Thursday, April 1, 2021

We did it!

 

WE DID IT!

Filming is done, and editing begins 

Hello lovely!

I'm delighted to announce that we wrapped filming of ''Barely a Person'', my dance theatre piece giving voice to Postpartum depression, this past weekend. On our (covid safe) set were myself, Jess Headington (director), Sean Pettis (filmmaker) and Dana Hunt (lights, B camera). I was relieved that, what with it being a personal, vulnerable and emotionally taxing piece to dance, I had such a supportive group to work with. It made a huge difference. 

THANK YOU so much to all of you who contributed your voices to this work. We ended up with several mother's voices from 4 different countries making up the soundtrack. 

We head into editing now and the film will be available in May. More details then! 

Here are some shots of our shoot, from Jess and I. 

 

April
2021
Register for CLASS
Classes!

Do you have a friend who'd like to try expandance


Bring them to class this month and they get their first class FREE!

FRIDAYS
Starting Tomorrow Fri April 2nd
9:30am - 10:30am Pacific (5:30pm Ireland and UK)


*** Remember to register for each class! Registering will get you an e-mail with the zoom link ***

For expandance classes, you'll need:

* Something to draw / write with / on
* A couple of cushions and a blanket for relaxation at the end

Please note: These 1 hour classes are sliding scale $10 - $25. Anything you give above $20 will help pay for someone else who can't afford that much, or for BIPOC and immigrants, who are welcome to come for free. Thank you. 

See you there!
RPW 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day

and news on the new piece!

Happy day of celebrating Ireland!

I'm realizing that a lot of Americans don't actually know that St. Patrick's Day is a proper holiday in Ireland - it is! It's not so much (these days) a time to celebrate St. Patrick (though I know some more religious folk still do) - rather, for my and younger generations, it's a day to celebrate our culture, and the resilience of the Irish spirit, through 800 years of repression, famine, and the legacy of trauma the church has left. In Ireland (when there isn't a pandemic) we celebrate with a week long family friendly festival of art, music, theatre and culture, as well as parades with gorgeous floats and costumes. 

I hope you all have a beautiful day and celebrate it the way we do in in Ireland - not just with drink ! - but with music, dance, art, poetry and love for each other. 

Here’s one of Ireland’s current rising stars, Tol├╝ Makay with a beautiful cover of a Saw Doctors song about an Irish emigrant. They released it at Christmas and every time I watch it I’m in tears again.

I'll most likely use some Irish music in Friday's class ;-) 

Register now!

Friday 9:30am - 10:30am Pacific time 
Sliding scale $10-$25 
FREE for BIPOC 


 

March
2021
REGISTER for CLASS

New work!


I'm currently in the studio at night working on my current performance piece. It's a piece giving voice to postpartum depression and hearing from those who've gone through it and come out the other side. 

I am feeling really grateful to be working with some incredible people on this project, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you all. It'll be broadcast online as part of ''Heroines, Harpies and Harlots'' - a woman's theatre festival produced by Beulah Vega in conjunction with Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, here in NorCal. 

Barely A Person

Directed by: Jess Headington
Soundtrack and composition: Laura LAIR (Ireland)
Choreography and movement: Rachel Wynne
Lighting and location: Dana Hunt 
Film and editing: Sean Pettis 
 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Your voice is needed!

Two trees and a big cloud in the sky



Hi friends,

I'm creating a solo dance theatre piece for a women's theatre festival in April. It'll be performed virtually at the end of April.

I'm exploring post-partum depression through this piece - not just my own but I also want to hear from other mums around the world who have experienced PPD. Part of the ''soundtrack'' to this piece will be moms voices sharing their experiences - mostly short snippets.

If you or someone you know experienced PPD (or PP anxiety, or PP rage) and feel secure and safe enough in yourself at this stage to share a little in an audio file, I would be grateful for just two minutes of your time answering a couple of questions on a voice memo that can be used in the soundtrack. All you need to do is talk into your phone.

The intention with this piece is to highlight a part of early motherhood that is not talked about enough, and is often (in my opinion) the direct result of us all living in a white supremacist, individualistic patriarchy. To that end I want to make sure I amplify BIPOC voices - please let me know how you identify when you send me your mp3 / mp4 file. Answers do not need to be in English.

All the voices on the track would be listed as anonymous, so you can be as real and honest as you want. (Swearing / random noises are ok - whatever comes out). We may not use snippets from all files we receive, (for example, if there's too much background noise or we just receive a lot) but hope to use as many as possible to give voice to this.

