Dedicating to Morning Practice

At the beginning of this summer, I was wondering how I would ever juggle my clients, kids being home from school, everyday training, and keeping Artists in Unity moving forward with all of our projects in dance film.   As summer now comes to a close in the next month and my kids are venturing back to school and as I take on another powerful year with Movement for You and Artists in Unity I realized one thing is for sure Breathing, Focus, and Dedication to a Morning Practice is key to keeping my life on track and with aligning my heart so I can carry out all of my beautiful responsibilities and keep true to myself. 

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Keeping true to myself has been a major focus over this past summer.  AIU has been on quite a roller coaster ride with diving into projects, reorganizing of our material and footage for the past six years,  preparing for all the post work that is ahead of us over this next year, and with my pushing of our international outreach.  There have been honestly moments through these hot summer days that all I wanted to do was head to the beach and hang up the work.  And yes, with my incredible kids along my side and since two years back I made the decision to freelance I was able to pack up and put things on hold when I needed too. Clear my head and redirect my priorities along the way.   Keeping true to myself though and following out AIU and MFY missions has been quite challenging on certain days since I am the key player with both of my companies in making decisions and with the follow through.  This is why I find the dedication to movement practice in the early morning hours is key to aligning my body, mind, and spirit. 

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This brings me to the most important reason dedication to morning practice and check-in with self is crucial~ My Kids.  I remember growing up and having skating practice early, park program, or swim classes my childhood was filled with activity and keeping my body healthy from day one.  There were even moments then that I would complain on some days that I didn’t want to do certain activities. But, by the end of the activity I was smiling bright and happily spreading my cheer to fellow friends and family.  My energy always had a way of redirecting itself through physical activity which led my mind, body, and spirit to true alignment and connection to my heart.  My childhood morning rituals helped to make me see the importance of morning practice and passing it onto my kids too.   

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Early morning summer hikes and connection to nature are the best dedications to morning practice~

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Summer days are almost over and I am grateful for every special day that I had this past summer with my kids, family, and my daily practices.  The daily practice has helped me to see that whatever is in front of us is obtainable and can be worked through with much grace.  I will be continuing to build my private practice work with Movement for You as many new clients join by my side to experience Movement for You this coming fall.  Artists in Unity has had its international kick off with one of our films in the beginning of August which was beautiful to see and experience.  And I will continue on my mission of dedicating to my morning practices so then my love for movement, art, my family, clients, and my followers can feel all the joy that is within this heart of mine.  Remember the more we check-in with ourselves and truly love ourselves (every ounce… the ups, downs, and the in between) is when true connection to our own heart is made.  The beautiful aspect of this is then we are able to pass all that love and passion along to others. 

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This blog was written by founder and creator of Movement for You Practice Lindsay Schaefer. 

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Lindsay is also the Artistic Director of Artists in Unity.  You can follow all the work of Movement for You and Artists in Unity via the following sites-

www.movementforyou.com

www.artistsinunity.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movement-for-You-and-Artists-in-Unity/179731992111934?ref=bookmarks

 

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My Connective Path is Movement~

Intention is placed towards others……..

My heart’s deepest dreams and askings are reflected upon…….

The love for my true inner voice and the family who is by my side through all events is placed on the highest of intentions and fills me with gratitude. 

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Every day I place intention whether sitting on my mat in the studio or a different location that may arise in my travels.  I connect with my heart and then my movement connects with me.  I have learned through intention and placing my soul towards others this allows me to open to more.  My heart gives without thinking and unconditionally.  And my creativity explodes with each passing minute and allows me to shine through all the work I do as mother, wife, and artist. 

In order to give with care and promise we must all know our true voice inside as artists.  For if the paths of our journey whether through projects or with people do not align then the true voice that you stand for and the vision you stand for may be compromised.  In order for your true voice and vision to stand as an artist you need to stay connected to your true heart and its asking and protect that special message within as if it’s the most sacred gift that has been given to you. 

