Full Force does corporate wellness!

Did you know we hold workshops for organizations?

That’s right!

We have experience catering wellness workshops for various organizations. So whether you work at a start-up, corporation or belong to a group, pass us along to your HR Director and Office Manager so we can run a class!

HR Directors & Office Managers:
Hi! We are running a special promotion to hold our Self-Renewal Class for your organization. This class promises to:

  • Guide individuals through various activities to bring about instant clarity and renewal of the mind, body and emotions
  • Allows space for self-fulfillment and discovery whilst creating a supportive bond among group members
  • Gives participants short, easy renewal exercises they can take away and do on their own, anytime and anywhere
  • And many more benefits that are too long to list!

How much is the class do you ask?
Only $97!

This promotion expires on May 1st.
After then the price goes up.
Click below to take a look at our other corporate offerings:
www.FullForceRepertory.com/corporate-classes

Seriously, take advantage of this special now!
After May 1st, it is gone!

E-mail us today for more info:
Corporate@FullForceRepertory.com

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Everything Comes to an End.

Dear Loyal Supporters, thank you.

Thank you for the past 6 ½ years of your prayers, well wishes and support. Thank you for watching our performances, whether we were Off-Broadway, on television, live streaming or simply presenting at an open mic. Thank you for taking our classes and workshops. Thank you for dancing with us in the streets of New York City during our Get Up & Move (Flocking) series. Thank you. We are so grateful. But as most things in life, they come to an end.

Full Force Dance Repertory, after 6 ½ years is coming to a close, as a dance company. Starting in January 2017 we will be re-launching as a new organization! Our new mission…

DUALISM: Holistic Wellness + Dance Performance

Our programming will be more dynamic and our resources more modern to fully embody this mission. Not only will we showcase high quality dance performances, but we will help you to become your best self through our highly developed and thoroughly tested classes. Our workshops will incorporate more holistic modalities and we will be offering specialized courses for organizations, corporations and groups. Starting in January 2017 Full is changing as you know it! Come and see what the new Full Force is all about…

Full Force, don’t just take a class. Take your class.

 

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Your Life at a Glimpse…Fashion Week

Full Disclosure: The following post is coming from the mind of a dance movement therapist (me). Don’t know what this means? Read it. You will get the point(e)….YASSSSSS!

 

I love fall fashion week. Not because of the reason you think — it has nothing to do with the fashion or the trends that are happening or what the designer is showcasing (although those are definitely reasons for loving fashion week!), but I love the energy a model gives off while wearing the designer’s clothes.

Depending on the theme, fabric, or designer’s ideas, a model’s ability to bring about some type of positive feeling in the audience can and will ultimately cause them to buy the designer’s clothing. Walking the runway and posing for a picture focus on two different types of movement qualities that appear to be key for models (get ready for my dance therapy lingo), creating and carving into a shape (or posing) and walking the runway.

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Models present a creation by the Duaba Serwa fashion house during African Fashion Week at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. Picture: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE (27.10.2012)

Based on a movement repertoire (movement style), a model can truly bring clothes to life in ways that not many can imagine.

A model’s walk and pose on the runway, of course, affects a person’s decision of whether they like the designer’s clothing because of their taste, but there is also a deeper emotional level at play. Sometimes a model’s walk can bring up unconscious feelings, memories, or experiences we’ve had that can impact our decision in saying “yay” or “nay” to the designer’s work.

For example, if you see a model that walks with a pressing action (very strong, direct and indulging) while in delicate, light fabrics, the model’s walk may turn you off from the clothes completely. Maybe because the movement style does not match the designer’s clothing (which in some cases could be the artistic vision of the designer. But the question

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Model walking the runway during Betsy Johnson’s runway show in 2013.

is why would this mismatch be unattractive for you? Could it be that the model’s walk reminds you of someone that you admire, while the clothes remind you of someone you despise? Could seeing this combination on one person be confusing or unappealing? Could it be that you find yourself to be a grounded person that embraces the model’s walk, but does not see themselves as being delicate and light for whatever the reason may be. Is it scary to be delicate in your fashion sense and strong and grounded in your movement? Would you give off the wrong message? Or does it just not go with the trends of society?

