Dancing for freedom

November 2021

? Movement Medicine: Dancing for liberation

Movement Medicine is a free dance practice. For me, it's a fusion of dance and meditation. It uses bodily expression to develop awareness of the self and the world. It's a space in which I can take the freedom to forget everything that's going on around me, (even the music) to explore my world. 

Free dance

Dance is free in the sense that there's no choreography or movement to reproduce. In general, in a dance class, your head is occupied with memorizing the choreography and reproducing the perfect movement (even if you have to force it a little). This allows you to let go of your daily routine and focus on something else. Dance also develops body awareness. In this case, it's still the head that directs the body.

In free dance, the mind is occupied with observing and feeling the body. We move to feel. As everyone is different, everyone will move in a way that's personal to them (more or less). From time to time, you'll feel the body move before your head has thought about why or how. The mind is given the position of observer. Free dance doesn't mean there's no framework. A free dance workshop isn't like a nightclub with no alcohol or strobes, where you go in and out of the dance floor if the music or a dancer takes your fancy. You're not on your own (unless that's what you want). The teacher gives structure to the workshop with his music and guidance. Even when there's no theme.



Guidance: suggestions for exploring alone or with others. Tools and inspiration to support your movement. An invitation to try out new ways of feeling and sensing your body. It's all about getting out of movements unconsciously repeated out of habit. Sometimes experiment with a limited movement, playing around with it without forcing it or causing pain, until you figure out how to make it evolve: gaining in fluidity, flexibility, amplitude. At first, you just follow what you're told, letting yourself be carried along by the guidance. Then, little by little, you get a better feel for what you need. Then we detach ourselves from the words, even rebel, to follow our own path...


Inviting change

When I discovered free dance, I was working full-time. My children were 9 and 11, and I had sole custody of them. My dance class was the pleasure I allowed myself during the week. My moment to myself. I had to choose between

  • my usual Modern Jazz class in my village, which I'd been attending for 5 years
  • And this practice I discovered a weekly 5-rhythm dance workshop, 40km from home.

Of course, I hesitated, but you can imagine that I chose the free dance workshop.

From the very first class, I loved being able to improvise in a large dance hall, without worrying about what the people around me might think. I loved the quality of the music and the guidance that allowed me to go on a journey.


Treat yourself

It was a real interlude in my stressed-out, 100-an-hour life, always with my head in the handlebars, trying to do better and more. And the joy at the end, the feeling of fullness and lightness at the same time. I was ready to get back to my daily routine after a good cleaning. At first, Iremember wondering if I'd miss Modern Jazz. I wondered if not preparing a Gala would make me feel like I was dancing for nothing (as I'd felt in fitness classes).

Of course, getting to know myself, accepting myself and taking my place in the world is no mean feat.

Today, I have no desire to force my head to memorize a choreography, nor to force myself to try to do the same movements as a teacher. In a yoga class, yes, but not in dance.


Freeing movement

In the same way as in yoga, we try to free our dances from value judgments: no good movement, just the one that's there. Everyone, depending on their physiognomy, flexibility, athletic ability and current state of stress and fatigue, will have a different way of stretching their back. Or how to move to get a better feel for your feet on the ground.

At times, we'd like our dancing to be more dynamic, more graceful... and always more. Our perfectionist mind censors (not that, it's not good enough), our impatient ego forces. Accepting the dance that's being played out within me in the present is the only way to make it evolve. It's this dance that teaches me who I am. It's the starting point on which I can build to change what doesn't suit me in my life into something that suits me better.


Balancing the Body-Heart-Spirit relationship

During the workshops, we try to express ourselves through our bodies. And even to let our bodies express themselves for us (without going through our heads). We give back to the physical body the place it lost when our activities moved from the fields and the washhouse behind a desk. In doing so, we spend most of our time in our heads. Reason and logic are hailed as the jewels of our humanity. Thanks to our minds and rational logic, we think we can control our bodies and the world around us. To shape them into an image that suits us better.

And yet our bodies have so much to teach us. They speak to us through their pain, because it's the only thing we hear. They suffer from sitting still for too long. They freeze, lose flexibility, range of motion, vitality and plasticity. And with them, our brains.


Listening to the body's wisdom

Neuroscience teaches us that we are only aware of a small percentage of what goes on in our bodies. After all, we don't control much of anything. For example: breathing, heartbeat, digestion, the functioning of our immune system, balance are all managed by our body and brain most of the time without us even thinking about it. Without our even being aware of it. In fact, our bodies often react long before our consciousness has time to think about it.


Dancing to be yourself

In Movement Medicine, medicine is movement. We (re)bring movement to all parts of the body that have frozen. What freezes them is all the energy we put into holding ourselves back, into hiding.

There are a thousand and one reasons to hide. For example, because we've been told it's not right, or because our experiences have led us to deduce that it's better this way. Or because we don't think we're good enough, beautiful enough, brilliant enough, especially if we start comparing ourselves to others.

There are a thousand and one ways to hide. We can become silent and transparent. We can avert our gaze so that it doesn't reveal us. We can hide behind others. We can immerse ourselves in their (preferably critical) contemplation, so that we can no longer see ourselves.


Intention and transformation

What makes dance transformative is the intention we give it. Our intention can be as simple as discovery, the desire to learn, the need to let off steam, to forget the outside world for a few moments. It can be a question to our body, to the universe, to life's great choreographer. It can be a prayer for oneself or for the world.


I dance my dance until it transforms itself and with it my perception of the world. The movement of my body induces movement in my mind, my spirit. The space created and occupied internally enables me to better apprehend the outside world. Self-awareness enables me to better understand the world in which I evolve.

Mouvement Medicine is just a dance, but it's also much more than that.

dancing for freedom

? Video

Yin-Yang exploration


Dance in search of clear acceptance (Yin) and tension-free affirmation (Yang).
A Yin that accepts and receives with fluidity, round but not soft.
A Yang that chooses and impels movement without forcing.
A little too much to the right, a little too much to the left,
Seek balance... or simply let go and learn from what comes.

Improvisation Live music and dance (in my living room).


On the piano: Stef Vink

Listen to Stef's music at: https://www.patreon.com/stefvinkmusic and https://stefvink.band camp.com

Follow Stef Stef's live online events at https://www.facebook.com/stefvinkmusic

 For dance : Solange Brelot (C'est moi)

Filmed on July 16, 2021

Where and when to practice

Want to give it a try? You are welcome in your physical condition of the moment, with or without experience dance experience.

Weekly courses

In the evening - Free your dance

Tuesday 19:30-21:30 in Aix-en-Provence - infos

A dynamic and conscious break

Tuesday 12:30-13:30 in Aix-en-Provence - infos

Wake up your body, wake up your soul

Tuesday 9h-10h on Zoom - news

(open to all - all year round)

Habiter son corps

Samedi 14 octobre 


Individual courses

Within a 50km radius of Aix-en-Provence or online