I distinctly remember that moment back in January 2017 that catalysed this vision into reality (although I didn’t know it at the time). I was in the Philippines where my hotel bathroom felt far away from anything close to home, just a few days away from facilitating my second of four Permaculture Courses for a community that had been devastated by the most recent typhoon. A sudden pain struck me as I entered the shower and tears began to flow as if they were being wrenched from my soul. Upon the raw skin of my knees, I violently wept underneath the warm stream of water, collapsed and broken. There reached a point where I could no longer discern my flooding tears from the waters above. I had worked towards this moment my entire career, yet there I was, inconsolably immersed in a mixed puddle of grief and confusion about my illogical predicament and perceived failure.
As if they were waiting for my most vulnerable moment, I was cornered by my own traumas and hurt for the world which I had been unconsciously trying to heal by fixing the environments around me. Yet despite all my efforts, climate change still raged on, people were still suffering, and I lost hope as the outer world continued to reflect my inner turmoil. Little did I know that this moment would be one of the greatest turning points of my life.
What followed was an immense healing journey that would lead me back to the world of dance, a world I had left 10 years prior to escape the regimented diets and memories of sexual abuse (among many other reasons) to do something more meaningful for the world. However, I have since learned that dance is possibly one of the most important arts we can practice for healing the wild nature within and outside of us during these transitional and unstable times.
On this journey, I was introduced to various movement modalities that are rooted in ancient concepts of dance as a powerful spiritual practice, rather than just a form of entertainment or exercise. As I dove deeper into this wisdom during my Masters thesis, I learned the vibrant history of dance as a vital expression for personal healing and transformation – a knowledge still held by Indigenous Peoples and other earth-centered cultures around the globe today.
Yet most importantly, I found that dance has the capacity to open up our feeling bodies to the spirit of place so that its story may transmit through our moving cells. And in doing so, the separation between humans and nature - which I learned to be the root cause of this entire socio-ecological crisis - was dissolved. Instead making way for a kind of kinship that provided the foundations for an unshakable sense of belonging and grounded motivation for stewardship. With respect to Australia’s First Peoples, this is why it is called ‘dancing Country’ rather than simply on or within it. It was an essential energetic exchange, an act of reciprocity that kept us both healthy.
So as the world faces an epidemic of disconnection, body shame and environmental crisis – I created The EarthBody Movement to help us find active hope in the chaos by remembering the truth of who we are and the magic our bodies are capable of.
Throughout the birth of this work, I was faithfully supported and guided by this important message from Major 'Moogy' Sumner, Ngarrindjeri elder and ceremonial coordinator of the Murrundi Ruwe Pangari Ringbalin (or River Country Spirit Ceremony):
"When you dance on the land, you're letting Mother Earth know you still care about her. This is about restoring the energy, dancing the spirit back into this country, and dancing the spirit back into ourselves"
This is what The Earthbody Movement is all about.
It invites us to move beyond modern distortions of dance and reclaim one of the greatest tools for personal and planetary healing that is innate to all people, as human beings of the earth.
Join us as we begin to move as our ancestors once did, to embody and commune with the natural world, and reconnect with the wisdom of our bodily selves.
It is time to come home. Home to your unique place among the family of all things.
Home to your earthbody.