Tuesday, August 15, 2023

It's time to start listening to your body



Hi :-) 

Have you ever

  • started crying for apparently no reason?
  • had ''sudden'' and inexplicable injuries or illnesses hit you hard, seemingly out of nowhere?
  • gone from 60mph every day to complete burnout and exhaustion, very quickly?

Here's the thing. None of these things actually happen suddenly, or out of nowhere.

Our bodies are constantly giving us information. Constantly asking us to listen. Giving us hints that we need to slow down, or sleep more, or go to the doctor, or breathe more deeply, or tend to our nervous systems, or tend to that niggling little pain in that one area.

But we just don't listen.

We don't listen for many reasons

  • We're too busy
  • We've believed the messaging that we're not worth listening to
  • We've been programmed to believe that rest is lazy

...and so many more. (Think about why you don't listen - it's a good exercise!)

Here's the other thing.

At some point, our bodies just won't tolerate not being listened to anymore. 



Believe me, I know.

When I was half way through college, I woke up one day and simply couldn't move. I was 19 years old. My room mates had to carry me to the medical center. I went from dancing and working out almost every day to spending over a year unable to move for more than 10 minutes a day. I needed help walking everywhere. Lifting a fork felt like lifting a 20 lb weight. For a year.

I believe, now, that my body had been screaming it's exhaustion at me for months. I just hadn't stopped to listen.

I had to drop out of college for a year, was told I may never dance again, and was offered anti-depressants from my doctors, because that's all they could offer me for what I had been diagnosed with: M.E., or Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome.

My body had literally forced me to rest. Forced me to listen to it.

I had to unlearn how I was approaching everything in my life.

And I had to start really fucking listening from then on. 

I finally healed, finished my degree in dance and theatre, trained in NYC and began my journey developing expandance, and became a professional choreographer.

I was lucky; my body gave me a second chance. I used it to develop this practice.

I hope you'll join me for this special and important expandance class.

Slow The F@%! Down
Wednesday August 30th 2023

12pm - 1:30pm Pacific time
Eastern time: 3pm
Ireland and UK: 8pm
Free for BIPOC and the trans community - e-mail me for coupon to use at checkout

Replay will be available if you can't make it. Just
sign up and if you don't make it to class I'll send you the replay.

Listening to our bodies is not just ''self care''. It's fundamentally important.

for this workshop

xo Rachel

p.s. You can also sign up for the

expandance membership and have a whole vault of my classes to help you listen to your body (each of which incorporate REST!) available at ANY TIME to you. Check it out here.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Finding joy ... maybe it's in a dance class, maybe it's in a flower, maybe it's in seeing whales!


🐋 I went whale watching
this week 🐋

Every now and then in life, if we are lucky, we get to do or experience something that we've wanted to do for a long time.

Last week, this 41 year old got to fulfill her inner 7 year-old's bucket list wish and go whale watching in Canada, in the Salish Sea. It was an incredible experience; we saw bald eagles, cormorants, jellyfish, tiny deer on an uninhabited island, wildlife conservation areas, and yes... a family of orcas! Three generations in one family, in fact: a grandmother, the mother, and the children (a 1 year old and a 2 year old among them).

And on the 2+ hours back to shore I sat (and danced, as you can see) on the bow of that boat in absolute bliss. (Not many of you know this but I was brought up in a sea town and spent a lot of my childhood on and driving boats, partly for Dublin Bay Rescue, so it was just lovely to get back out on the water; the whales were a bonus!)

The point of all this is: I think we all need to seek more joy. And it doesn't have to come from big bucket list experiences - this was a particularly amazing one and I feel immense appreciation for the person who made this happen for me.

It can come from stopping to smell that wee flower on your morning walk, meeting up with a friend, or going to see the Barbie movie damnit, or attending dance classes with your besties!

Joy is important. It doesn't mean we negate the hard stuff. But it's important to remember bring it alongside for the ride.

To whit:

🐋 Danceypants is tonight at 7:15pm

Youth Annex, Sebastopol Community Cultural Center
Sign up here
Danceypants is capped at 20 (and already almost half full as I'm writing this) so please sign up in advance if you can
$15 online in advance / $20 cash on the door

P.S. If you have been to Danceypants and want to join the Facebook group, here's the link. (You must answer the questions!)



