In today’s world, it is sometimes hard to find joy. Living in a global pandemic and society that pushes us to keep working and moving forward, it is easier to find the negativity surrounding us. Chaya Lev, founder of the Chaya Lev Dance Movement, has dedicated her life to helping others find the joy within themselves and around them.
Who is Chaya?
Chaya is a 47-year-old black Jewish woman. She defines her life as a collection of short stories that has put her on the path to Israel, her home. One of her favorite stories is that of survivorship, as it is a story of clarity, growth and change.
While living in the United States, after converting to Judaism, she learned that she had breast cancer. During that time, she explored her connection with Judaism and after decided to move to Israel to discover how she could lift other people up and help them learn to be.
Chaya always wanted to dance. She had briefly tried in America and the instructors told her not to put her energy into it, so instead she owned a hair salon. But her love of dance never went away. “We are all dancers, and we all have a music that we vibe to,” Chaya says. In Israel, Chaya does not just teach dance. She teaches life, joy, self-acceptance, self-care, self-resistance and really anything that brings joy.
“We are all dancers, and we all have a music that we vibe to.”
Moving to Israel
Three years ago, Chaya made the decision to move to Israel. Picking up everything and moving to a foreign country can be scary, but Chaya explained that she never felt as though she did not belong. She found it extremely hard leaving her son and she misses him greatly but believes God has put her in Israel for a reason. In Israel, she has met the most amazing people.
One person who particularly inspires her is Hen Mazzig, an Israel speaker, writer and activist. His fight for authenticity and emphasis on education serves as a guide for Chaya.
Chaya Lev started teaching dance classes in private studios and professional gyms across Israel five years ago. She started the Chaya Lev Dance Movement in Tel Aviv to connect with people on a more intimate and personal level. When asked about why her work is unique, Chaya said “the Chaya Dance movement is a unique journey of self-love, self-healing, and self-acceptance. The dance is about stepping out of your comfort zone and becoming your true self through connection to the music which varies from Afrobeats to Hasidic big guns to Lionel Richie to Mozart.” Chaya teaches a core-based workout because “without your core or foundation, you have nothing.” Chaya considers CDM a direct healing journey for her dance students and for herself after recovering from breast cancer.
Spreading joy everyday
Speaking to Chaya was beyond inspirational. She has encountered so much in her life and has dedicated herself to such an amazing cause which is not an easy task. She stated that she feels everything in her life has been an accomplishment because she has been herself, has been on task, and everything has had to do with returning home. Chaya continuously spreads joy through both her business and social media platforms. Chaya describes her Instagram as “all over the place” as she wants it to be real and a platform for her to share her moments.
Try following Chaya Lev’s footsteps and work on spreading joy in your own life and in the lives of those around you. You can follow Chaya Lev on instagram here. Chaya has begun teaching the dance classes over zoom and can be reached on her Instagram page to schedule lessons. We also encourage you to check out her new clothing line, Dirty Jewish Swag.