Celebrating the Future is Feminine through Yoga & Dance
Women’s History Month, 2019
By Elise Bays
“Celebrate curves, hips, bellies. Tap into your strength. Draw upon each other’s strength.”
The sunshine was coming through the windows as the crowd began to form at the Daybreaker Portland event. We were a collection of yoga mats and excited families standing outside. As we waited, people shared memories of previous events. The doors opened. We were greeted, and asked if we wanted hugs. Plenty of hugs and encouragement later, we had our yoga mats set up and ready. Standing by the stage looking out at the sea of young and old, I was ready to relax and celebrate feminine energy.
The yoga session began by having us think of intention. She talked about being kind to our bodies and celebrating all aspects. To celebrate the very things that society tells us have been problematic. Celebrate curves, hips, bellies. Tap into your strength. Draw upon each other’s strength. During our session, we formed a circle and learned from each other. Outside, a train chugged along, the horn blasting as if to say we are ALIVE!
Post yoga, the beat changed from a soft drum beat to a soft pulse as “In your wildest dreams” played. DJ Jen Roberton kept me going, with the music and pumping beat. The pulse of the music flowed like a heartbeat as kids, families, of all ages and genders danced among bubbles, and balloons. But it wasn’t just the DJ who was spinning–there was even a hula hoop artist to the delight of parents and children alike.
The energy was incredible. People who were strangers became friends, connections were made, and memories created. My 10-year-old child formed a circle and began dancing. Event hosts came and joined us, kids followed suit and soon a dance off was happening.
Leaving the event, we felt rejuvenated, like we took a deep breath of fresh, springtime air. Daybreaker was exactly that–a moment of empowerment, energy, and encouragement. There is something inspiring about connecting music, dance, health, and well-being. The energy created from this could move mountains, and it will for the future generations.
Elise Bays is happy to be part of a growing group of ProudTimes’ contributors which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in Portland. She’s a native to Phoenix who calls the PNW home. She’s an avid jeeper who enjoys hiking, photography, art, and music. Bays is also an advocate for human rights, sexual education, safe kink, empowerment, polyamory, and gender studies. She is the proud mother of two children: a grade school son, and an MTF college-age daughter. Her other “kids” are two tuxedo kittens and a Labrador retriever who is turning six. Bays is a firm believer in small acts of kindness changing the world, and that ice cream and chocolate cake are meant to be enjoyed–even for breakfast.