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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Energy Fusion Dance Series Offered in Millbrook

Oct 02, 2019 11:50AM ● By Marilee Burrell

Gigi Oppenheimer and Anna Mayta

Anna Mayta of Mayta Fusion Dance will join Gigi Oppenheimer, owner of White Lotus Grace, in Millbrook, to co-teach an energy fusion dance class on Fridays from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., October 11 through November 15. “This fun and uplifting class unites a gentle, comforting energy healing dance warm-up with a lively blend of flamenco, African dance and other movement flavors for total body, mind and soul fitness. All kinds of movers are welcome,” Oppenheimer says.

The two women have danced, choreographed and collaborated together for years, and over the summer they met once a week in Oppenheimer’s studio, just to dance together for fun. That was the genesis of the idea for an energy fusion dance class.

“Our styles are very different but have a wonderful way of coming together,” Oppenheimer says. “I’d lead her through my healing dance to warm up, and then she’d teach me her fun, fast fusion. The combination of our individual class and dance styles back to back was so relaxing, invigorating, joyful and amazing for both of us that we simply couldn’t help but be inspired to open it up to share with others.”

An intuitive healer, dancer and coach, Oppenheimer considers dance a path to healing, and her Millbrook practice not just a dance studio, but also a sacred space where others can find healing through dance, just as she did.

“I was introduced to dance at the age of 3 as a means of healing my excessively painful shyness,” she explains. “It was not only an effective cure, but it became an elixir of joy, an ambrosia of life. My first sense of dance as emotional therapy came in the turbulence of my early teenage years. The studio became the safe haven of my soul, where I could pour every feeling into every movement and moment.”

When Oppenheimer was 16, she found another sacred shelter: “It was the grace of Bhakti—love and devotion to God.” She adopted a monastic way of life in a Vaishnava temple at the age of 17. She spent seven years there, studying the ancient wisdom of the Vedas, chanting sacred mantras and dedicating herself in service to divinity.

“In the decades since, my roots of dance and devotion have continued to be watered by a variety of life experiences and nourishing sources,” she says.

A choreographer and dance and yoga teacher in the upstate New York Hudson Valley area, Mayta began learning and integrating various movement traditions through her work and travels in India, Africa and England, as well as greater Boston. She’s developed two programs: teaching the Spanish language through movement; and fusion dance, which incorporates African, classical Indian, flamenco, modern and Latin dance styles.                       Her choreography credits include a dance with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe; a solo, “Veiled” (a metaphor for the plight of women in Afghanistan); and a trio with the D’amby project, a dance company based in Red Hook.

Location: White Lotus Grace, Millbrook, NY. Cost: ​$180 for the six-week course. For more info, call 845.677.3517 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST, or visit WHITE LOTUS GRACE - Millbrook, NY.