Everybody Dance Now
Confession: The first cassette tape I ever purchased was C+C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now.” As embarrassing as that is to admit, I think Little Me, with her funky bedroom dance parties was onto something.
Over the last few years, I’ve heard from various sources that instead of “working out” or “exercising,” that we should engage with our bodies through “joyful movement.” Simply put, joyful movement is movement that makes us feel good (easy enough, right?). It is a way to utilize our body for expression, reflection, and pleasure instead of punishing it for the peanut butter cookie we ate at lunch. While many forms of movement fall under this category (and really ANY form of movement that brings you joy qualifies...you do you!), one of the most powerful and direct paths to moving our bodies joyfully is dance.
Dancing is a way into ourselves, a way to connect with the rhythm of our heart through the sway of our hips. When we dance and allow ourselves to connect with every part of our body--our feet, our bellies, our thighs, our hands--we tap into a deep sense of power and sensuality that we inherently have as women, though many of us have forgotten is there.
So, right now you might be thinking, “Okay, so I just dance around in my pajamas to my Spotify playlist and suddenly I’ll remember I’m a goddess?” Maybe! But sometimes it takes a little bit more than that.
One of the best resources I’ve found for learning how to tap back into this wellspring of feminine magic is Qoya, a movement practice that is a far cry from learning dance steps or keeping time with the music. According to founder Rochelle Schieck, “Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember our essence is wise, wild and free.” Did anyone else just get chills? We, at our core, without having to alter ourselves in any way, are WISE, WILD, and FREE. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Now, I will admit to you that Qoya is way more than just dancing. In the preface to her book, Rochelle explains, “Qoya quickly evolved from a movement system into a lifestyle of soulful embodiment that teaches you how to access, identify, and remember the physical sensation of truth in your body through your own experience. Instead of being limited by the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that others impose upon you, the Qoya philosophy offers you the space to explore what is true for you through the concept that your body knows.”
Let me repeat that. Your. Body. Knows.
When we are used to using our bodies for hauling grocery bags, wrangling toddlers, or burning off that second muffin, listening to her can be a foreign concept. But although it may feel awkward or uncomfortable (and you better believe I wait until my apartment is empty before I start grooving), it is never out of reach. You can always find your way back to your body.
For some of us, that may feel like a heroine’s journey in and of itself. And maybe it is. But this is the vessel of our essence, the flesh that houses our miraculous selves and allows us to exist in the world--if coming home to her isn’t worth it, I don’t know what is.
Go move your beautiful booty and feel good about it!
For more Qoya resources, check out Rochelle’s free movement videos as well as her book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free. You can follow her on Instagram @rochelleschieck and @qoya.love
Interested in other inspiring, bad-ass dance mavens? Instagram has got what you need! Here are a few of my current faves: For a unique, intuitive dance practice go to @personalpractice; to reclaim your sexy, sultry self watch @susanafrioni, and if you’re looking for some body affirming fun, there’s the always amazing @donthatetheshake.