Listen to all episodes here.
If you think dancing as a “life tool” isn’t a thing, today, you’ll think again!
Today, I’m talking with the wise and kind, Payton Kennedy about the power of using dance as a “life tool” to help expand your recovery.
I started dancing at a young age, and when I quit drinking, I thought I would never dance again.
The association between drinking and dancing was a thing initially, but eventually, I discovered the music again, and dancing helped me relieve anxiety and boost my mood.
After talking with Payton, I further cemented the idea of dance being a powerful tool that I think is underrated as a tool for managing your emotions and moods after you stop drinking.
What You'll Discover
- What led Payton to where she is today?
- How and why she started drinking
- The pivotal moment that led her to start her life of sobriety
- Changes that occurred in her life after beginning her journey of sobriety
- The link between childhood trauma and alcoholism
- How discovering her authentic self has impacted her business
- Bio hack - how you can use dance to shift your energy
Payton Kennedy works with recovering women, providing inspiration and guidance to expand their recovery and create a life beyond their dreams. She is a Dancing Mindfulness Facilitator (Institute for Creative Mindfulness), and creator of SHE RECOVERS Dance, a guided movement experience promoting self-awareness, body positivity, freedom, joy, and empowerment. Payton is a certified Life & Professional Recovery Coach (IAPRC), a SHE RECOVERS Coach & Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher, offering private 1:1 coaching and classes. She has worked with the SHE RECOVERS Foundation for the past six years planning and producing events and retreats.
In 2022, Payton created Expand Beyond Recovery, a membership for recovering women featuring trauma-informed movement and curated and original content and activities, all offered within a new and specific theme each month. Her purpose and bliss are expressed through guiding women seeking change and growth to a place of embracing their unique lived experiences and cultivating a resilient, joyful, and expansive recovery journey no matter what they are recovering from.
To connect with Payton, please visit:
- Website: https://paytonkennedy.com/
- Linkt.ree: https://linktr.ee/PaytonKennedy
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/expand.beyond.recovery/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Payton-Kennedy-108581850910710
If you like this episode, you'll enjoy these too!
10 Ways to Get in the Habit of Living Alcohol-Free
Using Dance as a Life Tool with Payton Kennedy
[00:00:00] Lori Massicot: Hey there. Welcome to two 50 and beyond a podcast that helps you find joy and confidence in living alcohol free later in life. I am Lori mascot. I am your host. I'm a certified life recovery and nutrition coach on a mission to spread awareness of the joy of living alcohol free and sobriety in midlife and beyond.
[00:00:24] If you are new here. Hello, my new friend. And if you are returning, welcome back, my friend.
[00:00:29] I am so excited for you to be here today because we are gonna have a fun conversation about finding creativity and enjoying life and new experiences in your fifties. We're gonna talk about dance as a life tool and getting in touch with our authentic selves. And I'm. So honored to have my guest today, Peyton Kennedy, who is here to bring the joy Peyton works with recovering women, providing inspiration and guidance to expand their recovery and create a life beyond their dreams.
[00:00:58] She is a dancing [00:01:00] mindfulness, facilitator and creator of she recovers dance, a guided movement experience promoting self awareness, body positivity, freedom, joy, and empowerment. Peyton has a certified life and professional recovery coach. She recovers coach and trauma informed yoga teacher offering private one-on-one coaching and classes.
[00:01:21] She has worked with a she recovers foundation for the past six years planning and producing events and retreats in 2022 Peyton created expand beyond recovery, a membership for recovery and women, featuring trauma informed movement and curated and original content and activities all offered with a new and specific theme each month.
[00:01:42] We're gonna talk about that as well today. I know you're going to enjoy Peyton, so let's get this party started.
[00:01:58] Payton Kennedy: Hi Peyton. [00:02:00] Hi,
[00:02:01] Lori Massicot: welcome to two 50 and beyond.
[00:02:04] Payton Kennedy: Thank you. I'm very excited to be here. so
[00:02:08] Lori Massicot: excited. You're here. Literally. We were just chatting before I started recording and I think we're both pretty excited about these topics that we're gonna talk about today. Let's get started with what led you to where you are.
[00:02:23] Payton Kennedy: . Let's see my story. , like everyone's story, there's probably a few different elements involved. I always begin my story with the with the truth about my beginnings, which is I'm an adopted person. I was given up by my birth mother as a baby and adopted by two wonderful adoptive parents, but that really shaped my experience in.
[00:02:52] In life. I was always very curious. I always felt very disconnected. I used the word a lot [00:03:00] untethered and I had this visual of me floating in space, not attached to anything and that's how I grew up. So that definitely is a part of my story throughout my childhood. I was a very shy child.
[00:03:13] , as a teenager, incredibly insecure , codependent real people pleaser. And then of course, , that just carried on into my twenties, thirties, and even my forties. I I have been a creative and an active person all my life. I was a dancer and I was a singer.
[00:03:32] And of course in those spaces when you're a teenager and in your twenties and thirties, , a lot of that involved alcohol and partying and, , everyone I was around was doing the same thing as I was. , I didn't see a problem. It, , I was a binge drinker and I never had an off button and I continued to do that into I would say some of the more challenging times in my [00:04:00] life.
