...a few thoughts from Tina
How do we do it? We get together in an inspiring space, wearing comfy clothes, and move our bodies to any and all kinds of music. We have a period of warming up, or perhaps facilitated experimentation, then we dance for 90 minutes. It's a practice of finding our own movement, naturally, without expectation or judgment. This can mean very small, meditative movements, or big, bouncy dance moves, and anything in between. The music is as eclectic as we are. Can we give ourselves total permission to experiment?
Age and ability are not a concern because we move each according to our own body. Dance can mean lying on the floor and simply moving a finger, or sitting in a chair and tapping a toe. We allow ourselves to let go of ideas about dance, and move exactly how we feel it, without apology. Others witness us as they engage in their own unique movement. No partners are needed, and you can even have two left feet. All you have to do is invite yourself to dance like no-one's watching.
One of my favourite phrases to describe what we do is "dance ugly and drool." It was coined by Vinn Marti, teacher of SoulMotion. Perhaps it's a bit of an extreme statement, but the idea is to be real, not beautiful. To me, this phrase means I can show up in whatever state I happen to be in that day, whether it's tired and frustrated, or energetic and wild. I dance in the way that expresses my state. If I need to be a slug, groaning and stretching on the floor for most of the time, okay. No problem! Usually, the dance frees me at some point, and I end up with lots more energy than when I arrived.
Although we dance freely, there is a form behind the movement. When we seek instructors, they give us hints, clues, and ways to help us experiment so we don't feel lost or self-conscious. (That's what I do during occasional warm-ups, but mostly we just dance.) And it's all very simple. We might be asked to let our elbows do the moving, and to follow with the rest of our body. There are no steps to learn, and nobody will care if you don't stay with the beat.
If you'd like to learn more about the 5 Rhythms form of ecstatic dance,
based in NY & California, go to both of these sites:
There's a little info on the five rhythms, and a link to "Raven Recording",
Gabrielle Roth's own recording label, with books and videos too.
You can get on his email list by emailing him at:
It's "Soul Motion" which is another type of ecstatic dance taught by a former 5 Rhythms teacher, Vinn Marti.
Would you maybe like to ecstatic dance with a large group of people?
Have a look at this web site: