Friday, April 4, 2014

Meant to Move: My Interview with Dancer & Activist Kristin Sudeikis

Kristin and I, post 2FLY
I sat down with Kristin Sudeikis after 2FLY, a 90’s hip-hop dance class she created which is taking the New York workout scene by storm. “Should we go grab a coffee somewhere?” I asked. “I’m good to just chill on the floor here, if you are,” she said relaxing onto the linoleum tile. This chick is so cool, I obviously followed.

Kristin is the type of person who you meet and instantly love. She is so easy to talk to, so comfortable and assured about life, and truly makes you want to be a better human. Sounds like a lot to be able to ascertain about a person in the span of two minutes, but it’s true.

She's wearing a dope Just Do It t-shirt, camo shorts, and a snap back hat that looks oh so effortlessly cool. Most importantly, she wears a bright and peaceful smile that makes you want to smile back.

So, we started our interview on the floor outside the 2FLY classroom. 
P.s. world, I must make a shameless plug for 2FLY at Crunch Fitness with Kristin and Rachel – it is the MOST fun you’ll ever have exercising.

Still sweating from our workout, I asked Kristin the question I love to ask people who seem to do everything – “how do you define yourself?”

“I’m an active, curious listener. I’m always looking to create a conversation through movement. Dance is my first language, and I live to speak that language with as many people as possible.”

It might have been the best answer I’ve ever heard. This woman has chosen to spend her life changing lives of people through dance. I felt like a lighting bolt of epiphany struck me. Wouldn’t the world be a much happier place if we all danced through life and freed our bodies through movement? If you’ve seen the Pharrell ‘Happy’ video, you know what I’m talking about. 

She then spoke the following "equation," which I found incredibly prophetic (like, HALLELUJAH!). 

We then got into a deep question and answer "session" (there is no serious formality here, Kristin converses with like you've known her for years) about the way she hopes to change women’s lives through dance. Much of it has to do with building confidence, and how movement leads to true freedom.

“We’re meant to move,” she said. “From the time we’re babies, we are constantly moving. We hear music. We dance. We move our arms to hug. We move to stay in line with the universe. The sun moves, the planet moves, our hearts beat to keep our bodies moving. We can never stop moving. And when we do, we have to start moving again for the fear of staying still for too long. Movement is instinctual.”

She explained how movement gives us freedom. Staying still makes us feel stuck. Life and happiness are about feeling free within your body, and movement gives us that freedom.

In the tune of JustSaraJane’s mission to help women feel more confident in their bodies, I also asked Kristin about confidence. ‘’It’s simple,” she said. “Confidence needs to come from the inside out, never from the outside in. Feeling good in your body is what it’s all about. It’s what everything is about.” Amen, sista.

This is specifically why Kristin teaches dance. She explained to me that her classes are about helping people feel good and present in their bodies. Her work is about creating a space for a real, honest conversation with music, and using our bodies to explore.

We talked a lot about exactly how we go about feeling good in our bodies. Kristin jokes that in some of her dance classes, she encourages people to verbally “thank” parts of their body. “Thank you leg for being AWESOME today. Thank you knees for being total ROCKSTARS.” I LOVE this. Our bodies are incredible vehicles that move us through this life. They are made to support us. Move us. Carry us. They are made to love. On that note, definitely check out Kristin’s latest video “Made to Love,” featuring her contemporary dance company Kristin Sudeikis Dance (of which she is the artistic director). 

We have the choice to remain thankful for the beauty we get to create with our bodies. That, to me, is empowering and just straight up cool. As we wrapped up our talk about the theme of confidence, she said something that particularly stuck with me. “It’s really about always being present. Be present in your frame. Be present in the room. Stand tall. Be YOU. Being you will change the world.”

I guess it’s really that simple, folks.

“Anything else?” I asked her. “Oh yeah, back to how I define myself,” she said. “I’m someone that laughs most of the day.”

“I can see that,” I replied with a smile, joyous from one of the greatest conversations I’ve had in years.

Until next time, 

P.s. Friends, go forth and DANCE. Whether it's in your bedroom, on the subway, or in the street. Dancing makes people happy. Happy people = happier world. 

Thank you to Kristin for your work, passion and for being an inspiration. 

JSJ friends, stay tuned, I’ll be doing more upcoming pieces on Kristin as she continues to change the world through movement.

For more information about Kristin and her amazing work, visit her website at .

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