MARYSE THUOT (2008)
I have always been fascinated by the realm of mystery. At the age of 18, I entered a 4 years college program in the study of death, during which time I have explored what scared me and fascinated me the most, the process of dissolution, the psychology of grief, and the various cultural rituals that accompany that rite of passage.
After my degree, I have traveled through many landscapes to discover my soul’s sense of purpose through music, dance, yoga and meditation, along with redeveloping an intimate relationship with the natural world. I have never ceased to travel since, in my eagerness to continuously feed my beginner’s mind and to remain open, adaptable, humble and respectful of the various cultural approaches to human life. In between travels, realizing the importance of health, I decided to study herbal therapy and other holistic approaches to re-establishing health and wholeness of the mind-body-spirit, a journey that helped me to connect with the wisdom of the natural world through rituals, herbal identification of indigenous plants, and herbal transformation.
As I awakened myself to the healing power of nature, I have become more and more inclined to follow the yogic path. I have taken a teacher training from the Sivananda Yoga Ashram, along with many other trainings and retreats aimed towards self-discovery (Thai Yoga massage therapy, laughter Yoga facilitator training, Vipassana meditation retreats and ecstatic body posture practionner). I have practiced Yoga for nearly two decades, and have been teaching Yoga for over a decade. My apprenticeship has been non-linear, meandering like a river into the rich, impermanent and diverse tapestry of life. I am forever grateful to the many people who have influenced my spiritual pilgrimage, and I carry them all in my heart. My practice has been to recognize and honour the lessons that were shared by those great souls, and to organically integrate and weave within myself what made most sense in my unique way of understanding the world. Through these influences, I have developed Animistic Yoga, which is an Earth based approach to postures that helps developing intuition and respect for all things, big and small, animate and inanimate, visible and invisible.
Over the years, I have explored many dance techniques, only to realize that I did not want to frame this natural portal of expression for the soul, and that I did not want to put labels and critical views on primal movements. I have deepened my approach to free movement with the Trance Dance Ritual, a most significant neo-shamanic technique that has transformed me from the very core of my being. I have trained to become a Trance Dance Ritual facilitator in Hawaii with Wilbert Alix, who took me on an initiatic soul journey to free myself from inhibitions and from locked energies through dance, rhythm and breathwork. Trance dancing has helped me to develop an intimate connection with the power of darkness as a means to go beyond the ego’s pattern of control. Trance Dance has opened for me a doorway to an alternative reality that is beyond the realm of worldly concerns, and it has helped me to connect deeper with the creative potential of universal consciousness. Through the eyes of the witness, I have come to realize how much my life path has been a constant dance between darkness and light, life and death, rational and intuitive, as my spirit flowed through the infinite cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. Amidst what seems to be a dualistic experience, I am endlessly practicing to tap into that still point within which union of the soul with the infinite takes place. This is the dance of life, and life is all there is!
SARA HALL (2008)
I am Sarah. I have a story. I have sorrows to tell and triumphs to share….but then so do you. Our words are often steeped in judgment, fear and shame and do not do us justice. Better yet to dance your soul, to paint your dance and to reveal the epic story that is your life. I am a Mother, an Artist, an Art Therapist and Trance Dance Facilitator.
It is my intention to awaken the soul through Art, Story and Dance. I call this the Alchemy of Being and I invite you to come dance with me a while.