| JourneyDance™ is a Ritual Journey of Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Transformation
by Michelle Brass
“In JourneyDance we say, “You need to feel so you can heal.” And that’s what it is about.”
I’ve always been a spiritual seeker, looking for ways to heal myself and make meaning of my experiences. In my searching, I’ve discovered many different healing modalities. They have all provided me with much-needed comfort, personal discovery, and growth. However, of all the healing modalities I’ve explored (with the exception of traditional Indigenous ceremonies), JourneyDance has provided me with the deepest transformation I’ve ever experienced.
I discovered JourneyDance during a low point in my life. I craved something that would light me up inside and bring the spark of joy back into my life. I love to dance and sought out opportunities throughout Saskatchewan to move and groove to amazing music and have fun. But everything I found was either a fitness class or dance lessons with choreography meant for performance.
It wasn’t for me. I’m not a professional dancer and I don’t enjoy choreography—or nightclubs. But, I love to dance. My body and soul crave it and it makes my heart sing. I can dance for hours and it fills me with joy and a feeling of “rightness.” I feel like my true self when I’m dancing. So, I kept on searching.
Then I discovered JourneyDance online. I couldn’t believe it! This was exactly what I was looking for! I watched all the videos and my heart filled with joy and relief. Yes! This is what I want. But I couldn’t find any local classes. There was nothing in Western Canada. Without experiencing JourneyDance for myself, I signed up for the Module One Teacher Training at Kripalu, a yoga retreat centre in the U.S. I figured if no one was offering this in Saskatchewan, I would do it myself.
I showed up, eager to dance. I was going to have fun! This was going to be amazing. But little did I know what I was getting myself into. I thought it would be fun and joyful, and it was. What I didn’t expect was that I would also reach into the depths of my soul and uncover feelings and thoughts that needed expression and healing. I had no idea it was a healing dance. Throughout that week, I experienced profound revelations and released deep and old stories I had been carrying with me for years. It cracked me open and allowed the light to reach the deepest parts of my soul.
Using a body-mind-heart-soul approach, JourneyDance has led me on a path of personal exploration, discovery, and expression. It is like ceremony to me—a spiritual practice. It’s where I can let go of all the stories and limiting beliefs that no longer serve me and embrace who I really am in a real and authentic way. I come to the dance floor with my whole self, embrace who I really am, not who I “should be.” It’s where I connect with my true self, meaningfully connect with others, and build community. I show up as I am right now, fully and completely, and leave feeling connected, supported, and loved.
Since my first experience of transformation on the dance floor, I’ve become deeply committed to this practice and believe wholeheartedly in this body of work. I continued with my JourneyDance trainings, completing the highest level of training possible and have been invited to continue to train with creator and founder Toni Bergins on new trainings and pilot programs under the JourneyDance brand. I am committed to bringing this healing practice to as many people as possible in Saskatchewan.
It can be difficult to describe. It’s truly something that needs to be experienced. Essentially, JourneyDance leads participants on a ritual journey of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation. Through breath, sweat, and expression, you gain a palpable experience of yourself as pure powerful energy. We get out of our heads and into our bodies. JourneyDance calls us to heal, get physical, and connect with our inner resources to step into our highest potential, reconnecting us with our innate states of joy, well-being, and pleasure.
In JourneyDance, we dance without mirrors to release judgement of ourselves and others. It’s not about learning steps or looking good, it’s about feeling good. It’s about revealing, recovering, and rediscovering your natural intuitive movement. We activate imagination and use diverse forms of freestyle improvisational dance, yoga, ritual, and theatre set to a soundtrack of inspiring world music, creating a barefoot ecstatic celebration of the human spirit! It’s an amazing experience.
JourneyDance is a dance that is facilitated rather than taught. Certified JourneyDance facilitators have completed three modules of intensive training, including instruction in the composition of the JourneyDance Flow, a deep exploration of the rituals contained within a JourneyDance experience, a personal growth component designed to bring our full selves to our teaching practice, and an apprenticeship program with designated JourneyDance mentors to ensure full knowledge and understanding of the JourneyDance body of work.
In JourneyDance we say, “You need to feel so you can heal.” And that’s what it is about. It’s about feeling, expressing, and healing so we can love ourselves and others and spread the healing and love throughout the world.
JourneyDance classes and events are offered in Regina and Fort Qu’Appelle, or by request. Visit www.michellebrass.com/journeydance.
Michelle Brass is a Certified JourneyDance Facilitator. She has been leading JourneyDance classes, workshops, and events since 2014. She infuses her classes and workshops with love, compassion, and a joyful sense of humour. She loves freestyle dance and movement, explorations of self-love and healing, and connecting with others through love and laughter. She is also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a focus on holistic health and is currently enrolled in the Life Coach Training Program at the Martha Beck Institute. She lives on Peepeekisis First Nation with her husband and son.