Dancing Human: Samantha Slade
Saturday, April 07, 2018
By The Philly Tribe
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Samantha Slade

Philadelphia, PA


In what year was your first class with The Philly Tribe?



What was your relationship to dance/movement before taking class with The Philly Tribe?

I used to study dance as a child, but I was always a wild one with it – like, I did a free-form dance during my 6th-grade talent show to a Skid Row song. I was raised around the Chicago house music scene in the late 90s, and clubbed/raved a lot there and in Colorado. A few years ago, I turned inward and started looking at my addictions and lifestyle, and I had a very strong urge to start going to raves again! My friends laughed, saying it probably wasn’t the right time to get back into that culture, but my body and my being really wanted to move, even if it didn’t know that 5Rhythms existed yet.


What keeps you coming back to class regularly?

The sense of belonging that I get from seeing all my friends there, how great my body feels afterward, and how calm it makes me. I uncover pure, simple joy on the dance floor again and again.


In what ways does this dance practice influence or inspire your non-dancing life?

There could be a million answers to this, as the dance is everything everywhere, but I’ll share the first two that come to mind. First, in my visual art work, I’ve come to really hold “the space in-between” as sacred—the space between shapes, between colors, between lines. Also, I work for myself in the design world, which can be very hard on the self-esteem at times. I think often about the times I’ve gotten to “walk through walls of criticism” in various dance workshops (a specific exercise teachers sometimes do), and it empowers me to stand in my strength and confidence in my professional world.


Tell us about a specific Philly Tribe class or workshop that you thought was especially powerful.

Ya’acov Darling Khan’s Movement Medicine workshop in March 2017 was massive for me. He had us jumping and shaking at one point, and I totally had this vision where I uncovered an owl spirit guide. There was seriously an owl omnipresent with me for weeks after that! I also went to England in summer 2017 to dance with Ya’acov, and I carry often with me one of the messages he directly gave me there: “Visions will come to you; don’t try to make them happen, they will just come.” That little line taught me patience and trust, to know that things will unfold at their own pace. Ya’acov showed me how to access the imagination and bring it into this physical world, and my visual art practice has grown stronger and more confident as a result.


Is there anything you’d like your fellow classmates to know about your dance-floor personality, preferences, or quirks?

If we start dancing, there is a very good chance that I will start laughing. And then you’ll start laughing. And then we’ll both be laughing. And then I’ll bounce off probably too soon. I also sometimes wear heeled dance shoes because my right hip often ends up hurting and the shoes help balance me out. They also make me extra twirly in Lyrical.


Tell us a little about your current life off the dance floor.

I’m a mom of two amazing children, and I’ve been married for 14 years to a very kind, supportive man. We live in a huge magical Mount Airy twin. I am an independent creative, and my studio art practice is very important to me. Going to see live rock ‘n’ roll was probably my first gateway into mind expansion and is still one of my favorite things to do. I’ve been particularly enjoying seeing the bands from my youth here now in my late 30s—everyone sounds so incredibly tight.


Is there anything else you’d like to share—personal accomplishments, struggles, epiphanies, questions, or stand-out life experiences that have helped shaped who you are today?

There are no words to really describe surrender if you haven’t experienced it. A few years back I felt beyond lost, but I knew the way out was to just give myself over to practice. After a summer of following Krishna Das around New York, I realized I needed to find something more local to develop a sustainable practice and community. An epic week followed. On a Tuesday, I went to AA. On a Wednesday, I went to the Krishna temple. On a Saturday, I went to 5Rhythms and I haven’t left yet.