history of Ecstatic Dance
tens of thousands of years, “ecstatic
dance,” which produces an altered state of mind, has been a popular spiritual
Cave paintings from 40,000 years ago depict groups of people dancing wildly.
Tribes often hold ceremonies and rituals with participants dancing themselves
into the trance state. “Ecstatic Dance” as a movement is now growing
rapidly across the Western world.
Ecstatic dance is a type of meditation that allows us to quiet the mind
while celebrating the transforming effects of spontaneous movement.
ecstatic dancers are disillusioned ravers who want the rave high but in a
drug-free way. It’s easy, automatic, and no dance experience is required.
dance is exploding in popularity. Early morning ecstatic dance
groups have become very popular before work, some, such as ‘Morning
Gloryville’ in London, starting as early as 6 a.m. It helps people to
become “embodied” or in touch with their bodies in the here
and now and to let go of stress.
“Trance is not just some mystical experience, which belongs to special
people, it belongs to human beings who are prepared and willing to dance themselves
into that state,” says Ya’ Acov Darling Khan, co-founder
of the School of
Dancing is a deeply healing activity and his website explains the mechanisms
by which healing can occur from conscious movement. The opening paragraph
on the site states very simply:
Movement is Life, Movement is Change, Movement is Choice,
Movement is Creativity, Movement is Connection,
Movement is Presence, Movement is Medicine
During the dancing, a state of deep-body consciousness or “embodiment” displaces
thinking. Ecstatic dance effortlessly induces a true meditation
state. Although ecstatic dance is an ancient practice, it has only recently
popular. Dance groups are often called “conscious dance”, “Chakradance”, “Music-Led
Dance” or “Dance Church”.
Gabrielle Roth was an American dancer and musician in the trance
dance genre, with a special interest in shamanism. She created
movement in the late 1970s. 5Rhythms is typically guided at various
points during the dance, and there may be times when dancers are
encouraged to interactively dance in a 5Rhythms tradition.
Many groups, such as the Dance Church and Music-Led Dance are spin-offs
from 5Rhythms, created by and for people who want less guidance
and more freedom.
All of the groups offer a safe place for dancing, following the
guidelines established by the 5Rhythms tradition, where “no talking while dancing” is
universal among these groups. Whichever form of ecstatic dance
we prefer, it is important to give credit to the 5Rhythms school
popularised trance dance and provided the basic foundation.
words from previous participants
about 'Full Spectrum Dance' ecstatic dance sessions
history of Ecstatic Dance
out more about Landa's journey with ecstatic dance
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