Dance Embodiment: Release the Past, Own the Present, and Step into the Future
by Samantha Schmuck of Revived Living
(Video shot and edited by Daniela Lisi)
Dance Embodiment is one of my absolute favorite tools that I love teaching others how to utilize in their lives. It is a way to connect the brain and body and draws on almost all the mindset, coaching, and visualization tools I have acquired to date. We can be so in our heads about our goals and how we are going to achieve them. Which is why there is nothing more powerful to me than involving your body, and whole being, in the conversation to expedite turning your dreams into your reality.
I always tell individuals who attend my workshops that I can’t explain it quite as well as you can experience it.
One of these individuals, a beautiful woman named Robin totally spoke to this in her sweet words about the experience,
“I was skeptical but decided to go with it. About 15 minutes in I felt a release as the energy flowed. It was cathartic and I realized to trust in the movement the more I did the more I felt connected to my voice and power. It was dynamic and very spiritual. Thank you so much for putting it together!”
Dance embodiment is freeing, healing, & FUN! I can never say specifically what will happen for you within the experience as we all have different pasts, emotional wounds & subsequent guards, unique gifts, and various levels in which we want to push our potential to.
There are several ways in which this technique is beneficial, but one of my favorites is for non-verbal processing.
Today, life moves a million miles a minute and deadlines seemingly lie around each corner. Does this sound familiar at all? As soon as you wake up the checklist starts running, you work through more lunches than not, and by the time you get to bed you’ve barely had a moment of silence to check-in and reflect on how you are really doing with everything.
At times we’re juggling multiple medium to large stressors in several areas of life at once. When there is so much happening at one time the brain has to compartmentalize in a way to focus and help you keep showing up for life. This can cause small emotional stressors to build up in the body over time and create dis-ease.
I got a hard lesson in this when I was very young as a competitive gymnast which brings in the first layers of this technique: visualization + movement.
My mom put me into gymnastics because I was a monkey and climbed on everything, but movement was and still is my favorite language to this day. Due to the chronic pain in my body (learn more about my story here), however, my level of movement severely decreased as did this outlet for expression for about 7 years.
During that time I went through a long depression and had turned off my emotions to survive. One day I was at a personal growth retreat and realized how numb I had become. Not only to the bad feelings, but also the really happy, joyous ones too. This technique first began being developed as a way to tap back into my emotions through music. I was able to “try on” and completely surrender to feeling whatever the singer, song writer, or instruments were portraying. I was able to process different emotions that had been locked in my body without needing to have the words to describe it.
Through authentically generating movement and feelings based on how the music inspires you, you are able to non-verbally process different emotions that may be stuck in the body.
Another workshop attendee, Liberty, really speaks to this part of this experience.
“This movement exercise was so liberating and empowering. I have always loved music, and when it feels right, I love to dance. I was working at home after the retreat, and began to feel stuck. I thought of you Sam and this exercise, I put on some music and moved. I now have a whole new way of getting unstuck.
As I began to move my body at home I had an epiphany. The epiphany was that the time in my life that I felt the most free, and that anything was possible was also a time when I danced unencumbered and frequently. I had lost that connection and let this simple tool slip away. This simple tool of feeling into the music and letting it all go gives me a way to connect to my freedom and absolute possibility anywhere, anytime.”
I call it Dance Embodiment because it can look like dancing, but truly it is anyway your body wants to move. If you have physical restrictions and are not able to move as much as you’d like, or at all, this is where you unleash the power of the mind and what you are visualizing.
There are times when my body is more physically capable than others. I respect those times and only use little hand & feet movements to gesture and hit the music in the way the moves are in my head.
To start this practice, here are three guiding principles:
Choose music that mirrors or matches the types of emotions you want to move through or embody more of
There is no right or wrong way to move. Begin by relaxing your mind and body by swaying to the music and allowing any thoughts to slowly become more distant, focusing the mind on every note in the song.
Experiment! Imagine someone watching you couldn’t hear the music, but was able to “hear” it through your movement. If your body were to be the spokesperson for the strings, drums, and other instruments how would they want to be articulated?
Below are three ways in which you can begin apply this technique to past, present, & future events:
PAST: Visualize yourself acknowledging the event or time period in your life, feeling the feelings that come up and simply allowing them. There is no need to understand or analyze the feelings, but keep moving deeper into the song and allowing your body to move how it wants. Visualize yourself feeling the past but ultimately overcoming and breaking free from how it binds you.
PRESENT: How can you explore being completely in the moment and allowing the music to inspire each movement? Honor what is currently taking place in your life, while harnessing your inner strength to take on whatever comes your way. Example: Human or Maybe IDK
FUTURE: When you think of that next leveled-up version of yourself, what are three adjectives that you’d use to describe that vision? Find music that evokes each of the adjectives and see how you can allow yourself to fully embody each adjective throughout the song.
The future tip is one of my favorite ways to help myself and clients begin embody their next level. Who do they want to be in this world and how is that person showing up?
You already ARE the three adjectives that you want to embody more of. Now, like learning to ride a bike, it’s practicing and allowing yourself to feel that version of you in your body. It’s not something that needs to be chased or something that you one day all of a sudden become. It is something that’s cultivated and expressed more confidently over time, but it all begins by taking the first step.
Join us June 9th at The Collective at True North for a Summer Wellness Reboot and to experience this technique in person! Grab your tickets here <3
Always rooting for you,