Quakertown’s Kelly Thomke is a certified JourneyDance facilitator, trained by its creator, Toni Bergins. The dance form is a departure from kinetic or yogic dance and seeks to cleanse and heal the mind, body, soul and spirit through freestyle movement. Set to inspiring world music, JourneyDance participants move barefoot and with eyes closed as they let go and become transformed.
You have been facilitating JourneyDance for several years. How does it feel different now compared to when you started?
Now, it’s a richer and juicier dance, and it’s always fulfilling. Also, it’s not as scary as it used to be. It’s still so wonderful for me to see others open up during the dance and work through whatever they might be going through.
The theme of this issue is Graceful Aging. How does age factor into a person’s experience of body movement and dancing?
We have to get over people telling us how we should look and behave. Sometimes that means peeling off those layers until you find the real you. The movement allows you to do that. My intention is to create a safe container for people. I like to call it a moving meditation. It’s cathartic, therapeutic and meditative; it’s all the good stuff!
How is JourneyDance different from other kinds of dance?
It’s not like a waltz or a fox trot; it’s your own dance and you don’t need a partner or to know any particular steps. People come because they want to get in shape and exercise. What happens on the dance floor is that you start to move and then release the emotion. It’s very therapeutic.
How can people try JourneyDance?
I have two new class offerings on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings at AirMid Wellness and Counseling Center, in Warminster. I also am going to start facilitating a dance on First Fridays at Anahata Yoga, in Harleysville.