Experiential dance for embodied wisdom
For workshops, public talks, and/or other offerings
After many years of dance quest, I came to a realization that dancing was not a performance but experience of unfolding. It was the most genuine and unmediated way of being, relating and remembering.
What is Experiential Dance?
Experiential Dance is a contemplative movement practice that enables self-exploration through non-conceptual means. It combines modalities such as dance, guided meditation, and creative writing. Participants are invited to a safe space to connect with their own body’s different state(s), observe and learn through introspective movement. In essence, Experiential Dance is for an experience and not for a performance.
How did you come to teach experiential dancing?
Like all commitments, this too relates to my personal story. The story that sounds as… Dance has always occupied a central, yet unreachable focal point in my early life. It has always been something that I longed for, desired, could have dedicated everything, and have chosen over everything. Yet it was always out of reach. When I was a child – I was not good enough in dance classes, others were better. I remember feeling hurt by being measured against others and feeling ashamed for not being able to do certain moves. When I was a teenager, I started to dance as they expected me to. Yet, in the cultural context and time, I was born, dancing was not considered a beneficial career path. So, with some persuasion from my parents, I chose an academic education over dance practice and went to college, then to university.
After 10 years of break that spanned over considerable changes in my life, I went back to dancing, rediscovering myself through movement in space. In this process, I met other dancers, therapists, choreographers, and performers. I met professional and nonprofessional dancers who had tapped into the wisdom of their bodies. I kept dancing on each possible occasion, actively seeking out practices that would allow me to move freely, be it modern dance, contact improvisation, Gaga People, 5 Rhythms, or the rave culture. After 7 years of dance quest, I came to an understanding that dancing was an essential part of my understanding of the world and the most genuine act of being. The dance I longed for was not performative but experiential. It was not an art form but a way of celebrating and remembering.
Gradually, after having explored my own boundaries, longings, and commitments through dance, I brought experiential dance into university as a way to encourage undergraduate students in self-exploration and expression. Since 2017 I have been applying dance and movement awareness as didactic tools to support students in what is called high-order thinking skills. Initially, the attempt sounded bizarre, but gradually through supportive student feedback and colleagues’ interest, I came to see a clear need for such integrative approaches. Nowadays, I am committed to creating spaces for movement, openness, and spaciousness in what is sometimes called an ‘ivory tower’ of academia.