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Spirit of the Valley
The Magazine of Mountain Wellness










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Whoever Said Dancing Could
Be This Much Fun?!

By Angela Earle

I know, I know what you’re thinking! Dancing, fun?! Dancing, a spiritual experience? Dancing, a meditation? Yes, actually, yes to ALL of that.

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a ballerina. Unfortunately, by the age of 10 I was already too big (and, at the time, too wide) for any little tutus I could find. Dance seemed like a privileged world I would never be able to enter, dependent on body type, flexibility, and grace. Fortunately, I unlearned ALL of these things in one glorious afternoon a few years ago that would end up transforming my life, and heading me down the road to the freedom, fun, and absolute joy of dance.

The only reason I showed up to the Shakti Marga Tantric Dance workshop was because “no dance experience necessary” was written on the flyer in big, bold type. I would risk it, just this once. The flyer also spoke about channeling the energy of the goddess, and I desperately needed to find Her within. I ended up being the only student in the three hour class, getting an intensive with an amazing teacher – Vicky “Vijaya” Stern, who has returned to the Wood River Valley during Wellness Festival time since then.

Shakti Marga opened up a whole new world to me. With a little instruction I was free to explore this fiery energy, to take it to new levels, and, eventually, to try new modalities. I explored the world of traditional dance with the help of some of the members of CORE, and one Saturday morning showed up at Heera Sazevich’s Bliss Ball, for over an hour of “waves” of music following the model of Gabrielle Roth’s Five Rhythms. Freedom in chaos, freedom in waves, freedom in totally letting go, merging with other energies, observing the self rather than judging, and being carried away in the music, in the moment, and in myself.

My soul spoke through my body, leaving all words and reason behind, through the instrument I had thought I was supposed to transcend! When I looked up months later I realized that I was having a great time, that I felt freer than any other time in my entire life, not just on the dance floor, and that the openness of expression I had found in my body in dance was weaving its way into the words I was writing, the relationships I was engaged in, and ultimately, with the chances I was willing and ready to take in life, as in Spirit of the Valley.

The dance is never how you think it’s going to look….always so much better. When I see other women in my Shakti class I see absolute goddesses. I see people who are willing to show up despite what their minds might be telling them, in order that their minds may be free.



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