diy guide to
dancing in nature
home practice playlists
Like so many folks, we usually make most of our income via running live events- these online resources are offered to support your home practice at this time. Please consider a donation to support the creation of these offerings
OUTDOOR DANCE TEACHER TRAINING FOR EXISTING MOVEMENT FACILITATORS
COACHING PACKAGES IN WORKING OUTDOORS AVAILABLE NOW
Wild Moves is a series of outdoor mindful movement events where people gather together to dance outside in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as down on the sea shore, or out in the redwoods led by dance artist, accredited 5Rhythms dance teacher and yoga/meditation instructor Tess Howell.
We use "silent disco" style headsets to deliver our outdoor dance experiences; the sessions are gently guided through the headsets, letting us find the freedom of moving together in areas of wild nature- with no nasty noise pollution to the surrounding environment.
Wild Moves events offer a free form dance practice, so all you need is the willingness to follow your own feet! There are no steps to learn and nothing to get right. No previous experience is necessary- you are warmly welcome to join exactly as you are.
We use the dance is a potent movement-based mindfulness practice. It’s a great way to enjoy ourselves, to exercise and to meditate- all in the same moment! Dancing in this way not only increase our physical agility and fitness; it also increases our authenticity, our emotional awarenes and our effectiveness in the wider world as we become more embodied. There is potency in being present; our dance practice supports us to keep coming back to being here, now.
When we dance outdoors we feel connected: to ourselves, to the others that come together to dance and to the wider world around us. Compassion and community grows. When we are outdoors our vision get wider, we relax and receive more, we becoming open to greater intuition and increased insight. There is no doubt that nature nurtures us.
“We often forget that we are nature.
Nature is not something separate from us.
So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature
We’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
— Andy Goldsworthy
"Follow the thread of intuition that moves towards delight. So many things to learn, things to learn from... Love is an art, like music, dance or painting pictures. It thrives on light and imagination and daring....The heart learns wisdom from a stone, a song, a blossom, a breeze..."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
We actively seek to create a diverse community of dancers. We value and welcome diversity of racial and cultural identity and background, nationality, sexual and affectional orientation, gender identity and its expression, religious background and/or belief systems, marital status, family structure, age, mental and physical health and ability, educational and class status.
“We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life."- Martha Graham
March 21st update: We are cancelling all of our Bay Area events for the next 3 weeks minimum.
We genuinely believe that there will be a moment when dancing outdoors will serve us greatly amidst all of this and we can embrace it with much enthusiasm. We have belt-pack receivers for participants that can be fully bleach disinfected, you can all bring your own plug in headphones so that nothing is shared; our transmitters will then let us dance on out on the beach, not just 10 feet away, but even fully 10 metres apart if needs be!
This is now a week when “all non-essential gatherings are banned” by mandate in the Bay Area, for the sake of all our health; along with all non-essential travel. Just last weekend we through we could offer this! Yet this moment, when we are now all under “remain in place” orders does not feel the right time to be carrying on anyway, for the sake of all of us. Things are changing so quickly- and now is indeed the time to stay home, minimise social contact, rest and reflect. Integrity is important and caution is key right now!
We will absolutely come together again and do this wondeful dance outdoors thang! Just not right now….
Wild Moves events are facilitated by dance artist and accredited 5 Rhythms teacher, Spirit-rock trained moving meditation guide, writer and international dance producer Tess Howell, whom has been running these highly popular events world-wide since 2012.
Tess leads these events with warmth, vitality, humour and depth; skillfully using the dance to guide us back towards what matters most in life.
Tess also runs a movement based contemporary rites of passage programme and in 2020 will offer online version of the programme, which explores how creativity, community and connection can make our lives more meaningful.
Tess is now in the San Francisco area since early 2019 and is now offering regular events in the Marin/Bay area as well as her usual event series in Brighton UK.
For more info on Tess'work as a dance producer, coach and mentor please click here.
"Just as the ancients danced to call upon the spirits in nature, we too, can dance to find the spirits within ourselves that have long been buried and forgotten. "
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” - W.B. Yeats
A detailed e-work book, complete with 3 embodied coaching videos to support you in skillfully and soulfully moving through at time of major life transition.
It contains a three part map to support you in finding your way forwards:
Part 1: Honouring what was- harvesting our history (Shedding)
Part 2: Being with what is- the power of presence (Stilling)
Part 3: Finding our way forwards- dreaming and daring (Shaping)
Each section will have 3 areas of focus: an in-depth reading to reflect on; an embodiment exercise to support you in finding new ways of being (delivered via youtube); and a selection of tasks to do to affect change in our outer lives.
This workbook will support you by tending to your inner experience as you move through these big outer shifts. More info here or
the online school of wisdom, wildness and wonder
The School of Wisdom, Wildness and Wonder is a place where we can come together to consciously bring more aliveness into our lives. This Patreon site from Tess is a space to connect, to re-inspire, re-discover, to come into contact with that sense of being really alive, here-now, in touch with what matters most.
