The idea for Nancy Kalina’s life-coaching workshop came to her because dance fitness had been a large part of her recovery from a personal crisis. “I realized how healing dancing was,” she says. “I thought it would be interesting to bring together the concepts of dance and life coaching.”

Last fall, she created Caring for the Caregiver, a workshop to introduce caregivers to the concept of taking care of themselves. It’s a common phenomenon that caregivers often put themselves last, Kalina says. “Caregiving is anytime you are putting anyone else’s needs, wants, and desires before your own. And I think that can be anybody.”

Sessions begin with one hour of dance fitness, led by dance fitness instructor Darrelyn Valdez. She and Kalina call the style “Global Dance Movement,” because of the international flavor of the music.

“For one hour, the participants are not thinking about anything else,” Valdez says. “They’re exercising and they’re following along, but they’re not thinking about all the distractions they come in with.”

Kalina says the goal of the life-coaching portion of the workshop is to bring the “essential self” into alignment with the “social self,” a basic principle of Martha Beck, the famed life-coach counselor. The essential self is the part of us that holds our dreams and passions, she explains. “It communicates with us through our bodies, which is why exercise and movement allow people to hear their body’s communication.”

Kalina discovered life coaching when a personal crisis led her to take a year off work. In 2012, she became a certified Martha Beck life coach and started Safe Space Life Coaching.

Caring for the Caregiver workshops will take place on four Saturdays, 1-3 pm, starting October 12 and cost $150. One-day “teasers” will be held on September 7 and October 5 for $40 each. All sessions will be at Panache Dance studio. Participants will learn skills they can apply to their lives immediately, Kalina says. But what is most important to her is that each person leaves with positive feelings.

“I want people to feel empowered,” she says. “What’s beautiful about life coaching is the tools that exist. Applying the tools offered supports people to make their lives better.” 


Video by Maryellen Greulich