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. We currently offer 10 ongoing outreach classes for inmates, veterans, recovering addicts, chronic illness patients, and the elderly.
We also offer programs to the public, including our weekly 5Rhythms Journey Beyond class, Medicine Circle workshops, our Outreach Facilitator Training, our Leadership in Motion program, and many other workshops at various venues.
Everyone can dance – from the able-bodied to people in wheelchairs, hospitals and other constraining circumstances. We dance with different populations 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.
"The Body, Mind, and Spirit of Syzygy Dance Project"
Written by Susie R. Spann, Editor-in-Chief | Ballroom Dance Connections magazine
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Volunteers help women release stress and anger with meditative routines
By Meredith May | SF Gate
"Ecstatic dance moves the spirit, soothes the soul"
By Meredith May | SF Chronicle
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"Greg Sarris! Live!"
By Jonah Raskin | Anderson Valley Advertiser
"Dancing with Intention": Interview with SDP Founder Sylvie Minot
By Pavini Moray | Bespoken Bones Podcast
“I love this work; it feels rewarding and rich to bring it to people who may never wander into a 5Rhythms class.”
“I let myself just dance. I lifted my hands in the ayer because I just didn't cayer. And it was the not caring part that was so freeing. I was no longer furious about the dog, the ticket, the busted computer. Best Sunday service I'd ever attended.”