance. She trained in ballet from the age of 3 years old to 18, and followed it up with a variety of styles like lyrical, jazz, and tap, then exploring alternative movement like Tai Chi & Chi Gong.
“You’re like riding these waves of energy,” she shares in reference to Tai Chi.
Being a professional business woman and mother of two took her away from her passion of movement. In addition, she began to feel like she was getting too old to dance.
Too old to dance? Never!
It was a performance by Elizabeth Clark, a ballerina in her 70’s that inspired Aimee to think again! She decided to study with Clark, this time focusing on modern dance (my favorite!)
“How can I think that I’m too old to dance? It’s silly what we tell ourselves. Anyway. That’s how I began to reconnect to dance.”
Aimee’s studies continued for 5 years. She then began to accompany Clark as a co-teacher with children classes.
Now equipped with modern dance, Ms Ruscio considered yet another form of movement called trance-dance, also known as conscious-dance or ecstatic-dance. It has almost a hypnotic quality, like a runner’s high.
At her beach house in Florida, she discovered a drumming circle that opened her heart & mind to this new form of movement. Looking at pictures of her, you can easily see Goddess energy pouring through her.
“I’ve never felt more alive in my whole life.”
“There’s a shamanic element,” she shares. “Now I’m dancing more with intention. It’s very powerful - to set an intention and then focus on it while you move.”
We’re continuing the journey of self expression through movement on Friday nights. Yoga-dance parties are held online using zoom.
So far we are having a blast & would love to hold space for you, too.
If you’d rather not be seen, step away from your device’s camera. If you’d like to feel like you’re in the middle of the room with everyone, get closer! Feel free to drop in for the evening or pop in and out at your own leisure. It’s all about fun, community and …
Bouncing. Moving. Dancing.
With Alana, Aimee & Nicole
7:00 - 9:30 PM EST
Zoom in at your own comfort level
Feel free to stay for the whole session or pop in & out
Benefits guaranteed to make you smile, increase your endorphins, lose a little weight, tire you - out in a good way, feel like you’re part of a community!
Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon leads individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls. www.AlanaCahoon.com
Read the article in the February issue of RochesterWomanOnline
Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.