Alchemy and the Elements

I love to move. Specifically I love to dance, but there’s more than just what might be defined as dance.

I no longer move because I feel like I must;

to keep weight off

so that I can eat – whatever

so that I won’t feel guilty for eating – whatever.

My friend Julie calls me a movement junkie. I’m still drawn (strongly) to move most of the time, but it’s with a different sense of intention. Movement brings me joy, pleasure, inspiration satisfaction, stress relief, and unblocks stuck places like nothing else, this is true. And yea, it keeps me fit.

I move, I dance


express, create, blow off steam,

clear my mind, unload excess information, manage intense emotions,

adjust my perspective, explore my edge and limit,

expand by ability to realize my imagination

The cool thing about my relationship with movement now, is that when I don’t want to, I don’t. When my body tells me it needs more rest (even when my mind considers regressing), I don’t. When I’m in pain and moving is just not the answer (rare, but it does happen). More clearly, the type of movement I am considering  is not the answer. I’m no longer driven by the compulsion to exercise.

It’s not exercise I love anymore. (It was never really exercise that I loved.) It was the exhilaration of being in motion – like diving, and swooping and soaring. Before Nia I danced only for myself and what I taught was exercise. I happily skipped into whatever gym to teach a class, lifted weights like a body builder (which I was at one time) and was constantly rolling around on the floor imagining better ways of doing “it”.

“It” wasn’t exercise that I dreamed about. Exercise revealed limits and obstacles which I agreed to during a time I was afraid to dance out loud.

It was movement beyond exercise that offered me wings, that invited me to swim more deeply into myself; movement that created change. Not exercise at all. Exercise does none of those things for me. When I look into exercise I see one thing wrapped in a neat box of repetition, predictability, and sharp boundaries.

When I look into movement I see endless, limitless possibilities for

living in a body that I can call ‘home’

self expression that needs no approval

the unexpected

fitness that really is delicious, sexy, creative, playful and fun rather than exercise that is not any of those – ok, delicious push ups?! N e v e r!

How about spinal undulations on the floor; fluid, systemic, subtle (and maybe not so subtle); melting along the hard wood… Do I really need to draw you a picture? Strong and sexy.

If I had to face getting onto a treadmill, I would be a very angry, frustrated, stifled, hungry woman.

The words “good” and “bad” are no longer a part of my vocabulary in relation to what I eat or how much I move or even how I move. Like labeling emotions “good” or “bad; those words simply do not apply.

Did I have a good workout this morning? How dry. No. I had a stimulating, gratifying, pleasure-connecting workout (if we must) this morning. In other words, my MoveFest this morning was a blast!

I teach Nia. It is part of Movement Alchemy because I am more than Nia. I teach strength but I am more than strength training. I teach improv but I am more than improv. All of what I learn and share transcends each candle of light that is ignited and instead glints and shimmers and hints of something new.

It is alchemy.

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