Dear Life Dancers,
Welcome to my site! I am excited you are here! I am Michelle and I want to life dance you into a more fulfilling and purpose driven life! My tale is quite adventurous and my experiences great (in the deepest sense of this word) ... this is why I feel that I can offer you some insight and why I hope to life dance you!
SMALL TOWN TO BIGGER TOWN...
I’m a been there, done that kind of gal and have packed in many, many formidable and crazy experiences in my 50 years...yep, the big 5-0 hits this year or last...or was it the year before? I forget. :)
My amazing life has been one big awesome adventure after another beginning in the Berkshires of Connecticut where I was raised the eldest with 3, count ‘em 3, rambunctious brothers. Off to college I went earning a BA in French/Education at my beloved Alma Mater (latin for "nourishing mother" and it was for me) Albertus Magnus College, at the time an all women's Catholic college in New Haven. I raised the roof a few times with my pals and was fortunate to study at the Sorbonne in Paris for my junior year abroad. Heaven!
If that wasn’t enough lit books to read, I went on for another round at Middlebury College in Vermont, a highly conducive place for studying in the middle of beautiful nowhere green Vermont for an MA in....wait for it....French/Education! I really love all things French and am a born teacher. I even began a Doctorate hot on the academic trail, but thankfully was led astray a quarter of the way through and was steered in an oh so slightly different direction heading east...way east.
GRIEF AND RISK ARE MY GIFTS?
I experienced the very sad passing of one beloved brother in my 20’s which threw my life into deep turmoil and divorce. So what did I do? How does one get over the trauma of the death of a sibling? I carried on in buried grief unable to really free myself, traipsed through Europe as French teacher on some endowment or grant opportunity (ah...I miss the indulgent 80's) whenever I could, embraced some serious yoga, continued with my childhood passion for tap, jazz, ballet and eased into my 30‘s with a sudden shocking move to Africa as a Fulbright scholar with an aching heart! Bam! I was headed WAY east, alright! Lille, France was my original destination, but the universe had other plans for me! Huh? Guess Lille was too boring for what was going to imminently transpire for me...no offense, Lille.
I didn't know it then, but I was indeed being blessed with unwanted "gifts" in my life and gently guided by Spirit to Africa where I was to begin a healing process for myself. I was heart smart enough to heed the Fulbright Scholarship call to Benin, despite my head telling me no, adventurer that I am...or was I nuts? Ah...just tracking my way forward, beginning my wayfinder path! My metamorphosis had begun!
My mind was instantly blown by the dire poverty I witnessed upon my arrival in Cotonou, Benin in West Africa and I think I cried for 6 months at the gravity of it all. How could this be, I asked, the naive American who had never been to a developing country. But I persevered and it was my willingness to "Go East, young woman" landing in far away Africa with it’s beautiful, vibrant, loving and healing energy and warm people that I found more of what Martha Beck calls my “North Star”, my essential self (more on MB later!) ... which for me, is my teacher, dancer, healer self. In this space, I then began my long healing process to a way more joyful life.
LOVE AND AFRICA SAVE THE DAY! UBUNTU RULES!
Although totally not looking for it, I also found friendship and love soon after my arrival...had to go to Africa to find a husband, I am teased... and a year later became a newly married and thereafter minted mom, tenure gone having quit my US teaching job, now volunteer without borders and spiritual seeker.
Speed forward through many unbelievable, deeply enriching and zany African experiences that deserve several books, fourteen years deep into this rich and crazy continent, 4 countries later-Benin, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and many others visited...loving it, (when we had water and electricity), connected and living/loving my life, we found ourselves on our way “home” (aka, the USA) kicking and screaming. What? Where? Why? Sigh....
Adaptation mode kicks in again. Move #5. Go with the flow. Accept the present. Be with the now. Do it! So, I did it. Not easy, but I did it and am doing it now.
Eight years adapted into my "new" life here in the States, I embrace the self appointed title of domestic goddess since I no longer have my beloved housekeeper/right hand woman and friend (boohoo!), am a sort of stay at home mom to 3 three really fab kids who make me proud, dog walker (is she really just MY dog?) and wife extraordinaire to a busy and dedicated man.
I also call myself a rockin' movement/life coach for those who dare to embrace the present with gusto! After all, the now is all that we have and I'm all about embracing the present. Life is too short not to enjoy it!
THE DANCE OF LIFE OVER AND OVER...
In addition to being an avid francophile and teacher...boy, did 25 years of teaching elementary through university nationally and abroad, not to mention all those crazy school kids, teach me many valuable lessons in life...I am currently a Martha Beck trained Life Coach after completing an 8 month fun filled, emotion packed training. So pumped about this! Dr. Martha Beck is a monthly columnist in "O" Magazine, a highly educated seeker with 3 degrees from Harvard, author of 8 books and a wayfinder making her mark on humanity! Another gift in my life!
I am also a Certified IBF Biodanza Didact Movement Facilitator trained in South Africa, as well as in Italy and Brazil with the founder Rolando Toro Araneda and am the Director of the Biodanza Personal Development/ Training School in the Maryland/DC area.
This will be the 3rd school in the USA, so jump on the new paradigm shift of personal transformation...you're going to LOVE it! It will involve dancing....and I hope you are up for it! Only the brave and courageous step into this ring of fire....I dare you!
So, what’s Biodanza, you ask with some trepidation? It’s my life passion in service to those who cross my path and you may have the chance to find out more if you take a chance with me as your mind•body• spirit• emotion life coach. As a life coach, we will talk, we will connect, we will move!
We’ll see. We'll go with the flow..."make a plan" as they say in South Africa...home of my dance tribe, my brothers, my sisters!
WITH LOVE & COMPASSION...
My profound life experiences up to now have brought me full circle to love and compassion and this is what I strive for. My life and coaching approach is wholehearted ... meaning that I am here to support you, offer you compassion combined with my authentic presence. But be not mistaken...we will employ a focused and guided method to helping you create the awesome, purpose driven life you want and deserve. A life where you can explore, expand and embrace all of your potential!
Be bold. Embrace Your Life Dance!
Peace and blessings,
"I am because of you" A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa
Wellness Advocate for doTerra essential oils
Martha Beck trained Life Coach working with teens and adults
IBF Didact Biodanza Movement Facilitator &
Director of Biodanza MD/DC; Biodanza School completed in South Africa; Extensions attained in Biodanza for Children/Youth/Families; Biodanza Voice & Percussion; Biodanza for Organizations
•Usui Metta Reiki Master
Usui Reiki Ryoho Tradition and Metta® Reiki; Reiki i &ii and Master Reiki Training
•Ama~Deus Level 1
•Quantum Touch Level 1
•Positive EFT Facilitator
Morning Qigong, Back Care, The Seasons and Dance of the Phoenix forms given by Master Teacher Chan Zhang
•Elemental Space Clearing® Practitioner under supervision
BA Albertus Magnus College New Haven, CT, USA; French/Education
La Sorbonne 1984, Paris, France- Certificat Degré Supérieur
MA Middlebury College, Vermont, USA; French/Education