Dancer, Hoop Artist, Movement Guide & Soul Activist, Julia Hartsell, has cleared her path with passionate leaps of faith. Julia is a pioneer in the modern Hoop Dance movement; facilitates regular Ecstatic Dance & Ritual Dance events; organizes a yearly, Internationally renowned conference, Hoop Convergence; and owns & Priestesses in her studio, The Flowjo, a movement sanctuary for dance, somatic & circus arts in Carrboro, NC.
Julia’s heart-centered way of guiding, dancing and facilitating infuses the spaces she holds with a palpable vibration of love and profound potential for joy, connection, transformation, healing and community building. Julia practices a variety of movement, sound & prayer technologies to access wider states of consciousness, healing and cultivating relationship with the unseen. She has been dancing her prayers for decades and more recently has focused her work on earth & elemental ritual, ancestral lineage healing and threshold work.
A Seeker & life-long Devotee of dance, Julia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and Art History. Her studies cultivated a fascination with mystical experience, sacred space and a deep sense of social justice. After 9-11, with despair and sadness, magically, she found the instrument of her bliss, a hoop, and cultivated a meditative, sensual medicine practice that began to soften her despair while offering bliss, connection, ways of interacting with others and dreams of positively affecting the world through movement. This embodied path has lead her into other Somatic & Circus arts. With the birth of The Flowjo, she’s been able to immerse in communal dance, partner dance & acrobatics as well as rituals for healing.
With a deep love of the Earth and desire to contribute to the recovery of the Indigenous Soul, Julia facilitates workshops, retreats, ritual dances and community circles. Her work honors the body’s intelligence; emotional expression as alchemical practice; elemental forces; guidance of the unseen; and the interconnectedness of all.
I am a dancer.
For as long as I can remember, I have sought solace in music and movement,
Found a home in the sanctuary of my dance.
I’ve danced in private, on stages, on crowded floors and fields ~
with hoops, fire & the fabric of my skirt flying in ecstasy.
I’ve danced in the cleansing rain, in oppressive heat,
bare foot on the earth, amidst the breezes.
I’ve danced for myself and on behalf of others
in celebration, in bliss, in pain, in regret, in grief, in gratitude, in prayer.
I’ve danced for my ancestors who weren’t allowed to dance
and for those unable to mourn.
I’ve danced my edges, and just beyond them, helping me to understand my boundaries.
I’ve danced in dirty clubs and temples~
sober, intoxicated by spirits, guided by plant medicines.
I’ve danced with technical structure, choreographed phrases and in complete abandon.
I’ve danced to pulsing beats, lyrical melodies and pure silence.
I’ve danced to let go, to receive and for guidance.
I’ve danced forgiveness, sadness and compassion.
I’ve cursed creator in rage for the human condition,
then fallen to my knees in gratitude for the preciousness of life.
I’ve nourished the floor with my tears
I’ve watered the floor with my sweat
I’ve caressed the floor with my adoration.
I’ve been connected, healed, revealed & brought home.
I am a dancer.