Essence of Bellydance

by Coco

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Dance from the inside out

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Essence Teacher Spotlight Sonja

Interview from September 1st 2018.

Sonja Alexandra Paschirbe (30): Since 2013, I was a teacher for German and French language at a high school. Parallel to my work in school, I started the Soulresponding coaching training. There I suddenly realized that being an entrepreneur and coach offers me more possibilities to live my essence and to be free. Since 2014, I constantly have the honor to lead clients from their fears to more courage. In 2016, I obtained the license to train people as Soulresponding coaches. In may 2018 I founded the Soulresponding Academy in Zürich. Nowadays, thanks to that tool, the Essence of Bellydance Teacher Certificate and thanks to my curiosity for new approaches I can lead my clients in the process in finding more courage, freedom, abundance, sensuality, fulfillment and happiness in themselves.

How did you get in touch with belly dance and what does it give you?

My very first encounter with Bellydance was at the age of 9. My parents organized a Buddhist Culture Festival and a woman taught us a Bellydance choreography. My first Bellydance move was the Arabic Basic Step. For me it felt very natural to move like this. But in my perception this dance seemed to be a dance for grown up women, so I decided to learn it later, when it would feel appropriate. In between, I had a lot of fun dancing other styles like Jazz Dance and Street Dance. Suddenly in 2014, thanks to my Soulresponding coaching training, I realized that Bellydancing would be the most authentic way to rediscover my access to my essence.

In February 2017, after the start of my digital nomad journey, I felt quite uncomfortable in my body, I ate to much sugar and bread. But because I loved my body I decidd to give it what it needed: Bellydancing! Back then I was traveling with my partner through France in a camping van and I suddenly experienced a quite strong, ecstatic impulse through my whole body. Immediately, I googled the terms „Bellydance teacher training Berlin“. The first entry that came up was the Essence of Bellydance Teacher Training. Exactly one spot was left. Instantly, I applied for it and started very quickly with the Online Training. It felt so natural to dance everyday and master step by step the various ancient moves.

You combine Essence of Bellydance with Soulresponding. What is Soulresponding and how does the combination work?

Yes. I love to combine it with Soulresponding and other approaches that have shaped my life. Soulresponding is a method developed by Christhard Baller. It makes the wisdom of the soul visible through perceptions you get in your body. The soul answers as precisely as it is asked and leads us precisely to the issues which bind our life energies in the current situation we are in, issues that are have matured to be accepted and integrated. This dissolves blockages and life's energy can flow again.

In my work with women, I often combine Essence of Bellydance movements with impulses of what the client‘s soul is responding. In fact, I use the moves in order to transform emotions that are blocking the body-flow. Some Bellydance moves, like the figure eight or the Maya, are predestinated to help transforming female, collective traumata in our hips.

In fact, through the mind-work we can improve our technique and boost our charisma. For example, if a women is convinced that she can’t dance the Hagala (Bellydance step) I would use the Soulresponding approach in order to work with all the mental associations and resisting parts which avoid integrating this beautiful movement in the body. My experience shows that we just have to find back to our inner flow of inspiration and then we get the most out of our artistic inspiration, uniqueness and creativity.

How did you start and what were the important milestones or turning points in your career?

While I was working in school, I realized that being an entrepreneur and coach would offer me more possibilities to live my essence, to be free and to encourage more people to live their freedom. Once again, I received an impulse going through my body while I was in wild nature, on a beautiful island in Sweden. I realized that I didn’t want to be employed anymore because this was not the adequate life situation for me to integrate my ideas of social transformation. Inspired by my childhood I grew up with the idea: If you make someone happy, you find your own happiness. So I asked my higher self what kind of work would fulfill me? I instantly got the answer inside of me: Guiding and teaching people to find their essence by themselves.

How did you start and what were the important milestones/turning points in your career?

It all started in France in 2013. I love to ask myself the question: „Remember why I started?“. Once I had started things, my inner fire and love were pushing me to the next step. While working in high school I felt the desire to move on in many ways. I couldn’t feel my female essence anymore and just set the intention to change my life completely with any kind of method. Three months later, I started the Soulresponding Coaching Training. In the meantime, I wrote my master thesis, just in two weeks.

In 2016, my partner and I had the next impulse for our future life at the same moment. It was crystal clear, my partner bought a camping van, fully equipped like a house. With this van we traveled through one and a half years to different countries like Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal. In this time we developed and researched a lot about how to use Soulresponding in relationships successfully. Lately life challenged us and we separated. This hurts, but we found a way to stay very close friends and we are developing our new project together, the Soulresponding Academy.

What was the best moment in your dance life so far?

