Hi I'm Megg, and I am honored you want to know more about me! Let's start from the top. I was born in Michigan and moved around the mid-west until settling in Brainerd Lakes Minnesota. I grew up very shy and introverted and loved to escape through art and books.
I fell in love with martial arts at the young age of 7 and studied Okinawan karate for about 20 years and taught for many years. I was lucky to learn from such knowledgeable and versatile teachers such as Everett Churchill from Crow Wing Kobukan for most of those years, and John Sorg when I was younger. Karate was my first love and I still love it and practice it, mostly kata.
About 15 years ago I went to my first Renaissance Festival and saw the magic that is belly dance. I was instantly mesmerized by the moves, costumes, confidence and connection. Also that there was a dancer that was curvy, like me! I was emotionally overwhelmed with awesomeness and thought " I need to DO this, and I promptly started crying.
It took me 2 years to find the class and get the courage to come. I had always loved dance, but had never taken a class. I always felt awkward and uncoordinated when I dance in front of people. I was self conscious and had a mostly negative body image since my early teen years. I had been teased enough about my weight growing up to make me want to be invisible.
It was a huge deal for me to finally put myself out there and come to a class. I started my dance journey over 10 years ago with Amber Hunt (Gaia Sophia) and Noelle Wygant studying ATS (Fat Chance Style).
This was the first time I felt truly connected to my body and able to find beauty in my body. Even though I was the slowest to catch on to the moves, and fairly awkward. My karate training made grace an unexpected challenge. I fell in love with this beautiful group improvisational dance and spent the next 6 years studying locally and nation wide, as well as performing it with the troupe Vespertine Tribal in Brainerd Mn.
Early on in my dance studies I started to gravitate towards fusion belly dance and started learning whatever I could from various artists. I loved the freedom of creativity it offered and, of course, the aesthetic. So beautiful and magical, no limits to expression.
I decided in 2016 to leave Vespertine and go on my own to start another dance journey focused on tribal fusion dance and building a dance community. I also started my own troupe Olive Branch Belly Dance with my dance sisters that had followed me thus far.
I had always been inspired by Amy Sigil and her format ITS (Improvisational Team Sync) and now I had a new inspiration, Violet Kind and her creation, Fly Fusion. Violet was the first person to really spark my belief in myself and a better, more supportive dance community.
In 2018 I was astounded and elated when I received a scholarship to Rachel Brice's 8 Elements. Rachel was my introduction to fusion dance, and I absolutely adore her, not only for her technical expertise, but also for her artistry and kind heart. This opportunity breathed new life into my journey and gave me the courage and confidence to go forth and create my own format, Bonsai Dance.
I had always felt the deep need to create and to express myself through my own authentic style, but didn't think I could DO it. I came home from 8 Elements feeling renewed and ready to create Bonsai Dance. Bonsai was my fusion of group improv with martial arts. I had always seen the similarities between the 2 arts. Martial arts is so empowering, strong and beautiful, and I decided I want Bonsai to embody those attributes.
Bonsai Belly Dance was officially born in 2018, although I had subconsciously been building it for quite a few years prior. This dance format was inspired by all the things I love about karate and tribal fusion/group improv mixed with the wonderful, enchanting things I love like the elements of nature, books, magic and the cosmos.
In 2019 I was lucky enough to study Fly Fusion and a certified practitioner and teacher at a foundational level. This intensive taught me so much on technique, teaching and building community. I came back to Bonsai feeling fully inspired and wanting to create MORE!
I got to work on refining my dance more and building our dance community. I had been teaching all around the Brainerd lakes area and I decided to start my own studio in 2020, Movement Garden studio. Our amazing community came together to make it possible and I am beyond grateful. Our studio was open for one glorious week before lockdown happened and Covid-19 became what it was.
That brings us to about now, whew! The studio has survived it's first year even though it was pretty tough going. I am so grateful for the support that came in my time of need to make it happen. Now I am growing and creating by fusing my love of dance with mindset techniques and self care, which I call Infusions.
I need a LOT of self care in my own life, I have a fiery 5 year old and a husband with progressive M.S., and I work a day job I also love, so it's a must to take care of myself or I get burned out. I also have a healthy obsession with self help and the growth mindset so I decided to add it into my teaching to give the benefits of these practices to my students. Dance can be healing on it's own but when you add in self care and mindset it takes that to the next level.
Wow, you made it to the end! Thank you very much for getting to know me and I hope we can connect in real life sometime!