This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is from Maneesha McClure, creator of Dance Alchemy!
Hi, Lovers of Dancing!
I am new here and am happy to be part of the Dance First community! As the proud creator of Dance Alchemy, I’ve seen firsthand how dance and movement can impact a person’s overall well-being. Dance Alchemy focuses on how dancing can transform – on how, through dance, we can fully live within each moment. It’s also about opening up and moving deeper into a space beyond the ups and downs of everyday life. My work has usually been organized by meditation centers in various places around the world.
At the beginning of 2020, I had just begun to promote the work myself, through social media and my mailing list, to help support these centers. I was scheduled for a large workshop in Russia and a Training in Italy in spring, both of which had gathered a lot of momentum. Then the pandemic hit. In late March, in a meeting with other Somatic Experiencing Trauma Healing therapists, I started to hear what was happening to people around the globe. I could feel how much fear, pain, and anxiety was arising in the collective conscious. Spurred by the realization that so many people were suffering, I felt compelled to share what I do to transform and rise through overwhelming situations instead of being crushed by them.
First, I offered free SE sessions to doctors I knew in NYC who were overwhelmed with taking care of covid patients in hospitals. I also decided to take the Dance Alchemy work online. I offered a free one-hour event – Dance Alchemy Heart Meditations – twice a week on Zoom. People came from all over the world; it was profoundly touching to move together into what we were facing, dance it, and take it into the heart.
Without the pandemic, I doubt I could have made the change. My work as a massage therapist (which had been my bread and butter in between yearly overseas groups) and proffering classes in Sedona, Arizona, where I live, abruptly stopped. As I had to suspend both of those things, I was able to devote all my time to the technical challenge – not easy for me – of learning Zoom, getting my mailing list together, starting social media, and finding a way to get the word out.
Offering these online classes gave me a chance to dance and feel through my own inner disturbance and take it deep into meditation, and at the same time to share the dance, the heart, the silence with many people from all over the world. We danced feelings of fear, confinement, losing control, facing the unknown, and a myriad of other emotions. To do this together made us see how we are all in the same boat and can choose what we do with our energy, even in these uncertain times.
In June, I gave my first paid online workshop, and then in July, I hosted a Dance Alchemy Teacher Training. The bond between all of us in that first training is very special. I’m amazed by how much, even over oceans and continents, I can feel people and how they also can feel the heart connection with each other. We danced together as if we were in person. And now we are in another time – it is longer, with more insecurity, more division, and more fighting about who is right and who is wrong. And so we keep moving. I began again with monthly classes and, as of January 27th, will start offering dance Alchemy Meditation classes on Zoom weekly. (For info and to register, see my Facebook page, my website, or write me to receive my monthly newsletter, firstname.lastname@example.org, or, email@example.com)
We cannot control the outside; what is happening is happening. But we can choose to feel what is coming up, to welcome it, and grow from it. We can choose to love, to dance, and to use the vulnerability of this time to jump into the movement, the flow. Because as dancers, that’s how we learn to trust. I am inspired by all of you sharing their love and joy instead of the old habits of worry, complaint, and misery. Thanks for getting people up out of their chairs to jump and play and learn to keep flowing with all that comes – as only the dance of life can do.
For more info and to sign up for classes and trainings, visit:
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