Let me tell you my story you will understand what I mean about renewal.
Transformation through Dance…
Dance has become the portal of my personal transformation and awakening to consciousness. This path, which is difficult to articulate words or conversation, is directly accessible in movement: expressing, releasing and surrendering – again and again on the dance floor. It’s like a direct hit of lightening – a bolt of energy, a moment of understanding & comprehension of my relationship with the universe. In dance, I connect with a universal spirit directly, quickly, clearly.
As I move with the practice of Azul, I travel forward on an Awakening journey. This path has brought me into of Life of Joy and Compassion after experiencing a journey through cancer.
I always tell people that having breast cancer was the worst and best thing I ever experienced. While the medical protocol addressed the body, this cancer journey re-shaped my life in positive ways that I could never have imagined. Today, life is a grand exploration of learning, teaching, and connecting through conscious dance. Today, I offer Dance 2 Awaken Life, a conscious movement dance practice, designed to help others feel good about themselves and experience a self-renewal of joy, hope and adventure.
Let me tell you my story: you will understand what I mean about renewal.
In February of 2011, I noticed that my left breast was swollen, warm, rather pink, with an inverted nipple. The texture was a little bumpy – sort of like the skin of an orange. Worried and flustered, I described my symptoms to a friend who in turn told her husband, a gynecologist. The next afternoon I had my first biopsy. Two days later I had a second biopsy, mammogram, and ultra-sound. Diagnosis: inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) with a survival rate of 45%. This rare form of breast cancer is aggressive and often misdiagnosed. I was fortunate with an early detection and treatment. I decided that I would be among the 45% of the survivors.
Within ten days, I had my first chemotherapy treatment unaware of the journey I would take over the next months. As predicted, my hair began to fall out soon after the first treatment. Providentially, my first grandson was born in early March around the same time I shaved my head and donned my wig. I was inspired by a future vision of myself running behind a stroller along the California coast-line with a newly grown pony tail flying in the breeze. I would do whatever it took to regain my health and be a part of my grandchildren’s lives.
During the summer of 2011, I had 16 chemo treatments, a mastectomy, and 25 radiation treatments. I was supported by my work-place colleagues who drove me to my appointments.. This intensive protocol for IBC saved my physical body. I rang the bell of victory after my last radiation treatment just before Christmas 2011. A transformation of my life was launched.
Now what? What remained? A worn out version of me and a half inch of hair.
Dancing brought me back to life. Prior to cancer, I had been involved with the conscious dance movement for several years. In January 2012 I returned to the dance floor and committed to dancing my life “full out” for as long as I could. Dancing releases trauma in the body and frees me to move forward in my life. I felt positive about myself as a woman; my physical being became healthier, and my outlook on life was optimistic.
As my commitment to dancing gained strength and momentum, I became a certified Azul dance teacher. Azul is a path of personal transformation through conscious movement that supports an awakening of self. Azul is about moving freely to the rhythm of the music in a way that feels good, without choreography or steps to learn. Dancers move according to inner promptings as they listen to somatic information and allow themselves to express whatever is felt in the moment. The depth of the dance also supports a path through despair and suffering that leads to recuperation and to a vibrant life. Dancing Azul releases in me a deep sense of gratitude for a life lived with courage, tenacity and excitement.
My intention in creating and offering Dance2Awaken Life is to provide the opportunity for others who have experienced cancer to feel good about themselves through movement and to feel joy & freedom. Medical treatment saves the body and extends the life expectancy. Dance provides a journey back to a well-being of the body, mind and spirit.
May my story encourage others to experience the renewing power of dance
and may it lead to connections of shared joy.
Dancing truly brought me back to a full, vital life.