Movimientos Auténticos – empowered through dance

"Movimientos Auténticos" is a project that aims to empower women in Germany and Latin America through movement. Combining the disciplines Yoga and dance, founder Jennifer Carmen Kubstin builds connections between individuals and cultures.

Fotograf*in: privat

According to WHO 150 minutes of movement or 75 minutes of sport per week are necessary to maintain physical fitness. Moving regularly is healthy, benefits mental health und reduces stress.

Building connection through movement

Moviementos Auténticos is all about experiencing and empowering the self through physical movement. „We mostly want to build connection“, says founder Jennifer Carmen Kubstin.

Jennifer Carmen Kubstin is a dance instructor, yoga teacher and social worker. During her semester abroad in costa rica she started offering dance and yoga classes for the local women. „It was my goal to offer women the opportunity to move freely in a safe space.“ Kubstin adds: „We work with all women, because while many cannot talk about certain topics, they can express themselves through movement and dance.“

Experience connection to the body

Kubstin founded her club in Bochum in 2021 and became self employed as a dance instructor and yoga teacher. „With the courses we offer we aim to strengthen the connection of the individual to the self, experience connection to the body and create a more mindful awareness of the body, as well as realising the connection between body and psyche. To build connections to other women and other cultures, and combine the fields of dance, yoga, and social work“, Kubstin explains.

Movimientos Auténticos champions women’s empowerment in Latin America and Germany. Its concept is about improving wellness and selflove by utilising dance and yoga. „Not only do our classes and workshops combine cultures with each other, but also the individual with the self“, says the dance instructor. „Our keywords are: empowerment, dance, interculturality, Yoga, connection, wellness“.

Creating intercultural exchange

In Costa Rica, Kubstin noted the local women’s preference for working with their bodies was even greater than in Germany. „So I thought, there is a great way to connect something like that, the problem one has recognized with the ressources available“, Kubstin tells kohero.

Cultural differences between people are an indication of the diversity of this world. Still, many people simply do not know each other and have wrong ideas about the culture and habits of others. The project succeeded in breaking up stereotypes and conveying a correct picture of Europe and Latin America to each other.

“I love this interculturality, since I noted that many people in Latin America think that Europeans know it all. That is why it was important to me to show to the people that these stereotypes are not correct“, says Kubstin. „Every culture in this world has a positive as well as a negative side, and only when we engage in exchange can we learn from each other.“

A project for all women

Right now, the programme is offered in Spanish and German, not only in Germany but also in Costa Rica, Mexico, Columbia and Nicaragua. The programme is available online and on site.

„The content is identical, offering exactly the same to all participants. Meanwhile there are shared units for all women, to enable contact und exchange with other cultures. This is helped by translators and various translating tools. For certain things, like free dance, body language helps communication“, the social worker explains.

„Our programme is aimed at all women especially here in Germany, no matter what languages they speak. So, women from arabic countries are paart of our target group, too. The project is not only for women from Germay or Latin America, but for all women.“

Cultural appropiation and Yoga

Critics hold the opinion that the philosophy of yoga was stolen by the western world, bending the culture to western needs (More in our Curry on Podcast), making Yoga a textbook example of cultural appropriation. This discourse is also happening in Germany

“ I think that there is a line somewhere for all those critical ideas regarding cultural appropriation. I believe it is possible to hit the brakes up to a certain point when wanting to connect to another culture. That is why Yoga succeeded in bringing different cultures together these days.“

The yoga teacher adds: “ I really like the philosophy of yoga. This school of thought connects the person to the environment, the person to themself as well as to other people and to other cultures. This kind of connection is what we are all about.“

Yet Kubstin also thinks criticism is justified: „I have never been approached because of cultural appropriation in Yoga. But if someone comes to me and says: that is cultural appropriation, then I would like to think about it and change it accordingly. Apart from that it try to approach it from my heart.“

A team of volunteers and free classes

The club’s team works on a volunteer basis and finances its work through donations. „Anyone who cannot pay the current fee is offered a stipend. And if you are unsure about the sum, you can just pay what feels right.“

„In Latin America we work with social facilities amongst others that support us in establishing contact to the women on site and in broadcasting the programme. Most of the women participate for free. That is why financing via our Crowdfunding campaign is a success for us“, she adds.

This article was first published in German


  • Jennifer Carmen Kubstin von Movimientos Auténticos: privat

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Ahmad Shihabi
Ahmad Shihabi ist Journalist aus Syrien. Seit 2015 ist Ahmad in Deutschland, arbeitet als freier Journalist für Kohero und berichtet vor allem aus dem Ruhrgebiet. Aktuell arbeitet Ahmad als Reporter bei der Neuen Ruhr/Rhein Zeitung. Auch ist er Mentor beim NRW-Mentoring-Programm der Neuen Deutschen Medienmacher*innen.

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