Solo Dance Journeys

Join with others in a safe, welcoming environment to take a free-form movement journey all your own.

Since this gathering does not include physical contact with others during the dance, the evening starts with brief boundary setting so that we can all stay focused and open to our inner impulses. And then we’re off!

The journey begins with a short guided movement meditation for presence & grounding—and here is where the verbal input ends. Continuous waves of a wide variety of music will usher your body, mind & spirit from the studio to anywhere your inner-eye will take you.

Taking these solo journeys with others doing the same provides the intention, energy & richness that only a group dance can bring. Attention to boundaries ensures that each of our dances can be an uninterrupted and deeply personal journey.

We end with a closing circle, where speaking is optional. Please join us for this evening of inner-discovery, self-expression and creativity thru the joy of dance—no experience necessary!

Dance Journeys Flyer

Current Offerings:

Speaking Up!

A Communication Repair Workshop

This workshop combines mindful/creative movement with other techniques to help participants learn to communicate more effectively.

For More Information Click Below:
Web page with more information

Three previous dance classes that will be held offered again are described below.  Please contact Self Awareness Counseling if you would like to be notified when this occurs.

Emotions, feelings and thoughts are not separate from the body……
They are the experiences produced by living IN a body.

Movement and Dance

Dancing For Yourself

A free-form Movement Workshop for Self-Discovery

Re-Claim your Right to BE, MOVE & EXPERIENCE your BODY & your DANCE
                                        --Just as they are--in the moment

About Dancing For Yourself

Whether you have always wanted to dance, or you want to deepen your dance, this workshop offers tools and guidance for discovering the movement that your own body wants to create.  It is a self-paced class for anyone who longs to expand the movement they find themselves typically doing, whether you are an absolute beginner, working with movement limitations, or a seasoned dancer.

The workshop is structured around continuous sound and improvisational movement with no set steps.  Rather, instruction offers suggestions and guidance throughout your solo journey, for ways to experiment with your inner impulses to move. Attention is placed on creating safety for your dance through setting clear boundaries at the beginning—a sharing circle at the end completes the journey. (The workshop will have a break in the middle for quiet journaling and reflection.)

Anyone can participate in Dancing For Yourself

No previous dance experience required.  Dancing For Yourself can be enjoyed by and provide benefit to everyone, regardless of dance training or background.  Even people with extensive dance experience will find opportunity for self exploration not available in technique oriented classes.  They may even find that the class helps them reconnect with their fundamental love of movement.

Types of movement and intensity are self-paced.  Classes can benefit people of any and all stamina levels and movement restrictions.

Adult & Teen* Bodies of all types are welcome**.
  Since the dance is for you and your needs rather than to meet external criteria, all bodies can participate on an equal basis.  Body shape, physical condition, age and physical challenges can all be worked with in creating your Dance For Yourself.
* Since this is solo work, teens must be mature enough to participate fully on their own for the full duration of the class.  Additionally, lyrics are not censored and therefore may be objectionable to some parents.

Dancing For Yourself Full-Color Flyer

Development of Inner-Awareness Movement Technique (I-AM)& Dancing For Yourself

For the last 27 years I have been studying this form of spontaneous, free-form dance expression.  In my late teens, I began comparing the differences in dance movements (and their accompanying expectations, values and social norms) among the wide variety of arenas where dance was found.   I looked at the classical ballet & modern dance forms that I had studied (later jazz & tap), those of different cultures, and social dancing from ballroom to punk clubs, as well as the ways I was compelled to move privately in my own living room.

I realized that despite my traditional dance training, what I loved most was to engage in my own “dance of the moment” and pursue the most exact expression of who I was through the immediacy of movement.  My work took me deeper into my own dance journey and into my unconscious.  Through my dances I began to learn things about my thoughts and feelings that I never would have guessed were there.

As I continued to study my process I began to realize that I had developed and accumulated techniques and methods that I could teach others.  I learned how to chart my own dance journey, how to ask questions of myself through movement and how to work compassionately with myself when I was wanting quiet, stillness and rest.  Out of this work, in the early 90’s, my Dancing for Yourself class was born.  It is an introductory class in the principles of what I named the Inner-Awareness Movement ( I-AM) Technique.  I am happy to bring this class with me to my work in Portland, OR in order to continue this ever unfolding movement journey.
Every BODY, has its own unique dance that changes in every moment.
Every individual has the capacity to gain self-knowledge through movement expression.
he dance that comes before all others is the dance for Yourself!