🐋 expandance in person is next Wednesday

July 26th
9am - 10:30am

Sign up here
in the same place as Danceypants
expandance is a small group class for exploration and creativity, and as such is capped at 6 people. This class is also currently half full; I recommend signing up soon if you would like to come!


Never been to expandance and want a taste from the comfort of your home?

🐋 expandance: the basics is tomorrow morning

Tuesday July 18th ONLINE
9am - 10:15am

Sign up here

THIS CLASS IS FREE for BIPOC and the trans community if needed; please e-mail rachel@expandance.com to request free access if this would help you attend.

If you have any questions about any of my offerings, please email me!

Here's to more joy... wherever we can find it.

xo, Rachel

Register for Danceypants!
Register for IN PERSON expandance
Register for ONLINE expandance

“I did expandance this morning with Rachel Wynne. If you have been thinking about doing this, Do It! I am not a dancer, I don't exercise regularly and I have chronic pain. I loved the unconventional warm up she lead us through and the visualizations with movement. Afterwards, I felt relaxed and energized at the same time. Most notably, I was able to release a considerable amount of tension that I was carrying in my body. I did all of this a short amount of time and in a small space.” - B, California 

❤️ you don’t have to be a dancer
❤️ you don’t have to be “fit” or look a certain way 
❤️ all you need is zoom and you 


Classes for cancer wellness

expandance classes for the cancer community (open to anyone, regardless of where you are being treated or where you are in the world, and also to survivors) are on:

10:30am - 12 noon PST

(That's 1:30pm EST / 6:30pm GMT)

To register, please e-mail our cancer wellness program co-ordinator Sharon Doughty at Sharon.doughty@stjoe.org to get on the list. Other classes are also available free through this program, including Qigong, sound meditations, gentle yoga, patient support groups and art classes. Feel free to forward this to a friend who might benefit from having more community on their journey with cancer.

"Thank you, Rachel, for another wonderful class today. Your classes really help keep me going" - a participant in the cancer wellness classes

Monday, June 12, 2023

expandance membership news!



expandance membership

Do you find it difficult to get to the live expandance classes?

Would you like to be able to access classes and helpful somatic movement content whenever suits you?

The expandance membership will be opening in a few weeks!

"I love that there are different lengths of practice so I can fit it into my busy schedule. expandance at my finger-tips, in the membership is a GIFT...yes please! expandance allows me to unwind my body/mind/spirit in a nourishing way. Rachel's gentle and clear guidance allows me to feel fully and deeply." - Megan L.

In the expandance membership, you'll find:
  • An ever-growing vault of classes and practices of different lengths - from 5 minutes to over an hour long - to help you easily find time to connect with yourself and your body. (This is available NOWHERE ELSE!)
  • A warm, supportive private group of others around the world also doing this practice and sharing their experiences, and helping hold each other accountable for showing up (if you want that)
  • A live, monthly Q&A with me
  • A monthly meetup, where you can get to know your fellow expandancers and build community (and make friends in other countries and cities!)

expandance classes help...
  • you feel more alive in and connected to your body
  • release stress and anxiety *and* replace it with trust 
  • you connect with your intuition
  • the creative spark reignite!
To get on the waitlist and be the first to know when this membership opens up, email rachel@expandance.com with ''membership waitlist'' in the subject line.

