For most of us, mornings mean waking up to ten alarms, checking for social media notifications, and downing a cup of cafecito for that early boost. But Liza Pitsirilos wants to change the way Miami wakes up.
Specifically, she wants you to dance.
In April, Pitsirilos attended a retreat concentrating on the conscious movement method JourneyDance, which she's been teaching for the past five years. The retreat schedule required her to dance first thing in the morning for 11 minutes straight. The results amazed her.
“What I found is that not only did it change my physical state, but it changed my emotional and mental state," she explains. "I thought, If this is how I feel and I’ve been struggling with mornings, I wonder how many people are experiencing something like this.”
So she began challenging her social media contacts to get up in the morning and dance. The feedback, she says, was powerful. Now, Pitsirilos has begun Dance Now, Think Later as a means to bring all of those people together in a morning dance session. She hosted her first event in August at Inhale Miami, where about 70 participants attended.
The style of the dance varies in sound and direction, and differs from morning dance parties in vision as well. Barefoot dancers move to the rhythms of drums, beats, and Middle Eastern songs. With encouraging words, dancers can say inspirational statements to one another, which Pitsirilos notes is part of the session.
“If there’s a self-limiting belief of how they move or not being enough or not being able to live or find a partner, we bring that to the dance floor,” Pitsirilos says. “You’re using this time to dance through and feel what is there so that it can be expressed, and a new possibility and new intention can be created when you’re leaving the dance floor.”
Jorge Palacios, who attended the last event, said Dance Now, Think Later helped him process his thoughts and kept him going for the rest of the day.
“Not only was it just really good vibes there, with everyone dancing and being in their zone, but all those people there are in a conscious mindset and care about health and awareness," he said. "All that just had me ready to take on the day and the world.”
The next Dance Now, Think Later event will take place this Wednesday from 6 to 9 a.m. and will feature food and drink vendors at Inhale Miami. Ticket prices vary, and a percentage of proceeds will benefit Yoga Kidz and the Gratitude Project in South Africa. During the last event, the group raised $5,000 for both organizations. Pitsirilos says attendees may come and go as they please during the dance party, should wear comfortable clothes, and arrive with an open mind and heart.
“Although we highly encourage participants to be there in the beginning to experience the opening of the dance party, we welcome people to come when they can — it's not a strict start or end time,” Pitsirilos says. “This is a community-led project and it’s a collective of community leaders, and there’s an invested vision for Miami having a new direction for what dance and mornings look like. I’m really grateful.”
Dance Now, Think Later
6 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 26, at Inhale Miami, 6310 NE Second Ave., Miami. The event is family-friendly and open to the public. Tickets cost $30 for adults and $15 for kids 12 to 18; kids 12 and younger get in free. New Times readers receive 15 percent off ticket prices by using code DANCEDANCE. Purchase tickets via eventbrite.com.
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