School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: June 2010
Celebrating my Aliveness

By Ilana Slomowitz

Up until the age of 24 from the age of 4, I danced every day of my life, filling my being with the pure joy of moving and expressing my essence through dance. Ballet was the first stage, then my tits got too big for a tutu and I switched to Spanish flamenco which suited both my developing figure and my flamboyant personality.

I got so good at it that I became a principle dancer in a flamenco dance company called the Mercedes Molina Spanish dance co.

We toured all of Southern Africa, what was then Rhodesia and even as far afield as Israel and Greece.

But then I got married and my then husband gave me an ultimatum .”EITHER THE DANCING OR ME.”

I chose him then, today I am quite sure I would have chosen differently  but I was so desperately in love, stupid and needy of his love and approval , I could go on and on but suffice is to say it was the end of my passion and my dance career came to a deathly halt. It was as if  some one had cut my legs off.

 I pick up the story 45 yrs later. I am now at this point 65 yrs old and living in Israel. I see a dance course offered in Cape town to study a teachers diploma in something called Nia dance. I apply and I come to Cape town to do the “white belt” training with the idea that I will bring it back to Israel and hopefully start teaching in Israel.

 But as life has its own great master planner, I fall in love with Cape town and decide to leave Israel and return to live in Cape town. I forgot to mention that I was born in Johannesburg where I lived till the time I immigrated to Israel in 1988.

Once back here I got a job teaching dance classes at the virgin active health clubs all over the city. That was five years ago.

I am giving you this back ground to lay the scene and put things in context.

Now at the age of 69 almost 70 , I am teaching 12 dance and stretch classes a week.

I have reclaimed my passion, my aliveness and my vitality. I am filled with joy and enthusiasm every day and wake up celebrating being alive.

 So off I go to a movement medicine workshop at the persuasion of Liz Bullen with whom I was sharing time in the steam room of the gym but not quite sure what to expect.

The Venue  of the workshop is way across town at a schooI  hall. I step into a hall  that embraces all my senses, the hall is an exquisite architectural domed space with light filtering through a blue glass star shaped window washing the room with a gentle  blue glow.

In each corner is placed an alter depicting one of the 4 elements. Abundant bunches of multicolored roses spill out of containers and in one of the corners the gentle sound of trickling water from a lavishly ornate water feature seduces my ears

In the center stands a  small Protea tree surrounded by a heart shaped log .with candles glowing all around the room.

The music starts and people move into the space moving in their own unique ways to the sounds, stretching, bending, reaching out, rolling on the floor, leaping twirling and swaying. Each one, in their own space, aware of the others yet unperturbed by anyone else.

 This went on for a good hour and I was beginning to wonder if there was to be any facilitation at all or if this was to be a totally free dance session.

 But my concerns were then put to rest as Ya’acov moved from behind the sound system in to the room and things started to change and we were wisely and caringly led through a number of different processes.

Over the week end the intensity grew, the energy in the room rose the level of expression expanded and the waves of high and low energy flowed like a roller coaster moving up and then soaring down with gusto and verve and then once more gently climbing up hill slowing down taking time to breath before the next downhill run. My 69 year old legs needed to rest but somehow the momentum of the energy in the room kept them and me dancing in ways that were unfamiliar to me. Finding new and different ways of moving my body, finding different and new ways and expressing my feelings through my movements, finding new and different ways of connecting to others through movement ,finding myself in the rhythm and style of the other opposite whom I was dancing at any given time allowing myself  to just be present without needing to perform but simply to find authentic unschooled and raw untaught or rather unlearned ways of using my body through the dance.

 The joy of this I can equate to how it feels after an orgasm. Spent but fully satisfied.

Thank you for this joyous re-affirming of my aliveness once again through movement. This is my home, this is my sanctuary, this is my sanity and my salvation. This is what keeps me young and vital. This is who I am and what I am and how I am and I love it and I am filled with joy and gratitude.

A wonderful week end! Well done to you all for the impeccable space, the attention on detail, the impeccability of the organization and the gentle unassuming and yet extremely holding egoless style of your facilitation Ya’Acov.

With much love

Ilana Slomowitz

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.