When I taught yoga for Equinox, I had done a training to teach a class called Temple Dance, which used scarves and basic movements as a foundation for a dance you turned into your own experience. It was fulfilling to be able to provide the gift of dance to people. At the time I was trained, I had been teaching yoga to a group of girls at a home for women with eating disorders. During one of our weekly sessions I asked the girls how they felt about dance and they all were up for it. For me, it was so beautiful to see these girls laugh and be whimsical as sometimes with our yoga practice, especially in some of the more quiet moments, they were having real difficulty facing what was going on inside. Though, I do believe overall it was a part of their healing to go through that. Thus, the gift of dance and movement allowed for a very happy time.

These days, I enjoy and love dance with James Darling. I came upon James in 2010 teaching a class at Equinox called Move and Groove. James is so much fun and has taught me how fun and silly dance can be–not to mention what an intense calorie burner. James is brilliant at choreography (something I have never been a big fan of) – I am definitely one of those free spirits that likes to move through listening to my body (read: do whatever I want). James allows for this element of silliness where he is not overly serious about following every step. Just one look at James’ website will convey to you a bit about him. James has been so healthy for me in my serious running a skincare company mode. He helps me shake things up and I love it.

May I suggest…

My request to you is to put yourself out there to try a dance oriented class that focuses on movement and expression rather than lots of choreography. I should mention, I am not a professional dancer and nor have I been trained as one. Dance out what you feel. Please share your experiences about trying this! (and according to our contest on FB this month, you’ll enter in yourself chances to win the products!) Also, as is with anything, you must make it a priority for making it happen – are you a member at a gym? See if they have a class you could try. Whatever the case, tell yourself:

“I will give myself the opportunity to feel (and look) amazing by trying a dance class this month”

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - by far one of my favorite dance rituals for me – expressive and meditative dance suit me…

Move and Groove - James, thank you for the lightness, laughter and leaps!

Belly Dance - In 2009, I took Belly Dance for 3 months (twice a week) and it was such a nice way to connect with ones sensuality – as well as hip gyrations and undulations!

Nia - Nia was a nice intro for me into more expressive and meditative dance forms. I first tried Nia 8 years ago.

5 RhythmsWhen I moved to NYC, I was looking for a replacement to Fumbling Towards Ecstacy. I tried John’s class (he is the creator of 5 Rhythms son) and though it wasn’t as fulfilling as FTE, it is a great intro to moving according to various rhythms in the body and music. More info here.

ZumbaI have tried Zumba twice in the past few months and, for me, its not so fulfilling (too mechanical). I know it definitely works for some and I am sure the instructor makes a difference (If James were teaching this, I am sure I would be addicted). My purpose is to provide resources and I know Zumba is widely available – so try it for yourself and see what you think.

And I close with some empowering humor if you decide you want to dance professionally, whether you are male, female or deer....

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