Mimi Elashiry is a name you’ve undoubtedly heard over the years, maturing from bohemian influencer to one of country’s most notable names in lifestyle and fashion, embodying the free spirit of Australia. Mimi’s whimsical image and wanderlust has grabbed the attention over 1 million Instagram followers, all while maintaining her humility and girl next door charm. What may come as a surprise to most is that Sydney-born Mimi Elashiry is a classically trained dancer, and has spent the past 2 years studying dance movement in Melbourne. THE UPSIDE had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Mimi Elashiry to learn the healing powers of movement, and how full time study has influenced a range of new projects launching in 2022!
What is your spirit animal?
It changes depending on what I‘m going through, I would say my Power Animal, the spirit that comes to me most in my dreams and journeys… is The Snake.. Especially now that I have my little Ra… She is always coming to me in my dreams, and guiding me to certain realisations. But I also feel connected to black cockatoos, crows, lizards, cats wolves, bees, and butterflies.
If you could describe yourself in 1 word what would be?
This is hard! I feel I embody, enjoy so many things.. Pick one word… Hmm, Sorceress !
Are you a textbook Libran?
Some people think so, and I agree in some areas. However, I feel a strong Aquarius energy in me. My chart is Libra Sun, Aquarius moon, Aquarius Rising… I love beautiful things, not in a materialistic way, well, maybe a little. But, more so in the way of creating. From Beautiful spaces in my homes, beautiful shapes when I dance, creative imagery for brands… etc. I love to express myself through how I present myself to the world, mainly how I dress and take care of my temple – hair, skin etc. If there is a decision at hand, or two sides to a story, I will always find a way to have or justify both… I think this is a very Libran quality, although I am getting much better at trusting and following my gut instinct.
You have spent the past 2 years studying dance and movement, how has this influenced you?
I wanted to chase my childhood dream of being a full time dancer. So, I finally made the call to put work as a second priority and do it! I moved to Melbourne and took up a 2 year Contemporary Course at Transit Dance. I loved it.
Spending 5-6 hours a day with my body… most times very present, and connected to myself was amazing. It had its challenging moments. Doing 9am- 4pm 5 days a week of classes on zoom from my living room during most of 2020, dragging myself to class when I had my period and desperately wanted to rest and embody my inner winter, injuries and my ever-present tousle with wanting to be the best I can be, but lack of time due to work – modelling and traveling… to name a few. It wasn’t all easy, but the challenges were what inspired the biggest growth. The encouragement, Support, Nurture and Passion of all the teachers changed and expanded my perception of the seemingly intimidating dance world and community. I felt so welcome, as i was. I fell in love with it, I wanted to be a part of it.
Interestingly, What I have come to realise is that, I went there with the intention of improving my technical abilities, versatility. With hopes to audition for PPY (Sydney Dance Pre-Professional Year), and star in other Independent shows / Film Clips or Movies… But The universe seemed to want something different for me… Although my skillset and technique improved dramatically and I seriously took up acting during my full time training, I found that the biggest takeaway was my un-learning of technique and undoing the paradigm of what I thought dance was.
Years of ballet technique that was impossible to let go of whenever I danced, unravelled… and underneath that hard, rigid, ballerina shell was A bountiful, expansive, expression of freedom. I found myself through dance. I found myself
though letting go and just moving. Moving in ways I never thought would feel nice, or look nice, or be accepted as dance. Ways I thought looked weird and strange, I wondered how people moved in this captivating and bizarre way. I finally understood, What it meant to be embodied in dance, to really feel it, rather than just dance the moves in time to the music. This experience has influenced me in a way I never expected…. as I dream of ways I can share this gift of discovering and unlocking the body with EVERYONE (not just dancers)… I want the freedom of pure embodied movement and moving from within to inspire as many people as possible. I want everyone who is ready, to embark on their own journey of what it means to express themselves, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually. I still hope that I continue to evolve as a dancer and one day do get to perform Professionally. But for now, I can feel I am 100% on the right path.
Can you tell us a little bit about what is on the cards for you in 2022? And talk us through your movement / dance workshops?
I am starting many fun projects! I will start to host Embodied Movement Workshops in person as well as Performing as a dancer for Creative Creatures at events throughout the year. Additionally I will be running Women’s Circles where we explore movement and embodiment of different archetypes… with a stunning friend of mine, Lucille Lebouc, we have a strong plan for the evolution of this but its currently top secret.
I am also really excited to team up with brands and share my workshops with a broader audience, the more people I can inspire to move in an embodied way, even lead more embodied lives – the better!
My Embodied movement workshops are a seamless melding pot of methods and teachings used to unlock the body, mind and spirit. Experience a variety of Visualisation and Improvisation techniques, Sprinkled with inspiration from ancient, spiritual and deeply embodied practices such as Ecstatic Dance, Yoga Nidra, Shaking and Breath Work. This Workshop is an evolution of the truly freeing self-practice cultivated as my own Dance Medicine during tough times in 2020 while studying Contemporary Full time in VIC.
I began to draw parallels with these dance techniques and her own spiritual and yogic practice of flow through aligning the mind and body. I use this as a way self-healing through releasing stored energy, emotions and experiences as well as unlocking new ways of moving and in turn connecting deeply to a unique and whole sense of self.
Come with me as we journey deeply inward, into the cells and structures that make and move our vessels. Deeper still to the feelings and experiences stored in our beings … and from here we will move. Embodied Movement will not only release stored emotions, blockages and experiences – but will change your perspective of what it means to “dance” and free your body from the rigid paradigm of that most of us see as dance. Break down the walls stopping you from expressing yourself through movement. Become Fully Embodied in a weird and wonderful way.
Can you tell us your morning rituals or a few things that get you going for the day?
I have just recently completed my Vedic meditation course, although i have been learning Vedic meditation since 2017… So now i always meditate for 22 minutes in the morning/mid morning (depending on how drowsy i am). I like to be fully awake.