My Story with Qoya

“There is a wild woman under our skin who wants nothing more than to dance until her feet are sore, sing her beautiful grief into the rafters, and offer the bottomless cup of her creativity as a way of life. And if you are able to sing from the very wound that you’ve worked so hard to hide, not only will it give meaning to your own story, but it becomes a corroborative voice for others with a similar wounding.”

– Toko-Pa Turner, from Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home

When i move my body to the pulse of a beat, for me, it feels like magic. I don’t want my movement to be restricted by specific postures, pointed toes, a uniform, a linear line. A natural, rebellious nature that i carry wants to push boundaries, usually when i’m told i have to do something in a particular way. What if i don’t do it this way? What if this happens? What if my body wants me to do something else? I am curious and i love to learn. For me, learning about the body, including and mostly my own, is my growing spiritual practice. I will be an endless pupil of life, lead by my body and its wisdom. Well, that’s the idea at least!

I found Qoya after the birth of my second son. I had heard about it before, told to me by a friend who thought it would be “right up my street'“ but in an attempt to ‘deal’ with post natal depression i sought it out and moved through immense grief. Fresh, old + ancient grief. This practice continues to provide me with deep layers of connection to my body, deeper layers of connection with my relationship to the divine, deeper connection to my dear friends and sisters here in Portland who dance alongside me.



“Push magic. Cause magic. If i am not magic in all of this human form, then what is magic? Move as magic, feel you are magic, touch each pulsation of this magical world. Your fingers can’t reach the infinity of magic but your bones know magic, your breasts pour magic, you feel the magic in a cup of tea. You see. Where does the magic hide? In your sorrow, in your wooly womb, in your words from your flute throat. If sparkles are magic they’re at the end of your fingertips. Transform mama into your birth right. Take up space for the rebel nature to run amok and silence the voices that say you are not enough. Meet magic. Hello magic. Have a seat on the earthy floor. Cup of tea?”

- Written in a co-facilitated Embodied Writing + Qoya workshop (work + play at its best!)