Thank you, dear ones, for helping me create this pretty vulnerable piece of art. Thank you for sharing with friends.

If you are interested:

* Please record yourself on your phone or computer - you can use the ''voice memo'' app, or just video the floor while you answer and I can extract the audio
* Answer any or all of the questions you feel you can
* e-mail mp3 or mp4 file to me at rachel@expandance.com, letting me know how you identify
* it would help the sound engineer if everything ended up being less than 2 minutes total
We are looking to collect all these voices by the end of this week Sunday March 7th 2021

Thank you, so much,
Rachel

The questions:
(If you're currently experiencing PPD, feel free to answer in the present tense)

1. If you remember it, what was your lowest point? 
"My lowest point was..." 

2. If your thoughts had a voice back then what were they saying? 
"My thoughts were / are saying..."

3. How did you feel about those thoughts?

4. What were the main, overriding feelings during the first year or two of parenthood for you?

5. If there was something that ultimately got you through / helped you, what was it? 

"What turned things around for me was..."or "What has helped me is..."


Monday, December 28, 2020

They're back! January expandance Fridays start again on the 8th.

"What I liked about expandance class is that it is a little bit of yoga, a little bit of mindfulness meditation, a little bit of drawing, and a lot of free style dancing. It even draws in Somatic Experiencing moves that focus on resourcing like using imagery and "dancing how you would like to dance". The amazing part is that no matter how complex and knee-deep in strategies that the expandance approach is, the experience for the participant is super simple and effortless. The feeling of joy and ease that I gleaned during the class followed me throughout the day." 

Felicia Darling, PhD




Hi everyone!

We're back with expandance Fridays

January 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th

9:30am - 10:30am Pacific / 5:30pm UK and Ireland 

Register here

Sliding scale donation: $5 - $25

Donate PayPal here or Venmo: expandance 

FREE for BIPOC


Thursday, December 3, 2020

December class, gratitude, and connection.

 

Let's connect and get warm this Decembrrrrrrr...

Happy Holidays, Blessed Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa!


Thank you so much for supporting expandanceduring a year that was so difficult for so many of us. The theatre I work at has been dark since March, the studios I teach in closed, so teaching expandance for you all has been my primary creative focus and outlet. You showing up to class has helped me continue to be ''dancer Rachel'', when it felt like 36 years of commitment to dance was all suddenly for naught, so thank you. It has also helped me remain connected to my body, to my practice, and to you, my community. Even though I didn't get to choreograph the planned 2020 spring season this year, or teach Danceypants, I've taught more expandance classes than in any of the other 15 years of expandance prior. 

Now it's the holiday season, and even though this one is different than most, to say the least - one thing that stays important is connection. Connection with family and friends may be limited to Zoom calls for many of us, but connection within is always available, whenever we choose to take the time and listen. I hope you will continue to join me in class to connect within, move, stretch, create, release and restore, and connect with your #globalexpandancefamily! 

This month I am offering two donation based classes, and one extended workshop in which the extra time will give us an opportunity to go even deeper. Put these three classes in your calendar now! And remember to register for each class, so I have an idea of how best to tailor the class for YOU! And donate, because that's just nice. 


Friday December 11th
9:30am Pacific (5:30pm Ireland)

Friday December 18th
9:30am Pacific (5:30pm Ireland)

Both Friday classes this month are 1 hour and donation based ($5 - $25 suggested)

Saturday December 26th 
10am Pacific (6pm Ireland) 

Saturday 26th workshop is 1.5 hours and is a sliding scale of $15-$25 - please pay in advance 


* You must register for class to get the Zoom link. It takes 10 seconds - you'll just be asked to write in your name and e-mail address *

*** No dance experience required ***

You don't need much room to move, and you can come with body ''stuff'' / injuries / pregnant / tired etc. Everything is welcome. I have over a decade of facilitation experience and 20 years teaching dance under my belt. 

Donations and payments to:

Venmo / CashApp expandance
or https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/expandance
Thank you 

Friday classes are FREE for BIPOC and undocumented immigrants, regardless of what country you're currently in, and workshops are sliding scale.

December
2020
Sign up now!
REGISTER for Fri 11th
REGISTER for Fri 18th
REGISTER for Sat 26th 
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Monday, November 23, 2020

Class tomorrow! Tuesday Nov 24th 8pm Pacific

 

Next and final November expandance class is tomorrow!



