I’ve been dancing since I’m walking. Dancing comes with being a child, right? Doing spontaneous moves, shaking our littles bodies to the rhythm of the beats ; feeling alive, fully in the moment.
And I grew up. Still dancing, but self-aware of my movements, of how I look and others would perceive me. No freedom anymore, feeling alive maybe, but being imprisoned in my own self-judgement.
It went on like this for a while, until I encountered the practice of Ecstatic dance!
It started in my bedroom, or actually in every room I found myself into. Because I took the commitment to dance every morning, as free as my boy wanted to, as long as my heart had something to express, to release. And that commitment went on for 6 months. It’s been a healing journey. I remember myself being completely taken away by some beats, sweating my prayers, crying out my sorrows, bursting out of joy ! After each dance, I felt softness and calmness inside. And connection to myself ; trust that I have everything inside of me to go through whatever. I would dance this whatever anyways. I let go of past relationships through the dance, I reawakened my life energy, I connected deeper to my intuition, my guts.
I experienced magic, depth, lightness, devotion, divinity. The healing power of dance and movement became a discovery that I wanted to share, no matter what. I’ve always been a big fan of music, of gathering people together, creating magic, beauty, intensity. And Ecstatic dance would allow me to put that all together and share my heart through this amazing practice.
When I facilitate the 2 hours sessions, I say 2, 3 things about myself and do few icebreakers for the group to feel more relax. Creating a safe space is one of the “must” for people to really feel they can lose themselves in the dance. And when it’s time to share about what Ecstatic Dance is, I have only few words to describe it: “people it’s your moment to unlearn how to dance”.
Forget your best moves, let your judgements and inhibitions at the door and surrender yourself to the dancefloor. Be wild, be still, be crazy or move like an angel ; do whatever, as long as you can connect to your authentic movement. Because the dance has this power ; to reveal your true self, the dormant part inside of you. This little child inside that wants to move freely as he used to be.
What I like about ecstatic dance, is the silence that comes with it. Silence is one of its guidelines. Simply to lower down the chatter of the mind, and give more space to our heart and spirit to guide the dance. Not that we cannot connect with other fellow dancers, but we do so through the eyes, through movements and something magical arises from this new way to interact with each others. We feel a part of the whole, of the community. We connect with others beyond the masks ; revealing the raw version of ourselves. What a precious gift !
It’s always such an honor to witness what happens on the dancefloor. If people can really let it go ; let go of the self-control, judgements, fears and dance it out, at least for those 2 hours. I’ve seen people in tears ; sharing to me how releasing it has been to give space to the pain they carry for so long. I’ve seen shining faces ; in bliss, just by trusting the wisdom of their bodies and opening themselves to their gifts and beauty.
If after reading this, you’re still wondering about how beneficial Ecstatic dance can be, please give it a try! Go on Google and search for the closest Ecstatic dance in your city. You’ll probably experience a bit of resistance, but what you’ll get out of showing up on the dancefloor will so worth it! Once I’ve seen this on the wall of a street in Austria ; “never park your feet. No matter what, keep moving”! If there is no Ecstatic dance in your city, maybe it’s the time to start one?! One way is to take an Ecstatic dance training and learn the skills to facilitate it!