Megan Mandes stomps her feet, waves her arms and shakes her head to the left.
Her heart is pounding.
She mimics the steps of her aunt and mentor Dr. Lillian Gadwa, world champion Jingle dancer, but she’s not at a powwow. She’s not even on her home reserve of Muskeg Lake First Nation, Sask.
It’s a healing dance. It’s powerful. You can feel it in your heart, in your spirit, in your soul.– Megan Mandes
She’s in solitary confinement at the Pine Grove Correctional Centre.
“I just danced in my cell. I danced in my cell like every day. There was the radio and I would dance to any song that was there,” Mandes told CBC from the comfort of a school library.
“It’s a healing dance. It’s powerful. You can feel it in your heart, in your spirit, in your soul.”
The former inmate has come a long way. She was released last January after serving an 18-month sentence for breaking and entering with intent to commit assault.