I had a long discussion the other day with a mom who has really been wanting to come to expandance class but has ongoing injuries. I realized that I needed to be a lot clearer about what expandance is and isn't, so here goes:
expandance is:
  • a class you can show up to if you have injuries (yeah, I know, that's pretty rare) - in fact, it's a healing modality, so you may even get some pain relief out of it or even heal the thing in question (No guarantees of course, but I've seen it happen many times)
  • a class you can show up to if you are tired and still get loads out of it
  • a class you can show up to if you have never danced before
expandance isn't:
  • lots of choreography you have to learn
  • lots of time at your screen (less than 15% of class is at your computer, most of it is away from it) 
  • SUPERHIGHENERGY! (unless your body wants it to be that day, in which case, go to town my friend!)

Tuesday November 24th
8pm - 9pm... with a lovely relaxation at the end so you can roll straight into bed. ❤

Donation based and free to BIPOC and undocumented immigrants. 
See you there loves 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

November class schedule


 ~~~NOVEMBER CLASSES!~~~

All 1 hour.
All donation based.
All excellent for your soul, your body, and your mind.
Get your calendar out!
Thursday Nov 12th
10am Pacific (6pm Ireland)
Friday Nov 20th
9:30am Pacific (5:30pm Ireland)
Tuesday Nov 24th
8pm Pacific time (way too early, Ireland!)
* You must register for class. It takes 10 seconds - you'll just be asked to write in your name and e-mail address *
Suggested donation $5 - $25 per class to
Venmo / CashApp expandance
Thank you
FREE for BIPOC and undocumented immigrants, regardless of what country you're currently in.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October 2020 Schedule of classes

 

October: The best month.  

Traditionally my favorite month of the year is October, my birthday month. It's autumn, the weather is a little cooler, I get to wear jeans and make soup again.

And yes, it's now apparently "wildfire season'' here in California, which sucks. I hope if you're reading this, you're safe from fires and any other natural disasters. We had the Shady fire here last week, about 10 miles from us, so that was an intense few days, but despite the smoky air outside we seem to be safe for now. Many of our friends are still under evacuation orders. 

So while the fires burn, 2020 continues in all it's tumultuousness, and we're keeping tabs on the external in our lives, let's make sure we also tend to our internal body of affairs: our bodies, our hearts, and our nervous systems. Yesterday at our expandance and restorative yoga class for the cancer community, a few people joined who are currently evacuated. Having a space to come to (albeit virtual) to let go of stress and tension can help ground us so profoundly. Here's what a couple of them said: 

"That's the most relaxed I've felt in five days. I felt the fear and the sadness just melt away. A real healing, thank you" - S.A. (currently evacuated)

"Thanks so much for this class. I really enjoyed it. Going to keep this in mind to do daily. I really liked it" - J. H.

With the recent fires, on top of the pandemic, life with a toddler and everything else, I found myself ending September completely exhausted and drained, and decided to make a few changes to my classes during October in order to give myself a re-set. It's no good preaching self care if I don't practice it too ;-) 

See below for the schedule changes for October, (yay extra classes!) - I hope you'll join me for your own re-set.

Remember: A rested activist is a more efficient activist!

~ Rachel, about to turn 39

p.s. Fun fact: my little brother and I share a birthday, yet we're not twins! Each year we get on the phone and sing ''happy birthday to us!"

Get your calendars out! Here's the October schedule:

Thursday Oct 8th / 9:30am - 11am Pacific

1.5 hour expandance workshop
$23 
Register here
You registration is not complete until payment is received:
You can pay via Paypal 
or CashApp / Venmo @ expandance 
Please write in the memo the date of the workshop you're attending

Tuesday Oct 13th / 8pm - 9pm Pacific 

1 hour class
Donation based 

Register here
FREE for Black, Indigenous, and People of color, as well as for undocumented immigrants (regardless of what country you're in). For everyone else, please pay what you can; $5 - $25 suggested. 
Donations can be made via PayPal here or Venmo / CashApp @ expandance


Friday Oct 30th / 9:30-10:30am Pacific

Donation based 
Register here
FREE for Black, Indigenous, and People of color, as well as for undocumented immigrants (regardless of what country you're in). For everyone else, please pay what you can; $5 - $25 suggested. 
Donations can be made via PayPal here or Venmo / CashApp @ expandance

Ongoing Wednesday Classes
"Release & Restore" / 5:30 - 7pm Pacific


1.5 hour class - expandance & restorative yoga every Wed
Taught by Rachel Wynne & Sarah Jenness in conjunction with St. Joseph's Healthcare