As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross death –doula writes:
“It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.”
We must seek out what sustains our soul day to day. Life can get full and we get fraught! We must tend to our own dear wild and tender heart amidst all we care for and are cultivating. We must bring more life into our lives! Nominal notions of living are not nourishing enough for most of us to feel soul-satisfied. You are warmly welcomed to join the school on Patreon for inspiring writings, videos and exercises to bring more aliveness into your life. Click here for full info: https://www.patreon.com/wisdomandwonder
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One of the reasons I love to offer the dance is that it cultivates community and celebrates life through mindful movement. We get to relish reality, rock it out, get real with what is moving within us. This was last Saturdays session at Rodeo Beach- we were so blessed with this stunning sunset as we moved and grooved on the seashore. For me here are some of the why’s behind this work: Community: we come together as a temporary community or tribe, united by being in the beat! We are human, we need each other. We show up, see each other, support each other and stand by each other. Mindfulness via Movement: Our primary practice is a movement meditation: our physical form is our place of presence and awareness as we move on through. we are fluid; we learn both to follow our feet and find our own way forwards- and- let ourselves be led by life! We notice shifts and changes and learn to skilfully negotiate them. Celebration: There is much to behold in life that is beautiful– it’s all part of this planet. Life is full of wonder, we look for the good as we dance. We let in what is lovely in life- and let it fill and feed us. We are not pulled in by body fascism and airbrushed standards that don’t serve us. We celebrate what is. We dance to dare to let ourselves live and love a little (or a lot) more. May you find your aliveness today, vivid, visceral, real. If you ever want to join us the next one at Rodeo Beach in San Francisco on the 7th December. #Fullmoon event out on the beach at #chrissyfields next Tuesday too. UK winter solstice fire-side date to follow soon.. info in bio. Go forth and dance and live and love my dears. #wildmoves #danceinnature #california #rodeobeach #5rhythms #danceoutdoors #goldenhour #sanfrancisco #consciousdance #feelfree #somatics #embodiment #marin #mmmm #feelfree #connection #community #celebration
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Nature so nurtures us. We need it (& right now it needs us too…) We are not some kind of crazy minded “Hominid Disconnectus” evolving into ever more disembodied misery! We are alive: here- now. It would serve us well to be present to the potentness inherent within that possibility! Yes indeed- indoor dancefloors can be amazing places- yet for me there’s nothing more potent than being #embodied within in the our natural environment. About 7 years ago I started facilitate outdoor #dance events. I knew that time after time my two great soothing salves in life were dancing and spending time in nature, and I got curious as to what magic might happen when we brought the two together. For many millennia humans danced out under the stars, earth underfoot- supported by the beat of the drum. Then a few hundred years back someone invent studio and all of sudden our dance had to happen within walls. Time to take it back outdoors methinks! “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…& not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…’ Thoreau Time after time I see people finish our woodland dance sessions filled with a sense of aliveness, eyes shining bright- like something inside their internal system has been polished up by their own presence. When we move away from the muttering mind we get to see what is right there in front of us. There is much in the world that is magnificent- from the roar of the ocean, right down to the tiny plants that grow through the sidewalk. We’re not separate from these things- we are a part of this world. There is big beauty even amidst all that it broken on the planet in these potent times. We are a part of it all. We belong here- standing under tall trees we may hear them whisper their wisdom on the wind – catching a moment of wonder. We are no less miraculous than the bloom of night jasmin, no less sweet than any kind of wild furry creature… I’d encourage you to get outdoors & dare to dance deeply so that you loose your sense of separate self- arriving right here- in the midst of your life, #visceral, vivid, #present to the potentness of it all. #wildmoves #5rhythmsinnature #movementmatters #danceoutdoors
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Rest down. Sit still. See what it is that holds you when life feels a lot. Learn to lean in. Lay back. lie down. let it drop (and yes at some point we will have to pick it all up and proceed- but we don’t have to hold it all in heart all of the time my darling...) we will be refreshed by releasing our burdens for moment and feeling ourselves held by something bigger and wider and wiser than our human humdrum to-do’s. Why not ask this question often: “What can hold me so I can hold all I have within me?” - whether that looks like letting me soften into the sweet soul-ful sadness that sometimes swings by; or by letting me be bedazzled by the bright beauty of it all. Maybe a rock is your refuge ( as in ancient, red, earthy and reliable). Or rock- (as in a badass bassline, heart filled lyrics and mood filled melodies..) for me it is both of these! Or maybe its poetry, prose, a river, a raven. Whatever it is - find it and be faithful to it. Learn to love and lean in to whatever lets us be here -in the heart: feeling-full, phenomenal, present, touched, tender, human, here... #feelfully #rock #wildmoves #refuge #heldinheart #restin #wildgrace #rest #surrenderintosomethinggreater #letgomylove