is a session of Ecstatic Dance like?
the ecstatic dance experience we usually dance bare foot or in soft dance
shoes. We start with a brief guided meditation involving breathing, stretching,
and gentle yoga-like movements to help everyone become more heart-centred,
connected with their bodies, and fully conscious of their senses.
Then the dance music starts: participants are encouraged to start close
to the floor, laying or sitting and allow the body sensations to
and slow movements;
we stretch, bend, and flow to the music as we wish. Most people dance alone
and there is no expected style. The music ramps up over time from slow
and gentle to wild and crazy music with drums. As the music changes,
we allow our
bodies to move, taking inspiration from the music, the feeling within our
bodies, the facilitators gentle guidance and the other dancers around
We dance with our whole bodies, stretching, jumping, spinning, and stretching
out our arms and fingers. Some shake all over, some spin occasionally,
or endlessly. Some lay on the floor, writhing to the rhythms or doing a
kind of flowing yoga
dance incorporating yoga style postures. Some who practice martial arts
perform Tai Chi-like movements. Most are smiling, often with eyes closed,
to release themselves to the dance in this safe space. Everyone gets hot
and sweaty. Most wear layers and strip down to minimal clothing due to
extreme (but effortless) exercise that happens in the trance.
Participants often feel very free as this is a space they feel safe in.
No talking is allowed and there is a clear sense this is not a “pick
up” event. Women dancers articulate that this is essential to a successful
There is a feeling of innocent expression and exploration - this is a place
where we can return to the freedom and fun of our childhood. Occasionally,
a peak of frenzied dance, whoops of joy, cheers, and rhythmic clapping
fill the room. Most people are there to dance on their own, according
to their mood
and intuition. Sometimes, couples will dance together, or contact improvisation
dancers will come together spontaneously from time to time, but participants
then drift apart to dance on their own again.
The dance can feel like a celebration of freedom and community – a
modern human tribe. This is true “ecstatic dance.” It offers
an easy form of meditation, which allows you to just let the mind drop
away while your body
takes over. Dancing is the effortless route into mindfulness – silent
meditation can often feel like hard work – but following dancing
it is possible to drop into an spontaneous state of mediation.
Towards the end of the dancing, the music slows right down and people
once again move slowly and flow through the final gentle minutes,
some sit in
meditative state or stand with arms raised in a state of ecstatic
surrender. Then, we all rest (some lay down) for five minutes before
giant closing circle. Those who wish to hold hands in the circle
of do. People
to exclaim single words or short sentences describing the experience. “Healing,”, “love”, “connection”, “gratitude,” and “freedom” are
often heard. This is done in no particular order and there is no
requirement to speak if you do not feel inclined to do so.
It is a deeply healing experience for the vast majority of the dancers.
And it’s a meditation where the mind takes a break. It’s a chance for “embodiment” meditation.
Hugs are commonly given and accepted before, after, and even during
such as regular, Terry, often describe how the benefits go on long after
the dance and impact their life
beyond the session; "I always come away from the dance so full. I feel
the tingle for days afterwards. Because of the dance, I find that
I have mindfullness of myself and others."
words from previous participants
about 'Full Spectrum Dance' ecstatic dance sessions
The history of Ecstatic Dance
out more about Landa's journey with ecstatic dance
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