I dreamt last night that I had a palm full of splinters.

As I mustered the patience and self-reflexivity it would take to remove the splinters I realized that they were different sized porcupine quills. Some of them were small, shallowly buried, and easy to remove. Others were fat, long, and went deep. It hurt and was scary to pull those out. With a hand covered in blood, I feared the holes left open in my skin would bleed profusely but they didn’t. As they all lay in the grass before me, I noticed the quills were quite beautiful and thought I might like to keep them, to look at later.

I didn’t remember this dream until I got a splinter in my palm this morning. Then it all flooded back in. I think it’s a perfect metaphor for the emotional work I have before me. Thank you, dream mind.

I’ve been having a lot of strange and vivid dreams. This is one reason why I was inspired to make “Dreamscapes” the theme of Rosewater Review this year (Rose Movement Studio’s annual show, happening November 17-18, 2017 at Dougherty Theatre in Austin, TX).

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Documentary: Rachel Brice y April Rose en Mexico

I am honored to share this beautiful short film reviewing my time teaching in Mexico City alongside dance legend, Rachel Brice! Produced by Ananda Fusion.

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New Online Classes!

I have a new series of classes on Datura Online!  Study dance with me from your own computer. Check out the in-depth preview here!

Hours of content including a Casino Badia inspired Choreography, Two technique classes, and even more killer conditioning!

AR Promo Thumb1200px

Photo: Stereovision Photography

AR Layered Shimmies

Photo: Reed Burnam

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Intensive: “Dancing with History”

I am excited to offer a new week-long intensive program, Dancing with History.  At the moment, the only place you can take this intensive is at Massive 2016.  Keep your eyes out for this intensive being offered at Rose Movement Studio and other festivals in the future.

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Videos! “Orientalis: The Legacy of Bellydance”

In November 2015, I produced a show with Rose Movement Studio and Austin-area bellydancer, Jamie Lynn Shelton.  We brought in 5 guest artists from all over the continent, asked Austin-area professionals to perform, and we told the story of bellydance throughout history!  This show took many years to build and I am so proud of the result. You can see the entire show here:

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Video: Bardo

Looking back at my previous writings I see how this dance came out of me. I still don’t understand how it is I made a dance about the ultimate beauty of death and suffering just before I would experience a year of many family deaths. Life is filled with so many strange coincidences.  If I was going to name this dance, I think I’d call it “Bardo.” One day, I’d love to expand it to an evening-length show.

From “Orientalis: The Legacy of Bellydance”

In this contemporary bellydance piece, a story unfolds of life, death, and transcendence.

Performed by Laura Selenzi, Monique Ryan, Kimberly Larkspur, Michelle Sorensen, & Jenna Shear under the direction of April Rose

Music: “Arabian Dance / Mina’s Photo / Hope & Summer Overture” by
Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Anton Copolla, Clint Mansell

Choreography: April Rose with dancers

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Life Lessons

I’ve been needing to do hours of self-reflection every day just to integrate the lessons I’ve been given nonstop in the last few months. The curriculum in the school of life is very demanding and time consuming but filled with exhilarating connections and mystery. This is why I need to slow down my goal-oriented drive. All that goal setting and reaching can drown out the subtle messages. Lately, I sit in stillness and my pen can barely keep up with the learning. I’ve never cried for this many days before. It feels wonderful.

The more I learn the more I’m in awe of this weird thing we’re doing called life.  I see my own patterns of repetition that go back generations. I am confused by the depth of connection I feel to people I don’t even really know that well. I wonder at subconscious drives behind some of my unconscious behaviors. I recognize my tendencies, defense mechanisms, and triggers. I have to write it all down before I forget again, or get so busy I drown it out. Hunter gatherers had it right, all we need or can really handle is a few hours of work everyday.  Our lives and our hearts demand too much of our time and attention for these 40 hour workweeks.

But now I’ll do what I always do. Put the brakes on my learning to go feed myself, walk my dog, answer emails, make appointments and dances. It’s really not so bad.

imageA panorama shot of my morning journal spot. This is my happy place. At home in the morning with my pets, a fire, and cup of coffee.

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Favorite Podcast Episode #1: On Meditation

I am going to make a playlist of my favorite individual podcasts. Here is the first one I’m adding to the mix!

In this episode of “What’s This Tao All About” there is some inspiring info on living in meditation, the Tao, and fueling creativity.

“We open the show with a discussion about some of the greatest minds of the last century. Are they secretly Taoists? Then, Dr. Carl discusses meditation and we end with a break down of Chapter three of the Tao Te Ching”


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Favorite Podcast Episode #2: On Forgiveness

I listen to a lot of podcasts, some of which move me very deeply, some that just make me laugh.  I want to share with you a few of my favorite individual podcast episodes in a series.  The first one I listed was on meditation. This second one is on forgiveness.

