JourneyDance: A Conversation with Kelly Thomke
I was a stay-at-home mom who, like many others, tended to put the needs of the family before my own. But I saw JourneyDance in a Kripalu catalog, and it called to me. I drove up to Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and took a weeklong training of this movement called JourneyDance with Toni Bergins.
Within about two hours of dancing, my body was hooked, as if remembering movements long forgotten, with my mind freer than it had felt in years. That night I danced with the little girl inside myself and realized how much I missed her. That night I lost myself in the music, completely allowing my body to surrender to its rhythms. And then something amazing happened… my true self re-emerged more confident and with a new sense of self-love.
How do you feel JourneyDance has changed your life and health?
The essence of JourneyDance is reconnecting with the body through organic movement. This movement helps me to pay closer attention to my body, to understand the subtle nuances a bit more, to appreciate all of me—the curves, the wrinkles and the grays. By better understanding and appreciating myself, I am healthier and I have a greater compassion for others.
How do your clients react to JourneyDance?
Many folks come to a JourneyDance curious but not really knowing what to expect. The reason that they’re on the dance floor doesn’t matter; it’s what is gained from dancing that makes a person shine brighter. I have heard reactions like, “I haven’t moved like this since I was a kid” and, one of my favorites, “I feel so gooey inside.” One of the best things JourneyDance offers is joy. I am so honored to hold the space for that.
What advice would you give anyone interested in beginning JourneyDance?
Just show up. Allow your JourneyDance facilitator to provide a safe space for you to move and trust that your body will move in the ways that it needs to.