Today on the podcast we’re joined by one of my dearest friends.
She’s a fellow suburban mother & one of the most erotic women I know.
On the surface, this woman may seem busy with playdates, cooking & doing all the regular activities that come with modern life. But bubbling only ever so slightly below the surface is a sensual woman, deeply embodied in her mature & erotic feminine.
Holly Wodetzki is the creator & a facilitator of Sensual Embodied Dance.
In 2015 I joined Holly for my first devotional erotic dance workshop & I can honestly say I left a changed woman.
Her sensual dance facilitation is so powerful in illuminating the different facets of the feminine within & reclaiming a wider, more erotically alive spectrum within our self.
Today on the podcast with Holly we explore:
- Embodying the erotic force which can feel foreign, dangerous, or unwelcome in some women’s bodies
- The erotic archetype why we need to explore it if we desire to embody all facets of the feminine
- How Jenna used erotic energy to navigate her career changes
- How Holly came to do this devotional erotic dance as a profession
- How to get started with your own, at-home practice of sensual embodiment (some great tips)
- Jenna & Holly discuss the ’embodiment training’ landscape & how to decide which format & teacher is right for you
Holly has an online Sensual Embodied Dance experience coming up next week – details are here & I highly recommend joining.
Hope you enjoy this conversation (and a tip, notice how your body FEELS throughout this conversation – for me just being in these conversations begins to OPEN my body to sense more pleasure).
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
- Sensual Embodied Dance Facilitator Training with Holly Wodetzki
- Workshops with Holly & Shiva Shakti Dance
- Holly mentions Bonnie Bliss & Michaela Boehm
- Holly has an online Sensual Embodied Dance experience coming up next week – I highly recommend joining
- Primal Feminine Flow – An at-home, feminine embodiment movement practice to resensitize the body
- Feminine Embodiment Coaching – an emotional embodiment & vulnerability-based professional training for coaches
- School of Embodied Arts
- Leave a podcast review on iTunes here
- Thought or reflection to share? Leave a comment on Instagram here
ABOUT HOLLY WODETZKI
Creator of the Sensual Embodied Dance® methodology & Shiva Shakti Dance. Holly has spent 10+ years teaching thousands of women practices to recognise and access the beauty, power & wisdom of their embodied experience. She believes there’s no need to waste this short, precious life living anything but a rich, meaningful and connected existence. We’re here to be moved. To experience the full potential of being a human.
Prefer to read? Here’s the full transcript….
Jenna Ward: Welcome to season five of the School of Embodied Arts Podcast. In this season, I’ll be sharing with you discussions from enchanted women who are doing embodiment work in their ways, shapes and forms. Today, to kickstart our first episode of season five, I’m sharing with you one of my dearest friends. She is a fellow suburban mother, and also one of the most erotic women that I know.
Jenna Ward: On the surface, this woman might seem busy with play dates and cooking and doing all those regular activities that come with modern life, but bubbling ever so slightly beneath the surface is a really sensual woman, who is deeply embodied in her erotic feminine. I’m really excited to welcome to the podcast today, Holly Wodetzki, creator and facilitator of Sensual Embodied Dance, and thank you so much for joining us for this adult conversation around embodying the erotic forces, which are a really important facet for us as women.
Jenna Ward: A note, this is an adult podcast with language and topics that you can discern for yourself, but may not be suitable to listen to in the car, if you’ve got little ones in the backseat. Hope you enjoy, and thanks for joining us.
Jenna Ward: Welcome to the School of Embodied Arts Podcast. I am your hostess, Jenna Ward, feminine embodiment coach, here for our weekly explorations of living, leading and coaching as emotionally empowered, sensually alive and magnetic women.
Jenna Ward: A very warm welcome, Holly, and thank you so much for joining us.
Holly Wodetzki: Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Jenna Ward: I think it’s a really wonderful conversation we will have today, because I know that for me, your work has been hugely impactful. Since dancing with you, I went back and checked the date, it was in 2015 that I first came to one of your workshops. The gifts that I received from your work, looking back in retrospect, really very profound in the way that your work as a facilitator of sensual and erotic, embodied dance, in my experience, it really helped to awaken and to expand my own knowing of my inner erotic self as a woman.
