Paula Byrne has been a moving force in the dance scene
in Portland since 1996. She is the creator of the Wild Grace
and DanceQuest, and is Founder of SomaSpace ~ Studio
of Movement Arts in NE PDX.
From her beginning days teaching Soul Motion at Body Moves until
the present, she has facilitated classes and workshops in ecstatic
dance, conscious movement, authentic movement and an 8-year running
sold-out contact improv jam called InTouch. She
is the creator of innovative events such as Fright Night:
open mic for the faint of heart, Dark: a sensory theater
experience, Passage: New Years Eve Ritual, and the popular
Rock the Casbah featuring live music with Northwest artists.
Paula is the product of a jazz drummer (father) and figure skater
(mother). She spent her early years in ballet and modern dance,
working as a professional dancer from 1981 to 1989. She left the
dance world at the ripe old age of 27, realizing that a career based
on expertise and appearance was short-lived.
It would be many years before she found dance again, this time,
her own natural movement. She stumbled upon ecstatic dance in 1995
at Breitenbush Hot Springs, where Vinn Marti was hosting a workshop.
That weekend changed her life forever. She knew she had found her
calling and began her path as a movement teacher. She studied extensively
with Gabrielle Roth and core 5Rhythms teachers, and apprenticed
with Vinn Marti from 1996 to 2002.
Paula was an Oracle Developer in the corporate high-tech field
for 20 years. She left that career in 2005 to devote herself full-time
to her soul-work in assisting people to remember and reconnect to
the body as a source of wisdom, pleasure and joy in the present