Moving arts center welcomes international dancer, family April 2

Katie Kowalski arts@ptleader.com
Posted 3/21/17

A dancer from Los Angeles who teaches internationally has landed in Port Townsend to lead a weekly Sunday class that some refer to as their “soul church.”

Michael Molin-Skelton is a devotee of …

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Moving arts center welcomes international dancer, family April 2

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A dancer from Los Angeles who teaches internationally has landed in Port Townsend to lead a weekly Sunday class that some refer to as their “soul church.”

Michael Molin-Skelton is a devotee of Soul Motion, a conscious dance form that for many years has been one of the biggest draws at Madrona MindBody Institute at Fort Worden. Molin-Skelton has taught there on occasion over the years and is now joining the Madrona staff.

A free class and welcoming event for Molin-Skelton is set for April 2.

“To have someone of Michael’s caliber, with his international reputation, joining us – it’s a big deal,” said Madrona cofounder Aletia Alvarez of Molin-Skelton, who was trained by Soul Motion founder Vinn Arjuna Martí.

Alvarez brought the dance here in 2007, and has been teaching a popular “Soulful Sunday” class for 10 years. She’s now passing that class along to Molin-Skelton, with whom she’s collaborated over the past decade.

Molin-Skelton’s move to Madrona solidifies it as a West Coast center for the Soul Motion School, said Alvarez. A leadership program for apprentices from around the world and an entry-level program for the public are on the schedule for the next few months.

‘WORLD FLOOR’

Shelly Randall, who regularly attends classes at Madrona but hadn’t taken a Soulful Sunday class since 2009, said a recent one facilitated by Molin-Skelton was magical.

“Over the course of 90 minutes, Molin-Skelton serves up music from all over the map: African drumming, ‘Für Elise’ and ‘Down to the River to Pray,’” she said.

“Each change of tempo comes with an invitation by our facilitator to set an intention and move in a new way – usually solo, but sometimes with the option of a partner.”

At the end of the class, Randall said, Molin-Skelton reminded participants to keep connecting outside the room, saying: “This is the work of this practice: what you take off the dance floor onto the world floor.”

Molin-Skelton moved to Port Townsend last year with his wife, Anneli, and their 5-year-old son, Jaylan, who now attends Swan School.

“It’s such a beautiful community, and a beautiful place to raise a child,” said Anneli, also a dance instructor, in a press release. “It’s not an easy thing to do, to raise a family through your art,” added Molin-Skelton.But, said Anneli, “We feel blessed and grateful to do what we love.”

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