Jenna Ward: I feel like that is a rite of passage or a gift or an awakening that isn’t very common or very available for a lot of women, I know, certainly in my culture. I wanted for us to start off by centering on this embodying and awakening of the erotic, and of the sensual, and I wanted to ask you why you feel, if you feel, that awakening this aspect of ourselves is actually really important for us as women to mature and to really know ourselves as a more full spectrum woman. We’d love to hear your thoughts around that.
Holly Wodetzki: Great question. Two things pop to mind. One is in embodiment, we are looking at how can we be with and embrace all us of ourselves? Obviously, our erotic nature is a part of that, that is so common for us not to visit and to explore in a very wholesome way as we grow up or even as adults. Just in the practice of embodiment, the erotic has got to be in there, it’s a part of us that we have to discover, how can we be with those sensations in our body?
Holly Wodetzki: That’s one thought. But really, if we think about… We were talking earlier before the podcast about this maiden energy, that it doesn’t matter what age it is, but it has a kind of youngness to it, and it’s a very receptive, fresh and full of potential and possibility. But it’s really a type of energy of the feminine that is very receptive to whatever comes to you.
Holly Wodetzki: I took my daughter to the art gallery today and she’s just like, wow, wow, wow. It didn’t really matter what you put in front of her, she just thinks that’s the greatest thing ever. Sometimes when we are in that kind of perspective, it’s like life can come to you in all its different forms. Maybe it’s wow, or maybe it’s like, ugh, or no, thank you, or whatever might come to you. But you receive it, and that’s all that there is.
Holly Wodetzki: I feel like when you move beyond that feeling and you connect to your erotic essence, you start to really experience the power that comes with the feminine in a more of a mature way, and that, that sexual power, when you awaken it in yourself, comes with great responsibility and it gives meaning to your life.
Holly Wodetzki: You awaken that part of how powerful I feel to have this incredible force that is our erotic and sexual nature. Whether you look at that from an evolutionary lens where we have selection, or you look at that through a more spiritual lens where we look at maybe sexuality as this primal, alive, creative pulse that moves through everything, whichever way you look at it. When you come into contact with it, you realize like, whoa, what I can experience, the orgasmic sensations, that incredible power of your sexuality and your desires that come with that. It’s not just life coming to you, but you have the awareness that you have something very powerful within you that as a creative force and the manifesting of your desires into the world.
Holly Wodetzki: If I put it really graphically, I can think of, let’s say, somebody who maybe is having sex with someone, and maybe you just receive penetration as a maiden, and however you feel about that/ But in the erotic it’s like you take in and you have control over the experience within you. You feel like, if this is the kind of relationship dynamic you’re in, you could feel like, oh, you’re not just having say a man penetrate you, but you’re taking someone into you and you could make them cum in a second.
Holly Wodetzki: That you have this incredible force within you, that you can use for all different purposes. Because you have that incredible power, you also have the responsibility to use it properly. We see all throughout society, that energy being used to sell stuff and to elicit sugar daddies, whatever it might be. But you also come into contact of how can I use my erotic nature to maybe awaken your partner or to create a vibrancy in your body as you move through the world?
Holly Wodetzki: I think it’s such a beautiful and important part of the maturing process from that maiden into a more whole and mature woman who’s in connection to all parts of herself, including her erotic power and her ability to draw her desires into her.
Holly Wodetzki: It was really, for me, when I first started teaching, I was teaching belly dance and sacred dance, that was not in relationship, particularly to erotic expression in any way, but I just found that women, as soon as we would edge onto anything that was expressing itself in the sensual or erotic realms, it would just lock up, the body would just stop. It’s like, I can do this, I can move my hips, I can do this. This is fun, this is fun. Then as soon it was like, go inside and feel how powerful that is, it was like, oh, dare I feel something that society that feels kind of dangerous, because it’s so powerful and we’re being told don’t grasp that. I hope that answers the question.
Jenna Ward: It does. I love how you center the facet of the erotic, which really is about the power and the power particularly of our desires. If I look at what you’ve just shared from the spectrum of a more maiden, receptive energy through to a more erotic, powerful, mature, and sexual energy. If I look at that for myself through the lens of even my career. In my first career, as a hospital pharmacist, I was really just following a path that was laid out for me.
