Syzygy Dance Project started in 2010 with one class at the San Francisco County Jail. We now have 10 ongoing projects with diverse populations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The inspiration for Syzygy Dance Project comes from the heart of Sylvie Minot, Syzygy Dance Project’s Executive Director. Twenty years ago, while assisting a dance class at an AIDS conference Sylvie became aware of her calling to bring movement to those unlikely to access it. She was inspired by the participants, many of whom were dancing in wheelchairs and with oxygen masks. One of the participants remarked, “The entire conference was about my illness and how sick I was, yet I felt more alive when I was dancing, free from the narrative of my disease.”
As Sylvie continued dancing and studied to be a movement teacher, she was struck by how many people exist as virtual prisoners in the circumstances of their own lives. She felt that to bring freedom and a sense of possibility through movement to those who were incarcerated would be a tremendous gift. Sylvie is now called to bring dance, not only to those in prison, but to anyone who can benefit from it.
Syzygy Dance Project is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that transforms lives through dance.
Everyone can dance – from the able-bodied to people in wheelchairs, hospitals and other constraining circumstances. We dance with veterans, inmates, at risk youth, recovering addicts, and the homeless using music, sound and movement to facilitate organic movement.
The body holds stories, emotions and tensions – far more than we are aware of. When we move together, we identify the patterns in our bodies that block us. Our movement practice facilitates awareness, self-exploration and change. Skills cultivated on the dance floor can be taken into our everyday lives. Those who dance feel less stressed, greater physical well-being, more able to accept and express emotions, increased self-esteem, and greater connection to self, others and community.
Sylvie Minot is the executive director and founder of Syzygy Dance Project. She embodies the transformative power of dance as a teacher, choreographer, and the creator of Medicine Circle.
Sylvie discovered dance at the age of 29, and has not stopped dancing since. After studying psychology and receiving her BA in Dance from San Jose State University, she became a professional dancer and teacher.
Sylvie is certified to teach Heartbeat, and was trained by Gabrielle Roth. She co-founded the Saturday Sweat Your Prayers in Marin in 2002, and is on the teaching staff of Open Floor in Marin County. Her weekly 5Rhythms Waves Journey class in Sausalito began in 2004. Sylvie has taught movement classes and workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and throughout the United States.
The elements, natural world, energy, spirit and sound healing are a few of her influences, especially in the Medicine Circle, which she created in 2008. Sylvie’s work is inspired by the teachings of Angeles Arrien in indigenous healing rituals and Carolyn Myss’ energy medicine. She currently studies sound healing with Tito La Rosa in Peru.
Sylvie’s passion for dance also includes being a choreographer. Recent pieces she’s created were inspired from the outreach projects with women in the jail and in recovery, and veterans returning from war. Outside of the dance world, Sylvie has worked as a drug and alcohol counselor within the jail system, and an activity director at an in-patient lockdown facility for geriatric patients.
Sylvie is often described as a catalytic shape-shifter because of her ability to meet people right where they are and move with them into new possibilities. She takes you to the edge, and helps you fly. She has lived in Asia and Europe, and now resides in Marin County, CA.
Board of Directors
We are dancers, teachers, choreographers, counselors, therapists, consultants, and business people. We believe in the transformative power of dance.
To make all this dancing happen, Syzygy Dance Project relies on the generous support of a diverse and global community of people. Our team is comprised of dancers who are also therapists, MFT interns, IT consultants, business people, 5Rhythms teachers and more. What brings us together is our passion for the transformative power of dance and the vision of Syzygy Dance Project. We currently have twenty ongoing volunteers who dedicate their minds, skills, time, heart, energy, and financial resources. We create experiences where everyone contributes to making this world a better place through dance.
“I love this work; it feels rewarding and rich to bring it to people who may never wander into a 5Rhythms class.”
“It just amazes and inspires me that strangers that seemingly would never meet do so through the simple but profound act of dance.”