Ultimately a model’s walk can be unattractive or attractive based off your past experiences of whom the walk reminds you of (maybe your mother, brother, true friend, fake friend, or a persona that you never saw yourself as-strong, confident, etc). Without recognizing it, these internal feelings you’ve felt from the model can then in turn be projected onto the designer. THIS is why it is important to have models that are able to hone in on the designer’s vision and WERK run with it. Watching such models capture the designer’s vision is truly remarkable and beautiful.

Thinking about the models then like Linda Evangelista, Karlie Kloss, and Naomi Campbell, and how their distinctive walks used very specific movement qualities (dab, float, glide) that were always interchangeable with different body parts (arms, legs, hips) captured the audience and increased revenue for designers.

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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Model Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

I wonder what the runway models now, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Selena Forrest will embody for the designers and the audience. Will it be complimentary of one another? Of course the audience’s unconscious (and maybe conscious) feelings of a model on the runway this week, particularly someone like Kendall Jenner will bring up feelings for some audience members that are repulsive or gracious which could mostly be a projection of how they feel about the Kardashian’s. This can then affect the decision of the audience loving or hating the clothing of the designer. But, can someone like Kendall Jenner use her movement style to persuade the audience to only look at her modeling within the designer’s vision? Can she provide an opportunity for the audience to decide for themselves whether they like or dislike the fashion or is the Kardashian/Jenner name and reputation too strong for the audience to disconnect from? Will it ultimately influence the audience to say “yay” or “nay” to the designer?

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Kendall Jenner

Overall the important part of all this is that as the audience, whether you are at an actual runway show (I’m jealous!) or are watching the shows after fashion week on YouTube, there is more than one reason why we are influenced by fashion. If we are aware of our biases and why they are so present for us, we may be able to be more open to exploring different designers’ styles, based on the models presentation, whom we originally would have said “nay” (for me its Tommy Hilfiger).
😉

-Lefty

 

*Words italicized = Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) terms

 

 

 

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Is Energy Medicine Christian?

This is a question I get at least once from a professed Christian at every health fair I am at giving my services to the public. It also takes the form of “Do you do this in the name of Jesus”?

My response: Are the pills and prescriptions you take for ailments and disorders in the name of Jesus?
Is that cell phone you use to take calls, text and go on the internet Christian?

Their response:
(Silence)

As someone who grew up in a Christian household engulfed in the Black Baptist church experience, I find the questions about the healing work of energy medicine being Christian interesting.

If you look at the work of Jesus Christ in the Bible, what is he known for?
His teachings and his healing.
So, if someone were to say to you that energy medicine is a form of natural healing, why do you need to question the validity of it being Christian? But, I get it. The work I do looks weird to uneducated eyes. Just seeing someone sitting in a chair, while another person stands over them and waves their hands around looks strange. So sometimes Christians folks that don’t understand what is happening just stand from afar and look.

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Directors of Full Force, Anginese Phillips & Kadeem Alston-Roman engaging with a member of the Brooklyn community at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

I usually walk up to these people to engage in conversation about what they are seeing and give them information on how they too can experience it. Most usually agree to then have a session. (There have been times when I begin to walk up to someone and they literally run away scared. I even had one lady run away while putting up her two index fingers in a cross position pointing it towards me.) For those that don’t agree to have a session, they just continue to stand there and watch. However, these onlookers are in actuality experiencing it too. Since this work deals with healing the energy that connects us all together, by standing and “onlooking” their body is healing on a micro level.

 

Now you may ask, why are you picking on the Christians? What about other religions? Well, never once have I gotten:
Is energy medicine Jewish?
Is it Muslim?
Is it Hindu?
Is it Buddhist?
You get the idea.
For whatever reason only the Christians seem to feel uncomfortable by this work.

