In ♥ With Ecstatic Dance
I love to dance, but you know what I don’t love? I don’t love spending time watching YouTube tutorials that teach me how to apply killer evening makeup that will only melt off my face on the dance floor. I don’t love donning a pair of uncomfortable heels that will severely limit my ability to get down and get funky. I don’t love being sandwiched into a space the size of a postage stamp where sweaty men see my presence as an invitation to manhandle my ass. All I want – all I ever want – is a place to dance my heart out to great tunes, in Luon and sneakers, sweating up a storm and not caring who sees. I want to dance like no one’s watching.
I finally found a spot where I can do it and it’s called ecstatic dance.
Oh ecstatic dance, where have you been all my life? Hidden among the yogis and the hippies? Come out to play!
Do a little Googling and you’ll discover that ecstatic dance sounds more like a new age phenomenon than just a really wicked way to connect with your inner child and have some fun.
“Ecstatic Dance Evolution is a global network of freeform dance gatherings that cultivate conscious community and enhance our experience of freedom, peace, unity, and joy! All dances are held in a welcoming sacred-space, and are non-verba, barefoot and substance-free.”
That description feels a little “kumbaya” for my taste, but don’t be fooled – it’s really not at all. Ecstatic dance is basically the dance party you’ve always wanted. It’s the impromptu dance-off you’d have in your kitchen if your favourite track came on Spotify and you cranked the tunes and let loose. It’s the unabashed joyful movement we used to embrace when we were kids. It’s the full-on dance-a-thon you wish you could have during girls night out but is always impeded by stilettos and self-consciousness. And on top of it all, it’s one hell of a workout.
It definitely takes some getting used to. Recently, during my first ecstatic dance experience, I tucked myself into a corner for a good 20 minutes, watching the crowd around me jump, spin, dance, and twirl as I did the classic shuffle side-to-side. But gradually I started to let go. I realized no one was paying any attention to me, and I closed my eyes and little by little, unleashed my inner superstar. I channeled Queen Bey herself and let loose a string of moves I like to think are what Beyoncé would look like if she ever found herself in an open-air studio in the rice paddies of Bali, at what essentially amounted to a mid-afternoon rave. In reality, it was probably less pop star and more comedy act, but the best part is, nobody cared! At ecstatic dance there’s no one to impress, no one to elbow you because you’ve encroached on their dance space. You don’t need a new dress or makeup or fancy footwear. The only thing you need is the desire to have fun.
Ecstatic dance events are popping up all over the place and it’s easy to see why. It takes dancing back to a time when it was all about you and the music, back to when we were kids and a good song or a street performer were all we needed to let loose, when we really did dance like no one was watching.
I can’t wait to get back to the dance floor. What do you think? Would you give it a try?
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