I am a seeker on a spiritual journey.  I am an innovator, passionate about creating opportunities for all people to better participate in movement and dance.  And I believe deeply that the body is the most powerful medium for personal and social transformation.

I grew up in Seattle, doing Seattle things - hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, playing baseball, basketball, and doing theater.  I began dancing before I could walk as my mother rocked around the house to Janis Joplin records with me bobbing in her arms. Later, as a little kid my mother enrolled me in creative movement classes where I got to walk like a crab, crawl like a bear, and make scary lion sounds. Next, I took control of my own dance journey and watched MTV with a VHS tape ready to record all the new Michael Jackson choreography.

I then left dance behind for awhile, and returned to it in college, after giving up my dream of playing professional baseball. I had this void in my life of physical movement. I joined the cycling team, but quit after one year because it was physicality without expression. So one day my friend told me, “Hey, come take a dance class with me. You are always dancing at all the parties, and you told me you loved it when you were a kid.” So I consulted with my 5-year old self for some wisdom. He said to take the class, and I never looked back.

I came a life cross-roads when I graduated college with a degree in Mathematical Economics and a love for dance. I remember the day I got the call from the hiring manager at the Los Angeles consulting firm. He told me, “Congratulations, I would like to offer you a job at our firm.” I felt nothing. Not happiness, not relief, not pride, not success, nothing. After 5 years of studying for a career, this was not the sensation I wanted to have. It was clear. I couldn’t keep lying to myself. Or anyone else. So I called him back and told him, “Thank you. I am grateful for your offer, but I need to humbly decline.” He said, “But nobody says no to this.” I said, “Well I’m not trying to make history, but it would be dishonest to you and to myself to accept this position.” He said, “Okay, but why?” And I replied, “Because I need to dance.” He paused, and said, “Great! This is LA, you can take dance classes on the nights.” And I said, “Thank you for the idea, but I need to pursue dance more as a career.” And he replied once again, “Yeah, but you know that you can also take classes on the weekends!” And I replied one last time, “Thank you, but I feel that dance is my spiritual path, my calling. And I need to answer that call.” He paused and said, “I understand. Good luck.”

This is all to say that I have always been a dancer. Before I could even walk. I am a dancer in the ancient sense of dance as healing, dance as ritual, dance as storytelling, dance as music, and dance as community. My current practice fuses Contemporary Dance, House Dance, Breaking, Qigong, and Somatics.  I have performed, taught, and directed throughout Europe, Central/South America, and the United States since 2008.

Elia Rubin Mrak Blumberg