DeMuth's dance classes
offer fun, exertion without the pressure
By Linda Weltner
Swampscott Reporter > Arts &
Lifestyle (Thursday, December 15, 2005
of a certain age often hesitate to join a dance class, says
Nancy DeMuth, a woman of a certain age herself. The internal
pressure to keep up with a class can inhibit participation, as can
a pace thats a little too fast or a degree of difficulty thats
geared toward younger women.
She continues, Its hard to find a dance class thats
safe and fun and a workout at the same time. This isnt a class
where you put your foot here or you put your arm there. My aim is
for participants to leave having exerted themselves, yet filled with
a sense of well-being, centeredness and calm.
DeMuth leads her students in a dance experience based upon Kripalu
DansKinetics®, an expressive movement approach co-founded
by Daniel Leven at Kripalu, a yoga retreat in Western Massachusetts.
By combining Kripalu DansKinetics® with its emphasis
upon the awareness of body sensation and her own training in
jazz, modern, Latin, and African dance, DeMuth has created a program
that rises from the heart and creates a connection between the dancers.
I was looking for something in the movement world that allowed
my heart and soul to feel alive, that helped me feel connected to
myself and other people. Structured dance classes were fun but didnt
satisfy my spirit. This kind of dancing is for everyone because it
involves expressing how you feel, not worrying about how you look,
I pay a lot of attention to the physical limitations of the
participants, adds Nancy, who practices physical therapy in
town. She has students with leg braces, rotator-cuff injuries, back
and knee problems, and arthritis.
DeMuths classes combine practices from yoga, tai chi and modern
and creative dance. In her classes students, begin by stretching and
engaging in slow movements. Following DeMuths lead and taking
the lead themselves, the pace and fervor builds to music with an international
flavor, including African and Latin rhythms, sometimes using such
props as scarves and tambourines.
it kitchen dancing or no-shame dancing, because
its not about being good enough. You cant be bad. Youre
just working on the balance between your personal spirit and moving
with the group, says Maren Falck, a participant.
Adds fellow participant Jan Norcross, Id never done a
dance class in my life, but the spirit that exists there is very freeing.
Its very personal and its a lot of fun.
Are there any prerequisites for her class?
All thats required is that you love to move, she