As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with knee injuries for the past couple months. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to try a different kind of treatment: Reiki therapy. My friend Ritika Rose is a certified advanced Reiki practitioner, certified Life Coach, and a licensed Occupational Therapist (among other things, this girl has led a full life!). I had never had a Reiki session before. I typically default to Western medicine for treating illness and injury; that’s just what I grew up with. I also like to be open to new experiences, and what better way to try something new than with a trusted friend! Of course, if it’s something that contributes to my dance journey, I’ll share it here too. So read on to find out what my first Reiki session was like!
Erin Drake is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher in Orange County, California. When I heard about her new nonprofit, Rx Ballroom Dance, I knew it would be something you guys would love to learn about and support. Please read on to hear about the amazing progress her first participant has already made.
NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 25: When you buy the Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing, I will donate 25% of the sale to Rx Ballroom Dance.
Stress management has become a hot topic in our modern society. Despite all of our technological advances and instant gratification conveniences, our overall stress level seems to have only increased. We can’t ignore this trend because stress can have powerful, negative effects over our minds and bodies. My last two lessons are a prime example of how stress can turn a competent dancer into a dope in heels.
Paige Taylor is a copywriter from Columbus, Ohio who is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As getting clean drastically changed her life, she’s now dedicated to helping others struggling with addiction to find their path to recovery.
She reached out to me after reading some of the other stories on this blog of others who have healed through the power of dance. I was more than happy to share her story too. Hers is another great example of how dance, even in the form of a fitness class, can have a beautiful and positive effect on a person’s life.
Please welcome Elsa Queen as she shares her thoughts about how dancing is so much more than just a physical activity.
Learn How Dance Can Transform Your Body, Mind and Soul
For many of us, dancing is just a fun activity, for parties or just moving to a good beat. But a few of us know that dance has an immense power to dominate mind, body and soul.
As follow-up to their joint interview in April, I had asked Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley if they would be willing to do individual interviews and share more of how ballroom has impacted their lives. Liz shared her struggles with PTSD and how ballroom brought her back to life in May. Now, we get to hear from Nick!
This month, I invited another dancer to write her own story. We met through Instagram of all places. Her Instagram account (@girlinthe_vans) is mainly videos of her dancing at a gym. No fancy costumes or glamorous settings. Just her, the music, and dance. The story behind these videos is full of pain and loss. But always, there was dance, ready to act as a lifeline when she reached for it.
I met Mandy Mykitta, this month’s interviewee, at the Murdy Park community center in Huntington Beach, California. When I arrived, kids were outside playing on playground equipment and a game was in session on a basketball court while parents watched and chatted. Families spending time together outside? Imagine that! After a long day and getting stuck in traffic on the way to the interview, seeing some pure and simple positivity lifted my mood.
I’m fighting that feeling I get when I think I haven’t done enough to feed my passions. It’s a mix of antsy and adrift topped off with a dollop of blues. I can feel there are thoughts and feelings inside me that want out. They want to be expressed and are making it difficult to focus. But when I opened up a new blog post, the words were MIA.
So basically, this is me trying to drag myself out of the muck. This is one of those crappy days I need to show up for. If I can waltz without a partner, I can figure out how to write without having the words first. Be warned, this will probably be akin to jumping in the car and starting to drive without any destination in mind. Scenic route to nowhere, here we come!
When I first spoke with Nicholas Barkley and Elizabeth Thomson about doing an interview for the blog, I also proposed a second set of individual interviews. Their stories of how ballroom became the key to coping with their PTSD were incredible and deserved their own spaces, separate from their shared story of becoming an amateur couple.
Liz was kind enough to make time for me during one of her visits down to Orange County. We met at my studio after one of my dance lessons and talked for over an hour. While we sat stretched out on the floor of the teachers’ break room, Liz shared her journey, from enlisting in the Army to getting diagnosed with PTSD to finding relief in ballroom. Although she still struggles, ballroom has been Liz’s defibrillator. It brought her back to life and saved her from becoming “just another PTSD statistic.”