This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is from Vashti Blacker, a member of the Dance from the Heart community & Critical Mass Dance Company!

Dear dancers,

Unprecedented has been a word often used to describe 2020 and the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic – both individually and collectively. Life over zoom and digital connection has taken the place of gathering and dancing with each other.

In her book Maps of Ecstasy: The Healing Power of Movement, author Gabriel Roth writes, “Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.” Healers throughout the ages have questioned, “When did you stop dancing?” In these unprecedented times, I pose the question to each of us.

There is no way to contain and generalize experiences; we have all navigated these uncharted pathways into the future as best we can, with different personal circumstances, challenges, and championships. I am able to speak for myself while also knowing that we are a collective-human-web, knitting ever and ever closer together.

Throughout 2020, I found refuge and rejuvenation in nature. Walks at the beach, hikes in the mountains, and tending to my garden served as anchors for grounding and perspective. My 2020-year-in-review looked something like “At home, alone, finding security and strength in the simplicity of existence, somewhere between earth and sky.”

Moving into 2021 felt different. My heart knew it. My body knew it. Information and insights received from 2020 needed to move and express differently. A way to describe this is the feeling of the bud of our being – restless, relentless, and resilient – in our push towards the light. I felt certain that this experience was similar to that of a flower’s: the feeling of breaking through earth, emerging from a darkened, underground world of growth, into the light of the sun; remaining rooted, sustained, and centered.

I wanted to lighten the load and move towards a brighter and more joyful experience while still being anchored and grounded in my own existence and nature. I felt a desire for more levity, an internal push towards a new world with more light and lightness. I wanted to dance again.

I am part of Critical Mass Dance Company (CMDC) and our Dance from the Heart community. CMDC is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles with a mission to awaken and activate the heart’s creative, intuitive power through dance for healing, transformation, and wellness in mind, body, and spirit. Like others worldwide, CMDC has moved onto a virtual platform to continue supporting people in moving through these times. Knowing I needed to dance, I decided to attend one of our virtual Dance from the Heart classes.

As I rejoined the dance, there was a renewed sense of levity after the disheartening experience of isolation and disconnection in 2020. Dance from the Heart offers a space for personal healing and transformation through movement with heart-centered community support. Dance from the Heart is a trauma-informed embodiment practice that helps release stress from the body, connect to your own inner wisdom, and manifest from your heart. I have found the Dance from the Heart classes to be a space for all of this growth, deepening, and expansion to be moved, stretched, and alchemized.

We invite you to join our Dance from the Heart community classes, a virtual space to dance and move the change, find your rhythm, and transform in your own unique way.

As we move into a new way of being as individual humans, may we continue to dance it into being together. I was born for this moment. You were born for this moment. We were born for this moment. I see myself, and other human beings all over the world, present, awake, and moving forward as one.

Keep dancing from your heart,

Vashti Blacker
Dance from the Heart
Critical Mass Dance Company

Join us on Saturdays at 11am PT for our virtual Dance from the Heart: Journeys class series: https://www.criticalmassdancecompany.org/dance.html

More information about Critical Mass Dance Company & Dance from the Heart: www.criticalmassdancecompany.org.

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