Jenna Ward: Like, you do this and you go there and how about this is a suggestion? I was like, okay, sure, yeah. Very innocently, very sweetly, let me follow that along until I realize, actually, there’s something within me, a desire, a hunger within me that isn’t satiated. I became really frustrated and stuck knowing where to go or how to follow that desire. Because at that time, and in that role or that energy of maiden, which I think a lot of women without realizing stay into it, stay in. Maiden doesn’t have to be only a young age. I think we can be maidens… I’m pretty sure my sweet grandmother who’s in her 80s is still a maiden.
Jenna Ward: Yet, I recognized for me in my journey through my career, when I got to that point of realizing there’s a desire here, there’s a desire for a different type of work, a more creative type of work. It wasn’t actually until I personally got in contact with my own erotic side, that I was able to harness the fuel, the power that you described to really actualize those desires, which were risky and which were bold and which did feel dangerous because of how big and immense and just how strongly I felt them.
Jenna Ward: It was really interesting that for me, the process of saying yes to my desires and even being able to get clear on what those desires were, came about as a result. I would say really, in very close… If I look at the timing, in really close connection with embodying more of that erotic energy that you speak of. I see the overflow of it from everything, from your example of actual intimacy and sex, all the way through to how we might decide what career path we want to choose and everything in between.
Holly Wodetzki: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people when they come to my work or maybe when they don’t come to my work is there’s an assumption that the erotic is just about genitals and sex and getting it on. Really, this energy and exactly what you just spoke to, it’s like this creative force and power that is in every woman and every human being that informs how you move through all different facets of your life. How you parent, how you do work, how you approach your spirituality, how you… The whole spectrum, because that’s… Our sexual energy is such a primal part of who we are, and it’s such a powerful part of who we are, and it’s also such a part of us that we feel like we often can’t really grasp that, or there isn’t a safe context or container to be able to explore that within.
Jenna Ward: Later on, I want to speak about your work in more detail, but I did really, the experience I had with your facilitation and your dance was that it created a space, almost for the ritual rite of passage into that, to be guided by other women who were in a healthy expression of that erotic, to show the way, because it can be something that’s really difficult to navigate your way into when your body keeps locking up, or the people that are using this energy around you are doing it in irresponsible ways.
Jenna Ward: I’m curious, for you, you mentioned earlier, when people come into contact with this energy, there can be a feeling of how powerful it is, or we might have a distorted vision of it from seeing other people using it irresponsibly, and that can lead our bodies to lock up.
Jenna Ward: I’m just curious if you can share, from your experience working in this way, what kind of thoughts or ideas or narratives or stories you see as common in women who are intrigued by this power, but also might have an idea or a narrative or a story playing out that says, oh yeah, but that’s not for me. Oh, but that’s not okay. What do you see in your workshops, in your facilitation?
Holly Wodetzki: Well, there’s a lot of different background baggage, I could say, across the spectrum. But a few general ones that come up very often is often people have… It’s so surprising, people have the immediate feeling of I’m not allowed to feel this good. That’s quite a big one, and they start feeling… It’s not just pleasure, but it’s powerful, I feel powerful and there’s the feeling, I’m not allowed to feel this good, is there’s interestingly quite a lot of religious baggage that it’s sinful to feel like this. I suppose that’s not very surprising, actually.
Holly Wodetzki: I guess in the awareness of how much sexual trauma there is, and also the trauma that has nothing to do with sexuality often affects your sexual experience because of this essential nature of our sexuality. Often, there can be a feeling that it’s dangerous, to feel this is dangerous, and it will overwhelm me and I can’t let myself go there. That’s, I think, a very reasonable and common experience that women have because of different background experiences. What else, experiences that women have-
Jenna Ward: As you’re listing all these out, I’m just nodding my head because I hear you express them as barriers or narratives to prevent us tapping into this erotic. They’re really very much the same barriers and challenges that just prevent us being in and with the body, with more sensitivity, which makes perfect sense. The journey into the body with more sensitivity is one and the same with this same journey into the erotic.
Jenna Ward: I can relate, I can see myself in all of those that you have shared. I’m probably more towards the, is it allowed to feel this good? Can it be this easy? That’s one that I still work with and work on and around in my own pleasure practice.
