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. 

07    Maria

"so cute on the rack"

A friend and I were wandering around the streets of paris and we stumbled upon this lingerie store and I picked up this pair of the most uncomfortable purple mesh underwear I have ever seen in my entire life -- and a matching bra too. The underwear were so cute on the rack, and I obviously couldn’t try them on, so I just bought the size that would fit and took them home. The first time I wore them on a date they were so uncomfortable, because they were just chafey and gross, that I actually ended up taking them off in the bathroom in the middle of the date and putting them in my purse. I literally never worse them again. My experience with sexy underwear began and ended then. I now just wear underwear that’s comfortable because sexy underwear is not comfortable -- most sexy underwear is not comfortable.

06    Mariana

"the thong song"

I credit the late...no...90s early 2000s for introducing me to the thong.  So first Brittany Spears, Christinia Agulaira, and Sisco. When Siscos started singing the Thong Song it was like empowering, i’m gonna buy myself a thong, and it was a black one at that. And the reason it was black was because in the late 90s,10 Things I Hate About You came out and there was this scene in the movie where Cat’s sister, Bianca, and her friend Cameron start rummaging through her underwear and Bianca picks up her underwear and she says “look black panties” and he’s like “what does it matter” and she was like “it means she wants to have sex one day.” So now I always associate black thongs with sex and women’s empowerment.

04    Latasha

“the enemy”

**sings**Memories I have with panties. So I think dealing with a really strict Latin mom forced me to buy a thong underwear by myself because...you know what she wasn’t having it...but i bought it anyway and in high school wore my first thong underwear senior class spanish and you know i think it was like green and this guy in the back was like “yo green...yo green” and I was like “why does he keep calling me green?” Then I realized low-rise jeans are the enemy...but also...not the enemy you know? ;)

03    Lara

“naughty little extra”

My first memory of underwear is being about 6 or 7 years old in school in England. And it occuring to me to be a really sassy idea to dare all the kids (all of my friends to come in with no underwear on, I guess we’d call it commando now. The head mistress found out and called me to her office and asked why I would do such a thing and if I actually understood what underwear was for...what the purpose was. To which I remember being completely flummoxed, I had zero idea. She explained to me that underwear was designed to keep a person warm in these areas, it was a protective garment. This was news to me--I thought it was a naughty little extra.

02    Abigail

“WHITE. White. white”

Ok so my most vivid memory of a piece of underwear was...I was at belk with my mom back home in Virginia and my sister and I had just both gone through the birth of our first child and I go...but it's impossible to find cotton underwear which is what you want after you’ve gone through that body trauma. So we went into belk and I come upon the Jockey section and there are these huge, high-waist cotton underwear and I’m sooooo pumped that I call my sister immediately

“Jenny, how many pairs do you want?”

And I come home with a bag full of high-waisted jockeys.

What color were they?

White. White. white.

01    Shira

“whale tale”

I guess the first time I remember caring about my underwear, I was probably 13 or 14 and I was at the mall with my mom in a store called Mandees. There were this really sexy, leopard print thong...synthetic pair that caught my eye from across the room. Somehow, I convinced my mom that it was okay to buy even though she only let me buy 100% cotton underwear. I really wanted to wear them sitting in front of this really hot, kind of morose but smart wrestler in calculus class and lean over so that they would be peeking out that back...which I believe is called a whale tail.