The Yogi Gets Downbeth | July 1, 2006
Bloomington Newspaper, Indiana, July 2005
by Melissa McReynolds
Sun salutations to C & C Music Factory? Downward-facing dog and Wild Cherry? Welcome to the latest incarnation of American yoga! Yoga Meets Dance™, a new class taught by Matece Duncan in a second-floor studio just off the square, combines the best of both mediums and produces a 60-minute wellness trip for the body, mind, and spirit.
“Outrageously fun and simple,” Matece’s promotional materials declare. “For all ages, shapes, and sizes. For dancers and non-dancers, yogis and non-yogis, for those with two left feet!” Yoga Meets Dance™ is the healing synergy of yoga, free and guided dance, community building, and stillness meditation.
It is also a “sacred, sensual, and silly celebration of life that deeply relaxes the body and mind, and powerfully open the heart,” Matece explained as she greeted new students on a recent Monday night.
“I need a towel!” exclaimed Angela Floy, dripping sweat and smiling elatedly halfway through the class. A Near Eastern dancer who is in the midst of opening her own hair salon, Angela was taken by the music selection: hits of the 80s swirled with French funk. “Sheer, utter happiness and joy,” is how Floy described the class. “There is safety in the space. And freedom. And trust. During this class, I felt something I’ve been yearning for for many years,” said Floy, who moved to Indiana from Iowa three years ago.
“It was cleansing, incredibly cleansing. I actually was teary at the end of class. I felt a connection, a real heart connection, with everyone.” Red Blustein, a Bloomington pre-school teacher originally from Illinois, attended the Yoga Meets Dance™ open house and has been coming back ever since!” “This class replicates the dancing I used to do in my living room when I was a small kid and a young adult,” she said. “I can now dance here with other people and build community. It’s my dancing dream come true!”
Carrie Schneider writes in her 2003 book, American Yoga, “This country has taken a tradition born on distant shores and changed it subtly with its embrace.” Twenty million people now practice yoga nationwide.
Matece, who graduated for the Healing Arts Institute in Fort Collins, Colo., in 1999 with certifications in massage and body/mind therapies, said she enjoys the discipline of yoga but was looking for something with more “juice”. “I just love to dance so much!” she said before her twice-a-week class held at Blooming Lotus, a wellness studio that offers everything from meditation to bellydance. “And dancing from that place, that grounded, deep connectedness of yoga, is so playful, and safe, and expressive.” Matece has been practicing massage therapy in Bloomington since 2001 and Reiki since 2002.
In March of this year, Matece attended Beth Rigby’s Yoga Meets Dance™ (www.yogameetsdance.com) intensive teacher training in Sedona, Arizona where she became the only certified Yoga Meets Dance™ instructor in this corner of the Midwest.
“And it’s so simple!” added Matece. “I just provide the space, and some guidance. Each person is free to have the experience they desire. They forget their concerns. They forget how old they are! There is affirmation, the feeling of being accepted, being seen. It is deeply healing.” “This space is made for play.”
Matece Skow (Duncan) currently resides in the San Francisco area. Email for her current class schedule: Matece firstname.lastname@example.org.