Weekly classes are forming now for Fayetteville and the Rogers/Bentonville area of Northwest Arkansas; Workshops and retreats are currently available in Northwest & Central Arkansas; Southwest Missouri and Northwest Oregon events will be available in the coming months and into 2018. Visit www.embodylove.net/classes for my events calendar.
I have spent more than two decades learning and teaching various dance forms and movement practices including Classical Egyptian & Tribal Style bellydance, Bhangra, Classical Indian Dance, Polynesian styles, and most recently, Qoya. Pursuing dance as a spiritual path has led me to dive even deeper into movement as a life-changing practice, an opportunity for emotional healing, and a powerful way to achieve mind-body alignment by tapping into our inner Source for guidance in life.
I believe movement can be potent medicine for our souls, powerful metaphor for understanding our relationship to our world and ourselves, and transformative magic to alchemize the pain and trauma of life's struggles into holistic healing and embodied living.
When did you take your first Qoya class? I discovered Qoya in March of 2016 and followed every online movement video I could find, since there wasn't a teacher anywhere near me. I signed up for the online classes in January 2017 and knew instantly I wanted to become a Qoya Teacher. I had my first full, in-person Qoya class at my Qoya Initiation with Kaci Florez in Folsom, California in March 2017, and it was an amazing experience! I came back home with a renewed purpose and eagerness to incorporate Qoya into my daily life, as well as work hard to become a good Qoya Teacher. I loved my transformative experience at the Qoya Intensive in Washington in May 2017, and have been so excited to finally bring Qoya to Arkansas!
What does it mean for you to teach Qoya? Teaching Qoya, for me, is a fullness, a culmination and new beginning of a path I began several decades ago. I feel like my years as a bellydance instructor began my journey of embodiment, and helped me appreciate the healing power of movement and a community of women. And now Qoya has brought me round full circle, back to the beginning of myself, back to a new path to wholeness, to embodiment, and to another opportunity to assist women and empower them to go within & to follow the thread of embodiment--all while doing something that makes my soul sing! Teaching Qoya is an honor and a gift, one that I am grateful for in new ways every day.
What is your favorite song to dance to right now? "From the Ground Up" by Ayla Nereo has seeped into my soul and is currently a daily listening obsession, including all the remixes!
What book has inspired you on the path to embodying the feminine? There are so many! I kept following the clues each time I saw the word "embody" or "embodiment", and it lead me to Rochelle Schieck's book, "Qoya, A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wild, Wise & Free", and her writing brought it all together for me. Other excellent books that helped me along the way are titles by Meggan Watterson, Elizabeth DiAlto, Danielle LaPorte, Lisa Lister, Naomi Wolfe, Betsy Blankenbaker, Regena Thomashauer and Tami Lynn Kent, just to name a few!
What would you tell someone who is thinking of taking a Qoya class for the first time? Let go of being self conscious, of worrying that you "aren't a dancer" or won't know how to do it "right". Just relax, forget the negative self talk and start listening to your body--she has a lot to say! Let the music fill you, be curious about the experience, and trust that the group of women you're dancing with are there because they have a shared experience, and building community with each other makes us stronger, as individuals and as a whole. Also, expect to have more fun than you've ever imagined a movement class could give you!