Wow, I don’t even think there are words to describe the awesomeness that was JourneyDance Teacher Training!
In mid-January, I embarked to The Synergy Studio in San Antonio to dive into this work with the incredible Toni Bergins and about twenty-five other folks from all over North America. So, what the heck IS JourneyDance? In Toni’s words:
“JourneyDance™ moves us through deep, personal exploration into a loving, intimate relationship with body, mind, and source energy. This sensual and exhilarating union of dance, visualization, and ritual calls us to get funky and divine!
In a Shamanic style, we are carried through an intentional and seamless flow of simple movement sequences and free expression. We are led with exuberance and compassion to a place of authentic communication with our creative spirit, where we discover our hearts’ desires.
We embody our physical temple, unleashing animal energies from within as we ground ourselves. We explore our inner realms, delving and diving into our ocean of emotion. We connect with our inner shaman creator to burn the mind’s clogging clutter and make space for the abundance of joy that is available to us. As we create this powerful ritual together, we liberate old cellular memories, cleanse the body and mind with sweat and breath, and elevate our vibration.
We open to the joy of life. We are the Prayer: our body, our movement, our breath. We are the Goddess: our passion, our emotions, our sensual heart. We are the Warrior: our power, our intentions, our life’s journey.
JourneyDance™ is a transformational experience that does not require any previous movement or dance experience. Travel this sacred and provocative journey, feel bliss, and express ourselves as soul.”
The six days I was in San Antonio quite literally changed something inside me. I faced a lot of demons, from personal losses to body image issues, and emerged on the other side feeling strong, confident, joyful and embodied. I saw this same transformation happen to so many other people in the room and it was wickedly inspiring. Of course, six days does not fix a life-long struggle, but I definitely felt an energy shift in how I thought about certain things. I had moments of catharsis and moments of ecstasy. I moved some stuck energy out of my body.
One of my concerns going into training was that, as a person with literally zero JourneyDance experience, I wouldn’t feel confident enough after training to begin teaching. I loved the way Toni guided us into teaching – first, in small groups to small clips of music, until we eventually strapped on the microphone and led a longer segment of class all on our own. We took about two JourneyDance classes a day to get really familiar with the “flow” of classes. By the time training was over, I was dying to teach.
It’s almost like I have been training my entire life to teach this work. It’s dance, which obviously appeals to me. But, to be a teacher, you also need a bit of drama, a touch of theatre, a way of engaging & commanding the energy of the room. There is subtlety in the way you lead the class vocally, from using accents to dynamics to just plain noise. There are yogic qualities to the class, notably in the breathing. It requires a deep love and understanding of music and its power and how it moves people, literally and figuratively. It combines so many elements of things I love that I truly feel like I’ve found my path in life.
This work is powerful. This work heals. I have felt it and seen it and I trust the JourneyDance flow in its ability to transform. Now, it’s my turn to give back and spread this powerful movement practice to the people around me, to the people I love, to the people I want to help.
That being said… promo for my first class! Woo hoo!