Auckland, New Zealand
I am teaching Qoya in Auckland twice monthly, for class details see https://rochellegates.com/qoya/ or Facebook.
I am a therapist and facilitator, informed by over two decades of work and training in the healing fields. I bring my deep learnings both personally and professionally in Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, Relationship Coaching, and Aware Parenting to my work. I am also well-versed in the somatic and energetic realms through my experiences as a Qoya teacher, Arvigo® Therapist, and Mayan Spiritual Healer.
When did you take your first Qoya class? I took my first Qoya class with Rochelle Schieck in March 2013, when she first brought Qoya to New Zealand. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and desperate to dance, I couldn't find a place to express myself through dance, that felt good to me, especially being pregnant. Not only did I find dance, but so much more.. I found a community, a way to come back to myself, a way to release and let go, realign and reset, and later beloved friends. From when my little one was a few months old maybe more, I continued to come to class every month.. Sometimes dragging myself along. It kept me connected to the mystic in me during the early days of motherhood. I trained as a Qoya teacher in March 2016, 3 years later.
What does it mean for you to teach Qoya? To teach Qoya is a complete privilege. I adore how it brings so many things I love together. I love to dance and I also love to connect and go deep. It's inspiring for me to bring women together to explore, to have fun, to reveal, to share, and be real. It is a portal to remember the magic and to continually bring me back to reverence like a magnet that I can't get enough of. It has taught me to bring that reverence into my every day life. It's one thing to do an amazing course or experience or have the most dynamic adventure, it's another thing to really begin to feel those things every day. It is an honour to dance with those that love to dance, and it is an honour to dance with those that are initially terrified of dancing and at the idea of moving their body and everyone in between.
Getting to know Qoya more deeply as a practice, it resonates with me in so many ways. I love the journey that it takes me and others on, I appreciate that it incorporates the Shadow Dance, which gives us an opportunity to feel, become present to and move with those feelings we may not give voice to so frequently in our everyday life. One of my favourite sayings in Qoya is 'when we feel it, we can heal it'. I have never felt comfortable with the idea that we are all love and light and the pursuit of that, whilst ignoring, rejecting, or bypassing the deeper parts of ourselves. I love that we work with the four directions in Qoya, that acknowledges what feels to me like the full spectrum.
What is your favorite song to dance to right now? My favourite songs change all the time! A few I have fallen in love with in my classes over the last year are Directions by Nahko and Medicine for the People, Joseph; Promise by Ben Howard; Gajumaru by Yaima; and I Return by Hope Medford.
What book has inspired you on the path to embodying the feminine? So many to mention... The book I am reading at the moment, Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent is resonating in so many ways, and inspiring me to do my work.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of taking a Qoya class for the first time? I would firstly say come! Really come as you are. There is no way you can do it wrong and the way you no you are doing it right is if it feels good to you (this is a principle of Qoya). Come to dance and connect. Qoya has truly touched me deeply, I had an ache before Qoya that I didn't completely know how I would meet. Through Qoya, through dancing, through this community, through meeting, loving and connecting with women, this ache has most definitely been met, seen, acknowledged, and loved up.