JMK_1787_bwI share my connective path with all of you and the reason why movement brings me back home to the path I was truly meant to be on.  Remember to connect to your true internal message today whether it be through movement, writing, speaking, dreaming, or giving to others.  I hope my sharing of my connective path with movement helps you all to listen deeply to your shining gifts that have been given to you and are right inside your heart. 

~ I connect to movement because I love to see how my breath changes from the start of my movement practice to the end. 

~I love to see how the disconnect in the beginning of practice leaves the body once intention is placed, breath is focused on with each inhale and exhale, and movement sequences fall into a flow pattern filled with nurturing and comfort. 

~I love to hear my inner voice rise to its highest level of potential as mantras (pep talks are stated) and movement guides me to the warmth of my heart which nourishes each limb, muscle, tendon, and blood flow within the body. 

~ I love to see the negative patterns turn to positive thinking with each salute to self through movement posture, meditative flow practice, or the dancing movement that turns to my deepest choreography to share with others through my art. 

~I love to feel the arms, feet, torso, back extending and dancing to its own rhythm of the breath that is within and this carries my heart to a special place called freedom. 

~I love through visualization of movement or through physically performing my movement on mat or on the dance floor how my center becomes rooted to its core intentions and my body connects to the Earth’s spirit. 

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One of the highest levels of love and speaking from my soul can be seen through my dancing and artistic creations whether through choreography, writing, or film.   I dedicate to my gifts that have been given to me on a daily basis.  My connective path is to movement and allows me to share so much of my love of life with others. Remember to embrace your connective path today and every day for then your true inner voice and artistic dreams will shine in all the years to come. 

 

This blog is written by Lindsay Schaefer Artistic Director of Artists in Unity and founder and creator of Movement for You Practice.   Lindsay Schaefer’s first book The Process~ The Practice~ The Artist will be released in the end of 2015.  Be sure to follow all of Lindsay’s work with AIU and MFY via the following websites and Facebook page www.artistsinunity.com and www.movementforyou.com  and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movement-for-You-and-Artists-in-Unity/179731992111934?ref=bookmarks

 

 

A Gift of Movement

I practice every day the gift of movement that was given to me. I guide my clients that are working with me weekly to understand I am only a guide to them in sharing my gift of movement and then it is their responsibility to incorporate the practice I share with them into their daily lives.

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MFY_33When I was first developing the name Movement for You and six years back it had an extended phrase within it A Way of Life Practice it was my hope that clients would see that the practice is as much a gift to me as it is a gift to everyone I pass it onto.  The practice is designed specifically for each individual that I bring the movement too.  The choreographed practice allows individuals to step onto their mats with no judgment.  It allows the mind to be free and to accept where the body is currently at.  With time through the Movement for You practice the body learns to embrace the choreographed movements with ease, circle of breath starts to come naturally, and with that a rhythm through the Pilates and Yoga elements is felt and seen as if my client is dancing.   My work with MFY and with all my private client work revolves around study of the mind, body, and how to change behaviors that may not be best for our current state of living.  I connect with each client in a safe and nurturing way in order for them to feel the love of Movement for You practice and with time want to make it A Way of Life practice in their lives. 

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032014_55Over the past couple of years, I have had the incredible pleasure of working with clients here in the Lehigh Valley privately that have made me see the significance of my work even more.  My days years back in New York City before my family and I moved to the Lehigh Valley was the building and developing place for the Movement for You practice to be born.  I shared MFY practice with clients of all walks of life from celebrity status to my inner city children that would never have experienced movement if I wasn’t in front of them to share the practice.  The practice has trained elite gymnasts that have gone onto Olympic level and has cleared the mind of many to see the true passion and love that is within themselves.   

