This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is brought to you by Bay Area-based Open Floor, Somatic Experiencing, & Reiki facilitator Stacey Butcher

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
~ Olivia Owens

I think we can safely say that all of us have had to step outside of our comfort zones in a big way this year. Things have unfolded in ways we never could have imagined. And, while there have been challenges, I think it’s also safe to say that there has been light in this new journey, too.

Back in March, I was on my way to Europe for a 5-month teaching
tour when everything changed. Within a few days, all workshops had been canceled, and I left London to be with my family in California. It was a drastic shift in the lifestyle I knew and loved, teaching and
traveling around the world.

Instead of getting mad and resisting what was happening, I took some time to stop and listen deeply. I let myself turn toward and experience the deep grief of the loss of teaching and dancing in person. By meeting it this way, I gave my experiences space to move through me, pointing me in the direction of what would come next.

I saw how other teachers were quickly moving to teach online. I had a strong resistance at first – it felt like a time to go more inward for
me. So before I started teaching online, I danced, and I danced, and I danced…and wow! I could feel the difference that moving was making in my life. It helped me to make it through this crazy time. Dancing was an outlet where I could move all my emotions, thoughts, and anxieties. I could breathe again. It settled my nervous system.

The more I danced, the more it became clear that I needed to teach
online. I combined the Somatic Experiencing principles with Open Floor. I wanted to help people find the freedom I was personally experiencing in dance: exploring ways to move from fixed to fluid; responding to life rather than reacting to or pushing against it. There are so many more possibilities available to us when we dance WITH it.

If I’m perfectly honest, I really couldn’t stand teaching online when I first started. As I stuck with it, I’ve been blown away by the depths my groups have been able to reach through Zoom. When I heard from students how much they were getting out of the online classes, it kept me going. And now I absolutely love it. Of course, I miss teaching in person – but since that isn’t an option right now, this is the next best thing.

A big gift I’m finding from all this is that we can practice
within the parameters of our everyday lives. To me, this is what the
whole movement practice is about – learning to move with more
mindfulness and fluidity in our lives, not just on the dance floor. And
now…the dance floor is not separate from our everyday lives. It’s
right in the middle of it.

One simple fact is that we need resources right now. We need actions and strategies we can use in adverse circumstances.
All the work I do in this world is to help people find those resources in themselves ~ whether it’s through Open Floor Movement, Somatic
Experiencing, or Reiki. I am deeply grateful that I’m able to work with all of these modalities online. Being able to offer my work in the world is a deep resource for me.

The fact that I can help people move with what they’re feeling right now… that’s all I need. I hope you’ll come and join me online.

Stacey Butcher
Upcoming Events:

Open Floor Movement:
November 18 – Body as Resource –
Nov 10, 14, & 28 (and more dates in December) ~ Online Community Dances –

Dates to be announced ~ Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart one day workshop

Reiki Trainings:
November 8 ~ Reiki Level 3 Training –
November 15 ~ Reiki Level 1 Training –
December 6 ~ Reiki Level 2 Training –
One-on-One Sessions:
Somatic Experiencing –
Mentoring –
Reiki –

(Would you like to write an Insight Column for Monday Love and be featured on the Conscious Dancer website? Send us an email today!)