Historical Influences and The Human Desire To Dance

Humans are uniquely designed to blend thought, emotion and movement to create spontaneous dance expression.  They have done this throughout time.  This kind of expression can be very rewarding, evoking everything from feelings of passionate physical expression and sensations of soaring, to spiritual connection, and the calming, nurturing feelings that come with sinking into the rhythms of your heart and breath.

In this society, most of us have come to expect that fulfilling dance expression is only reserved for traditionally trained dancers, but more and more, people are discovering that it is possible to harness our innate impulses, thoughts and emotions to fully express ourselves through improvised movement. In western culture much dance/movement/psychological history has converged over the last century to bring us to this current time where our creativity, bodies and social norms are freed enough to allow dance gatherings of expressive movement.  What follows is a general synopsis of some of the primary forms that have served as foundational influences on the current free-form dance cultures.  While it is grossly over simplified, and deserves an entire book, I felt it was important to acknowledge the heritage of this form.

Early in the last century, modern dance pioneers were freeing dance movements from the ballet form and re-structuring their approaches to allow the natural shapes, movement tendencies, and the weight of the body to inform their dances.  Dance therapy also emerged from this atmosphere and merged with pioneering psychological thought. Over the next decades dance therapy established movement as an effective mode of accessing the psyche. The middle of the century also found somatic approaches to physical therapies beginning to develop, dovetailing with awareness approaches emerging from the Human Potential Movement.

The 60’s also saw the re-appropriation of freer kinds of dance expression in popular music cultures which continues to this day, perhaps most notably in the “Deadhead”/”Phishhead” & “Rave” subcultures. In the 70’s improvisational dance as an art form sprang up in some of the post-modern dance and performance art cultures.  Additionally the comingling of somatics, bodywork, psychology & experimental dance gave rise to the further development of movement analysis and ideokinetic techniques (use of imagery to affect subtle bodily shifts in body alignment and use of energy dynamics in movement).  In short, people were working with the inner experience of bodily movement and how to therapeutically utilize these observations.    Related to this was the further rise in the 80’s of experiential & body-centered psychotherapies.

Finally in the 80’s and 90’s many individuals created methods of structuring free-form movement so that “non-dancers” could access the benefits of dance.  For many, myself included, these were forms that for decades had been quietly developing in smaller circles, through the previously mentioned confluence of influences as well as untold others.  These methods seemingly spontaneously erupted out of the desire to know ourselves more deeply through dance, and the need to free our movement expression from classical dance training.  This yielded freeing forms of dance expression accessible to trained and untrained dancers alike.  Some of the common terms of reference for these more recent methods are “Ecstatic Dance”, “Contemplative Dance”, “Mindful Movement” & “Movement Meditation”, many new forms borrow directly or indirectly from older forms such as, “Authentic Movement”, “Creative Dance for Children”, “Continuum”, other dance cultures of the world, forms of mindfulness meditation, and spiritually based guided mediations to name just a few.  What is common to us all is the desire to express and know our spirits through movement, it is the first and oldest language, and the invention around its use will never cease.
Dance logo
—Dance from the inside out!

Dancing the Chakras

 This free-form movement workshop is designed to help you study your experience of the 7 primary energy centers of the physical & energetic body identified in ancient spiritual teachings. The Chakra-system offers a wonderful framework for focusing our attention on the union of body, mind & spirit.  Using movement accompanied by music to explore this connection further helps us attend to and adjust how our energy is flowing through these centers for re-balancing and personal growth. 

The workshop offers guidance & imagery to help you discover the movements that your chakras inspire. This class can be used by any level of mover to take a solo movement journey through their chakras. No previous experience or knowledge is necessary.  Attention is placed on creating safety for your dance through setting clear boundaries at the beginning—a sharing circle at the end completes the journey. (The workshop will have periods of quiet time for journaling and reflection.)
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Self-Awareness Counseling  •  7409 SW Capitol Hwy, Suite 207  •  Portland, Oregon 97219  •  (503) 729-9662

Serving The Greater Portland Area, Tigard, Beaverton & Lake Oswego, including the following Neighborhoods:
Arnold Creek, Ashcreek, Bridlemile, Corbett / Lair Hill, Collins View, Crestview, Far Southwest, Forest Highland, Goose Hollow, Hayhurst, Healy Heights, Hillsdale, Homestead, Maplewood, Markham, Marshall Park, Metzger, Multnomah, Raleigh Hills, South Burlingame, Southwest Hills, West Portland Park.

© Deborah Orandon, Self Awareness Counseling, Portland, Oregon ( Multnomah Village )
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