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 Joys of Dance - Julia's Biodanza website

Becoming a Co-DIrector of the Dorset School of Biodanza

September 01, 2019

After teaching as a Didactic alongside Niraj , Mike Skilbeck, for 3 years, it seemed time to become a Co-Director with him. I had run & taught solo weekends many times over the passed 4 years and feel confident about what it takes to run a Biodanza School.

I am thrilled to be able to launch the 5th Cycle of Biodanza in March 2020. This training is as essential for self-development . The first 2 years are an immersion into Biodanza and the final year for those who want to learn how to teach sessions ( 'vivencias').

For more information email: biodanzawiththedorsetschool@gmail.com

Julia's Dancing background

January 19, 2017

Julia Hope Brightwell has always loved dancing, from the days as a teenager at discos through to the present day as a Didactic teacher. Her background spans exploration through Ceroc (Modern Jive), expressive dance, 5 Rhythms, Movement Medicine and then Biodanza.

"I love the way I can bring all of me to the dance", explains Julia. "I adore music and have especially loved the Biodanza music, (that is approved by a panel at the International Biocentric Foundation (IBF)). The music is varied and matches the dances and exercises perfectly to maximize the experience."

"For me Biodanza has transformed my life, it has freed me from self-limiting conditioning and made me more confident to just be myself - vulnerable, sensitive, expressive and with a rediscovered humour and lighness of being".

Julia's experience of Biodanza

January 19, 2017

Julia (or Jewell as she is known), first found Biodanza in 2007 as part of a festival and was instantly taken by all that it offered. In 2008 to 2011, Julia embarked on the three year professional training to become a Biodanza Teacher at the Dorset School of Biodanza with Mike Skilbeck (aka Niraj).

Julia explains: "I have never experienced such a transformative method of self actualisation" - the realization or fulfilment of one's talents and potentialities, (a term coined by Abraham Maslow, a Humanistic Psychologist).


"Biodanza works with all human experience - vitality, creativity, sexuality, affectivity and transcendence. With dances that mix individual expression, pair work, small group and whole group dances - this mix of dance experience echoes all of our life. Through these dances we can become not only self-aware, but increase our physical intelligence......listening to our bodies impulses. It was only after doing Biodanza for a year I noticed that I didn't drink enough water, often sat for longer than my body liked and ate foods that made me lethargic.".

Becoming a Biodanza Teacher

January 19, 2017

After the three year training, Julia had to be supervised at teaching and prepare for her 'monograph presentation'. Both of these were deep learning curves. Teaching the Biodanza, Julia had to present herself publicly  - this had been hard for her (in Julia's twenties she had dropped out of her teaching degree as she found the idea of school assemblies mortifying!)

"What I found was that Biodanza had given me such a safe base in my own body, instincts and emotions that I was able to manage a type of exposure that previously I would never have coped with, being extremely sensitive and caring deeply", Julia states.

Meanwhile, Julia prepared her presentation, recovering her desire to express herself artistically & creatively. This creativity had been put aside in her life -  as frivolous and indulgent. Today Julia Hope Brightwell sells her artwork, this journey began again through the Biodanza .

Starting weekly classes in her home town of Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, then teaching at Dartington - Julia's experience increased and alongside continual professional development her understanding of the complex form of the 'vivencia' grew. When she moved to East Devon in 2012, she had to start building interest again from scratch and currently runs weekly classes in Colyton or Colyford, East Devon; fortnightly classes at Burton Bradstock, Dorset; whilst still teaching her Moretonhamsptead and Dartington attendees at Bovey Tracey Day workshops. 

Becoming a Didactic Teacher

January 19, 2017

From 2015-16 Julia attended training in Italy, Spain and Belgium to teach people to become Biodanza teachers. The truly international experience, with English speaking people being in the minority, Julia learned from some of the most experienced Biodanza Didactic teachers of the world. Rolando Toro Araneda's family members were amongst the trainers and music expert Sergio Cruz brought his wealth of knowledge to the attendees.

Julia joined Mike Skilbeck, Director of the Dorset school on the methodology weekends for the 3rd cycle at the Dorset School and taught her first solo weekend in September 2016.

" Teaching trainee teachers is one of my favourite ways to spend my time, " Julia enthusiastically says, "Biodanza is a system deeply embedded in extensive, marvelous theory - it is deeply enriching to share this body of knowledge with those so committed to understanding what lays beneath the form".

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