Catherine Martella walks into an Open Floor movement class led by Theva Indrasenan, in Freemantle, Western Australia. She says that before she started dancing with Theva, she was in one of the most difficult times of her adult life. She was depressed, crying often, and experiencing overwhelming emotions. She tried to tell herself that it was all in her head. It was a time when she felt that no one could understand or help her.
And then she discovered Open Floor and started to dance.
Catherine describes the movement practice, “It’s a safe space which has allowed me to feel comfortable exploring all of my experiences.” It’s an invitation to feel and “gentle guidance which pushes me a little further each time.”
Catherine wrote about her struggles and how the movement practice has changed her:
“Dancing gave me the opportunity to explore it ALL. I could express and explore all of my emotions, without judgment, and perhaps more importantly without the need to define them and put them into words. There are some emotions that I have always been a little afraid to express in the open. But, [in Theva’s class], all are welcomed. I can be whatever ‘me’ I am in that very moment, it may be a ‘me’ that I know really well, or one that I haven’t seen before.”
Where Catherine once felt stuck in her hard times, her work with Theva now empowered her to take control of her experiences. “This practice allows me to take an internal view, to check-in and see what’s going on in my body, or with my emotions and really feel them. Or, to take an observer’s viewpoint: to get out of my head and change perspectives.”
Reflecting back on her depression, Catherine feels empowered by Theva’s work and Open Floor movement practice. “It brings movement to places which were stagnant. And that feels empowering because it is something that you get to do for yourself. You find your own answers. Explore your own issues”
Catherine’s story is a familiar one we hear often from students of Open Floor movement practice. “Thank you for helping me move what is stuck, feel what is hiding, find new ways to connect with community and overcome hard times.’