These days, there seems to be a rapidly expanding menu of movement-and-wellness classes, workshops, and groups in Taos. We’re doing our best to track them down and tell you about them (if you know of something awesome we should cover, drop us a line!)
We recently heard about Julia Daye and her Power Dance classes at AuraFitness, and had to know more about this energetic Taos transplant. We asked her a few questions about her endeavors here in Taos, and are pleased to bring you this interview:
LiveTaos: You recently relocated to Taos from New York City. What brings you here?
JULIA DAYE: I first visited northern New Mexico in spring of 2011 when I was traveling in the Southwest for the first time. I was here for only a few weeks, but in that time experienced a deep resonance with the space and landscape that only grew after returning home. Over the next few years, my creative work began to cry out for more innate connection, space, and breath; it was a calling I simply had to follow. And so this past June, I packed up my life and headed Taos-ward. It has been a huge leap of faith in every sense of the word, but its been absolutely right.
What’s your favorite thing about Taos so far? What do you miss most about New York City?
My favorite thing about Taos is the openness of the community here. The expansive view held by so many people I have had the pleasure of working with thus far in dance and other creative spaces. The majesty of this landscape seems to simultaneously eliminate the ego and inspire the soul. You can’t forget your humanness with the grandeur of these mountains staring you in the face 24/7. Every single day, I look around me and feel so incredibly blessed to be here.
What I miss most about New York City is my dance family there, the closeness and honest space we continue hold for each other on and off the dance floor. They are here with me every moment, and I wouldn’t be here without them.
Tell us about Power Dance. Is it scary for non-dancers?
Power Dance is a straightforward, exhilarating rhythmic sweat for all levels of movers and shakers! It’s a dance workout that uses fun, comprehensible fitness-oriented choreography and world beats to generate a lively full-body workout.
One of the main objectives of Power Dance is to make dance fitness accessible for all kinds of movers. The choreography is intentionally uncomplicated to allow participants to more effectively drop out from their busy minds and into their bodies for a fuller, more satisfyingly embodied dance-based workout.
You’re the founder of Movement is Free. What’s that about, and how can people get involved?
Movement is Free is a community movement project that opens spaces for free movement, music, and embodied creative exploration. It’s a project we launched in Brooklyn back in spring 2013 with the belief that public space, creative movement expression, and the personal empowerment that comes along with inhabiting both, is the innate right of all people, not just those who call themselves “artists” or “dancers.”
Battery-powered sound system in-hand, we started embodying true expressive freedom by dancing like joyous fools every week in McCarran Park, a large popular public park in Brooklyn. Unexpectedly, the project completely took off, growing beyond our wildest dreams in just over a year in New York City—extraordinary DJs, musicians, hundreds of courageous movers—people got it: this was a place to explore your authentic gesture of expression, whatever that meant for you.
Since arriving in Taos, the project has continued to grow remarkably. This fall, we danced with the incredible Taos youth at the Regeneration Festival and began holding our monthly events at Shree Yoga.
It is truly an honor to continue to open free spaces for movement, music and creativity in this amazing community. We invite movers of all ages, drummers, musicians, curious people, to come check us out the first Saturday of every month at Shree Yoga 1:30 – 3 pm!
Other than moving and shaking, what are your favorite ways to spend your time?
Writing and being in the mountains. I love words, especially ones that come out of moving with the land. I publish original writing weekly on investigatingreality.com
Give us your favorite verse of poetry or set of song lyrics.
“We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced”
~~ From the poem “We Have Come to Be Danced” by the brilliant dance-poet Jewel Mathieson
People can get in touch with me in many ways.
Through my website: juliadaye.com
My email: itsjuliadaye (at) gmail (dot) com
Or my phone: 301 512 9002
Or just join us in person, every Thursday at 6pm for Power Dance at Aurafitness AND the first Saturday of every month at 1:30 pm for Movement is Free at Shree Yoga!