"I enjoy working with you it being belly dancing, spirituality or even simply conversations to achieve wisdom. Sometimes, it takes the eyes of another to really see what is happening and in some things, you have been my second eyes. I have learned a lot from you including how to feel good about myself both physically as well as spiritually, and I have learned how to not only accept change, but actually embrace it." -Raven S.
My Parkinson’s diagnosis forced me to drop back and rethink my approach to life. Although my doctor provided me with a bevy of fun new pills to relieve symptoms, he was adamant that the only way to slow the progress of the disease is exercise – so I leapt into the deep end and began exploring opportunities to become more active.
As a rotund lady of a certain age with two left feet, my expectations were not especially high.
Early on, however, I stumbled upon a hidden gem. I found Ephelia.
Describing her classes as “Body-Positive”, she focuses on the benefits of dance and making your body feel good. I found out that I LOVE to dance. Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t discover that I am GOOD at dance, but that I LOVE it. And my body loves it.
These classes are not focused on how I look or if I am keeping the rhythm. They focus on ME – how I feel, how my body reacts to the moves and the music, The atmosphere is soothing, playful, supportive.
I attended classes until I moved and left the area. BUT (and this is the cool stuff) WE HAVE TECHNOLOGY. When classes went online, I hopped right in. Participation is delightful, each student dances in her own comfy place. Cats walk through. We don’t leave home, so dressing for class can be a coin belt, harem pants or pjs.
And I dance. I close my eyes and the music moves me. I am still clumsy. My sultry figure 8s are imperfect and snake arms elude me entirely – but I dance.
And guess what…my body is changing. My physical self is responding to the joy I have brought into my life. I look better. I FEEL better.
Ephelia is a gift I am giving to myself – because I am worth it!! -Dawne S.
"You are truly a kindred spirit and soul sister. I love your creative energy. You brought the fairy godmother to life in our show and I felt your magic. I will forever love you for that. I can't wait to work together again some day." -Reshan H.
"Even in a different state, this amazing woman is still able to impact my life for the better. I didn't know my breathing could become so seamless until this past hour. That yoga class was a change of pace in these crazy times. Thank you so much for sharing that peace with me!" ~Katie B.