Dance and Movement
Meet Amber Law Collaborator, Cherie Atchison, Conscious Movement Facilitator
When we move, when we dance, we make the invisible, visible. I believe in dance as a way to put back the pieces that we would rather either forget or discard.” Kathy Altman, Open Floor International.
Dance has always been a thread in my life; it all started when my mother taught me how to jive as a young child. I was blessed as a child to be enculturated in Hawaiian and Polynesian dance. This is a gift that still shows up today. The fluency and capacity to tell a story with dance influences my teaching style.
In 2001 I was introduced to conscious movement. It felt like someone had opened a portal into my deepest desires. The freedom I felt in this practice allowed me to meet myself in so many different ways. Dance and movement does not have to look any particular way. It is only about feeling and following the music. I was given a key to freedom and the understanding that the more I let go and open my body to music, the more divine source can move through my body in a supportive manner.
With this newfound freedom, I knew in my heart and soul that I needed to teach and become a part of this practice. I was blessed to be invited to guide movement with a company called Peak Potentials, which offers personal development programs. They were devoted to having dance as part of all of their programs. This was one of my first big stretches in life. I was given the opportunity to work with large groups of people from a leadership platform and introduce them to conscious dance/movement. I did this right up until the world went into lockdown. Teaching from stage has been one of my biggest loves, and I feel so very blessed to have had this life experience.
I developed my skills by attending other teacher's conscious movement workshops and dancing regularly in weekly drop-in movement sessions. Not until 2017 did I decide that I wanted to become a teacher of a practice called Open Floor. This is a beautiful guided conscious movement practice accompanied by music. Open Floor puts an emphasis on supporting our Nervous Systems. It's a practice that helps you anchor into different body parts, feeling into how they really express through one’s movement. The practice can also be explored through 10 Core Movement Resources such as: Ground, Center, Pause or Release. These CMR's support you to play and connect with your body’s natural ways of being. This practice can be extremely gentle and extremely fierce, depending on the desires and needs of those that attend the sessions, students and teachers included. It is a practice that deepens our own awareness and supports our embodiment, which then helps us to create more flow in our lives with awareness of the holding and patterns that create tension in the body.
Open Floor believes that you move on the dance floor as you move in your own life. So the more honest you can be on the dance floor, the more connected you will be in your day-to-day life.
During the pandemic, I have had the gift of being able to circle back to one of my original teachers and take her conscious movement teacher training online. This modality is called Azul, and this practice is all about awakening more to love. And what that really means is allowing ourselves to feel more love opening in the body. This is a spiritual practice based in spirals starting from the cellular aspect right up to how you allow your body to move more in a spiral direction on the dance floor. This practice supports us to listen deeply into our body’s communication, allowing ourselves to be with what is happening presently in our bodies and to love and support all that we notice. Can we open to even more parts of ourselves, which could be as simple as feeling parts of our bodies in a somatic way or opening to letting our breath flow more freely from our bellies to our mouths? Listening, allowing and opening invites us to move towards what truly feels good in the body. Azul enables us to move authentically toward our selves.
Why I recommend a conscious movement practice
Conscious movement supports us to be more centered, grounded and open. It supports our bodies to feel, whether that is sensations, emotions or others. It helps our Nervous Systems to be more attuned to our surroundings and inner workings. A session will often leave one feeling very settled and well danced.
Can conscious movement be done online?
The beauty about conscious movement is that it is a practice that can easily be done in your own home, and with the assistance of platforms like zoom, we can get together and feel connected.
I now offer the practice of Body Reverence (website in development). If the practice of conscious movement stirs your curiosity, please feel free to contact me at the email below. I also invite you to explore more through the websites listed.
At present I live in Alaska and offer online sessions. These can be group or one to one sessions.