When we’re feeling stressed, many of us reach for the bottle, a prescription, or maybe take it out on someone else.
But what if we hold the key to success ourselves?
That’s what Laura Cherry believes, dance queen extraordinaire, that the power to heal lies innately within us.
Laura, founder of Rising Soul Dance, uses movement to help people tap into their creative energies in order to reach their full potential in a 24/7 world.
Her classes use techniques to reduce anxiety, build a deeper connection with yourself and others, improve sleeping habits, as well as boost confidence and self-esteem.
And the bonus? All of this while using the entire body in the most natural way to make exercise fun rather than plodding along on the treadmill to nowhere.
Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Laura said: “I have been dancing all of my life, with various training, but it wasn’t until the past couple of years I had a moment where I realised, I had been using it as a healing tool from when I was very young.
“Even from when I was a child, I’d remember dancing intuitively in my bedroom for a release – and then crying after on occasions. Tears from joy or release.
“This happened several times growing up, and I believe these were my very first memories of using dance as a tool to heal.”
The healing elements of dance are globally recognised; with benefits including muscular strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, agility, heart rate, and memory.
Laura fuses her passion for music with intuitive dance (based on what one feels without choreography), guiding people on a journey of self-discovery that explores joy, healing relationships, overcoming tension, and helping people find their true self.
Her taster videos posted online are simply otherworldly, with Laura’s unique style of motion mixing contemporary chic with vibes of yesteryear.
Laura, who is also the co-founder of go-go company The Meyer Dancers, explained: “Since my very early teens, I’ve always been into vintage fashion and the Hollywood starlets.
“Marilyn Monroe was a huge influence for me growing up.
“As time progressed, I started experimenting and exploring styles all the way through to the 70s. The 60s is my passion mostly, I absolutely adore the music and in particular the late 60s period. I’m definitely born in the wrong era!
“My choreography with The Meyer Dancers takes influence from Pan’s People (60s all-girl troupe), Ready Steady Go (60s TV show) and all of the classic dances from this time.”
During quarantine, Laura is running weekly Rising Soul Dance classes on Zoom, titled ‘Feel Freedom In Your Body’, every Wednesday night at 8pm and Saturdays at 11am.
The sessions offer an eclectic, soulful soundtrack inspired by psychedelic sounds, soulful grooves, and rock ‘n’ roll.
She told Uspire: “Rising Soul Dance was born out of my desire to help people heal through dance, just as I have used this tool of transformation.
“I have been teaching for eight years, and with healing the body naturally for the past six years I felt the role of creative dance facilitator fall into place through a huge realisation.
“I usually teach courses and one-on-one sessions, but with lockdown in place my physical classes are on hold.
“However, I’ve really been enjoying the virtual space and beautiful energy it brings, connecting people all over the world.”
When quizzed on how she would encourage anyone feeling a little shy about their body or lack of experience to get involved, Laura said: “Rising Soul Dance is more of a therapeutic approach rather than steps or choreography.
“It is gentle guidance and interpretation of your own unique style that really brings healing within the body.
“The class is designed to take you on a journey, and there truly is no right or wrong – individuality is embraced as we flow together.”
Speaking about body image pressures often associated with dance, Laura believes there is a shift finally taking place.
She explained: “Within the commercial and professional dance world, there is sometimes a pressure to look a certain way. However, I do think some of these ideas are slowly starting to change and become more inclusive.
“Rising Soul Dance is a celebration of life, so all bodies are welcome. We come together to heal together. It is a great method to celebrate your body as you physically relieve stress and tension that may have been pent up for years.”
Laura also believes that the public’s relationship to wellbeing has changed during the coronavirus lockdown, adding: “I actually think overall people have been affected in a positive way.
“I believe people will look back at this time and cherish the wonderful lessons they learned, especially to do with self-care and slowing down or truly resting.
“I think people are starting to become more conscious of their individual paths and wake up to something magnificent.
“I’ve personally experienced some beautiful connections during this time I may not have experienced if I was running around fast in the city.
“My main mission is to inspire as many people as I can to dance into their light.”
For more info, click here: Rising Soul Dance.