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April 26, 2010

SoulSweat. ~ Hannah Kinderlehrer

SoulSweat is a form of dance created by Chantal Pierrat that opens the door for ecstatic movement and unbridled soul expression. It is a dance experience that enhances coordination, tones your body, increases the dynamic flow of energy, and awakens the creative spirit. The soundtrack includes world groove, electronica, Latin, African, jazz, pop, big band, Bollywood, yoga chants and more. Chantal teaches her classes in such a way as to liberate, inspire, encourage, and work the dancers to the bone. She is unbelievable—Chantal has trained many gifted teachers who continue to inspire with power, joy and their own funky flavor.

I began taking SoulSweat classes on the recommendation of a friend who described it as “Nia on crack.” “Perfect!,” I thought. My first class blew me away. My second brought me to tears. It felt as if years of longing for complete joy in my body, emotive and creative expression, and heart-pumping movement had all collided into a dance class. I was hooked. Class quickly became the highlight of my week and a survival tool for mothering a firecracker of a son. I invited all my friends, many of whom are now regular die-hard fans like me. In this way, my dance community was born. We came together, met experienced dancers, welcomed new ones, and sweated our butts off weekly in a non-competitive, warm and relaxed atmosphere.

A year into taking a few weekly classes with different teachers, I took the leap and completed the teacher training. It was an extremely enjoyable, inspiring, and educational time. I discovered, through learning to choreograph my own SoulSweat routines and by teaching my own classes, that the unbelievable experience of creating an inspiring, uplifting, energized, and fun space was very much a possibility.

As a teacher, my goal is to allow dancers to express themselves, emote, have a blast, and ultimately let go. Most of all I want them to enjoy the experience of being in their bodies, exactly as they are. I can’t believe this is my job! I am learning to become a leader, choreographer and better dancer. I am learning to put myself aside in order to offer everything to the dancers. The more I let my personal agenda go, the better the experience is for the whole class. My toddler has trained me well. It isn’t about me. It’s about creating a space to share dance. And it’s very, very much about having fun.

Hannah Kinderlehrer has been dancing and choreographing her whole life. She is trained in African, modern, contact improvisation and jazz. When not teaching she is mothering, studying the dharma, meditating, choreographing, soon to be gardening and playing in community. She teaches Mondays from 12-1 (kids welcome!) and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 at Alchemy of Movement, and Wednesdays from 9:15-10:15 at Colorado Atheltic Club. For more information, email her at [email protected].

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