In 2016, I started this marvellous and challenging journey with my partner and we stayed for some days at the Bodensee. The best moment of presence and ecstasy in my dancing life was the moment in which I was swimming in the lake and from the water I heard drums. Suddenly, I felt teased to follow the call. Two hundred meters away from my swimming spot I could see a young African man playing drums. The rhythm felt so natural to me that I asked him if I could dance to it. He agreed and he played rhythms from the Capverdes. This drum solo fit well to Bellydance moves. It felt as if we were performing together since years, people came to watch us and wanted even to pay something. But this was not the relevant thing. The most impressing was the fact that we played together, that my body could melt into that field of African and Arabic dance without any effort. In fact, we were totally in the flow: as if everybody was focused on the body to the highest extent and as if a united body was created out of our flow.

Is there something you regret?

I love the refrain „Non, je ne regrette rien.“ of Edith Piaf’s song. In my life, I experienced several situations in which I fell down to the ground. Last year, I lost thousands of euros because the big fires burnt down my and my friend‘s property. This material shock taught me a many valuable lessons about my principles and what is most important in life. So the darkest time in your life can be a treasure of joy as long you trust your own courage. In the past, I regretted often not to have been as self-confident as I could have been. But today I believe it doesn’t make any sense to regret something because the decisions you’ve made are made. You can only change the present, but not the past.

What 3 tips would you like to share with women who want to pursue a similar dream?

1) Transparency: Be honest to yourself and your environment as often as you can.
2) Get into presence through your body: remind yourself of your pure inner voice by mind-work, dancing or any other kind of movement.
3) Focus: Set an intention. What are you seeking for? What do you want to have achieved so that you can say: I have lived a life of joy, passion, depth and love?
4) Pleasure: Go and move there where it feels most wild, free and juicy. What makes your body feel good is also good for your mind and vice versa.

You travel a lot and have several home bases. How does a day in your life look like?

Every morning is very different in my life. My bases are Berlin in Germany, Zürich and Lucerne in Switzerland and São Martinho do Porto and Pampilhosa da Serra in Portugal. Currently I neither own a house nor an apartment. I’m a digital nomad because I earn my income with the Soulresponding coaching and mentoring by working with my clients and students via phone or video confeence. Usually, I work on Tuesdays and Fridays on the phone. Every country in which I’m living offers me another work- and lifestyle-vibe.

In Portugal I own a piece of land together with a very good friend. When I’m there, everthing is slower and I adapt to this culture of joie de vivre. In the morning, I feel into my body and ask myself what to do first. Sometimes, I just jump out of bed and start dancing while the tea water is boiling. Very often, I go outdoors to the beach or just pick fruit and vegetables from the property. In Switzerland I do a lot of teamwork. This is the place where a lot of the innovative aspects of my work happen. At the moment, I just eat once a day because my body feels good like that.

What are the 3 books that shaped your life?

Definitely, one of my favorite books is „The little Prince“ by Antoine St.Exupéry. For me it contains such a true and adequate definition of friendship that I’m also practicing in my life.

Certainly, an eye-opener was „The law of attraction“, written by Esther and Jerry Hicks. t showed me my hyper-sensibility and also my ability to be more open regarding to my thoughts and the potential to create a life as I imagine it.

Another thing is shaping my life currently as a teacher and also as an artist: „Effortless Mastery“ of Kenny Werner. This book offers a vivid approach how to learn, practice and own arts in general by diving into the flow with lightness and juicyness. This is also an approach which I want to integrate in my work in my „Embrace your fire“- program as a Soulresponding coach, courage mentor and Essence of Bellydance teacher.

What is your vision for the future?

My vision for the future is always to live my passions deeply. I like to encourage and accompany humans to become aware of their inner essence and passions. Furthermore, I seek to publish several books about love and relationship mastery in general, founded on my experience as a woman, coach and mentor. Also, I would like to encourage more women to live and embrace their inner fire and their dreams. As a part of the Soulresponding Academy I plan to connect the Soulresponding with Essence of Bellydance and many other approaches. Furthermore, I feel the inner calling to inspire women to get closer to nature and to learn how to integrate natures’ power in their minds, bodies and souls.

Also, I’m thinking about developing a program for the stage. I still don’t know what shape it will have because I love to follow the flow. To finish: I dream about a world in which we live as naturally as possible embedded in abundance and peace.

Thank you so much for the interview Sonja! You are an inspiration.


Do you love to dance and want to inspire other women? Then join our international community of excellent dance teachers and start teaching your own Essence of Bellydance classes. You can do it!

Bellydance Teacher Training with Coco in Berlin
Sonja Alexandra Pascirbe (30) is a Soulresponding coach and Essence of Bellydance Teacher based in Germany, Switzerland and Portugal.
Bellydance workshops with Coco in Finland
I like to encourage and accompany humans to become aware of their inner essence and passions.
Bellydance Teacher Training with Coco in Berlin
Get into presence through your body.
Bellydance Teacher Training with Coco in Berlin
Go and move there where it feels most wild, free and juicy.
Bellydance workshops with Coco in Finland
What makes your body feel good is also good for your mind et vice versa.