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Bonsai 
Dance Flow

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Natural healing dance for EVERY body

Are you someone who likes moving to music but you don't necessarily want to try something like running, cycling or other traditional forms exercise. Maybe you want something more natural?

If you are someone who wants to move your body but you don't love the vibe of going gym. Or maybe your gym experience is missing that extra something that feeds your soul.

 

If you're looking for a way to move that is not only good for your body, low impact and helps your range of motion, but also is spiritual, grounding and helps you harness or connect to your natural energy pattern, then your in the right place. 


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Enjoying Outdoor

Imagine this....

  • Having a movement practice that feels good and flows naturally and dancing within a fun, supportive community as one beautiful unit

  • Relief from the stress and deepening into a loving connection with your body

  • Aligning your energies and chakras while you dance while gaining a feeling of confidence, beauty and joy

  • Feeling re-energized, supported, empowered and connecting to the healing power of nature, the cosmos & Spirit.  

Leave the mundane world behind to enter something magical

 

Welcome to Bonsai Dance flow

 

 created by Megg Shepard

Benefits of Bonsai

  • Gentle, fun, flowing dance that feels amazing and ANYONE can do.

  • You don't have to be trained dancer or have any dancing experience

  • Feel energized, inspired & fall in love with your body.

  • Connect with a community of fun, magical people like yourself.

  • A safe, body positive space for people of all ages, shapes and sizes to dance

  • Relax, de-stress and restore your body, mind and soul

  • Connect to your body in a positive way and grow a positive body image

  • Feel empowered, centered and grounded

At Bonsai we believe that through intentional movement
you find true power within yourself
Our goal is to provide a supportive space for people of all body types, ages, and walks of life to connect with their bodies and move with ease and joy.
You do not need to be a dancer to catch on and enjoy this dance style. 
We start small and you'll have a supportive community every step of the way.
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Hi, I'm Megg!  

I am in love with helping others fall in love with their bodies and find harmony and healing through the magic of dance.

 

I enjoy the connection and community of group dance, I specialize in teaching fun, relaxing, mindful movements that can be danced solo or as a group.

I grew up struggling with being the "big girl" in class and being heavy into diet culture and it made me miserable.  

When I found karate it brought me strength and confidence in my body.  Then I found dance and that helped me build grace, joy and see my body as beautiful for the first time ever.

I was hooked!  But I'm an artist and eventually I needed to create something that was more natural and less technical, that also connected me to something more. So in 2015 I started to create Bonsai Dance Flow.  

Now I am bringing Bonsai to the world so we can ALL fall love our bodies more and connect with one another through the magic of dance.

Bonsai Dance Flow is a style of movement that

connects you to your body in natural yet magical ways.

Bonsai can be part of your personal movement practice

AND it can be used in a group setting

to dance with friends and connect as a community. 
 

Wait, It can be danced as a group?!

Yes, its set up so everyone learns how to lead and follow one another through each movement.  In a "Group Improvisational" style, the dance is performed by a group consisting of leaders and followers.

 

The dance relies on a shared vocabulary of movements, each initiated by the leader using a distinct "cue movement". After the cue, a short choreographed movement sequence, or "combo", is performed by the group in unison. The leader chooses the combo based on their interpretation of the music, which is often done spontaneously during the performance. 

It ends up being an incredibly fun and magical way of connecting to others through music, dance and a bit of play.  It's like a dance game you can play with your friends.  Once you learn the vocabulary (or even just part of it) you can dance solo or within your group to any song and you all will be able to dance in unison as if you choreographed it..  It's feels amazing connecting when the group is "flowing" together as one. 

 

Bonsai is Megg’s signature form of group improvisation, inspired by nature with elements of martial arts woven into the dance subtly. The martial arts aspects are drawn from Okinawan karate & Qi Gong, making this style strong yet fluid, giving the dancer a sense of empowerment.  Self defense techniques are "hidden" within the dance movements with the purpose of ingraining a sense of security within the body. 

