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April 17, 2014

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Meditative dance classes geared toward stress relief

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Richard Brian

Dance instructors Geoffrey Leigh, right, and Adriana Goldschmidt host the meditative practice “Dance your Essence” at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, located at 8050 Paradise Road.

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The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s free meditative dance sessions run 7 to 9 p.m. and will be held Feb. 13 and 20; March 6 and 20; April 3 and 17; and May 1 and 15.

In conjunction with the dance classes the extension will offer the SCOPE (Simple Connections to Our Primary Essence) Foundation Series workshop beginning Feb. 21. The series covers "How patterns shape your life purpose" Feb. 21-22; "Inviting life purpose out of the shadows" March 21-22; "Moving from limits to choice" April 18-19; and "Expressing essence through movement" May 16-17. All sessions run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fee is $150 for all classes or $45 for an individual workshop. For more information about the dance sessions or the worshops contact Geoffrey Leigh at 702-257-5527 or e-mail [email protected] or Jean Metzker at 948-5905 or e-mail [email protected].

Ever caught yourself tapping out the rhythm of whatever is on the radio without really being consciously aware that you're doing it?

A new free program offered by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in Silverado aims to take that concept further by inspiring people to let loose and let the whole body move as it feels compelled to move to the sound of different beats.

The extension is hosting "Dance Your Essence Fridays," beginning Feb. 13 and continuing two Fridays a month through May 15.

Instructors Geoffrey Leigh and Adriana Goldschmidt said not only will the two-hour programs be good exercise for the body, but also for the mind.

In each class, the five rhythms of flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness will be explored, although not with the same soundtrack each time.

Suggestions on movements will be given out to help people get started, but the movements will be entirely dependent on the individual and what they're feeling.

Goldschmidt said the class is really an exploration of movement and feeling free to know how your body wants to move.

"It is very expansive for your mind," she said.

The point of the program, both instructors said, is partially to help people identify where in the body they hold stress.

"We all have a propensity for certain emotions we go to everyday and it gets held in," Goldschmidt said.

When people experience a chronically sore neck or shoulders it's a physical translation of the emotion, she said.

"This dance is a way of experiencing that and releasing it," Leigh said.

The dances can be a time of reflection and meditation, he said.

"It can be a matter of feeling the stress in your body and realizing how much you hold on to," he said. "Many people aren't aware it's there or how to let it go."

Additionally, the instructors said the classes will help people focus more on the present.

"Because when you're in the dance, your body is responding to the present moment," Goldschmidt said.

Leigh said it's a good practice to make oneself more present in day-to-day life.

In conjunction with the dances, the extension will also host a Simple Connections to Our Primary Essence workshop series that will explore internal mechanisms to discover life purpose and learn how to "stop self-sabotage."

Leigh said the workshops will be the mental and emotional equivalent to the physicality of the dance program.

He said he hopes attendees of the dance program will learn how to let their body react to the music as it desires without conscious decision.

"It's kind of a whole body tapping, instead of just your foot," Leigh said.

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