Always a trend-setter, I was rocking Danskins and tutus way before it was cool. With a Ring Ding in one hand and a Barbie in the other, I would dance my way through each room of the house. It was obvious, to me at least, that I was meant to be a dancer. But, sadly, by age four I was a ballet school drop-out. Over the years I went on to become a jazz dance drop-out, ballroom dance drop-out, hip-hop drop-out, and most recently a Zumba drop-out. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me it was a HUGE problem. You see, I have always loved to dance.
I’m just not a “dancer.”
Truth be told, I have this itty-bitty problem which has put a damper on my dance pursuits— I cannot follow choreographed moves. I don’t know exactly why but it must be the same reason that I can’t follow recipes or driving direction– and unfortunately they don’t make a GPS for a dance class! Oddly enough, over the years this has not deterred me from trying to find the right dance class for ME. I searched and dreamed of a class with ZERO choreography. A place for “my kind,” because I knew deep down that I was not alone on this uncoordinated journey. My search turned up empty.
Fortunately, besides being a dancer-wannabe, I had a day job as an entrepreneur. Clearly staring me in the face was an unmet need so I set out to fill it. First a market test. I created a class at my gym called Dance Party. We turned off the lights and turned on the disco ball and I was in heaven dancing crazy in my Lululemons. It was AMAZING!! Problem was that nobody else thought so. I quickly learned that most people who go to classes want instruction. They want some choreography. Oops.
Undeterred, I marched on…
By chance, while de-stressing at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, I walked into the noon class called Yoga Dance and quickly realized there was NO choreography and people were having a blast. I was so excited that I ended signing up for teacher training and kept going back for more over the next six months. I learned so much in my various trainings at Kripalu, but surprisingly little about dance moves. Instead, I learned how to take off my armor, show my vulnerabilities, share my wisdom and slay my dragons all at the same time. What I finally learned was that dance is not about following someone else’s moves but rather it is emotional expression in its purest form. It is laughter. It is tears. It is romance, despair, elation, and frustration all at the same time disguised as shimmies and shakes. No wonder I couldn’t follow someone else’s steps.
I went home and created my own class called Spirit Groove, where I have been able to not only find my own voice, but to help others feel empowered and sexy and happy. Together we breathe and stretch and dance our hearts out and make lots of noise and then peacefully relax. The best part is that there is NO CHOREOGRAPHY, just suggestions. We laugh and cry and sweat. It is magical and it is what I have been searching for my whole life.