Essence Dance was born from an insight received during Ian White’s Light Frequency Workshop in Melbourne in 2018. The message was clear – to design an embodied movement practice that focuses on the energetic fingerprint of specific flower essences.
As an Open Floor teacher in my final year of training I had been pondering what my gift to dance was. As Lucy French (previously known as Moira Adams) I had over 20 years experience in teaching dance, meditation, dreams, past life patterns and working with flower essences, but after a divorce I returned to the corporate life for financial reasons. When bowel cancer came calling five years ago, I was faced with a turning point which led me to the Open Floor movement and mindfulness training. This training has since given me the skills and flexibility to create something unique which not only deeply resonates with my soul, but also has the power to inspire other people’s lives.
I decided to launch Essence Dance at work, with people who had no experience of flower essences, conscious dance or meditation. I reckoned it would be my best learning ground. My students were co-workers hungry for sustainable ways to reduce their stress levels and the impact it had on their health and quality of life. More importantly, they needed space to be themselves and to move with whatever was happening in their lives in a safe and supportive environment, without fear or judgement, and to come out the other end calm, centred, uplifted and at peace.
Rather than focus on the Light Frequency Essences, I began to design the classes around individual Australian Bush Flower Essences since I already had many years experience of working with them. My intention was to enable the mover to consciously experience the signature qualities of each essence, including its negative and positive polarities. I started by identifying the unique way-markers of each essence so that the dancers could physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually move with those qualities and deeply experience its song.
Taking the essence prior to each class usually presented me with the opportunity to experience the negative polarity of the essence, which in turn would inform me how to design the class.
In the week leading up to the Jacaranda class I had a revelation. I had long considered Black-eyed Susan as my constitutional remedy, but it became obvious it was Jacaranda. I sensed the scattered energetic of moving from state to state, home to home and job to job over many years and how this had affected my own quality of life. No wonder I’d been unable to settle down or sustain many of my friendships! In that moment I took my power back from the part of me that was constantly hungry for change. The beauty of this was that I was able to design a class that deeply spoke the language of the essence.
After they had taken Jacaranda, I had the dancers metaphorically zig-zagging through life, being attracted to one thing and then another like bling. I placed different images of colourful fishing flies on the wall to help focus their changing attention. I carefully chose the music, songs, rhythms and beats to enhance their experience. As the music had them shifting from one rhythm to another, they noticed the impact on their physical energy and focus. I had them take back the energy they had given away to others and introduce techniques to ground and centre them so they could retrieve a sense of calm – the positive polarity of this essence.
This was the feedback I received from one dancer when I interviewed her recently.
“I was coming out of the lift at work completely in a frenzy when I realised what was happening to me. I saw myself zig-zagging through life at everyone’s beck and call and it was exhausting. A voice in me remembered the fish hooks and said ‘stop’. I used the centering technique you showed us. That calm gave me freedom. Now I can prioritise the work my colleagues require of me and no longer feel exhausted by the end of the day.”
In the Five Corners class I had them start from the floor and gently use their arms and legs to free themselves from the tangle of energy wrapped around them. I explained the tangle was similar to those electrical leads we throw into a cupboard which then get mixed up, how to use spatial awareness as a means to create more space between their limbs and the tangle, to come to a place of standing and release the sense of being held back and to reconnect with their soul and ground it through their body.
I have offered two different Silver Princess classes using ‘Vector’ as a resource. (Vector is a movement technique that prompts the person to focus on the pathway they are currently on, where that is leading them and how to explore different ways of reaching their destination.) In one we explored aiming for our goals and finding the energy and focus to sustain that journey. In the other we discovered what it was like to experience unexpected obstacles along the way, to learn how to navigate them and see them as opportunities rather than hindrances and to experience parking those goals, rather than giving up on them as well as allowing those goals to manifest in their right timing. I was conditioned since a child to see obstacles as painful but in the Silver Princess class I discovered I could change my response to them, and that was deeply empowering.
Often during the class I will receive unexpected intuitive insights. In the final meditation of the Macrocarpa with Gymea Lily class I felt such a strong presence of many towering Gymea Lily flowers in the room it took my breath away. I was told that Macrocarpa releases its cap through the constant build-up of energy and it is this same build-up of energy that enables us to manifest our true destiny. Only then did I understand why I had been drawn to combine the two essences in the one class.
In the Crowea class I felt my brain explode and unlock a host of separate ideas which suddenly became connected. Since then my photographic skills have reached new heights.
I used to worry about what other people thought of me but now I am free to be me, whoever that is on any given day, plus I no longer worry about my weight!
Being fixated on buying a new home in a specific location was getting me nowhere but after the Bottlebrush class, where we dissolved old beliefs, I suddenly found a wonderful new home in an adjoining suburb.
In the Turkey Bush class I connected the emotion of my son moving out with the thought ‘I will be alone’. Instead of being downhearted I found myself realising this would be good for me too.
Recently I interviewed some of my Essence Dance students who have been on the journey with me from the start. They seem to confirm that moving with the energetic signature of an essence awakens a conscious connection to that essence and that this in turn awakens them to potentially life changing personal insights and new possibilities.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, I am currently developing a series of one day workshops which will focus on key themes, and act as transformational building blocks. My aim is to offer these in Australia and overseas in 2019 so if you would like to know more please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*All images © 2018 Lucy French