[00:04:00] One of them being my divorce and at the age of 40 something found myself with a young child divorced no money a job that was quite Toxic in, in the sense that it was a toxic environment, it was also in culinary. I was an event planner in culinary, so I was surrounded by, , fine food and fine wine.
[00:04:25] And day drinking in our office was the thing. People just did. It opened a bottle of wine at three o'clock in the afternoon. , this alcohol was just in my life all the time. And then , after my divorce I just, , started to have anxiety and I think depression and I started to self-medicate and that's when I started to drink by myself.
[00:04:47] And that's when my whole life, as soon as that happened, my whole life started to be centered around when could I have that glass of wine that would always turn into a bottle sometimes more. And I lived like that for a few [00:05:00] years and it was very scary. My anxiety went through the roof. I put myself into really dangerous situations.
[00:05:07] It was just a horrible way to live. And finally one day an incident which was a regular occurrence in my life ended up with me at a party getting very drunk and ending up in a situation that I would've never have found myself in if I hadn't have been drinking.
[00:05:28] And I got home that night was the next morning. And I think the thing that kind of stopped me in my tracks was the voice that came up and said okay, this is really bad what happened, but I couldn't the voice that came up just said, yeah, but you can't say that this isn't gonna happen again.
[00:05:46] You can't so many times I promise, oh, I promise this won't happen again. And I knew in that moment, I can't say that anymore. I can't say that it's not gonna happen. And that was what led me to [00:06:00] that day. Looking up the nearest alcoholics anonymous meeting and getting myself there and sitting down in a hard chair in a church basement surrounded by people.
[00:06:09] I didn't know. And I knew that I had to change my life. And that was the beginning of my journey of sobriety. Congratulations. Ah, yeah. Yeah. That was eight, eight years ago. Congratulations. What age were you at that point? Let's see, I got sober in 2014. I'm gonna be, I'm terrible with math. I think I was 48.
[00:06:37] Let's see. No, I'm 55 now. So 55 minus eight, 40. What is that 55 minus eight.
[00:06:47] Lori Massicot: 47, honestly. You're 47. Yes. I'm shocked that you're 55, honestly, because I know one of our topics is really finding creativity and joy in your fifties. And I thought, oh, shoot.
[00:06:57] When this, that came through, when you first joined the [00:07:00] podcast and I got your stuff I thought she was like, maybe in her early forties or
[00:07:03] Payton Kennedy: something
[00:07:04] Lori Massicot: like 55 heard about same age. No, I'm five. Yeah. I love it. I love it. So I got sidetracked. I really can do math. I'm super quick with math, so I'm not I'm kidding.
[00:07:16] Congratulations. The reason why I wanted to know that is because I think it is such a great time in our forties to get sober. And like you said, you couldn't tell yourself that again you couldn't tell yourself that it's just that was it. So it's huge what you did, and I'm really proud of you.
[00:07:34] Thank you for sharing. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. Definitely. So talk about your fifties. What have the past five years been like for you? What did, what have you
[00:07:46] Payton Kennedy: noticed? Yeah, so 47 was when I began my journey of sobriety. My first three years of sobriety were pretty eventful.
[00:07:58] I, [00:08:00] as I said I got sober in the rooms of AA and quite soon after that, I think a year into that I met Dawn and Taran of she recovers and became involved in that organization. And then before I knew it, I knew thousands of women across north America and was connected and really steeped in in recovery.
[00:08:22] So when I when my 50th birthday was looming, I was so excited. I was so excited to turn 50 50 felt like such an empowering number. Like God I've managed to make it 50 years on this planet. And Because of my sobriety and because of I would say values that my adoptive parents instilled in me and the fact that I've been a pretty active person.
[00:08:50] And for the most part aside from maybe a few circumstances, I've taken fairly good care of myself. So to turn 50 and to [00:09:00] just feel so good about where I was at was really exciting. I was excited about it and the last five years, definitely there have been for so many of us, just anybody in the world, the last three have been crazy. Lots of ups and downs lots of learning, lots of growth, lots of really getting to root. Issues in, or core issues that that I, that were underneath all of of my drinking and behaviors excavating those, and at the same time, being able to have a really joyful creative, exciting experiences as well.
[00:09:50] It has been kind a little bit like riding the waves, right? Like on top of the wave surfing with the great view going, [00:10:00] oh my God, I can't believe I'm here. And then I always like to say crashed underneath with a whole pile of sand in my bottoms but at this point in my recovery able to stand up and get the sand out and keep going.
[00:10:14] Yeah. Yeah. That's how it's been for me. It's There's been a lot of freedom in these five years. And I feel like I'm the things that I am doing and the mindset that I have these days is just gonna invite more and more of that into my life, which feels really good.
[00:10:32] Do you notice
[00:10:33] Lori Massicot: since you've gotten older that you don't have the same stories that you used to have, cuz I know I really related to your story I was shy all of that. And so many women do, right? There's so many women who have listened to this podcast, been on the podcast, started drinking when I was a teenager I started drinking at 14 cuz of the shyness and everything.