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Depiction of Jesus Christ Healing the Woman with an Issue of Blood. (Luke 8:43-48)

One time I had an engaging conversation with a woman at a health fair about energy medicine and Christianity. She happened to be on #TeamOnlookers so, I walked up to her and explained what she was observing the other healing practitioners doing behind me.

She responded, “Oh, this doesn’t seem Christian” and proceeded to walk away.  I followed her and said, “Let me ask you a question. What does Jesus mean to you”?

“Oh, He is my everything – beginning and the end.”

“Great! And what was he known for in the Bible.”

“So many things”, she replied. “He was a savior, he was a teacher, a man of God, and he healed many people.”

“Right! He healed. He was a healer. So, if I tell you that the group of people behind me are healing why don’t you believe we are doing the work of Christ?”

“Well, that was Jesus though. He himself was the one that healed people.”

“Right, but in John 14 it states that we will do ‘even greater things than these’”, I replied. “So, if Jesus is saying that we will do even greater things than Him, why can’t you believe that this one of those things? I know there didn’t seem to be a system to the way that Jesus healed, but what if there was? What if we are able to tap into that same Spirit? I think we forget that Jesus was just a human being like you and me, but it was His Christ nature, that Spirit that dwelled within Him that allowed Him to do great things. That same Christ that was with Him lives in us and allows us to do even greater things. We just have to believe and trust in It. So, if we are called to live as true Christians, ‘Christ’-ians, and be more like Him, then shouldn’t we at least on a first level be able to heal as Him?”

Now, let me tell you, I had no idea I could talk so much. But this all just sprang forth out of me. The lady at first didn’t say anything. She just shook her head agreement and looked down as if she was processing everything I just said. Then she said, “Yeah. That makes sense. Thank you.”
Then she just walked away. She didn’t have a session that day, but it gave her more context on the background of the healing work that she happened to see on that day.

 

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Co-Director of Full Force, Kadeem Alston-Roman Doing Energy Medicine During a Workshop.

So to answer the question, is energy medicine Christian?
Yes.

Is it only Christian?
No.

It is like asking: Do people take trains?
Yes.

Do people only take trains?
No.

We know that there are other modes of transportation that people use to get around such as walking, driving, riding the bus, taking a plane and many other ways.

Similarly to energy medicine, people within the Bible have used energy to heal but many other cultures and religions have also used energy to heal – they have their own forms of energy medicine to bring about a positive change within the lives of those that use it.

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Depiction of Jesus Healing a Blind Man. (Mark 8:22-26)

Although it may not be called energy medicine, the modern church does use energy to heal from prophetic healing to the “laying on of hands”.
…And yes, even prayer. Prayer is a form of energy healing. By praying you are changing the energy of something, someone, or a situation so it is filled with more Light, Love, Peace, Joy and ultimately filled with the energy of God. This is what energy medicine is in a nutshell – using natural abilities to bring Light and positive change within a person or circumstance. In most energy medicine systems nothing is ingested, injected or topically used to bring about the healing. It just happens, seemingly like magic. But then again all m.a.g.i.c. is, is Making Available Great Insights Consciously. And that’s what energy medicine does, it brings the greatness within us to consciousness.

The specific modality of energy medicine I practice called Pranic Healing, is a highly evolved and tested system of energy medicine developed by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body’s energy processes. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health.* In short, it is like shining the bright sun on a very dark cloud, so the cloud can become vibrant again.

This work has been a blessing to many in my life, including my own, as I have been able to use it in a variety of situations from headaches to colds to depression and even cancer. Since using energy medicine I’ve never since been at the mercy of waiting on a medical doctor to help me. When I’m sick, I just work on myself by tapping into the Christ nature within.

-King

 

*www.PranicHealing.com

**Please understand that my use of “Christians” is used very loosely in the article. There are many Christians whom are genuinely curious about the work of energy medicine and are open to it, even to the point of practicing it themselves. However, all of the negative views I’ve experienced in doing energy medicine have come from those who consider themselves Christian.

Click here to check out The Noble Touch. This is the organization I volunteer with in regards to the health fairs mentioned in this post.

