Deciding to work with Julie over Arthur Murray Chicago was the best decision my husband and I could have made while preparing for our wedding and our first dance.
Julie is creative and attentive and so fun! She clearly communicates ideas and was open to our physical and emotional needs and ideas by exploring ways to incorporate our needs into the warm up and the overall project. She offered exercises and interventions to help us acquaint to the space, to our bodies, and to each other in a way my husband and I had never previously experienced.
Having Julie support my husband and me to connect and create a dance that felt approachable and impressive for us was the best gift. Not only did we have a fantastic end product -- our families are still watching a video of our wedding dance on repeat! -- but we established a means of getting us right to the core of our feelings and into connection like nothing else can. No matter how we entered the studio, even if we came into the session with stress, tension, anger and frustration, we always left with a smile, a sense of feeling lighter, optimism and deeper connection to our new and growing love. We got rave reviews on our wedding dance because it was playful, engaging, exciting and fun! And we had a blast doing it!
We felt so comfortable being ourselves with Julie and she helped coach us into allowing our honest emotions to fuel the passion of our first dance. We cannot wait for more classes and workshops to move and create with Julie! We would highly recommend her for wedding dance coaching, couples therapy and to lead contact improvisational techniques and so much more!
Julie and I collaborated on a commemorative dance performance piece. She took the lead on dissecting the choreography and, through keen movement observation, helped us recreate classic choreography that made us a crowd favorite in the show. To date, it is one of my favorite performances in which I have participated. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Julie.
I hired Julie to help me choreograph a dance piece that was incredibly personal for a performance. My initial intent was for the piece to represent a recent personal trauma. Julie was "all-in" from the beginning. She was the ultimate professional- on time and communicative. Most importantly, she always seemed to ask the right questions at just the right moments to get me to dig deeper. It was an emotional journey, and Julie's support was not only instrumental to helping me create the piece, but to helping me move through an incredibly difficult time. Julie was open, responsive and supportive of my process. She gently introduced suggestions for consideration, all the while making sure that the piece remained my own. She made space for my vulnerability and supported me every step of the way. Her eye for effort and space brought out layers in the piece that I may not have realized otherwise. In the end, the piece symbolized so much more than I had anticipated and was an immense part of my healing. I am so pleased with the end result and it will forever remain one of my favorite and most authentic performances. Thank you, Julie, for your lovely, gentle spirit and fiery passion for creating meaningful art and movement expression!
Collaborating creatively with Julie is spontaneous, at times silly, but always thought-provoking. Her energy invites you into a creative process that begins with a sense of lightness and allows for an ease in exploring all aspects of creativity. Julie's ability to hold the space for herself and her collaborators deepens the creative process. What began with lightness, sets in with a stronger sense of meaning. She truly stands in her own truth as a creative person and in this way invites and validates the truth in others. I enjoyed collaborating with Julie and look forward to one day doing it again.
I am grateful to be a Dance/Movement Therapist. Where else would I be surrounded by wise, compassionate, deeply rooted people who are in search of the same thing as me. We serve others. And in doing that, we serve ourselves. It is a beautiful interplay and dance. I was excited to work with Julie Brannen because I had the feeling I'd get much more than placed choreography on my body. In fact, this is what happened in that rather short amount of time. I reached down into the dirt in wide tribal stance, I felt my "mother" self and my ability to birth a child. I reached up in vulnerability, shackled but held then released and reminded of my feminine strength. This was not the "strength" I had been harnessing so many years, which was valued as more masculine than feminine. I could feel my fragility as a sense of actual power. There were stuck moments when my back was literally against the wall and I froze for several minutes. Once my body was ready to release it did so into the ground where I found a familiar place in the tiny grain of the wood floor. I was a child again, a little girl. I was truly there for a good 5 minutes. I saw her hands, and I just looked in awe at how amazing they were. These hands had been with me all this time. Then to look upon my feet. These feet that I have danced with, ran with, hustled with. I loved them once again. I loved my body in this moment. This was no small thing. There was a moment when I became aware that I had heavy black wings made of stone on my back. They were so heavy. But they crumbled and I was released again. Released, released, released. Again and again, released. So to the wolf women I say, thank you. Thank you for allowing me the chance to get there in that perfect moment in time. Julie Brannen, you are a compassionate force to be reckoned with. You are deep, spiritual and connected to our female ancestors in a way I have never seen.
I started going to Julie’s AbunDANCE class as a way to revive during the workday, but it’s so much more! The instruction Julie gives helps me find and articulate the connection between movement and being. Through creative prompts we’re able to feel free uninhibited movement while inspecting blockages as movement translates to Life. I leave feeling fulfilled and re-invigorated.
Ever since I began taking Julie’s abunDANCE class I have truly felt such a transformation within myself on an emotional, mental, spiritual and physical level. Through Julie’s understanding of the mind, emotions, and heart, she has offered me a space to learn how to understand my feelings and how my body holds and expresses these feelings so that I am better able to live more fully, authentically and expressively through the body. I can noticeably dance with less fear because Julie’s guidance through dance movement has allowed me to witness myself, believe in myself and love myself through moving through these emotions rather than just thinking about them. Julie is one of the greatest souls I have ever encountered in this lifetime, she is warm, and holds space in a way that welcomes you to feel and to not feel ashamed for your feelings. I am a better person, a better dancer, and I understand myself on a deeper level now because of Julie.
In addition to being a brilliant choreographer, Julie is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. Her approach to dance is holistic, collaborative, and all-inclusive. I have performed in several of her pieces and it has always been an enriching experience. I am not the most technically strong dancer, but Julie has never made me feel “less than,” and she always has tricks up her sleeve to help me pattern my movement in such a way that I enjoy the process and the product. Anyone who has the opportunity to dance in one of her pieces or receive her movement education services is in for a juicy, satisfying experience!
Julie is an incredible and unique teacher. Her classes capture the perfect balance of purposeful guidance and freedom to explore my inner world through the landscape of the body. Every time I come into a class, I feel truly seen and welcomed, and I leave feeling invigorated and alive. It's really amazing what a good teacher can do to empower creativity, emotional embodiment, and Self-love, and Julie is the epitome of it.