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I share my work Movement for You with all my followers because it is my dearest friend that has been by my side through all of life’s changes.  I have carried this practice with me throughout my artistic career as a performer in the arts, through life travels and changes, pregnancies, death, and everything that faces me in my current day.  My children have grown up seeing me create and perform my Movement for You practice on the mat at home and when we are out and about in our travels.  I always do say that life does seem a bit more pleasant when we are upside down even if it can only be for a couple of seconds within our day. 

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There were never excuses in my eyes after I had my little ones, receiving those no’s from auditions, or tragic happenings that may have come before me in my life on whether or not to hit my mat daily with my Movement for You practice.  In my eyes if you are given a gift of movement (and we all have this gift even if disabilities lay in front of us) then it our responsibility to find the guidance to lead us to more.  In ways I am that guide for some individuals for a time being while they enter their first years of study with me and the Movement for You practice.   I say from the first class with my special followers and clients that it is their responsibility to themselves to dig deep and trust that the movement that I give to them through Movement for You practice with time will take them to a whole other place of understanding of their mind, their body, and what their heart is asking for. Remember A Gift of Movement is within all of us~

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I hope you have enjoyed seeing some still shots of the Movement for You practice.  You can continue to follow my Movement for Practice work via my website http://www.movementforyou.com and Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movement-for-You-and-Artists-in-Unity/179731992111934

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If you are interested in studying the Movement for You Practice please feel free to connect with me via my website through my contact page or through email lindsayschaefer@movementforyou.com

 

A New Look for Movement for You

I am reaching out to share with my followers the new website for Movement for You.  The fresh new look was designed by fellow artist and website designer Carlos Mendez.  Over the past year, my Movement for You Practice has been shared at various schools from elementary to high school level,  performing arts programs in academia and conservatory programs, through private teaching in my home and within other clients homes, and is the base for all the dancers coming into my company Artists in Unity that what to train with me in dance and film.

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When you have a minute please check out the new site for Movement for You http://www.movementforyou.com and be sure to share it with a friend who enjoys movement.  Movement for You is a Way of Life Practice that involves Pilates Mat Work, Yoga Sequences, and Ballet Conditioning for even the non dancer.   Breathing and Meditation work is also a huge component of the practice.

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If you are interested in studying the Movement for You Practice be sure to connect with me via my contact page on my website.  I look forward to sharing more of this beautiful practice with all of YOU!

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Lindsay Schaefer is a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer, and director/ producer for dance film and movement based projects.  Her professional career has taken her across the US to teach, choreograph, and perform in multiple disciplines in the arts.   Lindsay is the Artistic Director of Artists in Unity- a professional multidisciplinary collaborative company specializing in dance film and photography based projects.  www.artistsinunity.com  Silent Dance, Pathway, Release, Petals of Love, and Threads of Kin are some of the dance works that have moved to film under Lindsay’s direction and producing.  Her films have been in film festival circuit nationally and internationally. As founder and creator of Movement for You Practice~ a movement practice involving Pilates, Yoga, and Dance Conditioning a DVD was created in 2011 to document the practice for dancers and gymnasts.   Past training/performing for Lindsay has been- Temple University, Point Park University, Arizona State University, AZ Movement Source Company, Odonata Dance Project, NY Dance Collective, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Trinette Singleton, Merce Cunningham Studios, WAX, and Artists in Unity.   Her teaching and offering as an artist through residencies with AIU and personally have been at Arizona State University, NYC inner city schools, Chelsea Piers, Cibola High School and Yuma High School, Moravian College, Charter Arts High School, Lehigh University, and Cedar Crest College.  Lindsay’s voice through writing has been shared in Origin Magazine under their True Beauty section, Dance Enthusiast, Natural Awakenings, Yoga Stage, Movement for You blog, and Artists in Unity blog.  A collection of short stories and poetry are captured in Lindsay’s first book The Process~ The Practice~ The Artist.  www.artistsinunity.com and www.movementforyou.com

I Am A Dancer~

I move as if every breath is a dance.  I dance because it is natural.  I am a dancer in every moment of my day as mother, as wife, as artist, and as part of this beautiful life I was given.  I can’t imagine a day without my heart asking for movement and for my dance.

