©2022 ECSTATIC DANCE
What is it?
It is a weekly event open to the public hosted on Thursdays at the Foundation of Light. During daylight savings time late fall till spring, we meet at 7pm, and during late spring through late fall we open doors at 7:30pm.
How much is it to attend?
It is $15-25 sliding scale! We love carpooling.
The seen: Each week we have a DJ offering their compilations of music, which varies week to week. We build an altar and offer a cozy nook for lounging, as well as a table with water, and a place for people to share snacks if they choose. The doors open/music begins at 8pm, and opening circle begins at 8:30pm to set intentions*. We ask that you do your best to arrive by 8:30pm for our opening circle. If you come later, please enter with reverence to the dance in motion. We dance (with no talking on the dance floor—though there is a lobby where you are free to talk with others) til 10pm, and then during closing circle we share our journey, snacks, and maybe a sing-a-long/prayer. There is time for hanging til 10:30 or so. Then we clean up and head out. You are not expected to stay the whole time, we understand and support listening to your needs/desires if you wish to leave early. However, we do believe that staying til closing circle offers completeness to the journey that you have chosen to take with all of us.
The unseen: During this event, we explore movement as medicine with music. The altar built each week is a prayer and an offering to the Spirits that move us thru this medicine, and we experience this prayer full force! This dance is a safe container for creative expression. This dance is a prayer. This dance is a journey. It can and will look different for each person, each time. It can bring up fears, joys, hopes, sexual energy, insecurities, tears, laughter, and love. We tend to have a decent amount of folks engaging in contact dance improv, which includes two or more people moving together, in a variety of ways. This kind of dance requires listening, and consent (read more below on what consent looks like). We ask that you honor your own boundaries and others during this dance. You are totally free to explore this dance exactly as you need/wish to, with regard to honoring yourself and others. It is a sacred and intentional space for your personal intention to reveal itself. We hold this space and all participants in reverence.
What does consent look like on our dance floor?
Because we do not talk on the dance floor, we need ways to communicate if we are interested in contact dancing with another. These are basic guidelines:
1. Listen to yourself. Are you in a space to dance with someone else or possibly many others? If it’s a NO, listen. If it’s a YES, listen. If it’s an “I’m not sure” listen. The first two answers are direct, but an “I’m not sure” can show up. What is best if that shows up is to take a moment to pause and ask the Universe to offer guidance. It can be as simple as “Universe, if it’s most beneficial for me to contact dance, let it be easy, graceful, and safe”. And then keep listening. Also, just because it’s a yes usually, doesn’t mean it is a yes all the time. We here at Dance Sanctuary LOVE to practice LISTENING, in each moment. And we fully support our own preferences and yours. Keep this in mind. Let this listening move you.
2. Listen to Others. We want a safe container. This means we need to be attentive and aware of others on this journey with us. So when approaching someone that you would like to dance with, pause. Listen. And maybe offer a hand that moves toward them. You do NOT even need to touch them. Dancing with others can be hands off, too! If they motion towards you, you can assume it is a “yes, for now”. If they move away or ignore you, you can assume it’s a “not now”. If you cannot tell if it’s a yes or a no, just assume it’s a no, and move on.
3. Ways to say NO: If it’s a NO and someone comes up, you can put your hands up in prayer and bow, which means “No I am not up for dancing with you, now” or you can move away from them. If it is persistent and you are not comfortable, please come to one of our facilitators and let us know so that we can support you. ALSO, feel free to say NO, if that is what is showing up for you. We make an exception to our talking rule for this to make sure that all parties feel safe.
*Set Intentions—To set an intention is to take a moment to listen inside to what the heart would like to call in. This is not a tangible thing, but an essence of sorts. It is more of a feeling than a thought.
Ecstatic Dance – 3 Simple Guidelines
1. We Dance without shoes (or: We Dance Barefoot)
This allows us to connect more fully with the Ground (socks are OK)
If you have a physical condition that you need dance shoes, then OK
2. We Dance without words (or: We Dance with Body Language)
This makes it easier to be in a Meditative State
No Verbal Instruction from the Facilitators
No Talking from the Dancers
3. We Dance as We Are
No Drugs/Alcohol, No Phones, No Camera/Video, No Scents, No Expectations, No Judgements, No Shoulds, No Oughts… Just Be Yourself; With Respect for Ourselves, the Space, and One Another.