Wild Moves is a series of outdoor mindful movement events where people dance in nature out in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as down on the sea shore, or out in the forest. Events are led by dance artist, accredited 5Rhythms dance teacher and Spirit Rock trained and accredited yoga/meditation instructor Tess Howell. We use "silent disco" style headsets to deliver our in-person 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.
We also offer regular online-based trainings in moving in nature accessible from wherever you are; plus outdoor yoga "wild wisdom walks" on San Francisco's beautiful beaches.
"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 offer our live outdoor events worldwide with year round sessions in San Francisco, USA and a popular summer series in Brighton UK each year.
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.
May 26th update:
Dear Dancers, we are watching and waiting to see how it all unfolds. We will be dancing outdoors at a distance from each other as soon as we can. We will use the transmitters that can be fully bleached between uses and ask you all to bring your own wired earphones so that nothing is shared in terms of touch. For San Francisco dancers- Currently all of our Golden Gate National Parks permitted dance sites have closed parking lots and we’re not yet allowed to resume our group dance operations there yet by the Parks Authorities. We’re listening in and tracking it day to day and as soon as we are good to go again we will let you know - safety, non-spread and care for the community is still our first priority- and we hope we can distance-dance together outdoors some time soon… For UK dancers- safely travelling back to the UK is not looking likely for me any time in the immediate future (there are no longer any direct flights from San Fran to anywhere in Europe right now...) - then there would an additional 14 days quarantine on arrival…so it’s gonna be a while…. hopefully later this summer we can do this again…patience and appreciating just what is, is apparently the lesson to be learned right now! Streamed outdoor dance sessions for home use available at the Wild Moves website if it calls you. Hoping you are all full of wellness and wonder
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. So we will absolutely come together again and do this wonderful dance outdoors thang! Just not right now….
FREE GUIDE TO DANCING OUTDOORS
home practice playlists
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.
"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. "
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
“Owning up to being an animal, a creature of earth. Tuning our animal senses to the sensible terrain: blending our skin with the rain-rippled surface of rivers, mingling our ears with the thunder and the thrumming of frogs, and our eyes with the molten sky. Feeling the polyrhythmic pulse of this place—this huge windswept body of water and stone. This vexed being in whose flesh we’re entangled. Becoming earth. Becoming animal. Becoming, in this manner, fully human.”
“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
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