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Steps come to me as I walk, as I sit, as I communicate, and as I reflect.  There are new steps with every new breath I take, with every adventure, every failure, and every success.  With tears there has been a dance.  And with happiness there is one too.

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The dance, the movement, complete my soul, my heart, and my being.

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This short excerpt is from Lindsay Schaefer’s book The Process~ The Practice~ The Artist.  Keep following all the developments with Lindsay’s work via her websites http://www.artistsinunity.com and http://www.movementforyou.com and her company Facebook page Artists in Unity https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movement-for-You-and-Artists-in-Unity/179731992111934 You can also support Lindsay’s work in the arts by visiting her Fractured Atlas page

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=9727

Working on the Artistic Craft

There has been many days when I didn’t want to train or practice the craft that was given to me.  I have found that resting days are important after many years of fighting with my internal voice.  But, days I walk away from the craft just to walk away are not the best for the growth of an artist’s mind and body. 

We need as artists to build in time for play, for rest, and for training and creating.  It is not fair to the craft we were given to not appreciate it enough to nurture it like a baby on its first day in the large world around us.  Our bodies may grow and age may come before us as artists and it is our responsibility to our deepest dreams and wants to always listen and care for the inner voice that is sparking.  If we don’t build in the time for play, for rest, and for training and creating we may walk or in my case dance right by a spark that has been placed in front of the pathway to our dreams. 

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I take time every day to feel all the senses within my body.  I listen to the sound within the environments in my home, amongst my children, my husband, and our everyday activities.  Yes, the rituals~ day in and day out may feel heavy at times.  But, if you listen to the sound around you as if the sound of your breath can carry you through the everyday rituals and lead you to your true calling then the sound places the answers always within your heart. 

Our rituals are signs of what we love and should never go without appreciation in every respect.  As an artist my craft has been built upon seeing every experience whether good or bad that is around me.  And even the typical day in and day out rituals can guide you to creative energy that is just waiting to be explored.  Remember to listen and to be still even when there is a lot of noise and disruption around.  You may be amazed how your inner voice and artist will capture something from the simplest gesture or interaction of the eyes from someone else. 

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I will never forget how one of my works for stage Sun, Earth, Breath:  A Woman’s Circle was sparked by just listening to the sound around me as I was nursing my baby Penelope.  The images of different women came before me as they went throughout their day from work at home to work in society.   Tuning into the sound around my body nurtured my heart to release all the thoughts on paper for this artistic stage work involving dance, original music, and photography.  It took 4 years from that point of sitting on the rocker to the day that Sun, Earth, Breath: A Woman’s Circle had its debut.  But, still to this day it mapped my journey as an artist and placed much importance on Process and to listening to the Sound amongst us to develop our artistic craft further. 

Other thoughts that come to my mind as we speak of the Work that goes into the Artistic Craft~ the Mat Work, the Yoga Work, Movement in Every way from Swimming to Walking, to Meditation, to Injury, Nutrition, Rest, and Mental Health~ and all to be more in the world of dance and art.  The focus is so intense from the minute you make that decision to be an artist.  In the beginning days the words above all seemed quite overwhelming and filled my thoughts while I would dance and create.  The studio process was not always viewed as sacred to me.  The demons within from my inner voice would sometimes speak of all that has to be performed in and out of the studio to be the best.  Then graceful mentors were placed in front of me to pave the way to the work of Yoga and Pilates and Alternative Movement approaches that cleared the mind so the work as an artist could be enjoyed. 

From listening to the sounds around me that fuel my body on a daily basis.  To the mentors that have stood like angels by my side at times without them even knowing it.  I have learned the importance of working on my artistic craft and taking in every element with appreciation so that I can stand in front of you now and finally say to you~ I am an Artist. 