These are FREE wellness classes for the cancer community - wherever you are at in your journey with cancer (in treatment / remission / survivor). Modifications available for anyone with mobility constraints. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. 
Please RSVP to Sharon at 
Sharon.doughty@stjoe.org 

"
Release and Restore was exactly what I needed. It is true to its name: I was gifted with the space, safety, freedom, and encouragement to listen deeply to my body, contact my inner experience, and move and release what had been stagnating within; then, I got to melt into a warm, cozy sound bath while resting in regenerative yoga poses. Really, what more could I ask for?! I have been twice already, and will go again. Every time is a different experience. As a mom of a toddler, taking this time to care for myself is invaluable (not only for me, but for my family who receives a more grounded and rejuvenated me afterward!) and worth every penny". - Erin W.


PLEASE NOTE: NO Friday morning classes for the month of October

Remember; with expandance:

❤️ 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 


"Expandance is where your mind is set free and your inherent body wisdom opens up to releases with movement. Rachel's kind voice reminds you to let go of self judgment and free your mind. A beautiful healing experience! 

Truly love your work!  Thank you!" - Nicole Incaudo, May 2019

Register for Oct 8th workshop
Register for Oct 13th class
Register for Oct 30th class

New Instagram!

Have you checked out the expandance Instagram?

I'll be sharing my artistic and choreographic processes, old and new videos, class reminders and more. (Hopefully, one day, post-Covid, there'll be performance updates on there too again)

Come say hi!
https://www.instagram.com/expandance/

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Loving the bodies we inhabit. Right now.

 

picture of a white woman looking straight into camera laughing, hair blowing messily in the wind, with the sea behind her

It was a windy evening 

Olivia Vigil and I had come up to Bodega Head to take some shots for the new expandance website (coming soon!). It was a pretty typical Bodega Head sunset in that it was stunning, and windy, and much colder than you think it's going to be. 

I had moved through a lot of ''body stuff'' in the weeks prior to this photo shoot, mostly around the fact that I was about to get photos taken for a dance website, of a body shape that, in the world of dance, we are told is not a ''dancers body''. I'm still unpacking all that that means - the fact that if you're not incredibly slim, with perfect feet and no curves - you cannot be truly taken seriously as a dancer (at least not a ballet dancer; things have changed *slightly* in the contemporary arena). I've also realized how rooted in white supremacy this idea of beauty is. It is a colonialist (think corsets), Eurocentric, racist idea of beauty and honestly pretty unattainable for most people. Even for dancers I've known who trained hours and hours a day for decades. 

So with this photo shoot coming up I decided I'd had enough. I've been working on ''embracing'' my body for *years*, but in order to get through this shoot, I needed to up my self-love game. I needed to confront where I'd bought into this idea. I needed to not just be ok in my body and *how it looks and feels right at this moment in time* but actually embrace and be grateful for all of it. I needed to be happy with my body as it is so that anyone who walks into an expandance class also has the potential to feel happy in theirs, regardless of shape, color, age or ability. Thankfully, I had the honor of working with an incredible photographer who helped me feel at ease, worked out a shoot plan with me, and I'm happy to report that we ended up having a lot of fun. 

This is still a work in progress for me, and maybe it is for you too. Let's keep exploring it as we move through our expandance practice, as well as showing up for the myriad reasons we do. 

I'll see you in class. 

Rachel 

p.s. for more of Olivia's work check her out on facebook
Register for class 
"I’m still reveling in the harmonious sensations after an hour of expandance class” - Charles, UK

55 mins every Friday that’ll get you back in your body and feeling groovy ❤️

8am pacific time 
11am nyc 
4pm Ireland 

“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 

Friday expandance classes are FREE for Black, Indigenous, and People of color, as well as for undocumented immigrants (regardless of what country you're in). For everyone else, please pay what you can; $5 - $25 suggested. 

Donations can be made via PayPal here

or via Venmo or CashApp ''expandance''
Register for class 

New Instagram!

I finally started an expandance Instagram!

I'll be sharing my artistic and choreographic processes, old and new videos, class reminders and more. (Hopefully, one day, post-Covid, there'll be performance updates on there too again)

Come say hi!
https://www.instagram.com/expandance/