Myra Krien’s Pomegranate SEEDs® Dance Program
About the Seeds Program - A Personal Take
By Lindsay Ahl December, 2005
Right about the ages of 14 through 17, I believe I formed the identity and self-knowledge that became and informed who I thought I was for many years. I was hungry, open to anything I liked, and imprinted on whatever was delivered to me in the right packages- for me, it was a poetry teacher in a black leather jacket who smoked unfiltered Camels and read Pound, Eliot and Wallace Stevens. He became an image of the world I wanted to enter. It was not until I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s that I could fully step back and redefine who I thought I was or who I thought I wanted to be. I say this because I really believe that young girls aged 14 to 17 or so, are forming their identity in such a way that it will shape the rest of their lives. I wish that in addition to my wonderful male-mode poetry teacher, I had met Myra Krien. Myra is running a dance program called Seeeds, a program for young girls. It’s not at all only about dance, but about life, and how to live it. Within a few minutes of meeting Myra, you know you are in the presence of a different kind of poet, a body poet, a woman who teaches you how to enter the world in every way, using your mind, certainly, but also your heart, your soul, your rhythm. Myra and her assistant, Lita Ovalle, have been teaching girls not just how to dance as dance, but how to dance in life-how to balance a checkbook, how to handle money, earn money, take care of themselves, value themselves and others, how to not compete with other women but nurture and support them, as friends, as our immediate community. She meets with the girls three times a week, for an hour and a half each time. Her Seeds® program is a sanctuary, a community, a school, and a very necessary part of these girls’ lives. Seeeds is a 501c. If you would like to find out more about the program, please call 505.986.6164.
A talk with Myra Krien
Lindsay: Why did you start the Seeds Program?
Myra: I had a hard time as a teenager. My background was very confused. I came from a famous intellectual family surrounded by wealth, and yet my immediate family lived in poverty. My parents divorced when I was six, I started working when I was nine, living on my own at fifteen. I was overweight and constantly told I would never be a dancer, but dance was my love, my sanctuary, and oddly enough, is now my profession. By sharing my experience with these girls, being able to listen with compassion, offering them a place to be, offering them an appropriate container for their blossoming womanhood and giving them tools, I hope that they will have a better future, better self-esteem, economic stability, and a feeling of personal success. This program and these girls are my “stone in the pond.” I may not be destined to affect politics or the state of the world today, but I can have an effect on the people who come through my door. I have devoted myself completely and utterly to this one aim.
Over the past five years we have had many young women come through the studio. It is my profound hope that they have left with a better sense of themselves, their own beauty, self-worth, that they are honest and authentic with themselves and therefore more at peace with the world, that they can care for themselves and each other, equipped with problem solving skills, economic literacy, and a greater ability to articulate their own mind and heart and that they can feel a sense of success in their own unique way. They also receive a powerful experience of community. The bonds these girls make with each other run deep. It is a rich experience of friendship and intimacy, diversity and tolerance.
What are your thoughts on Tribal Dance? What is it about, how does it communicate?
When I first saw Tribal I was mesmerized by its power, strength, fluidity and elegance, its depth and subtlety. I feel that its unison, when performed at its best, serves to expose the unique beauty of each dancer. There is something so profound in that visual statement, it all at once holds the duality that is our human state. It is an illustration that we are all connected, the human race and yet each uniquely ourselves, perfect in our flaws and ultimately beautiful. When I saw the film, Migration, the feeling it gave me was similar to the feeling I have enacting Tribal. There is an exhilaration when we dance together that then can melt into a deep state of meditation, the sensation of doing this together is incredible. The form is improvisational and completely non-competitive, each member takes a turn leading and following. I have personally experiences some of the most ecstatic and spiritually profound moments of my life during the performance of this particular form.