Today we’re going to try something new on Spirit Moves Dance: an interview!
If you’ve been reading from the beginning of my blogging adventure, you’ll remember that just over a year ago I tried out a dance class called JourneyDance. It. Was. Awesome. And it was a pivotal moment for me, dancing outside of my living room for the first time since I had Xander, and remembering just why I wanted to DO this.
Michelle is awesome. She’s a fun and inspiring teacher, and she’s got a dancing story that will rock your socks. Here’s what Michelle had to say:
1. Tell us about yourself!
After 15 years in corporate public relations, I feel so blessed to have found my passion and the courage to leave an unfulfilling career and pursue more meaningful work. I am currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition studying health coaching and I look forward to inspiring others to make healthy, natural choices so they can live long, healthy, and joyful lives.
My journey began almost three years ago while I was on retreat at the Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health with Tama Kieves in her program Unleashing Your Calling: Finding the Work and Life you Love. Since then I have done a lot of soul searching to uncover what my true passions are. Along the way I discovered JourneyDance and fell in love with the practice. I have completed teacher training and am now offering classes in the Halifax and surrounding areas.
I am a lifelong seeker of authenticity and an avid yoga practitioner for over 12 years; I am passionate about living from the heart and encouraging others to find their truths. I believe in the transformational power of movement and plant-based, whole-foods. I live by the ocean with my husband and two cats.
2. What is JourneyDanceTM?
JourneyDanceTM is a holistic fitness practice that tones your body as you sweat away toxins while having a ton of fun! No fancy footwork or complicated choreographies, JourneyDance offers simple movement suggestions and imagery to help you explore your own unique way of moving. There is no right or wrong just authentic letting go as we dance barefoot through the chakras to inspiring world music.
3. How did you discover this kind of dancing?
I first experienced conscious dance while on retreat at Kripalu in 2009. Every day at lunch time they offer a movement class. Being open to new experiences and making the most of my time there, I eagerly attended and participated in a couple yoga dance classes. But it wasn’t until day three, during Toni Bergin’s JourneyDance class, when I really felt the transformational power of movement.
4. What do you love most about JourneyDance?
As a young girl I was very active in many forms of movement including figure skating, gymnastics, tap and jazz dancing. But as I grew up and became interested in other activities I lost touch with these forms of expression. They became buried beneath the expectations of life, the social norms, the drive for a career, money, relationships. But I always felt that little girl deep inside of me bursting at the seams to be free to dance, sing, laugh, play and soar. And that day in Toni’s JourneyDance class she did. It was at that moment, with tears streaming down my face, I knew something had shifted inside of me. I had found my passion.
5. How has JourneyDance affected your life?
JourneyDance has really transformed my life. Through the teacher training process, I learned so much about myself and peeled back so many layers to start uncovering my authentic truth. Through the practice I gained the courage to leave an unfulfilling career, found my passions and am now the happiest and healthiest I have ever been in my life. Each week on the dance floor I continue to release and let go even more and continue to get closer to the real me.
It has also provided me with an outlet to give back, to inspire, to reach out and touch people’s lives. To witness others letting go and experiencing the freedom found within the practice is truly a gift.
6. What’s the next step on your journey?
The next step, or the one I continue to work on with JourneyDance, is to build more awareness and educate about what it is and its benefits and find new venues and audiences to share it with. Otherwise in my life, the next big leap will be to launch my health coaching practice later this year.
7. Where can people find you (online and in class)?
I teach JourneyDance every Tuesday from 12:10-1:00 pm at Halifax Yoga. Every second Saturday from 10:30-11:45 I’m at Trena’s Dance Studio in Bedford. And on the second Sunday of the month, we’re grooving at the Prospect Road Community Center from 3:00-4:30 pm.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Michelle!
If you’re in the Halifax area, I highly recommend Michelle’s classes. And if you live elsewhere, you can find listings of JourneyDance teachers here.