I spent my childhood on a Midwestern prairie, where having bonfires was a way to gather family, friends and community together in celebration of life, nature, music and togetherness. The feeling of those nights spent circled around a source of warmth and life has stayed with me through years spent following wanderlust and living in big cities.
A bonfire brings me back to a feeling of deeply rooted belonging, but not just because of my youth. A bonfire represents a timeless human ritual of gathering around a source of energy to share stories, rhythms, dances and friendship.
In my work, that source of energy is movement. My passion is offering a community--whether it be a family, neighborhood, church, school, or workplace--opportunities to move together and foster creativity, confidence and a positive attitude toward physicality and motion. A foundation in mind-body awareness sparked during early years or rediscovered later on creates strong, healthy individuals. In moving, breathing and playing together, we are more deeply connected in our communities through sharing our embodied stories.
Elly Lovin grew up studying classical ballet and pointe with Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato of the Joffrey Ballet and earned a BFA in Dance from the University of Iowa with a focus in ballet, modern dance and performance. Her love for children has inspired her work as a nanny, an aide for teens with autism, an English teacher in Taiwan and an arts volunteer in Uganda and Paraguay. She has been a Registered Yoga Instructor since 2008 and has developed and taught yoga and creative movement programs in public and private schools in Taipei, Chicago and New York City. Elly now lives in Portland with her husband and toddler, where she teaches for The Portland Ballet, Waynflete Summer Camps and Reiche School. As a Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist, she will hold creative dance residencies this school year in Brunswick and Deer Isle, Maine, and has received a grant to work with kindergarteners at East End School in Portland. Elly feels most alive at the beach or in a room of laughing, moving children, resonating with the sentiment of Isadora Duncan: "I do not teach children. I bring them joy."