My Journey From Body-Abusing Professional Dancer to Birthing the TranscenDance™ Movement
Modern society, particularly in the Western world, has inevitably created a separation of our mind, body and spirit. But as “spiritual beings having a human experience,” we’re meant to be at one with the beauty of our whole being. Did you know you can experience your body as the chalice of your soul — the sacred vehicle through which your spirit gets to enjoy its human experience?
Conscious dance is a unique movement and healing modality that creates divine expression, and unity among the three aspects of our being. I’d love to share with you, my spiritual awakening of how I healed my love-hate relationship with my body, discovered this transformational modality, and why it’s now my life’s work to share conscious dance with the world, as widespread as yoga is today, and help millions of people come home to their body temple. And I’d love to invite you into your own deeper healing, and join this mission!
Healing My Love-Hate Relationship with My Body
Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved to dance. By high school, I had become a devotee of the art form, studying jazz, ballet, and modern dance.
Along the way, I had developed a love-hate relationship with my body.
I loved my body for being an instrument of self-expression. I loved the artistry of dance, the way that a simple adjustment in how I moved my head, a shoulder, or even a finger could create a different sense of connection and emotion in my audience.
But the older I got and the more I became hypnotized by the mainstream messages about what it means to strive for the ideal female body, or the ideal dancer’s body, the more my sense of dislike and distrust of my body grew.
In traditional dance forms, there is a very clear definition of the “right” way to dance, and the ideal body type to strive for. Teachers spend hours instructing students about the proper form and stringently demanding tiny tweaks in the pursuit of perfection. Mastery requires a level of physical punishment as you learn to push your body — and mind — to new limits.
Competition is fierce. Most studios are set up so that all students are facing a wall of mirrors, so they can watch and correct their form in real-time. The very best students are front and center – and everyone in the room is jockeying for the privilege of being recognized as the premier dancer.
And along with this strict definition of what’s right in terms of dance technique, the very clear and limited picture of the “right” body type is the dancer who is long and lean, with a long neck, slender arms, and up-to-your-ears legs.
Although you can practice and refine your technique, changing your body type is next to impossible. The dance world is fraught with body-image problems as a result. Dreaming of center stage, dancers try starving their way to the “ideal” body, battling their body’s natural shape, size, and biology in an often-futile attempt to be perfect. A dancer’s body is both her artistic instrument, as well as the very thing that can prevent her from achieving her dreams.
My First Conscious Dance Class
The doorway to a new relationship with my body opened during my senior year of high school, when I walked into Vincent Arjuna Martí’s 4th floor wellness studio in Portland, Oregon, for a Soul Motion class.
Instead of huge mirrors, the studio featured vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and dim lights. Instead of competitive-minded dancers sizing each other up, the artists in this studio looked me in the eye, welcomed me with warm smiles, friendly greetings, and an almost palpable sense of acceptance.
The dance class that Vincent led that day was my first experience in mind-body movement — and a truly transcendental experience.
For the first time, I experienced my body as the chalice of my soul — the sacred vehicle through which my spirit gets to enjoy its human experience.
Under Vincent’s tutelage, I discovered how to let go of the need to dance the “right” way … and instead allow the life force that breathes me to express itself through movement. Conscious dance helped me recondition my body and my emotional state, to generate feelings that are of vibrational match with my higher power.
By the end of the class, I felt as if I had been a caged bird all my life, and someone had finally opened the door to my cage. I felt so connected to Source, like I was dancing effortlessly through space in uninhibited freedom and in purity of mind, body, and soul. One with my breath, one with my heartbeat, the rhythm of my feet, and harmony with the music. A beautiful symphony of body, soul, beauty and being.
Although my body was technically “dancing,” the movement wasn’t really about dance at all. It was about becoming one with my God, with my creator. Experiencing a little piece of heaven on earth. As the saying goes, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Conscious dance allowed me to experience this maxim not just as an intellectual exercise, but as a truth that resonated on a cellular level.
That transcendental, transformational experience in Arjuna’s studio set me on a quest to discover everything I could find in the field of conscious dance — and to forge a new path to a deeper, more loving relationship with my body.
Connecting with Your Inner Wisdom Through Conscious Dance
Conscious dance is about strengthening the mind-body-spirit connection – and honoring the wisdom we hold within.
Over the decades, our society has shifted to a place where we tend to prize and respect “outer” wisdom more than “inner” wisdom. We have delegated the training of our intellect to institutions of higher learning. We’ve made religious institutions the experts of spiritual development. And we’ve designated medical professionals as the experts on our physical bodies.
Seeking experts who specialize in these different areas of health is valuable. But too often, we discount and dismiss the inner wisdom we already have — our body wisdom.
As I learned from Arjuna, we are energetic beings who live in an invisible sea of energy. The alive, aware intelligence that drives everything in the universe also moves us. As we mature, our human experiences cause us to build internal walls in an effort to protect ourselves from hurt and harm. But these walls also block our connection to the energy of the universe.
Our bodies are the conduit for connection and conversation with the Source that breathes us. Conscious dance allows us to dissolve the blocks that prevent us from connecting with the field of information around us. With a regular practice of conscious dance, we open the channels through which we connect with the universe, becoming better receivers of wisdom.
Want to Explore Conscious Dance?
I’ve been studying and mastering conscious dance and mind-body-spirit wellness for more than 20 years. My purpose and passion is to help all individuals – no matter their age, size, or physical ability – to connect with their higher source through music and movement. It is my privilege, gift, and joy to help people tap into their innate body wisdom and learn to use their physical bodies as a conduit to connect with their soul and power of the universe.
I’ve distilled all I’ve learned in the past two decades into my own conscious dance modality, TranscenDance™, which has impacted the lives of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds worldwide.
TranscenDance™ infuses the mindfulness of yoga into a free-form, joyful, conscious dance. This 10-phase modality incorporates guided breathing, relaxation and stretching, free-form conscious dance, energy healing, embodiment coaching and life empowerment, and more.
TranscenDance™ is healing, empowering, transformational, and truly life-changing. Rather than living just in your head, you’ll learn to thrive at the interaction where your mind, body, and spirit unite. Tune into the wisdom your body carries within, while also receiving the energetic support of the universe.
If you’re curious about cultivating a conscious dance practice, I invite you to check out my upcoming TranscenDance™ Facilitator Training.
This annual intensive is designed for two distinct groups of people:
- If you’re interested in personal development and embodiment mastery, the Personal Training Track is right for you. Join me for a deep exploration and mastery of this unique mind-body-spirit modality.
- If you want to guide and support others to thrive in their body temples, the more intensive Facilitator Training Track is right for you. You’ll not only learn how to teach TranscenDance™ classes, but you’ll also receive the resources you need to turn your facilitator certification into a business.
The only TranscenDance™ Facilitator Training of 2021 takes place April 8-11. We will be meeting virtually, so you can participate fully from the comfort, privacy, and safety of home.
To learn more about how this one-of-a-kind training can help you hone your mind-body-spirit connection — and join me, if you wish, in sharing the power of conscious dance with the world — click here.
And I’d love to hear from you! Please share below how you have discovered ways to thrive at the interaction where your mind, body, and spirit unite. How do you tune into the wisdom your body carries within, while also receiving the energetic support of the universe. Are you a dance lover too? How do you find ways to just turn on the music and dance? Please let us know more about your own experiences below.
Until next time, keep dancing and loving your beautiful body temple!