About Dance Our Way Home™

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Dance Our Way Home™ (DOWH) supports women to embrace and celebrate our Sacred Feminine, to be free from restraints, to be enamoured by our own breath and dance, and to fall head over heels in love with our self and with everything and everyone.

 

 

 

DOWH brings women together to explore and express their depth and honesty, and to give themselves more fully and radiantly to the world.

dancerAnd, again and again, through this practice we call Dance Our Way Home™ (DOWH), women experience…

  • an unobstructed flow of inspiration, creativity and pleasure
  • a deeper sense of wellbeing, belonging and homecoming
  • profound experiences of wholeness and compassion
  • spontaneous bursts of joy, laughter and tears
  • the realization of their own magnificence, power, genius and perfection
  • erupting desire for self-nourishment, self-care and self-love
  • unconditional acceptance of themselves as they are and of everything as it is

The way we do this is through a women’s magical brew of free-style and ecstatic dance, relaxation and guided imagery, with life-affirming, divine feminine spiritual principles, ideas and teachings. (And we often sprinkle it with other evocative and creative modalities and explorations.)

Created over 13 years ago, originally as a body-image group for healing and celebration of the female soul, DOWH is a complete experience that touches body, heart, mind and soul, where every woman is free to move at her own pace, in her own way.

At DOWH, we believe that women don’t need to be pushed or challenged — only given love, appreciation, encouragement, acceptance and the chance to express themselves. And, whoever you are, know this —

You are magnificent, important and worthy of respect, care and safe-keeping.

 

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Dance Our Way Home™ (DOWH) is a holistic dance practice offering you:

  • feetA safe & non-judgmental space to be yourself, just as you are.
  • Themes/invitations to inspire your courageous, compassionate and creative self.
  • Guided visualizations to ground and relax you open to a more embodied awareness.
  • A perfect balance of facilitated and non-facilitated dance.
  • Personal dances to invoke curiosity in self, to fall in love with your own knowing and impulses.
  • Partner and group dances to connect, play, and feel part of a precious circle of women.
  • A wide range of music to carry you through various states of being, from tender to wild.
  • Tools and woman-centered teachings to support the realization of your magnificence.
  • Unconditional love and support from like-minded women as you travel your own life path.

 

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History of Dance Our Way Home™:

DOWH was co-created in 2001 by Erica Ross and Nan Keyser for Sheena’s Place, a support organization for people with disordered eating and body image issues in Toronto, Canada. For ten years it remained a core ‘body image’ group at Sheena’s.

Over the years Erica, DOWH’s director and visionary, continued to hone and deepen the DOWH practice, becoming Erica’s soul work and unique gift to her sisters. Erica infused the practice of DOWH with her personal relationship to life, and her love for and relationship with, the Divine Feminine and Earth-based spirituality, along with the wisdom teachings of Buddhism and Shamanism, and life-affirming ideas, writings, concepts and teachings.

In the fall of 2007, Erica, recognizing the great success at Sheena’s and the potential of this practice, opened DOWH to the community-at-large, offering it to women wishing to dance and be more deeply connected to herself and others.

DOWH continued to blossom as a beautiful tapestry of dance, guided imagery, relaxation, art, inspirational quotes and stories, supported by a diverse range of music including sacred voices, global funk, ambient and tribal grooves; offering women a remarkable journey of self-discovery, expression and connection, touching body, heart, mind and soul.

In 2009, DOWH attracted new women into its fold, as Twyla Kowalenko and Mari Rossi became the organization’s first two apprentices and new DOWH facilitators. The growing team allowed for the creation of its very first DOWH Facilitator Certification Training held in the fall of 2010 where an additional 10 women became certified DOWH facilitators.

2010 was a year of much outward growth for DOWH as it was also the year that Twyla Kowalenko initiated the Community Outreach Programme and took on the role of its director. With this new focus on communities of women who would not normally be able to access a practice such as Dance Our Way Home™, in 2011, the organization took up a new residence at the Centre for Social Innovation and welcomed its first Intern, Robin Linton.

From 2011 to the present Erica has continued to offer her DOWH Certification Training. Through the birth of new facilitators, DOWH has been shared in communities across Canada, the United States, Peru and India.

In 2013, Erica created RADICAL RADIANCE, a stand-alone training for women READY to embody their brightest self and share their gifts and contributions to the world, rooted in the love and power of sisterhood. It is a pre-requisite for the DOWH Facilitator Certification Training; for women ready to step into being a RADICAL LEADER and mentor, to inspire other women to SHINE.

Like an ever-developing spiral dance, the practice and the organization continue to grow, move and respond to the community of women it touches.

 

The 10 Principles of DOWH:

 

 

The DOWH Community Outreach Program

The practice of Dance Our Way Home™ (DOWH) is centered on community and envisions a place that includes and gives ALL women the space to dance their way home. The barriers that keep women from accessing this healing and transformative practice are many, however, and stem from socio-economic, geographical, cultural sources. The Community Outreach component was born from the desire to overcome such barriers and to truly make the practice of Dance Our Way Home (DOWH) available to all women.

Are you involved in a community of women who you think could benefit from the practice? Contact Twyla Kowalenko, Community Outreach Director, at twyla@yorku.ca.

Praise

tabitha

I was struck and moved by the POWER in the room, especially when we moved into the group portion of the dance. I think most of us as women feel fairly small in one way or another as we move through our lives in a world where we’re barely recognized; we restrict and constrict our Selves. (But together, as a group,) there was nothing that could have entered that space that we couldn’t have dealt with. We were (are) a force to be reckoned with and we keep each other safe.” — Tabitha Kot, Certified Yoga Teacher/Level II Reiki Practitioner, Toronto

brenda

“… It is Erica’s loving care for the gentle and deep nurturing of women, our often fraught and splintered self-images and connections in an ever-changing world, in a safe and welcoming space that drew me to her Dance Our Way Home practice. In this practice I have found compassion and a celebration of us, as we are, as well as support for who we would like to become, the realization of our dreams.” — Brenda Clews, Poet, Painter, and Video poet, Toronto www.brendaclews.com

elisa

“I was looking for a space to deeply nourish the roots and wings of my divine feminine mind|body|soul|heart and to strengthen my ability to create and hold healing spaces that foster individual and collective healing. I definitely found it! DOWH offered me a framework to more powerfully engage and reconnect to the innately sacred and divine feminine parts of my being.” — Elisa Carlass Hatton, Wellness Coach, Toronto www.turtletoesyoga.blogspot.ca