I am struggling to forgive someone, who I can’t talk to, for something seemingly unforgivable. I am grieving the loss of my cousin, Roy, who took his own life in tragic circumstances that will leave his family scarred.

Listening to this podcast and experiencing my feelings has lead me to a realization: lack of forgiveness is one of the main things wrong with society. I am forgiving Roy and I aim to be a forgiving person. I learned what forgiveness is, why it is important, and how to do it from listening to this podcast.  I included my notes for you, too. Listen to the podcast first. My notes are quickly drawn up and unedited.

The One You Feed Podcast with Eric Zimmer interviewing Megan Feldman Bettencourt on Forgiveness (Jan 2016)

AR’s notes:

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Nelson Mandela.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is giving up resentment. It does not rule out anger or the need for grief. It means not being a victim to your blame and anger. Forgiveness is not enabling someone to avoid accountability. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves so we don’t suffer.

Why is it good to forgive?

Although righteous anger can be a pleasurable feeling, anger (like stress) is bad for our health and puts us at risk for anxiety, depression, and cardiac issues. Anger and stress hormones (adrenaline, cortosol, noroepinephrine) impair your ability to problem solve and think creatively. Holding a grudge results in bad health & unhappiness, in heart attacks, or addiction. (…I have seen this firsthand…)

How do we forgive?

  1. Really severe offenses require grieving. You have to allow yourself to feel your feelings. “What you resist persists” Rumi: “The only cure for the pain is the pain”
  2. Develop an empathy or understanding for why the person did what they did. Being accountable for your own mistakes helps develop empathy.
  3. Remind yourself that you are not alone in your experience. Connect with people who have experienced the same transgression.
  4. Forgive ourselves for our part in it.
  5. Getting an apology with remorse from the person is helpful, but not necessary. You may not reconcile with the person, reconciliation is not the goal of forgiveness, they are independent of one another.

On Relationships (conflict intimacy/ability to deal with disagreements):

Once you enter the adrenal response, stop talking and remove yourself.

Repair moves are statements that show that you’re listening or moving toward connection, understanding, and resolution as opposed to shutting someone out and being defensive. Ex) “I hear you”, “Can you explain that” (…I shut people out. I can improve my conflict resolution tactics…)

On Letting go:

Give up the attachment/right to a different past. Because we can’t change it. “Letting go” values your wellbeing and your future over your past.

As I grieve I’ve been listening to these 2 songs on repeat:

Florence + The Machine: Long & Lost

This makes me think about how remorseful Roy’s spirit must feel. This is about struggling to forgive.

Here’s a snippit of me dancing to the song….this is what I did to practice “The only cure for the pain is the pain.” I danced. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t a performance. It was an exercise in allowing myself to feel.

I want to share with you some thoughts on forgiveness. Www.aprilrosedance.com/blog

A post shared by April Rose (@aprilrosedance) on

Adele: Hello

Sometimes when I listen I imagine I’m the one on the phone talking to Roy, maybe from the perspective of Stacey, Miranda, his kids, or myself….usually in the future. And recently I listen to it the other way around. Roy is trying to make contact but everyone is happy and doing well so they can’t respond.

I went home to be with my family. It was much needed.

That’s Roy on the left in 2013 and on the right is a group hug with his daughter and neice after his memorial.

This post is about forgiveness, not about my story. I’m just explaining why these ideas resonate so much with me at this moment.

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*Announcement* 2015 Intensives!

I am SO excited to announce 2 extended weekend intensives happening in Summer and Fall 2015 at Rose Movement Studio! These are 2 programs I have been working on a long time and you have 2 opportunities to attend each program this year!

2015 Intensives Newsletter

Choreographer's Workshop FlyerChoreographer’s Workshop

A step-by-step guided participant study in how to be a professional dance maker.

This 20 hours long
Friday through Sunday program covers:

-The tools of choreography.
-A step-by-step process for making dances.
-Developing entrepreneurial work habits including:
-Goal-setting and daily schedule making.
-Exploration of why dance is important to you and to society.

July 10-12, 2015
October 16-18, 2015

Image by Rodin Eckenroth


BD Beg Studies FlyerBellydance Beginning Studies

a Rose Movement Level 1
Teaching Certification
for those that apply and pass the final exam.

This 20 hours long
Friday through Sunday program covers:

-Bellydance history.
-Arab music study.
-Level 1 Bellydance Technique.
-Teaching tips & tricks.
-Necessary ground-work for Level 2 program debuting in 2016.

June 26-28, 2015
September 25-27, 2015

Image sourced from CultNat.org


Each program: $400 | $375 early bird by March 1
Enrollment limited to 10 students

email: aprilrose@aprilrosedance.com to reserve your spot

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