Throughout November and December, Aimée Dawn Robinson has been running Dance Class For All, a meditative dance class guided through audio only, out of Whitehorse. The last class of 2021 will be on Dec. 12 at noon MST, but Robinson plans to continue them in the new year.
In these nature-enriched classes, Robinson offers what she describes as “image work, via the phone or computer that puts [your] mind outside.” Imagery is a literary tool that creates mental images and which Robinson uses to link her writing practice to her dance classes. The imagery work, as Robinson explains, is “more about the intention, the creativity, the improvising of it.”
There is intentionally no video in these classes because Robinson does not want participants to worry about how they are moving. She finds that “This really helps people with anxiety and really helps people with fear and habits.” These classes are valuable for even accomplished dancers; the layout of the class can “remove that layer of idealism and [allow you to] just have an experience.”
Dance Class For All is about individual movement styles for all mobility profiles and experience levels. With these classes, Robinson wants to “give people the opportunity to connect with nature and to shield themselves, embodied in that context.” She explains that her classes are about the experience rather than the product. It’s “more like a meditation experience where you’re guided, you’re moving, but there’s so little pressure. You don’t have to be perfect; there’s no ideal shape.”
Robinson is entering a decade of living in Yukon, and her personal connection to nature is embedded in her classes and her personal practice. “I’m a kid of nature; it’s kind of the most important thing to me. The world remains wild.” Yukon’s stunning geography is a source of perpetual wonder for Robinson. In Dance Class For All, she wants to “give people just a few moments where they feel wonder,” sharing the experiences of Yukon beyond its borders through their bodies and minds.
Each class is 50 minutes long, during which Robinson hopes that participants can evoke the wonder of nature in her non-traditional dance class format, “for body, for mind, for spirit.”