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Working on the Artistic Craft has allowed me to see the importance of Process and to never forget the important people that are always in front of you sometimes in mysterious ways to lead you to the next step.  I say to all those young artists and ones especially in training and even ones that have grown in their years don’t forget the special people that walked in front of you with a message and lead you to more. Be grateful for every waking smile, every warm embrace, and for all those sounds that you think are to overpowering take those in too.   For all these signs will lead you to more and especially to your true inner heart.  

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This passage is taken from the book The Process~ The Practice~ The Artist by Lindsay Schaefer the Artistic Director of Artists in Unity www.artistsinunity.com You can follow all of Lindsay’s writing work via her websites through her blogs www.artistsinunity.com and www.movementforyou.com Connect with Lindsay’s artistic business page so you can follow all the developments and release dates for her book The Process~ The Practice~ The Artist https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movement-for-You-and-Artists-in-Unity/179731992111934

 

 

 

Happy 2014 Artists in Unity and Movement for You followers!

Artists in Unity is very excited about closing 2013 with many accomplishments and heading into 2014  with passion to create more, collaborate more, and to give back to all of YOU our community.  Our hearts are ready to share all our love for the arts, concert dance work, and taking that concert dance work to film and photography based projects for all of you to view and enjoy.

In 2013, AIU pushed forward with completion of Silent Dance and got acknowledged at two local film festivals in the Lehigh Valley for our work with Silent Dance.  We are still in the film fest circuit with Silent Dance and looking forward to all the hearts it will touch in 2014 here in the US and internationally.

It was a joy developing this past year a home studio for AIU and MFY work.  Over the summer in 2013 we had much fun creating MFY segments for our followers to follow via Facebook.  Be looking for more of these in 2014.

AIU started filming Release in March 2013 and wrapped with this dance therapy related film for women suffering from past traumas in December 2013.  We are very excited to share more of this work with women in pain and suffering.

The production work for Beauty our dance film involving the four seasons, movement, and the natural landscape gems in our Lehigh Valley was wrapped with filming in the 2nd week of December.  We are being offered mentorship through Dance Films Association with this work.  This production will involve many collaborators in dance, film, and music.  A huge thank you to all AIU company members that have been a part of Beauty’s developments.

AIU was happy to bring into our circle of collaborators three new dancers this year to the company’s work.  These new dancers have been working hard and will be in our production of Petals of Love in March 2014.  A huge thank you to Ballet Guild for allowing us to rehearse out of your beautiful space and supporting all the developments of AIU.

To finish up 2013 AIU has been venturing into our first fundraiser with a calendar sale.  All proceeds have gone towards our next project Petals and has been a huge success.

In 2014, AIU will be awaiting fiscal sponsorship via Fractured Atlas.  It has always been my goal to have a company similar to Paul Taylor II but involving more media work and out of the box thinking.  But, Taylor’s company developments from teaching to running the company financially have been one I follow on a regular basis.   So to shooting for more in 2014 from grant writing to fundraisers to gathering support and giving of ourselves to this community.

I will be combining more of my work with Movement for You into AIU company training work.  We will also be taking with AIU dancers the MFY movement system into schools/colleges/and community with public classes and offerings.

Our first big production will take place this March 2014 with Petals of Love filming.  AIU will house 9 artists for this beautiful work.  And we will also be venturing into Charter Arts High School to give of our time with MFY workshop and sharing of all AIU media work.  I am very grateful for this opportunity and appreciative of the hearts that are opening to AIU.

With much passion, heart, and love I wish you all happiness and good health in the New Year.   Take a minute to connect with Artists in Unity and Movement for You so you can follow all the work that will be taking place over 2014.  You will experience not only an artistic journey with AIU work but also offer yourself motivation and guidance to better health and love of movement through MFY movement system.

To endless possibilities in 2014!

Lindsay Schaefer

Artistic Director and Creator

Of Artists in Unity/Movement for You

www.artistsinunity.com

www.movementforyou.com