Liz Cahalan

Image by Bri Hammond Photography

Director & Bey Boss

 

I have a long history with dance, having studied classical ballet, contemporary dance and jazz ballet from age 4. However, dance and I have spent long periods apart. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome saw me incapacitated for over 10 years. But some passions cannot be suppressed and dance and I found each other again through the unlikely route of casual Bollywood classes while I was studying at La Trobe University. Via Bollywood, I rediscovered a love of dance. Only this time it was a style which celebrated hips and curves. Bollywood led me to more commercial dance styles where a variety of feminine forms not embraced by my ballet past, were idealised. I felt powerful moving my body in a way I never had before, one which didn't require me to hide or restrict the hips nature had bestowed on me.

After many years freelancing teaching Bollywood and Beyonce empowerment dance classes, I created Bey Dance. However, the school soon became something much bigger than a fan group for one performer. We became a community, one with a zealous passion for the things we cared about - be it a pop star, a social justice cause or a way of life. And so, Bey Dance morphed into The Cultmunity.

My interests have always been community building and social justice. I majored in Women’s Studies and English Literature at La Trobe University and worked for years as an Art Therapist for Dementia sufferers. As well as volunteering with Amnesty International and the Australian Refugee Association, I’ve danced with Indigenous dance companies and ability inclusive companies like Weave Movement Theatre. These diverse interests and areas of study have come together to help create The Cultmunity as a safe, inclusive and fun space for all who come our way. Since the birth of my daughter Rose, making Cult Dance accessible to new mums has become a passion.

At the heart of The Cultmunity is the belief that everyone can and should feel welcome in a dance class. It is innate for people to move to music. Dance should not be reserved for an elite few. And most importantly, it is empowering to indulge the diva within.  Can’t wait to dance with you soon!