….I don’t really believe that love is wicked! It’s the name of a song that is actually one of my favorite choreographed pieces that we use for Afro-Caribe. This particular piece was choreographed by Lysiane Ayita and is used as a “moderate” level dance, just after a warm-up or just prior to a cool-down.
When I was in La Grande, Oregon last month, this was one of the pieces that I shared and I’ve had multiple requests to post it on-line so that participants could practice it at home. While this is far from anything professional, I was grateful to have one of the other instructors offer to record it on my iPhone last night, and one of our dancers, Kelly, was gracious enough to allow herself to be filmed as well!
For those of you who are interested in more postings of dances you’d like to try or practice, just let me know! At some point, we will have a more professional instructional DVD to offer but, for now, we can at least play around with this type of sharing!
You’ve all been hearing and reading about Afro-Caribe on my Facebook page, my blog posts, etc, enough to either be thoroughly annoyed or fairly intrigued—at least from the responses I’ve seen! And while we haven’t yet had the capacity to bring this powerful, sexy, sultry dance form to many parts of the country, I believe it will most certainly find it’s way….
I’ve put together a short, very “low-tech” warm-up—a simple introduction to a very basic series of movements that I would usually lead at the beginning of an Afro-Caribe class—whether beginner, intermediate or advanced. This style of warm-up is used to activate the muscles we utilize in the style of dance from which our choreography pulls—foundations such as Latin & Carribean, West African, Reggaeton, Middle Eastern, Dancehall, and R&B.
While this piece is nothing outrageous or very difficult, it can provide a sense of the type of movement that is both required and utilized—meaning practiced to the point where it becomes foundational—for building the more advanced level aspects of the choreography.
Afro-Caribe is founded in traditional dance forms and integrates a variety of movements from around the world. We speak to the meaning of the music—a dialogue that takes place primarily in our bodies as we explore how the music moves us.
If pieces such as this one become helpful for those considering either coming to class or a “Break-It-Down” workshop, which happen about once a quarter—or possibly even becoming certified and bringing Afro-Caribe to your home town! …Please share your responses and spread the word!
There are other videos and images that will provide more of a feel for the overall style and techniques that are utilized in classes. And please come to our Afro-Caribe Facebook page and “like” us! Check out the schedule of classes and come and join us sometime!
And I’ll say one more time, as I step into my vulnerable and transparent offering here, this is just ME. In my basement. With my iPhone on a bench. Sharing a very small bit of something I deeply love <3
For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a group of Mothers and women bringing together their creative efforts in sharing unique and vulnerable styles of art and expression–Artistic Mamas. This creative effort was literally Birthed by a courageous and awake Mama, Jacquie Van Horne, who had a vision… a vision to gather the bold spirit of powerful mothers and dedicate an evening to our embodied expression.
Mother’s do hold a place in the world for powerful expression of all that we hold–both in our arms and in our hearts. To offer a space for Mama’s to gather, support, hold space, and share the stories which have been woven through communities and histories, providing the foundation for our children to bloom; this has a been a gift to many mothers in the Denver Metro area by the Artistic Mamas Organization. I believe it is a gift that continues to give!
“For many of us, there is no form of self-expression that makes us feel more vulnerable than dancing. It is literally full-body vulnerability.”
~ Brené Brown
Moving our bodies, expressively through space—“taking up space”—is a bold and courageous way to be known, to be seen, and to share our inner worlds with others.
I have always felt passionately that our bodies are vehicles for sharing our lives and whether we embody fear, rage, eroticism, awkwardness, wanting, sadness, playfulness… we can be intimately known through exploring and sharing our unique movement through dance—one of the deepest needs of the human spirit.
Since my childhood, dance was a form of expression that invited my curiosity yet, because of a strict home environment, I wasn’t allowed to take structured dance classes. So I consistently sought ways in which I could explore a variety of dance forms—primarily through imagination and play—that helped me connect to my body in a way that had meaning and motion.
I grew up Greek dancing with my family and then in my young adult life, discovered traditional Greek belly dancing. I began teaching and also exploring modern, jazz, lyrical and other more traditional dance forms.
When I moved to Colorado in 1996, I was introduced to Salsa dancing and soon after, joined a Latin dance troupe. I also took a variety of adult traditional dance forms. I owned and operated a Massage Therapy practice and was a Certified Personal Trainer—both of which informed my understanding of how the mind is expressed through the body. Still, I hadn’t found the consistent outlet that integrated my love for movement with my desire to push my body—something that opened me emotionally and simultaneously kicked my ass!
In 2008, I discovered Afro-Caribe, under the instruction of Raquel Cecil and knew I’d found my dancing home! I have danced consistently with Raquel since our introduction and became certified to teach Afro-Caribe in 2011. Since that time, I have loved being witness to the developing passion and spirit that has come alive in the Afro-Caribe community.
My “other profession” is Somatic Counseling Psychology, where I support individuals, couples, & groups in exploring their psychological worlds through their bodies and then help them find ways of resourcing their bodies, to access the depths of unexplored strength and wisdom.
Both through Afro-Caribe as well as through Psychotherapy, my goal is to help others find their unique way of TAKING UP SPACE in their lives!