Find your inner goddess at park dances

Weekly gatherings focus on the feminine
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal features editor
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It’s a girl thing.

Every Wednesday morning, a group of women gathers at Recreation Park to dance, have fun and get in touch with themselves and the Earth.

“I started dancing in the park on my own, and I’ve been wanting to dance out in nature and bring women out in nature to reconnect with the ground, with Mother Earth, with our bodies,” explained dance instructor Laura Linsteadt. “I thought it was a great opportunity, so I just jumped into it.” 

In Goddess Dance, the focus is on breathing and sensations of the body moving.

“It’s really about what I?call feminine embodiment practices,”?said Linsteadt, who holds a bachelor’s degree in dance and dance therapy from California State University, Fresno, and has taught many forms of dance.

The dancing is low-impact, which is partly what attracted Alisa Greenhill, of Auburn, to it. 

“That makes it easier to do, more flowing,” she said. “And I got back in touch with my ‘little ballerina.’”

Linsteadt said dancers can choose to dance at any level, from smaller movements closer to the core to a full range of motion. Each dance focuses on moving a different body part. Linsteadt said newcomers can expect “to listen, to breathe, to reconnect with the joints of their body, to play, to find the sensations of pleasure and joy in their body.”

Dawntrix Kerry, of Auburn, said she enjoys dancing outdoors, including a recent trip to Hawaii, where she danced on the beach.

“But dancing on grass is pretty awesome, too,” she said. “As long as you’re dancing on the mama.”

Linsteadt said a key part  of Goddess Dance is listening to “the dancer within.”

“A lot of people will tell me, ‘I?can’t dance,’” she said. “And that’s a label I feel that has been put on people. We all are dancers, because there’s an intelligence inside of us that’s beating our heart, it’s breathing, it’s flowing our blood. ... When we can quiet the mind, we can turn our attention inward, then we can begin to follow that music, follow that dance.”

Goddess Dance
When: 9-10 a.m. Wednesdays
Where: Recreation Park, 123 Recreation Drive, Auburn (by playground)
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Info: (619) 321-9459;