Holly Wodetzki: Yes. Likewise. We both know Bonnie [Blisman]. I know that’s one of hers that she shares all the time like, is it okay to feel so much pleasure?
Jenna Ward: Could that be a default for me?
Holly Wodetzki: Another one-
Jenna Ward: Oh, no, you go, please. No, no, you go.
Holly Wodetzki: I was going to say, there’s also, I think a lot of baggage around being someone awakened or empowered or embodied in their sexuality. I know for me, that was a really difficult one, when I first started, I was like, oh, I don’t want to be the person who’s doing erotic anything. It’s so taboo, people look at you like, oh, is she a prostitute on the side? Does she do this… All the connotations of a woman who is anything related to sexuality is kind of dirty in some way. She’s a slut, she’s a stripper, she elicits men. All of those different ideas that float around.
Holly Wodetzki: There’s also a lot of… Even there was a woman that was in one of my courses recently, and just something was introduced and her first was like, I’m not like that. I can’t be one of those type of people. That was her first visceral and we are just breathing and touching on the front of our body. Like it’s okay. Then subsequent weeks later she was like, whoa.
Jenna Ward: I’m so happy to have shaken off that internal misogyny that I’ve inherited from the society around me. That’s so interesting, isn’t it? That internalized narrative that we could have, which is such-
Holly Wodetzki: Who we can, and can’t be.
Jenna Ward: Yeah, I hear you. I can appreciate, given the challenges that I see for women who express on these types of topics to be heard on social media. There is so much censorship around any message of sensuality or eroticism, and I know there has to be really careful discernment about what language you even use just to share this work, because I see so much censorship happening around it.
Jenna Ward: I’m really curious, because I know you come from a science background, you’re a very intelligent, levelheaded, well researched woman. How did you come to do this work, which I believe, and I know it’s the perfect work for you and of such high service, and I’m in so much rapture of it. But how did you come to do this work of sensual dance? How did you arrive into deciding this was going to be my vocation and my devotion? I’d love to hear a little bit about your lineage and just how you came to do this.
Holly Wodetzki: With a lot of resistance. I’ll try and do a bit of an abridged version. At the beginning, there was a mystical element to it, you could say. My background was mostly in yoga and meditation in a very dry, but rigorous style. In yoga, they talk about [inaudible] awareness, consciousness, bliss. I was like, okay, after some years of really rigorous practice, I get this awareness consciousness part, I get a sense of what that might be. But the bliss thing, I just had no connection whatsoever in my life to what this pleasure or even blissfulness was about.
Holly Wodetzki: After spending a prolonged time in India and doing practice with my teacher, an independent practice, I had this mystical experience. I’ll try and make it very brief, but I just had this feeling like I need to go home and I need to help women with awakening this sexual aspect.
Holly Wodetzki: I was like, no fucking way. I don’t know if I’m supposed to swear on this, but I was just like, no, nope, definitely not me. I had packed up my life to live in India and I had nothing to go back to and I didn’t want to go back. But this feeling of, this is what you got to do. This is what you got to do, and I just pushed it away and pushed it away. Then I found myself on a plane three days later back at home. Then I just resisted it again and resisted it again for a year more, until my life fell apart.
Holly Wodetzki: Then I offered a class in this devotional erotic dance, it was called then, and it sold out and my life got back on track. It really came off prior to this teaching, these sacred dance classes, which were great. They were more like a holistic embodiment experience through the lens of belly dance. It wasn’t totally non-sensual, but we didn’t touch into this erotic or sexuality aspect so much. But I was always just saying that, this is the thing, this is the thing that women really, really crave, but they feel so nervous about. But when they can touch on that, I can see them blossom into really full spectrum women that have this connection to the power within themselves, that they don’t need to seek it outside themselves all the time.
Holly Wodetzki: That’s how it started. I had some experience in neo tantra. I had some tools and different things that I was weaving into what I’d already been doing for a few years at the belly dance and embodiment practices. It really just caught on like a wildfire, because at that time, you said, it was 2015, so this must have been six or seven years ago, and there was nothing around. There was definitely nothing in Australia. I had heard of Michaela Boehm at that point, but that was kind of it.
