Rhythms of Nature inspiring the Dance

I am pretty sure that those ancients that have danced, stretched and shimmied before us would be amused to see us “training” within 4 walls and surrounded by mirrors! I wonder if they would have been able to do it? Or would have even wanted to?

RFCMy first experience with the amazing energy of taking dance outdoors was a number of years ago during a summer session. Each class began with warm ups where our noses were pushed right into the grass as we stretched and breathed. I was surprised when bells rang within and my spirit  reached a new level of calm connection…it felt natural, it felt like I had known and done this before, it felt amazing!

And so began my yearning to move my dance and yoga practice to the great outdoors whenever 009possible. Having only learned, taught and experienced within studio surrounds, protected by 4 walls,  it was a little unnerving at first. Then I began the process of slowing it down, breathing and with the music still playing, becoming connected to those other rhythms and sounds that were taking place all around me. Moving with those rhythms seemed to come spontaneously from within me. While surprising at first, at the same time it felt really comfortable and “known”. Meditation had taught me to draw upon the energies of the earth below and the sky above and while I had always found that to be a natural connection in dance, it was a different experience to actually move and dance with those energies.

When we place our bare feet upon the earth, close our eyes and just breathe it is possible to become connected to the pulsing rhythms and swirls of the earth beneath us. Connecting with that earthy grounding energy, as well as that ethereal breath of the air and breeze that surrounds our skin, is something we have a natural affinity to. We’re born with the connection but often neglect it.

Dancing outside completely and irrevocably changed the way I experience dance whether inside or 7aoutside a studio and also the ways in which I share it, whether as an instructor or a performer. No longer are they just figure 8’s being completed in isolation but now my hips wave and move and ripple through the shape of the 8 rolling from the inside out. Snake arms reach out to connect with the energy that surrounds my body, that is in the air beside, above and around me. With each moving step, if even for a split second, each foot reconnects with the pulsing earth energy that resonates through the floorboards and shimmies up through my hips. It is effortless and natural and I love how the dance “feels”.

260298_10150305604991539_681361538_9623999_844318_nTaking the dance outdoors reconnects the dancer with the ancients, who danced on the dirt and the sand telling their stories and sharing with the younger generation the lessons of life. Can you imagine what changes it will make within you?

Join me as my summer session classes move into the outdoors, experience how the pulsing rhythms of nature move through you. You will likely find that it firmly establishes the moves of the dance and connects them to the core of you, the dancing diva…and dancing from that core inner space is amazing!2013-06-01 11.34.00

Classes taking place in Abbotsford & Otter (on the Langley/Aldergrove border). For more information click here

Summer ClassesCollage

SummerLA Collage

Empowerment & Bliss…powerful words!

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Tribal Bliss…not just a belly dance workshop that I took on-line over a 4 week period. With the themes of “Bliss” “Empowerment” “Soothe” & “Wish” (links for this course are at the bottom), I came away from this experience a little surprised by the realization at how these themes crossed over into so many aspects of both my professional and personal lives. As a Natural Health Practitioner and Dance Instructor they are key words in the ‘essence’ of what I would like clients and students to take away from classes and sessions.

Part of the process was to journal about what words like “Bliss” and “Empowerment” meant to me and when I really contemplated upon that I discovered that they are so much a part of my life on a daily basis. When I lose myself in dance (which can happen often and I will find that 3 hours have passed in what feels like 1) is when I find myself in that state of total Bliss, Joy and Oneness. No sense of time, space or awareness of anything other than the movement, the music and the rhythm. It’s that feeling that I wish for my clients…that they just allow themselves to receive and in that relaxed state they open up to allowing their body and mind to heal.

~ Relaxing after a session ~

~ Relaxing after a session ~

Bliss is really an easy experience…if we’re paying attention.

Some kids live next door to me and are often out in the back yard. The little boy has a laugh that rings through the neighbourhood, that seems to vibrate through his whole being. I can’t help but smile every time I hear him and in his state of laughing bliss he unknowingly draws me into that same state. This time of year is a truly blissful experience with the smells of the different flowers that are beginning to bloom, the birds singing, people are smiling more and the grass, as you walk upon it, is warming up. You really don’t ‘have to “do” anything to ease into that vibration of Bliss, just be aware.

Xmas 2012 210Empowerment…I love that word! It flows through my vocabulary so much easier than the word “power”.  For myself, it is being in that space in my life where what I do for “work” is not really a job but a purpose and that it is exactly what I’m meant to be doing. The sense of being in the right space, right now, flows through most areas of my life and yes, that feels empowering! It is a feeling that I see reflected in the eyes of students who take my dance classes. They say that they feel more deeply connected with self and feel good about who they are because of the freedom and empowerment that dance gives them…I completely agree. One of the meditations that was a part of the workshops was about Empowerment, and instructor Paulette Rees-Denis sums up the “feeling” of the word perfectly at the end, with the statement “you are beautiful”.

A hovering Rufous Hummingbird on Saltspring Island

It is my intention to be more aware and focussed on the experiences of Bliss and Empowerment. They say that what you pay attention to is what will flow more powerfully through your life. I don’t know how much bliss one life can experience but I intend to find out!

To experience Paulette’s workshop visit http://paulettereesdenis.com

What do the words “Bliss” and “Empowerment” mean to you?

Are you aware of the areas of your life where you experience them? Do you cultivate those experiences?