 

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My Recovery

My name is Jennie and I’m 31 years old. Dance has always been a way I expressed myself. My dream was to be a pop star — just to dance all my problems away on stage and that everyone who saw me would love me.

As a child I was always happy and carefree but due to a rough upbringing the bright light I had within began to dim. By my late 20’s I found myself in a dark depression. Not wanting my family and others around me to see what I was going through I pretended to be happy even though I wasn’t. Vulnerability felt like weakness to me and I couldn’t allow anyone to view me as a weak individual. Religion came through many facets in my up bringing. My mother was Christian and my father’s side of the family was Catholic, so I had no core belief.  It was all mixed up to me. The very little faith that I did have diminished during this time and I felt like all hope was lost. I even stopped dancing. I was convinced that where I was at the time would be where I’d live forever. That was until dance was reintroduced into my life again through Full Force Dance Repertory.

I remember when Anginese and Kadeem (directors of Full Force) told me they were starting a dance company back in 2010 I was so excited for them. I sat in one of their first rehearsals with the dancers wishing I could get up there and dance too. It was fascinating to watch how they told stories with their bodies and the emotions that this movement had tapped inside of me.

Motherless Child was the first dance I saw performed by Full Force. And I lie to you not that I felt like the dance grabbed my heart and held it to my face to show me just how deep I’d fallen into my depression. It was like they were mirroring the pain I was feeling right back at me.

Kadeem-Anginese

Kadeem & Anginese in Motherless Chil’

A few years later Anginese and Kadeem asked me to be a part of their trial series for Movement Conversation Groups (a series of holistic workshops that combine elements of dance therapy and energy medicine). I was so honored that they chose me. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what it would be like or if I would benefit from it at all. It wasn’t because of them that I felt this way, it was because of who I was at the time. I wasn’t sure if I could free myself enough to reap the benefits from the sessions. However, I went along with it.

My first session set the pace for what all the other sessions would be. I felt safe and not like I was being judged. But even with the comfort of the class, breaking through the wall I had built up was still very hard. I’ve always been a person to help whomever I can, whenever I can — even in moments where I was being inconvenienced. I would always set aside everything I was doing to help others and it felt as if I was being taken advantaged of.

One of the most moving sessions for me was when I found my voice and I learned to say no. I remember Anginese did a role play exercise with me in which she got right up in front of my face taunting me the way I felt other people did. She did that until I had enough of it. I got mad enough to yell out “NO!” That was a huge stepping-stone in my life. I didn’t know it then but looking back at it now, that was the first crack in the wall I had up.

In those six sessions I learned that I had a voice and that my opinion was just as important as anyone else. I learned that my past was just that, in my past. Even though I was a product of it, I realized that I could overcome it and be whoever I wanted to be. Most importantly it connected me back to the Lord. I realized that I was in the darkness because I was running away from His Light.

As we came to the final session, Anginese and Kadeem asked me if I would like to choreograph and perform a piece based off my experience and journey with the class. I didn’t hesitate and said, “YES!” immediately. But then that excitement turned into such an overwhelming feeling of fear. I’d never choreographed anything before but Kadeem made it a safe place for me to be myself and to choreograph freely.

I remember when Kadeem and I started to choreograph he asked what did I want the piece to be about. I told him I wanted to make people cry. I’m most certain at this point it was for selfish reasons, but later that all changed as the piece made me cry.

I’d changed significantly on the inside and I wanted to share that journey with the audience that would be coming to see Full Force’s show in August of that year. I chose the song Recovery by James Arthur. He’s an artist from the UK and from my knowledge he wasn’t well known in the US. That was important to me. I didn’t want it to be a song that everyone knew because I wanted them to really listen to what he said. The song spoke of strife and breaking free from it. The grit of his voice stirred up many different emotions inside of me that I wanted everyone else to feel it as well.

On the day of the show it all hit me, the dream I’ve had for so long was about to become a reality. Nervous is an understatement of how I was feeling. We had rehearsed the whole show twice before this moment, so I knew exactly when I was going to the stage. As the time drew closer for my performance, the more I felt like my heart was in my throat.