Holly Wodetzki: I started offering these workshops and they were just filling up and filling up, and people were wanting more and people just kept coming back again and again and again. It really just took off from there. I was offering them very regularly, and I was teaching classes on a weekly basis. It really gave me the opportunity to test and refine, in a very experiential way, what worked and what didn’t and what did people really need and what did they find valuable?
Holly Wodetzki: I’ve really just been doing the same thing for all of these years, just refining, refining, refining. The times have changed a lot too in the last 10 years of how people relate to themselves and what kind of social context we find ourselves in. All of those things have informed how now is developed into a methodology of how we can take people through an experience of empowering their sexuality and their embodied experience, and really transform that at a deep and nervous system level. I guess that’s how it happened.
Jenna Ward: As a result, I know you have a very devoted community of dancers, of facilitators and teachers of this work. Now, also offer your expert facilitation skills for others who are interested in training in the field. I would love to speak about that a little more later. But before we do, for those people who are joining us for this conversation in their corner of the globe, thinking, okay, how can I do a little bit of this really practically in my body, in my house, or maybe once the kids are in bed or once I’m home from a busy day of work or working in my home office, depending on the situation. I’m really curious if you have any ideas or tips or even a simple practice for somebody who may want to devote to awakening or cultivating more stamina with embodying this erotic power that we’ve been discussing so far.
Holly Wodetzki: I think, as a basis to exploring that erotic power, you have to come first, just into your own embodied experience. You can’t skip to some particular slice of the embodied experience until you are with just what’s already there in your current experience. I know you teach with primal feminine flow, a lot of those sensitizing exercises.
Holly Wodetzki: The general advice that you hear nearly everyone say, which is really good advice is, just put one song on per day and move your body. But since you’ve probably already got that advice before, I think a really beautiful practice is rolling on the floor. Rolling, you might just be like, well, that’s a bit silly. Why would you just get down on the floor and flop around?
Holly Wodetzki: But if you can bring the significance of what rolling does to your body, in terms of creating tactile pressure, it awakens your awareness to all the different parts of your body. It’s got lots of neurological benefits to it. This is such a great way for you to come in contact with your embodied experience and sensation, but also to really deeply relax. Because the essence of connecting to that powerful erotic energy is not by doing anything extra, it’s by relaxing deeper into the body. You don’t need to add anything on.
Holly Wodetzki: We live in a culture that’s like, if you want to feel more, just stimulate it more, get the biggest vibrator you can get and the biggest everything that you can, just do it more kind of thing. This is such a not embodied approach to pleasure and to eroticism that actually the deepest and most nourishing and enlightening pleasure you can find is not a [inaudible] it’s a dropping down, relaxing in and really going into the experience that you are already having.
Holly Wodetzki: Because the erotic is not just some slice of the spectrum. It can be, it can just be this kind of watery, orgasmic kind of energy, but you can also look at the erotic as the underlying energy from all experience. You could be so angry and you can almost feel like the power underneath that anger is just this incredible aliveness that is so expansive and vast.
Holly Wodetzki: I was talking to a friend the other day who had, had someone close to her pass away, and she was talking about the utter grief that she was experienced, but she was a very embodied woman. She’s like, it was all almost… When I went so deeply into that grief, there was almost a pleasure in it to feel so, so much love and aliveness, and this beauty that is sitting beneath all of these expressions of emotions and things on the surface.
Holly Wodetzki: If we look at the erotic and sexual energy as this creative, enlivening pulse that is manifesting as all our different emotions and sensations in our body, then just relaxing into whatever’s already there in your current experience is going to give you the pathway to connect deeper to that erotic. Then we just can begin to allow it to come in.
Holly Wodetzki: Rolling is great, but you’re not… Well, I don’t know, I find rolling almost orgasmic. When you just let it all go and like flop around and stop holding onto everything, holding onto tight belly, because you’ve had your awesome looking yoga pants on all day, but it doesn’t really let you breathe properly. You take your bra off and you let everything go and just flop around and feel the support of the wall or the floor or whatever it is that you’re leaning into, it can be incredibly pleasureful and dead right, even into the erotic realm.
