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SynergyDance Clips: The ElementsSynergyDance movements are based on the elemental energies of polarity therapy — earth, water, fire, air and ether. This brief montage from the original SynergyDance 60-Minute Video (1997) is meant to shed some light on the subject (plus, we got to relive some truly great days in and around Negril, Jamaica).
Video: SynergyDance on Capital EditionIt’s taken us a while to gather and edit together some of the many beautiful videos and photos shot over the years — and it’s been a while since this first aired. Here’s Channel 9/Washington’s “Capital Edition” feature on SynergyDance and Charmaine Lee, founder of Synergy Dance & Healing Arts Center in D.C., which first aired in 1990. (That was a few months after a newspaper reporter who’d never been in a dance class showed up at Charmaine’s Tenleytown studio and turned this report in to the Washington Post’s Weekend section.
Charmaine LeeSynergyDance originator Charmaine Lee is a uniquely accomplished dancer, teacher and Certified Polarity Educator who, over a lifetime of study, travel and intense personal interest in movement, music and especially the healing arts, has evolved the hybrid system of self-healing movement known as SynergyDance.
Danielle VierlingDanielle Vierling, a native Californian, has been exploring dance forms — ballet, contemporary, African, Latin, Middle Eastern and Indian — for nearly all of her 40 years. She was certified to teach SynergyDance in 1996 and has been holding classes and workshops in Dublin, Ireland ever since.
Babs LevedahlBabs Levedahl has been practicing Polarity Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy and Cranial-Sacral Therapy in Baltimore since the '70s. Her background in movement brought her to Charmaine Lee's training programs in 1991 and she's been teaching SynergyDance in Baltimore since 1994.
Roger PiantadosiRoger Piantadosi has been sitting at a piano since he was 5, but only recently started composing and recording professionally. For most of his adult life he worked as a writer, editor, photographer and, after the internet changed everything, a web geek (okay, information architect) at The Washington Post.

SynergyDance blends many forms of movement and dance with a deep and flexible system of energetic healing — Polarity Therapy. It draws as much on ancient healing practice as cutting-edge science, and has been developed in the Washington, D.C. area since the early ’80s by Polarity educator and dancer Charmaine Lee, taking Polarity’s three principles (neutral, positive, negative) and five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) into spirit-recharging movement.

At present, there are regular weekly classes with Charmaine in Washington, D.C. and in the Blue Ridge foothills of Rappahannock County — as well as occasional opportunities for further study with Charmaine. SynergyDance classes are also being taught regularly in Baltimore by Babs Levedahl, and in Dublin, Ireland, by Danielle Vierling.

Most people are limited in their ability to act on what they know intellectually because old patterns have crystalized in their bodies. So, we keep on acting and moving in the same ways. The patterns locked in our bodies make real change difficult. Lee’s innovative movements cause the body to release habitual patterns. Her work helps people change at the cellular level — they move through the five elemental energies in a way that not only fosters a strong and flexible body but also frees up consciousness.
— Carol Pearson, Magic at Work

In classes and sessions that I’d had with Charmaine over the past few years, I’d learned that her unique hybrid of dance and healing art was designed to involve body, mind, and emotions in something called “deep play.” This is an adult, transcendent form of playful activity, characterized by an extraordinarily intense state. An example of this is the experience of swimming with dolphins or, as in SynergyDance, the freeing up of energy through relaxed, unforced movement.
— Candace Pert, Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d


Synergy Dance & Healing Arts Center is a not-for-profit 501(3)(c) organization committed to the promotion of elemental, energy-based movement as a healing force in nature.