Rak’in The Movement

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Etang's blog headshotImmediately following the end of Saturday’s whirlwind celebration, Hotter Than July Bellydance Extravaganza, Tammy and I hustled to the airport bound for Portland, Oregon. In March, we were invited to present a workshop at the Western States Center Social Justice Training Conference, Activists Mobilizing for Power (AMP) at Reed College. In the months that followed, we worked on planning our 5-hour AMP workshop, Rak’in The Movement Bellydance Style.

AMP participants learning bellydance movement vocabulary

As organizers we routinely put ourselves last in the pursuit of justice. Bringing our whole selves to the struggle means that we must reconnect and reclaim our bodies and souls. Through the application of Your Body Raks® Principles of Full Bodied Movement Work, the workshop worked to get AMP participants (dancers and non-dancers) out of their heads and into their bodies. The Your Body Raks® Principles of Full Bodied Movement Work are intended to connect the aims of various social and racial justice movement work to the physical, emotional and mental sustainability of the individuals who do that necessary work. Movement of the masses is not feasible without the movement of our body, our mind and our spirit.

AMP participants writing letters about what we need from the movement and in our work

We were thrilled to present to organizers in our workshop from Oregon, Washington State and Idaho. Through reflection and letter writing about what our bodies and souls need in our work to learning bellydance movement vocabulary to writing and sharing what we need from the movement and our allies to learning an Egyptian drum solo mass movement choreography, we all did some necessary head and heart work in community with each other.

To bring this workshop or another Your Body Raks® workshop or presentation to your organization or conference, please contact us: yourbodyraks@gmail.com and (510) 229-0539.

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