You were last seen walking between the musical notes, in those spots of rhythm quivering with high tension.
When you let fly the arrows, they created their own wind.
Let the sailing begin, past the crescent moon and beyond the dot of Venus, into the open free space of unknown steps.
— Tom Zizzo (a dancer friend)
I dance everywhere. Even at the San Francisco Modern Art Museum. Try it! A marvelous way to interact with art and they let you do it if you don’t touch the paintings.
Without music, life would be a mistake. I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance. — Nietzsche
Read about Lisa’s teaching in the Marin Independent Journal feature, Dancer, Heal Thyself
Lisa Alpine has been teaching dance as a healing art form for over 25 years at retreat centers around the world. She has worked with thousands of students in group and private workshop settings and is known for her intuitive ability in assisting people in opening up their bodies in order to free their expressive nature. She has studied directly with Gabrielle Roth, Emilie Conrad and other master teachers and shamans.
The one thing I most treasure from classes with you is the Permission you gave me, both in dance and life. This is something I was aware of, both in group and private class: ‘Permission, she is giving me permission…. to be free., to be me… just permission. — Zoey
She has also been a professional writer and writing coach for over 25 years. Many of her dance workshops combine both art forms. Lisa is currently working on several new titles to be published by her imprint, Dancing Words Press. Journey Into Movement: Dancing Lessons From God, will be a book about the body-wisdom she has gleaned from twenty years of teaching dance as an ecstatic and healing art form.
There is a higher level of artistry in my dance that has developed since I began coming to your dance classes.— J. D.
Lisa’s dance philosophy and purpose:
Dance is an ecstatic healing art form for a multitude of reasons. Through dance you develop the ability to unlock energy pathways and direct vitality to where your body needs attention. Dance is also an expressive art form you create from your core. Use your body to paint feelings, your muscles to sculpt movement, and your senses to translate music.
I really appreciate the guidance that you have provided me to express so freely! I know that I need to and CAN continue to tap into my true direction in life. — L. C.
Enliven the body—Lisa’s work focuses on enlivening the body from the ground up. She uses many exercises to free the feet from their prison of limited movement. By awakening the pelvis through dance, men and women can direct their sexual and fertile energy, giving birth to new forms of creativity. Lisa works with integrating the left and right sides of the body (and brain) in movement which increases balance and acceptance of who we are.
Dancing art—Dancing is an expressive art form you create from your core. Use your body to paint feelings, your muscles to sculpt movement, and your senses to translate music. Lisa helps students discover the trust that their dance is perfect and the feelings they have spinning through their blood and bones is the inspirational fuel for their creativity.
See yourself as sculpture—Lisa is currently very excited about the Sculptural Dance movement she is exploring in the studio and outdoors in nature. Lisa encourages dancers to see themselves as art –as the sculpture — not separate from it. In order to do this she has them feel from the inside-out the shapes they are creating as they dance. This develops a refined aesthetic sense of beauty in the dancer’s awareness, not only of their own artfullness — but also the constantly changing shapes around them.
Moving comfortably—Lisa teaches her students how to be comfortable with their own movement and how to move comfortably, respecting their body’s innate intelligence. They develop the ability to experience ecstasy while dancing, and learn how to pace themselves so they can reach the zone where stamina and the joy of dance blend.
Breathing deeply—Another element Lisa focuses on is breath. We tend to hold our breath when we concentrate. She coaches dancers to inhale and exhale deeply in order to expand all of the tissues. This stimulates the internal organs by moving the body from the inside. Bringing the breath into the lower lobes of the lungs and exhaling fully can help expel air pollutants that tend to build up.
Free-form dance—The benefits of free-form dance are amazing. Over the years Lisa has seen her and her students’ physical limitations diminish. Our spines are snaking, our necks moving freely, energy is flowing dynamically through the chakra system.
Wake up to dance—Lisa celebrates you waking up to dance, not only for exercise and social interaction, but as a way to delve into the unspoken creative caves of yourself where dwells a richly expressive soul housed in a beautiful body. Add dance to your repertoire and give form to the mystery of life that dances within you.
Celebrate your dance—Lisa celebrates all of us waking up to dance. Dancing gives expression to the abundance of who we are and who we aspire to become. May the Gods of Dance be called into your body.
Me being lifted and spun with my Cantact Dance teaching partner, Ken Martini
The weekend workshops and retreats have been amazing. The depth that they do probe and then the things that transpire afterwards……. you are a master. — C.B
Photo of Gabrielle Roth
I dedicate my life’s dance to my mother, Phyllis Richards McCreery, who danced me on her hip every evening and then encouraged my improvised dance performances in our living room. Also big love and appreciation for my one and only true dance “teacher” Gabrielle Roth.
In many shamanic societies, if you come to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask you one of three questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? — Gabrielle Roth
I studied with Gabrielle in the 1980s and have taught ecstatic dance since then carrying on the torch. I dance daily—it is my church—I throw my sweat and prayers out in the weekly swirling dance events locally and carry this movement passion to interact with the environment. Gurgling creeks bubble through my spine while I hike through the redwoods near my house, fingers ripple as I swim in the undulating, caressing currents of the Pacific. It is all a dance. My connection to the divine. Dance fuels my creativity (and longevity). Try it!