 

We incorporate the magic of nature to help ground and nurture ourselves and to connect with the world around us.  We integrate nature references into our dance (Zen turn, Luna, Persephone) to bring out the playful side and to have fun.  ​

This format of structured group improvisation was first developed by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman, the founder of American Tribal Style (FCBD).  Bonsai is highly inspired by dance styles: {Datura, Fly Fusion, FCBD & ITS.}  

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Bonsai Structure

Elemental Flow

Phase 1
 

Cosmic Flow

Phase 2
 

Soul 
Flow

Phase 3
 

Elemental Flow
a gentle mindful movement series
will help you connect with the elements of nature

By learning the 10 signature movements of Elemental Flow, you will have a vocabulary to move through your chakras (energy centers) and release stuck, stale, or stagnant energy, inviting sensations of balance, harmony, and ease into the body.

This movement practice can be done alone or with a group, and is ideal for those who need relaxing low impact movements that are fun and feel grounding. As a compliment to a yoga and other movement practices, Elemental Flow explodes your mind-body practice off of the mat and into the room, allowing you to move in expansive, liberating ways that emphasize sensation and experience over perfection snd technical skill.

What are the elements and why is dancing with them beneficial to me?

In various belief systems and traditions, the classical elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Spirit are often associated with different attributes and concepts. Here are some common associations:

 

 Earth:

Stability, grounding, nourishment, fertility, manifestation, physical form. 

Concepts: Solidity, material possessions, growth, endurance, the physical body, abundance.

 

Water:

Emotions, intuition, fluidity, adaptability, cleansing, healing, subconscious. 

Concepts: Purification, flow, renewal, transformation, depth, spirituality, creativity.

 

Fire:

Energy, passion, courage, willpower, transformation, inspiration, creativity.

Concepts: Action, vitality, initiation, destruction, purification, illumination, motivation.

 

Air:

Intellect, communication, thought, freedom, clarity, inspiration, knowledge.

Concepts: Mental processes, ideas, communication, logic, travel, change, flexibility.

 

Spirit:

Essence, connection to the divine, higher self, consciousness, universal energy, oneness. Concepts: Transcendence, unity, enlightenment, spiritual growth, intuition, divine guidance.

 

These associations may vary across different cultures, spiritual practices, and belief systems. The elements are often used symbolically to represent different aspects of the natural world, human experience, and the interplay between the physical and spiritual realms.

Earth   Water   Fire   Air   Spirit

 

 

(Cosmic Flow & Ethereal Flow coming soon)

What you'll learn in Elemental Flow

  • Grounding and centering practices to help you feel supported and re-energized

  • My favorite moving meditation that centers you in gratitude, gives you a a beautiful reset and connects you with your fellow dancers

  • How to flow with each element for desired intentions (for stability, sensuality, creativity, divine action, aligned communication and more)

  • How to follow the leader and dance with a group

  • Dancing with a group in 2 fun and powerful formations

  • How to connect with rhythm and flow in music

  • Balancing your chakras (energy centers) with dance

  • Breathwork to calm the nervous system while you move

  • How each element impacts your life and how to harness and focus those energies

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Dance helps you heal

Through healing movement we become better parents, better partners, better friends, better community members, and better people.

We've all been told over and over the physical benefits of moving. It's important to keep your body moving through all ages in life cycles.  Dance has been shown in studies to have healing effects on both the mind and body. Here are some ways in which dance can promote healing:

1. Physical Benefits: Dancing is a form of exercise that can improve physical health. It can help increase flexibility, strength, and endurance. Studies have shown that dancing can also help with weight management, cardiovascular health, and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

 

2. Mental Health: Dancing has been linked to improvements in mental health as well. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Dancing can also boost self-esteem and confidence. Studies have shown that dancing can lead to the release of endorphins, which are known as "feel-good" hormones, helping to improve mood.

 

3. Social Connection: Dancing is often done in a social setting, which can help promote social connections and a sense of community. This social aspect of dancing can have positive effects on mental health, as it provides opportunities for social interaction and support.

 

4. Cognitive Benefits: Dance involves coordination, memory, and cognitive processing, which can help improve cognitive function. Studies have shown that dancing can help improve cognitive skills such as memory and attention.