The music started.

I walked out into the spotlight.

And I knew this was where I had always belonged.

There was a shift in the purpose of my dance from then on. It wasn’t to express myself anymore. It became to touch someone in the audience. I wanted to free someone from any chains that held them down. I gave it my all and it was received very well. After the show many people told me just how touched they were by the piece and how brave I was. One lady approached me and she was crying. She hugged me so tight. I could feel that she had received the message I was hoping to bring forth. It was in that moment that I realized that I had accomplished what I set out to do.

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Jennie in her piece Recovery.

Today I am still dancing, but now I dance for the Lord. In August of 2015 I was called back into the loving arms of God and I’m now a worship leader and praise dancer. It brings me great joy that He entrusted me to use my gifts to minister to His people. I’m a much more confident today and I’m full of His peace and joy. The wall that I built up no longer exists and I’m not ashamed of my vulnerability anymore. It used to make me feel weak but today it makes me feel brave and courageous. It’s a huge sign that there is now light and life inside of a place that was at one point full of cold darkness. And I am elated by that! I am truly grateful to Kadeem and Anginese. If it wasn’t for my experience with them I don’t know if I would have wound up where I am today with the confidence that I have.

Movement Conversation Groups was the match that sparked the flame in me and God carried me the rest of the way. My message to anyone with a dream that they keep hidden is to be brave and follow that dream because you never know where it might take you. It might just save your life the way my dream saved mine.

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Jennie, Anginese & Kadeem in Times Square, New York City.

Dance Therapy…Hunh?

I don’t know what to say…
I am a dance therapist and I truly love this title. It took me several years to claim this role and recognize the value of what I do.
Firstly, no one, I mean NO ONE, knows what a dance therapist is. Most people that I have told I am a dance therapist defines this job role as literally the title: I’m a dancer that is also a therapist. Since dance is a physical thing most people assume that dance therapy is teaching someone dance while giving them physical therapy, but this is not what I do. I am a clinician that uses dance as an outlet to explore psychosis. So basically I use dance to learn and support others in understanding the choices they make and how these choices have affected them as well as their relationships.
At first I didn’t really understand the difference between dance therapy and dance. I mean dance itself supports others in having a voice and exploring what that voice is trying to say. Sometimes words are never enough, as it doesn’t always convey what you really want to say. But dance, dance is special in that there is so much to be understood in the way we move.
If you think of the first dance you have ever seen and how it made you feel, whether you loved t, it inspired you, or made you hate dance altogether, it created some kind of visceral feeling that you could not truly put into words, no matter how much you tried. That is the power of dance.
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Anginese Phillips in movement at Harlem Summer Stage.

Dance therapy, however tends to go a little further than just allowing you have those feelings, in that it allows for you to process those feelings and explore where they derive from. There is a reason why seeing a dance made you feel a certain way as well as moving and dancing made you feel a certain way. Dance therapists are able to guide you to those feelings based on the movement and dance created or seen and explore what experience it brings up for you.
Most experiences are body based…What does that mean? Well, it is like muscle memory.
Your body can remember how to ride a bike physically. But your body also remembers how it feels to ride the bike and based off those feelings and experiences whether you would decide ever ride a bike again. So if you can imagine all of the experiences you’ve had in your lifetime, all held in this one vessel, the vessel not only contains those memories but your feelings connected to it. These memories and experiences are what made you who you are without you even really recognizing it. Because of this, you as well as your body react to certain things or resist certain things based on what you’ve learned from your past experiences. This is where dance therapy comes in. A dance therapist can support you in exploring what you may have resistance with based on your movement style and why these resistances have affected your present choices and relationships. Of course dance therapy isn’t for everyone, but it provides a different form of insight that encompasses the entirety of someone’s experiences, verbal and nonverbal. Movement has always been our first language after all. Otherwise how would we understand a baby’s needs besides the fact of the baby crying. We are all beings that first expressed ourselves through movement before verbal language and because of this our bodies tend to communicate more than our mouths do. We just have to take the time to listen.
-Lefty