[00:10:53] Do you find that you're more confident now? [00:11:00]
[00:11:01] Payton Kennedy: Yeah. And it really I'll tell you, Lori, it really does have to do with that idea of the stories. The stories that we have been told in our childhood, the stories that have been modeled for us, the stories that we've taken on and told ourselves I I've had a number of experiences over the years where, you know, a story was completely flipped on its head.
[00:11:26] One of them being my adoption story my, my birth sister found me in 2020 and it won't go into the whole thing, but it had been many years of me searching for a long time, not having any luck finding my birth mother and her refusing to see me and then giving up on the whole thing.
[00:11:45] And you can imagine the story that I had created around that. And so much of that you internalize and that becomes the place that you respond to the world from. My birth sister found me [00:12:00] like I said, in 2020, and again, probably you have an idea of what my story was.
[00:12:06] I wasn't wanted my birth family was out there having the time of their life. I was something to be ashamed of, blah, blah, blah, blah, all of that stuff. It turns out that my birth sisters, I have three of them knew my name. I was talked about in my house. They all talked about me.
[00:12:24] They talked about finding me my, they, they grew up unfortunately with a drug addicted mother our birth mother was, she died of a heroin overdose. So they grew up in complete chaos. I was actually the lucky one. I was lifted out of this and put into a safe container.
[00:12:44] This story that I was presented with was like I said, it flipped mine on. On it's, but , and what I learned from that is, is, again, the stories that we tell ourselves are simply that they [00:13:00] if we don't, for one, we can rewrite any story that we need to, if that's part of our healing we can do that work and rewrite that story.
[00:13:09] Number two my perspective is only my perspective. And I like to think that now I, I know to leave a lot of room around a situation or an experience so that I leave room for something else to be there. Not just this one thing that I'm fixated on. So yes, like I that's part of the freedom I think of having lived experience and getting older is just that freedom in.
[00:13:41] Knowing that we don't know it all and we don't have to know it all and there's magic in uncertainty or magic in mystery. And that feels really good, cuz I think when you're, I don't know for me when I was younger, it was just, there was a lot of black and white going on a lot of black and white and now I can still [00:14:00] go there I can still be somebody that's can have tunnel vision, but it's something that I constantly work on because I know that there are so many different truths and story can be a real A real sort of healing practice that we can take on to, like I said, reimagine a story or let a story go, or whatever it may be.
[00:14:21] Lori Massicot: Wow. Thank you so much for sharing. That is a big life lesson with that story, cuz it is so much easier to focus on the worst case. This is happening to me. Instead of that's what you said you were picked up and put into a different container, safe container, it was happening for
[00:14:36] Payton Kennedy: you.
[00:14:38] It was happening for me.
[00:14:40] Lori Massicot: And that's it. I think that comes with definitely getting older because we have so many more life lessons that we are experiencing, but then do you feel like the clarity that comes with sobriety and in recovery and in healing is also making it possible for you to expand your space and give things that you're not sure about more of [00:15:00] a
[00:15:00] Payton Kennedy: neutral view.
[00:15:02] Yeah, totally. Yeah. I also liken it sometimes too. And again, this is my experience as when I was younger, this black and white or this it's either this or it's that and they're opposite whereas aging and in recovery the middle is actually a really nice place to be.
[00:15:23] It's a place where there's more space. There's more room to move. Yeah, it's just I'm finding a lot of peace and grace and I don't know, more objectivity in the middle. Rather than it being such, I don't know, life doesn't have to.
[00:15:46] I used to think that life was just chaos and that was it extreme and there's pain and there's joy whereas these days I like to keep myself in that middle space more often than not. Yeah, that's
[00:15:59] Lori Massicot: beautiful. [00:16:00] Yeah. And we realize we can be both joyful and have pain at the same time.
[00:16:05] So it's, that's very important. That's a very important lesson I learned much later in life. Yeah. Yeah. It's much more expansive. Yeah. So it sounds like you are getting to really connect with your authentic self. What is the importance of that for us gals? Oh, wow. Later in
[00:16:24] Payton Kennedy: life. Yeah. I think it's, I think it's huge it's foundational for me in what I'm doing these days.
[00:16:32] It's one of the things that. I focus on when I am guiding women especially women in their forties and fifties is this idea that finding our authentic selves, our authentic voice, our what's important to us what lights us up. I just think there's so much magic there.
[00:16:55] That's where the magic has been for me when I was able to [00:17:00] let go of this idea and I still do it. It's a practice. But when I'm able to let go of that and just really settle me and present myself from that space, that's where everything wonderful happens. That's when I don't, there's no effort, right?
[00:17:21] It's just I'm being myself and Yeah it's a I think it's a really powerful place to live from. And unfortunately our, the way we grow up our society and especially especially for women of our age, right? It's it's not anything, it's not anything that we were ever taught.
[00:17:43] It's not we're in a wellness and recovery space and of course these themes come up for us, but I think for the rest of the world that's not that's it's not about getting to your authentic self it's about trying to be like this, [00:18:00] or this idea or whatever you know is being sold to us.
