meet julia

julia crockett, movement specialist and choreographer, speaks on bodies 

in our notes on interview, julia crockett shares her thoughts on community-based dance, and teaches us about her work at Movement for Everybody. 

s.w

Hi Julia! Excited to chat! How and where did you learn the most about your body as a young girl? 

julia

I grew up playing sports, taking dance classes, and taking alternative theater classes. I was always a physical person, but I really developed a dialogue with my body through Jin Shin Jyutsu—a touch therapy practice that’s meant to help balance the body’s energy. A family friend used to come regularly to our home and treat my whole family when I was younger—I even studied it myself for a bit as a young girl. I think it gave me the foundation of the physical dialogue I have with my body now.

And my mom had the best intentions of a classically new age mom. Lots of discussions, sharing, reading, ceremonies to celebrate menses, etc. So I had pretty down to earth parenting when it came to entering womanhood and understanding my body.


s.w

As you age, what have you continued to learn and unlearn about your body?

julia

I’ve learned that the body knows best—it knows far more than my mind and always understands how I feel before I can intellectualize it. I’m learning to listen to my body when it asks for something—haven’t aced that though.

I’ve learned that it’s ok to be tall, to take up space.

I’ve learned that strength has nothing to do with aesthetics.

I’m always unlearning habits of self-loathing.


s.w

How do you think the dialogue around bodies and women’s health could change/improve?

julia

A lot of the women I work with struggle with being messy and taking up space. SO many women carry in their bodies a sense of apology, and chronic habits of pulling everything up and in. I feel like it’s so much healthier, even in a purely somatic sense, to release down and out, but it’s so contrary to the persistent messaging out there about how we should look and feel.

So, I think think there needs to be more celebration around women occupying space and being loud, rather than quiet and small. I think this would include a discourse about bodies that is rooted in visibility.

s.w

I’ve been to your movement classes, and they’re awesome. Tell me about your work at Julia Crockett & Group.

julia

All of my choreographic and directorial projects are through Julia Crockett & Group. I create movement-based work—installations, film/video, and choreography for theater. I’m a performer myself—an actor and physical performer—and an enormous part of my practice is as a teaching artist. I work with actors, artists, designers, and dancers at universities and private studios. For many years, this element of my practice was reserved to university programs or private institutions. This changed last fall, when I founded Movement for Everybody with my partner Briana Packen.

Movement for Everybody offers drop in, all-level movement-based classes. Each class focuses on strengthening, lengthening, and uncovering more articulation in the body through a variety of disciplines. They are creative classes on improvisation, collaboration, and composition with bodies. Believe it or not, I still have a hard time describing our sessions to people who have never been—I guess to me they feel like something that has to be experienced to really be understood. Is that hokey? Maybe it’s because a large part of the work has to do with connecting with other people—not just becoming stronger and more physically creative. I suppose that’s a different experience for everyone

s.w

Why do you do what you do?

julia

It’s my favorite thing in the whole world. Turns out I love being around people. I love to see people operate at their most open. I love seeing people become embodied. I also feel like, when it comes to the body and the way we relate to it in a psycho-emotional sense, I’ll never run out of things to learn and discover.

s.w

How has dance and movement allowed you to become embodied?

julia

Movement helped me to reconnect to my body. For many years of my life, I felt disembodied. I truly had no sense of my body in space or any understanding of what I was feeling. This was a response to trauma in my life when I was younger; movement helped me recover from trauma and feel comfortable in my body again.

s.w

How do you think about movement? Is it a function of your body? Part of your body? Part of yourself?

julia

I think of movement as the purest form of expression that is available to me. It’s a way to play, and to be honest with myself. Movement is the most effective way to access release. So… I guess it’s a function of my body, yes. My body’s voice?

s.w

It seems to me, too, that a lot of your work is centered around community building. Do you think the embodiment that comes with movement-related work is personal or interpersonal?

julia

It’s so much about community! I think the process of becoming embodied is a very personal experience, but having that experience within a group of people allows for really deep intimacy, permission, and sense of belonging—all things that I believe are becoming harder to access as we spend more time on our phones and on social media. It’s so helpful to have your experience and point of view witnessed in a room in a very tactile, physical way.

s.w

This is something we think about a lot at ODDOBODY, too, as we try to make our body manuals both educational AND accessible. Your movement classes are open to all levels. How do you approach accessibility?

julia

No critique. When I teach, I really try to remove the binary of right/wrong good/bad and encourage students to explore more nuanced and intricate responses to class. There are no mirrors, no combinations, no sense of presentation. A lot of the movement is very intuitive.

s.w

More outrageous pair of underwear you’ve worn?

julia

I feel like I keep it pretty low key. Honestly, every time I put on a bra it feels silly and outrageous. Remember padded training bras?

s.w

Favorite underwear scene in a movie?

julia

Maid Marian’s Everlast iron underwear in Robin Hood Men in Tights.

s.w

Underwear trend you never want to see again?

julia

Exposed whale tail?


On that note, thank you to Julia! Follow ODDOBODY on instagram to see Julia moving around in our seasonal color, lapis, and our limited edition capsule collection, ODDOBODYxCMP. 

14   

"i took it off"

so, it was like 2012. i was in williamsburg, just walking around. i was HOT. it was, like, august?  and this kid hits me up. he’s like — bloop! — and i was like, what’s up? and he was like, do you want to meet up? and i was like, sure! because you know what “meet up” means..

 

I go to the bathroom to prepare, and im like, wait, this shit smells. So right before he pulls up, im like, i don’t need underwear — even though underwear is also great — i don’t need this underwear. i took it off, threw it in the garbage, and I moved on with my life and had a great night.

13   

"my lucky underwear" 

so a couple of weeks ago, i had, like, given up all hope of getting this pop up space. I was wandering around soho, wondering what my next step in life would be, and the broker called me and asked me if I still wanted it [because] something had fallen through with the long term renters. i was like, “yes! yes! i’ll take it!”

as soon as I got off the phone, i realized i was wearing my oddobody underwear — it must have been good luck! i texted the girls, and i was like, “im pretty sure this is my lucky underwear.”

12    Fredgy

"people have been doing this forever"

I’m so used to just throwing panties in a laundry machine. but these [oddobody], i was hand washing them, and i remembered when i was a kid i would hand wash all my panties. that was a very sacred time. you would hang them all up, and they would dry and that’s just how i did it for years. and now im like why have i been washing my underwear in a laundry machine? it’s like, so rough.
[and then you said you went to your grandma’s?]
oh, so then i went home and i’m thinking about hand washing. and then i notice that there’s just panties all over her bathroom! and it was like, other people have been doing this forever! what happened to make me stop?

10    Kalindi

"I'm never wearing a thong again"

 

I remember in college when thongs was the thing to wear. And so I tried on lots of different kinds of thongs, and realized that only the string kind was comfortable for me. (the kind that was like an inch thick was painful.) And, yknow, that liberation of finding a thong that was comfortable and being to wear thongs all the time. But I remember once I got out of that head set, that thongs are the thing to wear, I realized that thongs are not comfortable, and I am never wearing a thong again.

 

09    Nayara

"i've definitely upped my game since"

I massively disappointed this ex-boyfriend of mine with a nice pair of granny panties. So it happened that I grew up in a more conservative town, and sexy lavey underwear was just not a thing. I had just moved to the US from Brazil, I was in my early 20s, and yea, the poor guy was so disappointed. He didn’t even try to hide it, so it didn’t make me feel bad or anything, because I just thought it was really funny. I still think it’s really funny. I’ve definitely upped my game since.