Rebecca was born — thanks to her mother’s labor and her father’s pursuit of the smallpox virus– in Lagos, Nigeria. There, a group of Yoruba women held a naming ceremony honoring her birth and bestowing upon her the name: Modupe (“thankfulness to God”) Bamidele (“follow me home”) Ajoke (“something to cherish”). These sacred themes of divine gratitude, the journey “home” and the call to cherish everything continue to illuminate her own journey.
Rebecca is a mindfulness meditation teacher, hatha yoga instructor, conscious dance facilitator and lifetime laughter-yogi. She presently teaches Mindfulness Based Emotional Intelligence at the Men’s & Women’s Correctional Facilities in Rhode Island and is the lead Yoga Instructor at the Men’s Correctional Facility for Brown University’s “Peace of Mind and Body” research project.
Over the last 15 years Rebecca has taught a unique blend of mindfulness, movement, laughter and play in diverse settings ranging from yoga studios to hospitals, pre-schools to nursing homes and city forests to state prisons. She has also lived and worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America, is a member of the Grace Note Singers (hospice choir) and currently resides in Providence with her family.
(Pictured: Michael Molin-Skelton, Toni Bergins, Rick Benjamin, Aleta Hayes)
In a bow of deep gratitude, she offers this list of movement, play and wisdom teachers who have significantly shaped her capacity to Embody Freedom, in reverse chronological order:
- Michael Molin-Skelton, Soul Motion teacher & co-founder of Movements Matter, Port Townsend, WA
- Alton Wasson, Contemplative Dance / Authentic Movement, Haydenville, MA
- Bentinho Massero, Trinfinity Academy, Boulder, CO
- Laura Geilen & Vivian Gladwell, Nose-to-Nose clowning, NY & UK
- Toni Bergins, Founder of JourneyDance, Great Barrington, MA
- Dr. Madan Kataria, Founder of Laughter Yoga, Mumbai, India
- Tom Gillette, Eyes of the World Yoga, Providence, RI
- Joseph Goldstein & Sharon Salzberg, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
- Rick Benjamin, former Poet Laureate of Rhode Island & co-founder of the PotLid Sangha, Providence, RI (now Santa Barbara, CA)
- Aleta Hayes, Modern Dance teacher at Princeton University, now Artist in Residence at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford, CA
- Charmaine Lee, South African ballerina, political refugee & Founder of Synergy Dance, Washington, D.C.
- Mrs. Ruth Boozer, art educator and anti-nuclear activist who ran a creative movement school out of her Atlanta garage, circa 1977.
- Watch Rebecca’s 7 minute Pecha Kucha (2010) on “Laughing for No Reason in Prison”
- Listen to her upended version of an old standard (accompanied by Joe Lusi on guitar & harmonica) entitled “I Am My Sunshine”
- Read about her path as a (conscious) “dancer”
- While the laughing, singing and dancing path plays a smaller role in Rebecca’s prison mindfulness work, you can catch a glimpse of it behind bars by watching the 20 minute “Mindfulness” episode (Season 1, Episode 4) of the Netflix series “The Mind Explained”