 

5. Emotional Expression: Dance is a form of self-expression that allows individuals to express their emotions and feelings through movement. This can be a powerful way to process and release emotions, leading to emotional healing.

 

6. Mind-Body Connection: Dancing requires a strong mind-body connection, as individuals need to be aware of their movements and coordinate them with the music. This can help individuals become more in tune with their bodies and improve awareness of their physical and emotional states.

 

7. Pain Management: Some studies have shown that dance therapy can be effective in managing chronic pain. The physical activity and emotional expression involved in dance can help individuals cope with pain and improve their overall quality of life.

 

Overall, studies suggest that dance can have a wide range of healing effects on both the mind and body. Whether it's through physical exercise, emotional expression, social connection, or cognitive benefits, dancing has the potential to promote healing and improve overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I wear?

Wear clothing that you can move freely in.  Yoga pants, leggings, shorts, skirts (with shorts or leggings under cause we stretch), tank top, t-shirt, sports bra & crop tops.  You should feel comfortable & beautiful!

 

Where do I go?

Most classes and workshops will be held at the YCC Studio Brainerd (unless otherwise noted),

In Franklin Arts Center West Barber door, room 125. 

 

Do I have to know how to dance?

No, it's our job is to teach you!  No experience needed in beginning classes.  Everyone starts at the beginning and that's beautiful!  We specialize in supporting beginners all the way through advanced! 

What if class is canceled?

If class is cancel by the teacher, you will be notified via text and it will be rescheduled.  If class can NOT be rescheduled, student will be refunded.  If YOU cannot make it to class, please message Megg ASAP.  If over half of the group has to cancel, we will reschedule.

Do you offer online classes?

Currently all of Megg's classes are offered in person.  Online classes are coming soon!

Any Other questions?

Contact Megg here, I would love to help out!

BELLYDANCE!?!! I could NEVER do that!
There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding the word Belly dance, and here at Bonsai we want to set the record straight!

 

Myth: Belly dancers are Strippers
Nope! While we 100% support strippers, exotic and pole dancers, burlesque dancers, and all other types of dancers, Belly dance is not stripping, or for sexual arousal of any type.  Belly dance has a long history, but the dance styles originated in North Africa and the Middle East. (give a little more belly dance history here, how belly dance came to the us and how long it's been performed here). Belly dance is commonly performed at weddings, festivals, parties, and is a celebration of life and femininity. Belly dance is now a huge genre with a wide array of styles and subgenre's, performed by all types of people.


 

MYTH: Only skinny/femme/long haired/etc. people Belly dance
No ma'am! This dance style is for everybody. These dance styles originate from folk dance - in other words, this is how you would dance in the kitchen with your
grandmother, it's how you'd dance at a party, everyone no matter their age, gender, or body type would do these types of movements when the music came on. One of the reason Belly dance has seen such popularity world wide is that it's a gentle approachable movement form that is available to most body types and accessible to pick up as an adult with no dance experience!

 

MYTH: I have to show my belly
Not at all. In class you can wear whatever is comfortable (we encourage yoga pants and a tank top so that you can move comfortably). The common image of a belly dancer in a sparkly bra and skirt is a western phenomenon particular to 60's and 70's American Cabaret style Belly dance. This is not a traditional costume, and is not at all mandatory for dancers to wear. (Most Fusion Belly dancers do not wear this style of costume at all!) If you do ever decide to perform, there are many beautiful belly dance costume options that don't require a bare midriff. If you're just going to be dancing in class, you can wear whatever feels good to you. And who knows, after dancing for a while, you may just have a totally different opinion about your belly (we're sure it's
beautiful).

Got any others? We'd love to hear them! If you have a fear or concern keeping you
from stepping into class, we're here for you. Email us.

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Testimonials

Maybe have some nerves about taking a class?

Check out what our wonderful students have to say!

Learn about Megg's dance journey here!

Meggan's classes always leave me feeling great and so glad I went! She is so welcoming, encouraging, funny and insightful! Her style of dancing is beautiful, healing, fun and creative. Highly recommend!

~ Chelsea Straw