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Samantha Richardson

Tasmania, Australia

At 2am on the 2nd of December, I snuck out of my home while my family slept and walked through 2 feet of snow through Salt Lake City to my personal training studio… I put on the music and I danced and I danced until I fell onto the floor and I could dance no more…

The pain I was in was beyond words… Emotional, spiritual, gut-wrenching pain. 

As the sun rose, I picked myself up from the studio floor and walked back through the glittering snow to my home…

I kissed my mother and husband goodbye and told them that I loved them. I kissed my children goodbye and I told them that I loved them. I looked at my phone as message after message came through, all saying the same thing, “I love you.” As I walked out the front door, my daughter called out to me, “Please don’t die today, mommy.” 

I honestly answered, “It will be ok, baby.”

I didn’t know if I would live or die that day… But I knew that “it would be ok.” More than ok.

I was sedated quickly at the hospital, and then I underwent a full craniotomy to remove a left frontal lobe tumor the size of a golf ball.

From the time I was diagnosed to this very day, I learned how to dance between the veil of the seen and the unseen… Beyond words. Beyond religion. All that exists. All that matters - is love. What matters is the dance, the dance of life, the connection, the thread that ties us together. 

I share this with you now in my Qoya Teacher Bio, because without listening to my body, I don’t know if I would have survived surgery. Without Qoya, I would not have made the miraculous recovery that I have made.

So now I want to celebrate your story. Your Journey! Life throws hard punches. Yep. Really, really hard punches… Qoya invites you into a space where you know that you know that you know – you are not alone. You may appear as one, but an army of 10,000 supports you. An army of dancing warriors, breathing and dancing love into your being, going before you on your journey, surrounding you. Believe me. I know.

When did you take your first Qoya class? It was 5 years ago. I was looking for a movement practice that would “fill my tank.” At the time, I owned my own weight loss and wellness clinic. My passion has always been helping people fall in love with their bodies, and yet I could feel myself feeling thirsty for something more. I found Qoya, and within 5 minute,s I knew I had found my practice. A practice that quenched my body, mind and soul.

What does it mean for you to teach Qoya? In Qoya, a common story is told of Rochelle Schieck (founder of Qoya) finding a cute pillow on her bed saying, “Wake up, sleepy heart.” This is quintessential for me as a teacher. In a gentle, safe and sacred place, I can lovingly whisper, “Wake up, beauty. Wake up to all you can be. The world needs you.” This is the whisper in the room, yet through Qoya, this is an effortless practice. It simply quenches a woman's soul to feel rest and rejuvenation. Our modern lives leave us ragged, frail, and often guilt ridden when we do rest. As a Qoya teacher, I have the honor of sending out invitations to slow down to hear the whispers in your heart, “You are wonderful. Perfect, and magical. Thank you for showing up - let's begin.”

What is your favorite song to dance to right now? Honestly, it is "Rock a Bye Baby" by Clean Bandit. The song intrigued me, so I watched the music video. The video portrays the story of a beautiful woman who wants to provide for her child… Yet, she is pole dancing. The video shows beautifully how we perceive things isn’t always the reality. She is so strong and beautiful, but often people miss the story, miss her strength and vibrancy. Watch the video and dance! 

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What book has inspired you on the path to embodying the feminine? 

 “Autobiography of an Orgasm” (Betsy Blankenbaker). “Rising Strong” (Brene Brown). “Qoya: A Compass for Living an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free” (Rochelle Scheick). “Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul” (Danielle LaPorte). “Big Magic” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

What would you tell someone who is thinking of taking a Qoya class for the first time? It could be the most empowering thing you have ever done for yourself. Throw caution into the wind and go for it!