Sometimes you just don’t know what you are getting into until you are in it. When Etang and I started Your Body Raks, our intention was to create a safe space for people who wanted to move, but didn’t fit neatly into the confines of society’s dance and fitness boxes. There are so many us who look nothing like the young hopefuls gliding across the stage of So You Think You Can Dance. But who says that you have to?
To our surprise, there are a lot of people who agree, including the great staff at Oakland’s Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC). Keeping to their mission of providing services that assist women in coping with various forms of cancer, WCRC creates opportunities for their community to stretch, meditate, move and dance in a safe and accessible way. After seeing us perform at a local event, Community Outreach Manager, Margo Rivera-Weiss felt that Your Body Raks was a perfect match for WCRC.
In addition to teaching regular bellydance classes at the Center, we were invited to participate in a February 6th community dialogue entitled: Fitness and Movement as Medicine: Making Exercise Work for YOU & Understanding its Relationship to Cancer. It was a great opportunity to hear women share their movement tips and concerns, and the need for more advocacy around issues of access and fairness.
As people who have family and friends affected by cancer, our partnership with WCRC means a lot to us. It reminds us that this dance that we do is a part of a long tradition of awakening our body’s wisdom and healing power. And for that we are grateful.
The Women’s Cancer Resource Center’s services are mainly for women with cancer, but community members are welcome to participate in these classes. Your Body Raks WCRC bellydance classes are free, but you must register at this link. The classes are held at 5741 Telegraph Avenue. The dates and times are as follows:
Thursday, February 28th @ 6:30pm
Tuesday, March 26th @6:30pm
Every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesday starting in April @ 6:00pm
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