Holly Wodetzki: Because when we start to… That’s the first bit is the relaxation part. The second part is when we look in erotic, there’s always erotic found when you have opposites around this attractive force. You don’t need necessarily to have a person for this, but in your own experience, to have something erotic is to contrast yourself with something.
Holly Wodetzki: The floor or a wall is very stable and structured and it doesn’t move, it’s supportive, all of these things. If you play into the dynamic of what that offers you, it even could be a railing. This is erotic practice with a railing. You can allow your body to contrast to the firm, stable, reliable, unwavering nature of the wall, the floor, the railing, and in turn, let your body become very fluid and moving and changing in contrast to the support that it provide. That might sound really bizarre, but I promise you, if you actually try it, you’ll find that it will take you there.
Jenna Ward: I love what you’re sharing and I have seen you do an erotic railing. Just, there’s a railing and then there’s Holly moving her body. Yes, I’ve seen that, I think maybe on your Instagram, which I’ll link in with this podcast, or maybe it was a window seal, but what you described is not adding more on, not adding more on top of the tension or the holding that is there. Not adding on a performance of what we think it should look like, but instead relaxing back. Relaxing back the tension, relaxing back into that which exists inside every person, we all have that energy.
Jenna Ward: Just as you spoke to it, I felt my whole body relaxed and dropped down and even inside, open up to that possibility a little bit more. I think you’ve given us some really great threads to be really curious about and to follow.
Jenna Ward: One thing that I will add onto that is that for me, I had always assumed, as a woman, that I should just know how to do pleasure, I should just know what is sensual because it is my birthright because it just lives in my body, I should know how to wield that, instinctively. But my experience has been, it’s actually a skill that I need to develop, that I need to practice, and that just like the skill of baking a cake, it’s okay to sometimes have a recipe. Like, okay, a wall and me and relaxing more and actually to figure out how do I do this?
Jenna Ward: Because for me, it’s really been a skill rather than just something that I intuitively knew how to do. I do, deep down, intuitively know how to do it, but I have to approach it as something I can practice, that’s really helped me, that perspective as well.
Holly Wodetzki: I think it is intuitive, but it would be a natural innate expression if we lived in a perfect social context and container, whether there was no layers of anything to disturb that. But there is, so it takes some practice to come back to what you already know is there within you, even if it’s something that you haven’t touched recently or ever.
Jenna Ward: Absolutely. For those who are interested, I know that you offer in-person and online workshops and experiences, and you also have a facilitator training for those who are interested in actually offering sensual embodied dance in their own ways, and that’s an online training.
Jenna Ward: We are both facilitators of professional level trainings. You have the sensual embodied dance facilitator training. At our school, we offer the feminine embodiment coaching certification. Very different applications, dance versus coaching, but also both quite embodied in their philosophy. I think this is why we’re such good friends.
Jenna Ward: I wanted to just ask you first, a little bit around what that facilitator training is and who it’s for. If somebody who has been deeply digging everything we’ve been sharing on this conversation so far might be able to just know a little bit more and find out where to go. Then I want us to have a discussion next around how to decide what kind of teacher or trainer or leader is actually the best person to study with. That’s the second aspect of the conversation that I wanted to have. If you can just start by sharing a bit about what your training is.
Holly Wodetzki: Sure. The Sensual Embodied Dance Facilitator Training is six months, and it’s online. It’s really for women who have tasted embodiment in some form. Whether that’s had a sexual component to it, or they just love embodiment, they’ve felt the transformative effect that it has in their own experience, and they have this burning desire to want to share it.
Holly Wodetzki: I know I’ve definitely experienced that. I wanted to just… When I dropped into, and woken to this reality of what you can access through your body, I was like, everybody needs to know this, it’s accessible to everyone and it’s free. Come on, feel your body. I had that, I know you had that, your devotion and passion for sharing these tools with people is so strong.
Holly Wodetzki: For people who have also experienced that and they want to be able to share it, my facilitator training is really offering a methodology. It’s a six step methodology that takes you through a transformational journey, that’s based on the nervous system and how we can create different conditions within the body and open and expand in order to reach an experience where there is a blissfulness that is through the body, but is almost where your individuality dissolves.
