In need of some familial grounding, I set out to better understand from whom I come. Turns out, I come from makers, artists, and adventurers. People who relied on skill to earn a living, to express themselves, to fend off death. People whose livelihoods and hobbies allowed their nervous systems to create a sense of wholeness and through community, a sense of healing.
Born with under-developed lungs and a heart murmur, I entered the world fighting to breathe and muscling through. After this adventurous, and traumatic birth, I moved through a childhood engrossed in play, nature, and the arts, specifically dance. At thirteen, my mother died of emphysema and asthma, not able to breathe and no longer able to muscle through. Dance carried me through, demanding of me those same skills- to breathe and muscle through, becoming a process of not only surviving but ultimately, thriving.
Fast forward through the dance and education communities that have sustained me, a career in professional dance and study in trauma resolution, I’ve spent 25 years teaching people to connect to themselves, to each other, and to big ideas. I teach them, literally and metaphorically, to breathe and muscle through until ease and discernment take over instead- an approach to consciously inhabiting one’s body and doing something with what they learn, embodiment, in the name of art-making. Art-making as a means to embodiment and resilience. I teach others what sustained me, maintaining high standards and consistent practice, as well as enough study in other disciplines to back it up. The arts allow us to rehearse the skills we need for real life.
It is the bridge from quality of life to creating a life of quality.
I know you are worried about the kids.
I would have been one of those kids you are worried about- one who entered the world with challenges, lost a parent at 13, experienced other adversities. Change was a constant, but so was art. I survived and even thrived. I can explain how.
I know what it’s like to wonder how we got here. To have these lives, careers, and families and still feel like you are making it up as you go along. I know what it feels like to need to finish raising yourself while still showing up for everyone else. I can’t offer you certainty, but I can offer you a way to meet your own needs in real ways, and can give you tools for helping others.
This is the work I am doing in my own life. You can come with me.
Copyright 2019 HVS Movement Studies