[00:18:04] Often I think with my coaching clients and in my program that I'm doing, it's all coming back to, but you it's, you, what do you want, what calls to you, what speaks to you? What is the work that you can do? Because I just think that's the most powerful, FA powerful place that we can live from is from our authenticity.
[00:18:28] Yeah. I and that encompasses everything, every part of our life. There's a lot of reflection that we can do there. And I think we can go back to that time when we were little girls, when authenticity wasn't anything that we were trying to do or to be right in those times when we were, we felt safe and supported being authentic was just what we were.
[00:18:55] And so that could be a really magical place. [00:19:00] Yeah, just
[00:19:01] Lori Massicot: lovely how you describe that it's freedom. And like you said, there's no effort because for so many years, and I know the gals out there listening are thinking, I totally get that. For so many years it's so much work that we put in to try to be like, somebody else try to do things like other people listen to all the shoulds and the cans and the have tos and the needs to and then we just get to this stage of life.
[00:19:25] Tired, tired of all that.
[00:19:28] Payton Kennedy: Yeah. It's too much work. It's exhausting. It's
[00:19:31] Lori Massicot: exhausting. Mama needs a nap. Yeah. That's what it is. Definitely. How has this helped you in your business that you've created?
[00:19:40] Payton Kennedy: It's, you know what I think it's the main driving force in my business. Right now I Only this year.
[00:19:48] I've been an event planner for, I don't know, 25 years, something like that. I started on my the journey that I'm on now. I started back [00:20:00] in, I would say 2018 became a certified yoga teacher, became a coach was already holding space and very involved in women's recovery spaces.
[00:20:13] And knew that I wanted to do something. And I think the more that the more that I found my own authenticity and really started to. Say to myself, my, these ideas are good. These are good ideas. And I started to believe in that it it led me to this place where I was like, okay, I have something to offer now and I'm gonna put it out there.
[00:20:36] And it is coming from a very authentic place. It's coming from my own lived experience and my own desire to learn and grow. So February 20, 22, I launched my. Membership, which is called expand beyond recovery. It's a membership for recovering women who are already on the journey, who may be at a place where they need [00:21:00] more inspiration, some guidance a bit of a community for anyone that may feel stuck.
[00:21:07] The recovery spaces are full of things you can do. And sometimes that can be really overwhelming. So it's an invitation to work, in a guided space. We have a theme each month we work around and it's movement and yoga, some dance. We do. I typically create a workbook every month with options and offerings for things to engage in or not.
[00:21:34] I curate content in terms of podcasts and book lists and readings. And I do some of my own writing and then we have sharing an integration that we do. It was born from this desire to obviously help other women on their journey. And it like I said, previously, it's really this idea of how can we do this work in this space, but [00:22:00] honor ourselves make it so that it works for us, not comparing ourselves to other people, really developing our that self trust and confidence so that we can create what we wanna create in the world.
[00:22:15] And that could be it, that doesn't have to be. That I, that, again, it's up to you to decide what that is. Maybe that's just a super creative life where you're having wonderful experiences and you're enjoying what you do. And you're approaching life in a really creative way. Maybe that is creating a business.
[00:22:34] Maybe that's just enriching and nourishing your recovery. Again, it's, I've got Different women with different experiences working towards different goals, but we can all come together in this space and do the work together. And what's really amazing about this is I'm able to participate fully in this and I'm learning so much.
[00:22:55] It's been interesting and maybe this speaks [00:23:00] to this idea of authenticity. I have really approached this work. Like I'm not an expert. I'm certainly I'm I know I have strengths that I'm willing to share and I have experience that I'm willing to share, but this is coming from an authentic place.
[00:23:16] And what I found is that everything that I'm doing is flowing. I haven't, I'm learning, I'm shifting. I'm putting things out there, but it's all flowing very well. It's and I think it, it is because I've created space around what I'm doing and the expectations of what I'm doing.
[00:23:37] And I'm allowing it to flow and because I'm doing the work along with the women in my membership. It's I feel like I need to show up just as much as they're all showing up. So it's pretty I it's funny cuz I'm talking about it now and I'm like, damn, this is it's so amazing and so [00:24:00] great.
[00:24:00] And I'm just so I'm in awe of the women that are in my membership and I just again, I feel like I'm able to guide and teach, but I'm being guided and I'm being taught as I'm doing it. Yeah. So
[00:24:13] Lori Massicot: you get it. I get it. And it is such a process too, to find that. That thing that you wanna put out into the world, it doesn't happen quickly.
[00:24:22] No, and I really appreciate your process being someone who is in the same industry working with women teaches us so much.
[00:24:32] Cause I love talking to women in their fifties and not who have started businesses, especially in the coaching realm and you and I were in the coach certification program together. So we went through school at the same time. So I'm very happy for you. I'm very proud of you.
[00:24:49] Payton Kennedy: Awesome. Yeah. And I wanna just say too that, I think there's something to be said about timing, because I, I could if I go way back [00:25:00] to my days in, in music and dance, I I think I've probably created, I don't know, like 25 30 things that I thought, okay, this is it.