Holly Wodetzki: It’s not transcending the body, but it’s going and including the body, through the body and experience the kind of unity with everything that the things that are outside you are within you and the boundaries between inside and outside blur.
Holly Wodetzki: The methodology is really what I feel is very unique to this type of training, because there is a lot and a lot of different offerings in this realm now, that with really great people who are very amazing at particular skill sets and practices, and they themselves are very open and embodied, but there’s not a lot in this realm that I feel is very structured to give people a format to weave through that flowing, juicy, feminine essence.
Holly Wodetzki: Sometimes that can mean that the experience that you take people through isn’t always going to reliably bring them to a beneficial experience. It can be like, maybe it works sometimes, maybe it doesn’t, who knows. I think it’s very important, if you’re going to teach other people through whether it’s coaching or whether it’s through something like dance or any kind of embodiment practice, that you have a framework that reliably brings… Obviously, the result is always different, but it always brings people through to a transformative and beneficial outcome. That’s it in a nutshell.
Jenna Ward: Thank you.
Holly Wodetzki: What else to say? There’s lots to say, but that will do.
Jenna Ward: But having experienced the methodology, I know that state of expansion and bliss, and I experienced that as just this ravishment of intimacy with life. Just feeling so much aliveness pulse and course as enjoyment through my body, so that I know what you’re speaking about in terms of the outcome that, that methodology creates.
Jenna Ward: Knowing your training, I also deeply agree with the importance of reproducibility in a system, and of expertise in our ability to facilitate these things. Earlier, you spoke about some of the common challenges that women may have in showing up to do work that is embodied, and that is additionally erotically, or sensually embodied. This can be a little bit of a mind field to navigate, and there is a whole lot more than just rolling around as a facilitator, and I’m not a facilitator of movement. That’s not my area of specialty. My area of specialty is coaching.
Jenna Ward: Even I like to facilitate that kind of experience. I wouldn’t necessarily know how to do it in a dance context, in a way that was really effective. Having experienced your work, I know what an effective facilitator you are. So, I just highlight that bit that you shared, because I think it’s so important.
Holly Wodetzki: Yeah. I think a very important thing that I don’t see very readily available is actual facilitation skills. I hear people talk about the practices, then the content that goes into a class, or you go to a yoga training, teacher training, and you learn the things to say and what positions to do and blah, blah. But the actual facilitator skills, how do you hold your body in response to others? How do you create an embodied capacity in yourself that reflects into the room? How do you read a room? If something is going in a way that is difficult, like someone’s having an onramp to a trauma response, how can you, just in your presence, or in an indirect way, or even in a direct way to actually verbalize something? What tone of voice do you use?
Holly Wodetzki: How do you hold your body? What kind of gestures, how much space do you take up? All of these little nuances of how you really effectively bring people into a state that’s very conducive to their own natural awakening without pushing anything. Because like you said, working with sexuality is such a tender, tender area. Everybody in that wave of experiencing something transformationally is going to meet parts of themselves that feels difficult, and your responsibility as a facilitator is to navigate them safely through that.
Holly Wodetzki: The actual skillset of facilitating and the understanding behind how trauma resides in the body, how people’s nervous systems move through change, what happens when people meet resistance? What are the conditions that they need to be able to effectively move through that? All of those aspects, I think, are so, so important to do this work in a really safe way, and in a way that doesn’t go, that person from that workshop, maybe they’re at home crying right now, and they’re having a re-traumatizing experience, but I didn’t really know what to do about it.
Holly Wodetzki: To me, that’s not okay. If you are going to offer workshops and classes and whatever, you have to understand and have a skill set to be able to provide the safety for that to not happen.
Jenna Ward: Deeply agree. What you’ve just shared is in effect, one of the ways that we can decide on who’s the right person for us to study and train with. You’ve shared some of your perspectives and your values as a facilitator and as a trainer. I think that’s a really good step to get well informed about the values, what they hold, what they think is really important in the realm of training. I’m curious if you have any other tips, generally speaking in the realm of embodiment training, because it’s a very varied landscape. If you’re thinking about-
Holly Wodetzki: Very unregulated.
