(While I am taking a hiatus from offering Dance Our Way Home classes, workshops, retreats and trainings (The DOWH Facilitator Certification and RADICAL RADIANCE), I share this page with deep gratitude in my heart for all the gifts this practice has given me - including my own growth and the sweet friendships that have bloomed from it.)
Dance Our Way Home™ (DOWH) is an award-winning women’s ecstatic dance practice – a magical brew of dance, relaxation and guided imagery, with divine feminine spirituality and mythology and Earth-based principles, ideas and teachings, supported by a diverse range of music including sacred voices, global funk, ambient and tribal grooves. (Plus other evocative and creative modalities and explorations.)
DOWH brings women together in a sacred space to embrace and celebrate our wild and sacred nature, to be free from restraints, to be enamoured by our own breath and dance, and to fall head over heels in love with ourselves and with everything and everyone, and to give ourselves more fully and radiantly to the world.
Created originally as a body-image group for healing and celebration of the female soul, DOWH is a complete experience that touches body, heart, mind and soul, where every woman is free to move at her own pace, in her own way. I believe that women don’t need to be pushed or challenged - only given love, appreciation, encouragement, acceptance and the chance to express themselves.
And, whoever you are, know this…
You/we are magnificent, important and worthy of respect, care and safe-keeping.
History of Dance Our Way Home™
DOWH was co-created in 2001 with Nan Keyser for Sheena’s Place, a support organization for people with disordered eating and body image issues in Toronto, Canada. For ten years it remained a core ‘body image’ group at Sheena’s.
Over the years I continued to hone and deepen the DOWH practice, becoming my soul work. I infused the practice with my personal relationship to life, and love for and relationship with, the Divine Feminine and Earth-based spirituality, along with the wisdom teachings of Buddhism and Shamanism, and life-affirming ideas, writings, concepts and teachings.
In the fall of 2007, I opened DOWH to the community-at-large, offering it to women wishing to dance and be more deeply connected to herself and others. DOWH continued to blossom offering women a remarkable journey of self-discovery, expression and connection, touching body, heart, mind and soul.
In 2009, DOWH attracted new women into its fold, as Twyla Kowalenko and Mari Rossi became our first apprentices and new DOWH facilitators – allowing for the creation of the very first DOWH Facilitator Certification Training held in the fall of 2010.
In 2010, Twyla Kowalenko initiated the Community Outreach Programme and took on the role of its director. With this new focus on communities of women who would not normally be able to access a practice such as Dance Our Way Home™, in 2011, the organization took up a new residence at the Centre for Social Innovation and welcomed its first Intern, Robin Linton.
From 2011 to 2016 Erica continued to offer her DOWH Certification Training. Through the birth of new facilitators, DOWH has been shared in communities across Canada, the United States, Peru and India.
In 2013, Erica created RADICAL RADIANCE, a stand-alone training for women READY to embody their brightest self and share their gifts and contributions to the world, rooted in the love and power of sisterhood. It became a pre-requisite for the DOWH Facilitator Certification Training; for women ready to step into being a RADICAL LEADER and mentor, to inspire other women to SHINE.
"I was struck and moved by the POWER in the room, especially when we moved into the group portion of the dance. I think most of us as women feel fairly small in one way or another as we move through our lives in a world where we’re barely recognized; we restrict and constrict our Selves. (But together, as a group,) there was nothing that could have entered that space that we couldn’t have dealt with. We were (are) a force to be reckoned with and we keep each other safe." -- Tabitha Kot, Certified Yoga Teacher/Level II Reiki Practitioner, Toronto
"... It is Erica’s loving care for the gentle and deep nurturing of women, our often fraught and splintered self-images and connections in an ever-changing world, in a safe and welcoming space that drew me to her Dance Our Way Home practice. In this practice I have found compassion and a celebration of us, as we are, as well as support for who we would like to become, the realization of our dreams." -- Brenda Clews, Poet, Painter, and Video poet, Toronto www.brendaclews.com
"I was looking for a space to deeply nourish the roots and wings of my divine feminine mind|body|soul|heart and to strengthen my ability to create and hold healing spaces that foster individual and collective healing. I definitely found it! DOWH offered me a framework to more powerfully engage and reconnect to the innately sacred and divine feminine parts of my being." -- Elisa Carlass Hatton, Wellness Coach, Toronto www.turtletoesyoga.blogspot.ca