[00:25:10] This is what I'm doing. And some of them, I I had an idea and thought, okay, yeah, this is what I am. And then I dropped it immediately because of whatever reason, other things I took to a certain point, and then they fell away. Like it has been a process it's this is not anything that I've worked on things for years.
[00:25:33] And I've also been in that place of like, why isn't this working? Like why, what am I doing wrong? I think it's timing comes into it. And then also that idea of now I'm at. An age and a stage in my life where I'm not gonna let fear hold me back. I'm gonna go. Yeah, I'm scared.
[00:25:54] And yeah, sometimes I'm pretty sure I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm just gonna do it anyway. [00:26:00] Cause I know the value of that too.
[00:26:02] Lori Massicot: I love hearing that from you. I appreciate that. I'm with you. I have experienced all of that and I think the biggest life lesson in hearing you talk is that we can change our minds.
[00:26:11] We don't have to have everything set in stone, especially with business. And that's why I wanted to hear from you because you've gotta test this stuff out.
[00:26:20] Payton Kennedy: Absolutely. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. And I'm still giving myself lots of leeway in the sense that I I certainly had to create the language about what it is that I wanted to do, what it was it that I was offering.
[00:26:36] And I I worked with a coach to really, she really helped me to actually be able to speak about it and to get it out of me and put it down on paper. But I still give myself lots of leeway to go this could shift. This could change. This may not in a year this may look a little bit different.
[00:26:53] I don't know I'm gonna put it out there, keep on doing the work. But I'm gonna give myself some [00:27:00] flexibility to explore experiment and pivot if I need to. And it's not a failure it's not a failure. Whatever happens. Not a failure. I think
[00:27:12] Lori Massicot: one of my stories was you're not doing it like them, or you should be doing it like this way, but
[00:27:18] when you're authentic with what you wanna put out there and you speak from the heart, that's what women need and that's what they
[00:27:23] Payton Kennedy: appreciate.
[00:27:25] That's right. Yeah. And, And the people that are meant for you are out there like that's I, I. Everyone. That's in my group right now, and it's not a big group. It's a nice small group, but they're meant to be in this group with me. And I really appreciate that. And I know that's part of again part of the freedom of getting older is knowing that not everybody is meant for you and that's okay because there's a whole bunch of people that are out there, whether it's relationships or friendships, or a job or something that you're offering and [00:28:00] trying to find new clients or whatever it may be.
[00:28:02] It's we're all different and we're all attracted to certain things at certain times. And everybody is, if you're in something, if you're working with somebody or you're engaging in something, you. You're meant to be there for whatever that reason is. And I guess building that again, confidence and self trust to, to know when when to come into something, how long to stay and when to leave.
[00:28:32] Yeah. I love that. I get really excited knowing that
[00:28:36] Lori Massicot: I'm gonna meet new women that I'm gonna work with. I know that for a fact, I don't worry about this stuff that the numbers or anything like that. I've never worried about that kind of stuff. People are going to be attracted. I can't force anybody to listen or join or subscribe or anything like that.
[00:28:52] But if I show up as myself, then uncle find my people. Let's move on the dance portion [00:29:00] of this conversation. When did you start
[00:29:02] Payton Kennedy: dancing? Oh, I started dancing very young. One of the one of the reasons my parents put me into dance was because I was so shy and they were looking for ways to, to have me overcome that shyness.
[00:29:22] And yeah, so I was very young. I think my first. I think my first experience in dancing was actually, I was in power river, British Columbia in the sunshine coast of Canada. And I took in the small town kind of logging town there was a beautiful Hawaiian woman that lived in the town and she taught Hawaiian dancing.
[00:29:45] And that was, I think the first class that I went into and I loved it she was so beautiful. And and then from there I went into ballet and jazz and disco like EV every, [00:30:00] any kind of extracurricular activity. They put me in music and singing and I did sports as well.
[00:30:06] But dancing was something that I think I've pretty much done my whole life. My mom really fostered my creativity by I had a I literally had a Mr. Dress up trunk, like where I had costumes. She would go to thrift stores and buy me like kooky dresses and things.
[00:30:24] And so I had this trunk of clothes that I could dress up in and act dance, sing out all my stories. love it.
[00:30:35] Lori Massicot: Yeah. It's so interesting. Cuz shy girls. We do things like that. We can be shy and then we can also dance and be creative and wanna act and play out yeah, exactly what I went through.
[00:30:50] I don't know if my mom put me into ballet at a young age because of my shyness maybe, but it would be probably like pulling teeth to get me there, [00:31:00] drag me there. But then once I got there, I always remember watch out, move outta the way. Let me get my dance on. Yeah. And I loved that. We were talking before we started
[00:31:08] recording about she recovers LA where we were at the Hilton and the silent disco was happening. Can you describe that evening? You put this on, right?
[00:31:20] Payton Kennedy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it was it was one of, it's a magical memory for me and a pivotal.
[00:31:31] Moment for me as somebody involved and she recovers I, we did, she recovers in New York in 2017 and myself and Annie McCullough, who is part of our team and she's been our, the, she recovers DJ for us for all of our conferences. We performed together way back in the day she was a DJ and I was a singer.
