Second Sunday Dance Shakes it Up in Whitehorse

The body is mysterious; it is intricately linked to all that we do, and the ways we think.

I’m a dancer; this is my perspective. And there are as many perspectives on the body as there are bodies.

I also believe memories are stored in our bodies — that our experiences deeply affect the ways we walk, dance, swim. Each of us moves like her or himself.

Meanwhile, people like to regulate the body.

Sidewalks, traffic lights, chairs, and footwear are all designed to regulate human movement.

I find walking barefoot on a path feels better than walking in shoes on pavement; we need to de-regulate our bodies.

Just like we need to sleep and eat, we need to sing, dance, shake our booties — to release stuff, move memories along, free up space inside.

“Fundamentally, the emotions are based in the body; the mind is a sort of viewer, or viewing mechanism,” says dance, voice, and movement therapist Madelanne Rust D’Eye. “But all that experience is happening throughout our whole being.”

Now, There’s another opportunity to shake up your body, and your body’s perspective in Whitehorse.

On the second Sunday of every month, between 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Rust-D’Eye would facilitate Second Sunday Dance — a pay-what-you-can gathering at L’AFY, where everyone is welcome to attend, and move how they wish.

This is not a dance class, or workshop; it’s a time and space to move and vocalize freely without instruction or regulation.

Rust-D’Eye intends “to offer space for people to move in a way that is not overly structured, it’s loose enough that it can become a personal experience, but that has enough of a framework that people don’t feel lost and at sea.”

Second Sunday Dance has roots in 5Rhythms, a dynamic movement pattern developed by Gabrielle Roth in New York.

Rust-D’Eye’s personal approach is influenced by her studies with Roy Hart Theatre in France, and with dancer Ruth Sappara in New Mexico. Both artists combine vocal work with movement improvisation, as does Rust-D’Eye.

For Rust-D’Eye, the Second Sunday Dance helps fulfill her desire to “build the momentum of body-based practices in the Yukon.”

A core group of 10 to 12 people attended the dance party at L’AFY, but the monthly gathering is on hiatus for the summer.

I’m telling you about it now so you have a few months to get over feeling shy and try it out.

You’ll be in good hands.

Rust-D’Eye just opened her private dance and voice movement therapy practice, Moving Journeys Counseling, at her new space in the Taku Building (Fourth and Main).

No stranger to the Yukon, she first came up as a performer for the 2007 DCMF.

“I fell into curiosity with Dawson City,” she says.

Rust-D’Eye moved to Dawson and worked for a winter at the Drunken Goat, sang at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s, and worked for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (TH).

Rust-D’Eye organized a conference for TH, and then was hired back to organize the 2008 Moosehide Gathering.

While living in Dawson, she realized she wanted to study counseling, combined with body-based work.

“I had never heard of dance therapy or body-based therapy, but intuitively knew the right path of study was out there, somewhere.”

Turns out, that somewhere was Noropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Rust-D’Eye started out in the body-psychotherapy track, then sought studies that linked to movement and voice.

As a singer she says, “vocal components had been my first doorway to embodiment, but there was no voice in the master’s program. So I started my own investigation; I started doing research and wrote my master’s thesis on using non-verbal vocal sound in relation to movement in dance therapy.”

Four years later, Rust-D’Eye returned to the Yukon — this time to Whitehorse — where she’s bringing the bounty of her experience.

“(I want to help clients) learn how their bodies can be a resource, and a safe home-base as they work through whatever challenges are arising in their world,” she says.

Rust D’Eye focuses on skill-building with her clients.

“Once someone has learned the foundational skills of learning safety in themselves and in their bodies, then there is this beautiful process that becomes available to them — to be able to turn inward for enrichment, and for self-knowledge,” she says. “Basically, my goal is to help my clients experience more of their lives from a place of safety.”

Coinciding with the return of Second Sundays Dance in the fall, Rust D-Eye will be offering Movement in Relationship practice group sessions at Vista Outdoor Learning Centre, and a Movement in Relationship introductory women’s retreat.

Currently, she’s offering specials for private clients. You can see all the details at:

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