Jenna Ward: Very unregulated, varied landscape. Whether somebody’s thinking of a dance facilitation, or whether they’re thinking of maybe coaching training or whether they’re just thinking of coming along as a participant for some type of experience, I’m really curious in this embodiment landscape, how do you feel, or what are some even one or two sign posts for how to decide on who to study or train or experience with?
Holly Wodetzki: Good question. I always look for people who are extraordinarily ordinary. What I mean by that is, because embodiment, to me, at least, is about being with the fullness of your experience without having to add to anything on it, it’s just being with the whole of life, intimate with the whole of life. That doesn’t need to look special in any particular way.
Holly Wodetzki: For me, even though in my work we do explore archetypes and all different specific expressions, I look for people who are living quite everyday lives. They’re not [inaudible] and goddess and [inaudible] having a particular identity around some aspect of who they are as a human. Some people are hugely involved in that, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But where there’s an attachment to adding something onto who they are, for me anyway, I don’t resonate with that as much.
Holly Wodetzki: I look for, does the person live a life that I would want to live? That is a kind of an everyday kind of life that is with the problems of the world that is doing relationship and the difficulties that come with that or parenting or work?
Holly Wodetzki: These are things that you can’t avoid dealing with, if you’re going to live in the real world. Then we are not removed from these situations, and we are just over here on our super embodied bliss journey that we’re actually engaged in life, and the difficulties of life are also embraced in the intimacy with all that is in our embodied experience. That’s one thing.
Holly Wodetzki: I also think is a good little tip for people, particularly if you’re going to do some sort of certification is to look through the lens of is what somebody’s offering in the realm of therapeutic? Is the perspective and the outcome therapeutic, as in you want to heal something? Is it on the optimization realm? How do we become more functional humans? To become a better expression of being human, or maybe someone’s certification has the lens of devotion, being with God.
Holly Wodetzki: We’re embracing the individual experience, but ultimately we want to be an individual in unity with something much greater. Whether you call that God or love, or the divine or cosmic, whatever. This lack of division between inside and outside and the whole of life by none. Because that gives you a frame of what kind of experiences do I actually want to lead for people?
Jenna Ward: That’s really a very useful lens to look through, those three categories. I’m assuming you would put your work predominantly in the third category?
Holly Wodetzki: Yeah, I would, although we also play in the second category also, because there’s a lot of regulation tools and emotional embodiment, and that kind of thing. Also, as a side effect, there’s also a lot of therapeutic benefit, but that’s not at all how we’re orientated.
Jenna Ward: For our training, I would say as coaches, we are primarily concerned with category number two. That’s, how might we move towards our desire or our goal? But there is a strong influence of how do we do that in ways that encompass the fullness of us as a being, so that third category. A happy side effect is we find resolution of that, which the body is seeking to resolve. A side effect of that is healing, but that is very different to having healing as the number one priority.
Jenna Ward: I think that’s a really interesting lens to look through. I like exploring that. I couldn’t highly recommend your training more and I will include the links. I think it lives at… What’s the website, Holly?
Holly Wodetzki: It’s sensualembodieddance.com.
Jenna Ward: Okay. I’ll include the links to that with our show notes. This has been a really juicy conversation. Thank you so much for your time.
Holly Wodetzki: Thanks for having me?
Jenna Ward: It’s been a great joy to have this chat. I’m so happy to be able to share, everyone that joins us for the podcast, to share you, your dear friend, we chat regularly. These are actually the types of conversations that we just have on the regular. It’s really nice to have you join us today. Thank you so much.
Holly Wodetzki: Thank you so much. For anyone on my side, because I will also be sharing this, if you’re interested in coaching, I can’t think of anyone better because, even in the coach, because my husband works in the coaching realm. I don’t know if you’re open to men, but I’m like, you need to get the body on board, man. This is so effective.
Jenna Ward: It is so effective. That’s so true.
Holly Wodetzki: It’s so effective.
Jenna Ward: Thank you, and thanks for everyone who’s joined us for this discussion. It’s been really nice to share it with you and would love to know what lands. Maybe drop either Holly or I a message over on the socials. I’m more on Instagram, I think Holly is as well. I’ll include those links with our show notes, which are over at jennaward.co/blog. Thanks so much and bye for now.
Holly Wodetzki: Thanks, Jen. Bye.
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