[00:31:55] And so we did the club scene together. So we wanted dancing in [00:32:00] New York this was our first conference. We we just, we decided at some point where it was not gonna happen. So Ella when we were like, okay, we're doing it again. We're doing LA. I was like, we're dancing.
[00:32:12] We have to dance. We, I had seen actually in my hometown an event, an outdoor event where. It was the silent disco. It was on the street and they had a big DJ set up and everyone had the headphones on and were dancing like dancing fools. And of course you heard nothing.
[00:32:31] And so the idea came up of the silent disco and I was just adamant that it was gonna make it into the program. And there were a few times where I thought it wasn't going to, because there's all so much that you wanna cram into that weekend. But we made it happen. I remember we put it into the Facebook group for LA and the comments that we got about this idea, what we're doing, what's a [00:33:00] silent disco and it was just this kind of general error of.
[00:33:03] Oh, I don't know about that. I'm probably gonna be in bed by that time and what what am I gonna wear? Just a lot of talk. And we get there, we're in LA we have a supplier coming to set us up with all of these headphones and all the gear. And that night we had the gala dinner.
[00:33:22] We're running around in our dresses and heels and immediately after dinner AERA and I, who was the other event producer were up. And we ran to where we were having the Sonic disco, which is in the Wilshire garden. And we're helping getting these headphones set up and Annie is there and we're trying to get the gear happening and we're having some technical difficulties and I was starting to panic because I had really taken on this yes, silent disco.
[00:33:51] It's gonna be great. It's gonna work. We need to dance. And I was starting to feel like, oh my God what if this doesn't work? What if it's [00:34:00] you know what, if we can't get this happening and we just literally had minutes to get this thing going, cuz people were coming from the gala. Finally we got it to a point where I was like, I think it's okay.
[00:34:10] I ran upstairs to change my clothes. I came down and I'll never forget it. I walked into this outdoor space and the music was happening there were women, I don't know how. Yeah, I think there was probably, I don't know, 200 of us in this space. It was the most joyous thing that I had, like ever seen, I think, ever in my life, just this experience of women coming together and dancing in this supportive, welcoming, fun, joyous space.
[00:34:50] We had three amazing playlists that Annie had put together. it was like, I it was literally one of the best moments of [00:35:00] my life. Like I don't think I've ever been happier that moment. And I. Danced nonstop went around visiting every, jumping up and down with people laughing. Some of us were crying, tears of joy the people at the hotel cuz the Wilshire gardens in this space where the towers are and they were down on their are on the patios, looking down at us.
[00:35:24] I'm sure. Wondering what the heck is going on down there because all you could hear of course is the singing and the kind of stomping of the dancers to hear the music. But it was truly an amazing thing and it was not only joyous and fun and celebratory, but it was powerful. It was powerful for some of those women who had never danced sober to reclaim that.
[00:35:50] And that for me. Of all the dance I've ever done, and I've done a lot of different things. I've I've performed, I've been in [00:36:00] shows, I've been in videos. I've learned the routines I've worked with some pretty awesome choreographers I've had all the experiences, but none of them compares to the experience that I've had with dance in, in recovery with other women reclaiming it and bringing it into their lives as a tool and a tool.
[00:36:24] Yeah. And also just something that you do for the sheer pleasure of it. Yes, don't overthink
[00:36:34] Lori Massicot: the dance. I loved how you described that. I wanted to get your take on it and thank you for doing that. It was one of the best experiences, not in my sobriety in my life.
[00:36:42] We danced and we danced and I gotta tell. I mean coming off of that night just going back to the room, I remember, oh my gosh, I'm never gonna be able to go to sleep. I just was so happy and joyful. I think as we get older and feeling [00:37:00] our bodies move and using it, maybe as meditation.
[00:37:04] Payton Kennedy: Yeah.
[00:37:05] Lori Massicot: It's something so simple we can do. I consider dance a biohack just for what you just described this idea of using dance as a tool.
[00:37:17] Payton Kennedy: There's so many there's so many benefits and there's so many ways to, to use movement. The biohack idea just comes to that idea of shift. How can we shift our energy? Three songs that you love in your pop in your earbuds, find a space where nobody's gonna bother you and let yourself move freely and you can shift your energy.
[00:37:46] You can create a real change in how you feel physically, mentally spiritually, emotionally. And that's why I call it a biohack it's [00:38:00] just hacking ourselves out of one space into another space. So yeah and like you said dance is something that we can.
[00:38:12] Do with very little effort by ourselves for three minutes, dances is, can be a longer exploration, a it can, it's absolutely a meditation. It can bring you into your body and help you to ground and explore and feel in a way that I don't really think anything else can especially cuz you're bringing the music into it.
[00:38:39] I'm a person, I love music. I've been a musician in my life. I think I love music even more now that I'm not a musician. that I'm not somebody who's playing and singing music every day. I think I love it even more now. And for me, music has played an integral role in my recovery, [00:39:00] helping me to connect to.
[00:39:02] Hurts to emotions, helping me to rewrite stories that I not only maybe carry in my heart, but also in my body. So the music is part of it too. Yeah, it's just it's a powerful practice. And again we get to engage in it. However we want to whatever it means for us.
