On World Dance Day: Well-being through Dance Movement Therapy

In our fast paced lives, stress is one by-product that is unavoidable. And more often than not, we tend to spend the least amount of time countering it’s impact on our body and mind. So while some take to exercise, yoga or meditation to bring calm to their lives, a new de-stressor is now gradually creating an impact. And here is where entrepreneur Payel Mitra steps in, helping people, especially women bring their bodies and souls in sync, through what is knows as ‘Dance Movement Therapy’. It is a well-researched science that allows people to realize the natural rhythm of their body, through a series of tailored movement sessions.

Her venture is aptly called ‘StillFlow’, and although it was started just a few months back with co-founder Kshitija Suryavanshi, she has managed to impact plenty of lives positively in the short span of time. Payal speaks to Sakshi Sirari about the implications of the therapy and the wonderful impact it can have.

 Using movement for holistic healing: Dance Movement Therapy

Dance Movement Therapy is a way of promoting wellness through a therapeutic approach. The way we work is that we conduct interactive workshops, where the participants are taken through a designed process. We work on a particular goal/ objective. Before we actually start designing a workshop, we conduct a needs assessment of the target group that we have to cater to. The same process applies to individual sessions as well. Once we have understood the motive and objective of the person/ group attending the session, we design the program in a way that will cater to the particular need. We also have progressive classes, which take you from one level to another. This again is designed in a way to work on the particular objective that is there for the particular client. The end result or the end goal of the therapy is a positive outcome. It could be anything that makes sense for the person. The way s/he experiences his/her natural movements and rhythm of the body through the sessions is what is meaningful to the person.

Payal Mitra's DMT Session

A holistic approach to mind and body wellness: Payal Mitra’s DMT Session

It is new industry in India, not many people are aware of it. The moment you talk about it, people associate it with dancing. People often ask ‘Is it a dance class?’, ‘Are you teaching some dance form?’. The answer is we are not teaching or promoting any particular dance form. What we promote is complete, holistic well-being through movements. And that is what ‘Stillflow’, my venture does. It works with all age groups, any person from, say 9 years to 90 years, and even beyond that. So we work with people from all age groups and sections of society. Though with Stillflow we have a particular target audience that we cater to. We work with particularly women networking groups and corporates. We are also targeting schools and young adults as well.

Also read: Experiencing the ‘wild’ side of life:  Wildlife Conservationist Neha Sinha 

Be fearless, be unique in whatever you do and you should always do what you are best at doing.

Women respond positively to DMT

When we worked with women’s group in particular, we realized that when they are in a close-knit, only women’s groups, they are much more comfortable and open to experiencing their own selves in a more authentic way. In a mixed group, where you have male and female, that is where people become much more closed and to some extent they are not able to experience their entire potential of expression.

Payal Mitra at DMT sessions

Women respond well to Dance Movement Therapy: Payal Mitra

Also read: On World Dance Day: The Women who embody grace 

DMT helps me express myself 

DMT happened to me at a time when I was going through turmoil in my professional and personal life. This entire journey has always kept me going places. I always got the understanding that it is something which is me, what I want to be. It is completely a non-judgmental, supportive space which just lets me be, without any expectations of other or myself. I can just be myself. This has also been my driving force for me to take this to other people, particularly women’s groups, because we feel that women always cater to the needs of the other. They always try to put their self needs on the back burner, and that is where a therapy like this can ignite the need for self-care.

Advice to young women

My only piece of advice would be- Be fearless, be unique in whatever you do and you should always do what you are best at doing.