Dancing for freedom

November 2021

Movement Medicine: Dancing for liberation

Movement Medicine is a practice of conscious dance. 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 we take the freedom to forget everything that's going on around us and explore our inner world through movement. 

conscious dance

Dancing is free in 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 develops body awareness.

At conscious dance, we keep our minds busy observing and feeling our bodies: we move to feel better. As everyone is different, we are invited to search for a movement that is personal to us. In this search, from time to time, the body moves before the mind has thought about why or how. The mind can take on the position of observer. conscious dance does not mean that there is no framework. You're not on your own (unless you want to be). The teacher gives structure to the workshop through music and guidance (words).



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 we experiment with a limited movement, playing around with it without forcing it or causing pain, until we figure out how to make it evolve, gain in fluidity, flexibility or amplitude. At first, we just follow what we're told, letting the guidance take us along. Then, little by little, you get a better feel for what you need. Then we let go of the words and follow our own path...


Inviting change

When I discovered conscious 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 (2km), which I've been going to for 5 years
  • And this practice I was discovering: a weekly 5-rhythm dance workshop in Marseille (40km away).

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

From the very first class, I loved plunging into my body's sensations, forgetting the gaze of those around me. And letting my body move simply by the promptings of the guidance, the music and my sensations in the moment. The improvisation I hated so much in my dance classes came naturally, just like at home. Except that I had a large dance hall in which to express myself without hurting myself. The quality and diversity of the music mixed in continuity meant I could go on a journey. What a pleasure!


Treat yourself

It was a real interlude in my stressed, 100-an-hour life, always with my head in the handlebars, trying to do better and more. I remember the joy at the end of the workshops, the feeling of fullness and lightness at the same time. Sometimes, it was so strong that I felt rushed, a little lost at the end. I needed time to digest what had been said in my dances. From time to time, snippets of life, recent or ancient, came to the fore more or less painfully. Dancing with them, even if uncomfortable, allowed me to make sense of them and reintegrate them into my history. Afterwards, I was ready to go back to my everyday life after a good cleaning.

At first, Iwondered if I'd miss Modern Jazz. I wondered if not preparing for a Gala would make me feel like I was dancing for nothing (which is how I felt in fitness classes). Of course, learning to know myself, to accept myself and to take my place in the world is no small thing. 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 us in the moment is the only way to make it evolve. We welcome it, we dance it to really get to know it; it's this dance that teaches us who we are. It's the starting point on which we can build to change what doesn't suit us in our lives into something that suits us 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 often 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 when 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. The movement of my body induces a movement in my mind. The space I occupy and create inside me allows me to better apprehend the outside, changing my perception of the world. The self-awareness acquired through dance gives me a better understanding of the world in which I evolve.

Mouvement Medicine is just a dance, but if you want it to be, it can also be much more than that.

dancing to feel free


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

Evening - Libère ta danse

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, awaken your soul

Tuesday 9am-10am on Zoom - news

(open to all - all year round)

Développer sa confiance en soi : Renaitre au Printemps

Samedi 6 avril 


Individual courses

Online via Zoom