xo, Rachel

~~~ expandance is open to all regardless of dance experience ~~~

Friday, June 2, 2023

All next week's classes

 Hi friends, 

Here are all my classes for the first week of June 2023

Monday June 5th

Danceypants *Bring a Friend for Free Day!*

7:15pm - 8:15pm

$15 in advance online / $20 on the door 

Youth Annex, 425 Morris St, Sebastopol, CA 95472



Tuesday June 6th

expandance online: the basics 

A class for absolute beginners

9am - 10:15am Pacific time 

(That's lunchtime 12pm - 1:15pm Eastern time, or

5pm - 6:15pm Ireland / UK)




Wednesday June 7th

expandance in person

 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Youth Annex, 425 Morris St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA



Thursday June 8th 

expandance online - for the cancer community 

10:30am  - 12pm Pacific

This class is FREE and open to anyone on a journey with cancer

SIGN UP by emailing Sharon: Sharon.doughty@stjoe.org

Friday June 9th

expandance online - for the cancer community 

10:30am  - 12pm Pacific

This class is FREE and open to anyone on a journey with cancer

SIGN UP by emailing Sharon: Sharon.doughty@stjoe.org



Tuesday, May 23, 2023

June 5th is Bring a Friend for FREE Day at Danceypants!


Our next Danceypants class will be Monday June 5th

And it's Bring a Friend for FREE Day!

Bring a friend with you who has never been to Danceypants before, and they get in free!


* Offer only valid on June 5th 2023
* You must sign up online in advance (so our door person isn't overwhelmed)
* Your friend will register at the door - please arrive with your friend and tell our door person they're with you (like in the movies ''it's ok, she's with me") 

 is most
7:15pm - 8:15pm 
* We start on time, West County! *
Youth Annex Studio
Building to the left of the main Cultural Community Center 
425 Morris St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
$15 in advance / $20 on the door (unless you're coming for FREE!) 


Friday, March 24, 2023

Online classes for the cancer community


"I thought it was going to be aerobic, but it wasn't... it was nice! I really liked this!"

I had a new person join us in our cancer wellness class this morning who said this. She came to say hi and ask what the class was about, but wasn't necessarily going to stay because "I just showered and did my hair and I don't want to get sweaty before my appointment" (She had a mammogram coming up).
But in the end, she stayed for the whole class and loved it. 
The thing with expandance is: If your body isn't in the mood to move much, or be high energy, that's likely not how you're going be moving that day. Other days you might have lots of energy, and it might end up being a pretty aerobic session for you.
The whole point with expandance is - we listen to our bodies. We listen to what they're telling us we need. So every time you practice, it's going to look different. 
AND it means that if you have resisted coming to expandance because "I'm not a dancer / I don't dance" - you no longer need that as a reason. Because the only movement you're going to do is what your body wants to do. 
If you are a cancer survivor, or currently in treatment for cancer, my Friday expandance classes are FREE for you. Come meet some absolutely stellar, amazing people - what have you got to lose? Email me at rachel@expandance.com if you're interested.
Friday classes for the cancer community - wherever you are
Every Friday 10:30am - 11:45am Pacific time
FREE for cancer survivors and those currently with cancer, as well as their full time caregivers
Over Zoom 
Classes are hosted by Providence (St. Joseph's Healthcare) in Northern California. You do not need to be a patient at Providence or St. Joseph's to attend these classes, nor do you need to be in the US. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

expandance membership UPDATE!


For those of you waiting on news of the expandance BETA membership - we are SO CLOSE to launching and I'm SO excited. If you've taken an expandance class, private session, workshop or retreat with me in the past and would love anytime access to an ever-expanding vault of expandance practices, this is the membership for you!
Come be a founding member of this membership for a monthly price of less than the price of one class, and you'll get:
  • to have a say in shaping this membership
  • to keep that monthly price for as long as you're a member - even when we open publicly at a higher price point
  • to be involved in a fabulously supportive global community of like-minded people
  • anytime access to transformative, healing, fun classes
I'm looking forward to sharing this with you! If you have yet to register your interest, please e-mail me at rachel@expandance.com and I'll put you on the Potential Founding Member list ❤

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

expandance February workshop - nurturing the longest relationship we have


A good reminder...

Andrea came up to me after Danceypants the other day and reminded me of this: the longest relationship we will ever have in our whole lives, is the relationship with ourselves, and our own body.

And when you think about it like that, isn’t it worth looking at what we want? What we desire? How we want to be treated by us? How we want to love? How we want to talk to ourselves, what tone we use when talking to ourselves and our bodies.

