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My name is Jelena. I am the owner, producer and DJ of Dance Divine, Vancouver’s beloved weekly conscious free-style dance event.

I developed a love for music early on in life (thanks Mom!) and started collecting music in my 20’s. That's when I first wanted to become a DJ but I could never picture myself playing in a club. I didn’t want to play only one genre! I wanted to play everything from Classical to House in one set and make it like a wave but I had no real-life examples of that being done, so I just kept making countless mixed tapes for friends and family.

Fast forward 15 years to one fine day when my friend dragged me (Thanks Olivia!) to a 5 rhythms class where I felt the sudden convergence of 3 powerful alignments, causing me to realize that: 1) I had found my ‘personal practice’, 2) as a DJ, I had found an example of what I had been talking about for so long, 3) professionally I had found my sweet spot. From that moment on, I could no longer listen to music without vividly seeing people dancing to the it. I also experienced a flood of music pouring into my life, as if I had opened up a channel and everything (inspiration, music, guidance) just came rushing in.

My relationship with music is intensely personal and I would also say spiritual. I experience a relationship with the universe through music where with uncanny accuracy and timing just the right music shows up at just the right time. When I discovered that 5 rhythms class, I had just graduated from a Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling degree program and I was considering a specialization in some kind of body-based therapy. What was clear to me was that the deepest and most truly lasting transformations were achieved through body-based processes.

I have both explored and facilitated the dynamic relationship between the body, the subconscious mind and the higher consciousness and regardless of how much I may be fascinated by psychology and the intellect, I have never been as impressed, mystified, educated, healed and humbled as when the body, the heart and the spirit are invited to speak to us, through us.

And this is the invitation at Dance Divine. To facilitate that, I tap into the profound and therapeutic impact that music has on people and create inspired and cathartic music sets that bring people together and moves them to their core. Music has the ability to strike and reflect every emotional chord we are capable of feeling and for me personally, it has been my medicine. It restores me.

I have been transformed by the art and practice of embodiment, by the experience of finding my purpose, by having what I am offering be received by the community, and by the love of the people whom I now share my dance with. I am so grateful to be able to extend my passion to the world and it is an honour to hold space for our collective and divine journeys.

Jelena Marda