[00:39:24] And it's an ongoing journey when I started dancing in my early recovery cuz I stopped as well. I stopped for a long time. My, my experience was dancing in clubs really high and then stopped and didn't dance. And then in my early recovery I started dancing. And it was a slow journey of, wow, this actually feels really good and it's evolved into, and it continues to evolve.
[00:39:55] Dance is something that I do at least [00:40:00] if not every day, I would say every second day I'm if I'm I'm throw, if I'm like, okay, I need something. Okay. I need to listen to some music and move my body. I'm still think it's an unending journey of discovering myself through dance.
[00:40:20] Yeah. Oh, it just brings
[00:40:21] Lori Massicot: me so much happiness. I think you are right. You start with the music and let yourself see where it's going to take you. I find that music too is I like to talk a lot when it comes to physicality in our bodies. The concept for me of creating space in my body feels that's it's something that I continually think of and music and moving my body to music.
[00:40:51] Payton Kennedy: I have that experience of creating space in my body space in my energy, obviously it includes breath too. [00:41:00] When you explore and play with music that can really have an impact on your experience as well. Yeah.
[00:41:08] Lori Massicot: You mentioned three songs. What are your favorite three songs that you could share with us today to dance
[00:41:14] Payton Kennedy: to?
[00:41:14] Oh I don't know that I could say songs, but music. Yeah. Like I typically. I love to have in she covers dance, it's called our bone dance and it's a song that you shake to. I think that sort of process of shaking. I do that a lot. Like that's a that's definitely part that there's gotta be one song that has a lot of crazy rhythms that I can just shake everything out.
[00:41:46] So that typically for me, I like a slower song that maybe has some kind of syncopated rhythms. That again, I can explore movement that helps me to [00:42:00] not just wanna move to a steady beat maybe slow down my movement or even bring some stillness in or play with balance.
[00:42:10] Play with, taking up space, play with subtle movement. And usually I find that in a slower song and then always a joyous song. Something that could be nostalgic. It could be something that just right away. I'm like, oh my God, I love this song. It could be something with empowering lyrics that I can sing out loud at the top of my lungs.
[00:42:34] I like to do that. And I that's part of me for me, that's part of a. Healthy really freeing thing to do when I move. Yeah, and like I said I love music so much and I'm constantly searching for new music and constantly like finding the best song ever to put into my playlist.
[00:42:56] So it changes, I definitely have favorites, but [00:43:00] like I said, I think the shake and then the spacious song to explore and maybe that's even part of the meditation. And then that song that just really makes you feel good. Yeah. That's a that's a complete practice right there. I love
[00:43:15] Lori Massicot: that.
[00:43:15] I love that. Not to put you on the spot, but do you have a playlist you could share with my listeners and me?
[00:43:21] Payton Kennedy: Oh, absolutely. I do. I have a playlist and I have a lot of playlists as you can imagine. You did. I figured you did. Yeah. Yeah. But I I'll, I will absolutely share a specific playlist and then I'm I'm on Spotify as well.
[00:43:38] And I can, it's simple. It's Peyton dot Kennedy and I need to go. I need, yeah. I need to go in there and do a little bit of curating, I think, cuz I've got a gazillion things happening in there, but but I would love to, to, I would love to put together a special playlist for this podcast. Oh, would you?
[00:43:58] Lori Massicot: I would appreciate [00:44:00] it. Okay. Okay. Cool. Email it to me when you have put together. Absolutely. And I'm gonna play it before we wrap it up. Any final words for the gal out there who really would like to start dancing and maybe is holding herself back by saying I feel silly doing
[00:44:17] Payton Kennedy: this.
[00:44:19] Lori Massicot: What can she do today?
[00:44:20] Payton Kennedy: Great. Now I think obviously we wanna do the things to support ourselves in this practice. And that's obviously finding some time, some ideal time finding a space where you're not gonna be interrupted. Having whatever you need in order to have your little dance party. I think if you haven't done it before and you're thinking that sounds really fun.
[00:44:46] I think that looking at this time, whether it's 10 minutes or half an hour, as a way of connecting to yourself of honoring again, [00:45:00] maybe it might bring you back to that sort of little girl authentic fierce little little girl energy. Especially if dancing and singing and doing that kind of thing when you're younger.
[00:45:13] If it's not that kind of experience I think I would just I would always encourage. Anyone on this journey of change in growth and recovery. Again, you're already brave, right? You're here, you're showing up, you're doing the thing, you're doing the work. You are brave.
[00:45:31] So this is just another little extension of that is how can I be a little bit braver here and picking songs that, that move you, that you love to dance, to allowing yourself to approach it. However you want to if you are if you're running into a situation where a song isn't working for you, or feelings are coming up again we using just that idea that you can change it to whatever you wanna [00:46:00] change it to it's, it doesn't have to look like anything.