We’ll be looking at a lot of this in this month’s workshop. Over two Tuesdays - February 7th & 14th - we’ll explore finding and reconnecting with those places inside of ourselves where we can unabashedly love. (Doesn't that sound awesome?!) Each session will include breath work, expandance movement meditations, artistic expression and integration through a restorative practice.

This is going to be a truly lovely series, great for anyone wanting to get in touch with themselves and their bodies, but especially great for you if:

💕 you tend to seek validation or love from others and want more tools to find them within

💕 you have struggled with self acceptance and want to wholeheartedly accept more of who you are, as you are now

💕 you’re ready to be kinder to yourself

"A re-treat that feels like a waterfall of nourishment." - Megan Marie, CA

TUESDAYS February 7th & 14th
11am - 12:30pm pacific time
(that's 7pm - 8:30pm for you Irish / UK peeps)
$60 for the whole thing


If you sign up and then find that you can’t make one of the classes, a recording of the class will be provided to you ♥️

"Thank you, Rachel, for another wonderful class today. Your classes really help keep me going." - B

"Rachel is a brilliant instructor, her depth of knowledge is communicated with sincerity and ease. The Zoom sessions are hugely fulfilling." - Charles L, U.K.

*** limited number of spaces available ***

Monday, January 2, 2023

Thank you, 2022. Here's to 2023!



Friends, thank you so much for moving, grooving, healing and howling with me in 2022. I'm so grateful for all of you - our expandance and Danceypants communities are only what they are because of what you bring to the dance floor.

In 2022 I...

✨  Choreographed “Hair” for 6th Street Theatre. "Rachel Wynne’s choreography is vigorous and uninhibited" - Cari Pace for Aisle Seat Review
✨ Celebrated expandance becoming a registered Trademark - yeah baby! That R in a circle is ours, finally! ®®®

✨  Was interviewed about choreography for Gay Sonoma

✨  Taught many Danceypants classes in Sebastopol and got to meet so many new and fabulous friends (you!)

✨  Taught online expandance classes to five different countries around the world, as well as in-person private sessions here locally 

✨  Started working on the new expandance membership
✨ Continued to codify and record each exercise in the expandance canon - we're now at over 65 exercises

And Laurie (co-founder of expandance)
Opened her own Pilates and Slings studio in Derry, Northern Ireland (Yes, she's a real Derry Girl!)
✨ Was awarded and undertook artist residencies for expandance on both sides of the boarder
✨ Kept me focused and motivated in continuing to develop the expandance technique and practice from 4,000 miles away

2023 will bring:

✨  The launch of our expandance BETA membership later this month - stay tuned! I'm working on the back-end techy stuff and will let you know when registration opens in the next couple of weeks!
✨  More Danceypants classes! And I've some some fun Danceypants-related ideas up my sleeve ;)
✨  More expandance classes and workshops, possibly even a retreat (ideas in the works)
✨  And who knows what else? I'm excited and very much looking forward to how expandance (and I) can grow this year and connect with more of you all

Thank you all for your support of my work; whether you came to a performance, worked with me in theatre, came to a class or had private sessions... you are not only showing up for yourself, your body and your mental and emotional health by moving, you're also supporting a small, single-mum-owned business that in turn supports me and my 5 year old child.

p.s. I made a couple of videos on the Instagram page this past week with clips from a lot of my expandance classes throughout 2022 - check them out: Part 1 / Part 2


We're back with Danceypants on Jan 9th!

New year, new routine, new pink posters 😀 I’ve missed all your smiling faces and I can’t wait to sing along off key with you all again while we shake our bits, Sonoma County 💖 Remember: it’s cheaper to sign up online! Registration is now open here.

Most* Mondays
*always check the website schedule - holidays may affect class dates
7:15pm - 8:15pm

Community Center Youth Annex
425 Morris St,
Sebastopol, CA 95472

My little one dancing with abandon in one of the studios I use for expandance private sessions here in Sebastopol

A poem for the new year

I saw this last week and wanted to share it with you all...

Why do we start a new year, with promises to improve?
Who began this tradition of never-ending pressure?
I say, the end of a year, should be filled with congratulation, for all we survived.
And I say a new year should start with promises to be kinder to ourselves, to understand better just how much we bear, as humans on this exhausting treadmill of life.

And if we are to promise more, let’s pledge to rest, before our bodies force us.
Let’s pledge to stop, and drink in life as it happens.
Let’s pledge to strip away a layer of perfection to reveal the flawed and wondrous humanity we truly are inside.

Why start another year, gifted to us on this earth, with demands on our already over-strained humanity.
When we could be learning to accept, that we were always supposed to be imperfect.
And that is where the beauty lives, actually.
And if we can only find that beauty, we would also find peace.

I wish you peace in 2023.
Everything else is all just a part of it.
Let it be so.

- Donna Ashworth