Windancer center offers physical, mental benefits

MIDDLEBURY — Alyson Young had always been an active person. But that all came to a crashing halt one fateful day in October 2005 when she was involved in a serious car accident.
“My movement became seriously inhibited,” Young recalled. “My pelvis became twisted and rotated. I had to crawl on the floor to move around. It was really frustrating and painful.”
Seven years and a lot of hard work later, Young is moving around quite fine, thank you. In fact, she and her business partner, Alison Lockwood, are teaching others the joy of movement at the new Windancer Movement Center at 211 Maple St., in Middlebury’s Marble Works complex.
The two are both certified Nia instructors. Nia is a sensation-based movement practice aimed at improving wellness for the mind, body and spirit. It combines nine different movement techniques from principles in dance arts, martial arts and healing arts to create a comprehensive, body-centered experience for people of all ages.
It’s not all about Nia, however.
Windancer and its 1,100-square-foot, mirrored movement space play host to a wide variety of classes taught by area practitioners. Among the other disciplines either ongoing or planned: yoga, tango, Wing Chun (a Chinese martial arts form), kids’ Nia, ballet, kids’ after-school dance club, Zumba, “Dancin’ With My Baby,” “Hoopla” (a Hula-Hoop dance/fitness class), meditation and “Mindfulness Matters” for kids.
All of these classes, Lockwood and Young stress, are woven together with a common thread of helping clients improve their physical and mental well-being.
“Everything feels better when you are moving,” said Young, who has been teaching that concept throughout her professional career. She became certified in Reiki in 2006 and started a healing practice, known as Windancer Healing Arts, working with people and animals. She became certified as an Energy Medicine Practitioner in 2009, then became certified and licensed as a Nia instructor in January 2011.
It was during a Nia class in Burlington earlier this year that she met Lockwood, who has been a skilled and avid dancer for almost all of her 59 years. The two women decided to join forces to establish Windancer in a Marble Works space that most recently hosted a short-lived, hip-hop dance studio.
“It is more than serendipity,” Lockwood said of the chance meeting, quick friendship and resulting business association.
They accumulated the needed furnishings and equipment to open Windancer in June. A formal grand opening is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. Young said many of the center’s instructors are expected to be on hand to answer questions about their offerings.
Windancer joins a growing wellness complex within the Marble Works that already includes such businesses as Otter Creek Yoga.
“There is a culture collecting here that is promoting wellness in a number of ways,” Young said.
Windancer Movement Center can be reached at 388-3988. A website is under construction and will soon be found at www.windancermovement.com.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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