[00:46:05] It needs to just It can be slow. It can be, you can start out small. And again I think probably the music as a way in is that can be powerful. That's one of the things that, that I'm I learned creating playlists and guiding women. And one of the things that you know, is gonna be part of a training program that I'm gonna do is music as the way in often when I first started teaching, she recovers dance, home retreats I put on the music and people would scatter, so I had to go, okay, what song can I play that I know they're gonna come back in too. And going back to what I just previously said about you. Finding the songs that you love and just moving to, and there's no right way to move. There's no wrong way to move. Just move and see what happens.
[00:46:58] Just move. What
[00:46:59] Lori Massicot: about she [00:47:00] recovers dance. Is that going on now on zoom?
[00:47:04] Payton Kennedy: Yeah it does it happens every Sunday at 11:00 AM Pacific 2:00 PM Eastern standard time. And I started online of course, back in 2020 when the pandemic happened and retreats stopped. And I could never, in a million years of imagined getting online and doing this practice and at first there was lots to learn and technical stuff to sort out.
[00:47:33] But what it's grown into is. I'm just, I just feel like so blown away by it. We have a weekly practice. We get anywhere from, I would say now it can be as small as 16 to 18 women. It can be as large as 30 to 35 women. The beautiful thing about it is that some of these women have been showing up [00:48:00] every Sunday for the past going on yeah, two years every Sunday.
[00:48:05] So you can imagine how far they have come in this practice on their. It's amazing to me. And again I have women that, that come and sit in their chair and chair dance. I like to call it chair dancing. I have women that join walking out in nature. I have women that come and they might be sitting there doing art while it's going on.
[00:48:32] I have one woman who's in her seventies who is the Funt most awesome dancer ever, and she loves it and it's part of her recovery and she's just come so far in it, so it that's amazing. I, and I love it. And we've have grown this practice to it really does feel like just like all the other gatherings online.
[00:48:58] It is a sharing [00:49:00] circle. It's a sharing circle, but we move. It's that powerful. And it sounds fantastic. Yeah, it's amazing. And this past year in early 20, 22, I trained, I did a mentorship offered a mentorship to one of the women in the group. Her name is Carly and she had already some sort of good experience with movement and a really, again a lived experience that really aligned with her becoming a facilitator.
[00:49:33] So she became a facilitator. She was in my Miami with me and we did she recover his dance in Miami, which was amazing. So she facilitates now, like we trade off, which is great for me. Having somebody else and of course the really exciting news is that I'm doing a pilot training.
[00:49:55] In September. So next month and I have 12 [00:50:00] women who are going to be taking the, she recovers dance facilitator program. So it's gonna be an 18 hour altogether training and practicum. And what that does is for number one brings more of us into the practice. So you know, different people coming in with different music, playlists and different ways of teaching and queuing and being offering just more diversity within the program.
[00:50:31] It's not just me or me and Carly And I think that we're gonna be able to offer it more than just once a week, which I think would be great, cuz I think a lot of people might not necessarily be able to come on Sundays. And then of course, as we, as the she recovers foundation is building chapters and community groups, it will allow these people to teach, to facilitate, to guide to offer she recovers dance in communities, in person on the [00:51:00] ground.
[00:51:00] So it's just, I'm just so excited about it. I'm I can't even believe it's actually happening and it's so fun to just look back and see yeah. Where it started, because it really did start in LA at the silent disco me going well of course we have to dance, so I'm gonna create something so that we can do it together as a practice every week.
[00:51:23] And that's what that's what happened. And now here I am ready to train others. To offer it and just so that more women can engage in the practice. More of us can start dancing and enjoying and benefiting from all of the amazing things that happen when you dance.
[00:51:44] Yeah. Congratulations.
[00:51:46] Lori Massicot: Thank you so much, Payton, for being here, it was a pleasure and I will have all of Peyton's information linked down in the show
[00:51:53] Payton Kennedy: notes. Wow. It was a pleasure to be here. It really is. I just can't think of anything better [00:52:00] to talk about then again, this idea of freedom in our fifties and the idea that we can create what we wanna create and we're not bogged down by baggage or stories.
[00:52:13] We can let some of this go and of course dance and one of the things that I say and Not only in my classes, but that's part of the curriculum is this idea of a pillar of she recovers dance, being freedom. And when we find freedom on the dance floor, we find freedom in other areas of our lives.
[00:52:36] It allows us to start looking over the wall and going what else, if I can push this out a little bit, or maybe I can just hop over that over to that side, which I don't think I've seen that before. So I love
[00:52:51] Lori Massicot: it. Yeah. It's so true. Thank you. And freedom by George Michael is my go to oh, there you go.
[00:52:58] Yeah. And it was played that night. [00:53:00] Yeah. At the silent disco. It
[00:53:02] Payton Kennedy: was. Yeah, totally. Totally love it. All right.
[00:53:05] Lori Massicot: Thanks Payton.
[00:53:07] Payton Kennedy: You're so welcome. Thank you for having
Lori's Private Coaching
Hello, I'm Lori Massicot! I'm a certified life coach, podcast host, and advocate for sobriety in women in midlife and beyond. I'm on a mission to help you find joy and confidence in living alcohol-free later in life. I'm happy you're here!
Join Lori's email community to receive a weekly email designed to help you live alcohol-free. You will also receive podcast episodes, and special offers for coaching.
Spam not included. Unsubscribe at any time.