Monday, November 2, 2015

Why I Dance, by Nina Smith

Why I Dance, by Nina Smith Nearly 14 years ago my life took an unexpected turn, and I was devastated into a depression that had me contemplating leaving this life. A kind friend saw me one day and offered me a small piece of paper with an address on it, he said ..." go here, you need this"... and so I did. The address was to a huge warehouse in Venice, California (I was living in L.A. then). It was a Sunday morning, and I had no idea what was going on in there. The music was pulsing and there were around 100 people dancing freely. My mind said crazy things, yet my body yearned to dive in, as if drinking from a deep well after a long thirst. I followed my body. It was the "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" dance tribe (Jo Cobbett). Little did I know that my whole life was about to change, forever. And that I was creating a new pathway that would eventually bring me to Arizona, and that I would be holding sacred space for YOU here at Phoenix Sunday Dance. I began to show up and move every Sunday morning (11:15 am - 2pm) for a few years. I never spoke with anyone, I didn't socialize there. I just showed up danced and let my mind rest while my body opened more and more. The depression slowly dissolved. During that time I heard about Gabrielle Roth, that she was coming to California, to the Esalen Institute for a week long intensive in the 5Rhythms. I love Big Sur, and had begun going there regularly to work with Dr Hank Wesselman, in the area of Shamanism ( I attended my first (of many) workshops with Gabriele Roth, in the dance dome at the Esalen Institute. Life illuminated. I began to discover my inner terrain in a way that only conscious movement can deliver. There is so much more to this story. I share these few bits here in order that some might comprehend my devotion to this practice, and to the fearless facilitators who share this sacred work throughout the world. In a few short weeks Amara Pagano will be here in Phoenix, offering her heart and her work "Living Fully Loving Deeply" ( and I will BE!

--This story is part of the growing "Share Your Story" virtual altar at Arizona Conscious Dance highlighting reflections and art how conscious dance touches lives. We invite you to share your story or other artwork with the community by emailing it to 

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful, Nina. Thank you for your sharing. Love.