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What does Ecstatic Dance do?
Ecstatic Dance relieves stress and tension from the body and brings about feelings of joy and happiness. Ecstatic Dance is a free form movement practice that helps you get out of your mind and into your body. Ecstatic Dance helps you balance your focus between your mind and body. The body is where we feel and sense the world around us. When we are in our body we feel safe, with a sense of belonging and an ability to access more of our awareness to what is happening around us and within us. Ecstatic in dance means to become joyful, happy with an elevated mood and feelings.
What does Ecstatic Dance look like?
Ecstatic Dance is a free form movement practice so there isn't choreography to learn or specific steps that you have to do. Instead, you get to move your body in ways that feel good and that intuitively arise. In an ecstatic dance class you are encouraged to tune into your body and move from a place of feeling instead of thinking. This makes ecstatic dance look different for each person since each person has their own unique set of feelings and sensations on any given day.
Can you do Ecstatic Dance alone?
Yes, you can definitely do ecstatic dance by yourself. The benefit of doing ecstatic dance by yourself is that you may feel more comfortable to explore new ways of moving your body, if you are someone that feels self conscious. The benefit of doing ecstatic dance with a group is that you get inspired from watching other dancers and you feel a sense of community, which can support your mood to elevate, as we are creatures of connection.
How long is Ecstatic Dance?
Ecstatic Dance is between one and two hours long. Generally ecstatic dance classes are either 60min, 75min, 90min or sometimes a full two hours. When dances are two hours (or sometimes longer), the whole time is not spent dancing. There is time built into the class for the introduction at the beginning and the closing of the class at the end. Make sure to pace yourself at your first class. Sometimes people tend to go all out in the first couple of songs and then feel too tired to finish the class. After a few classes your stamina will build and your cardiovascular endurance will increase.
What do you wear to ecstatic dance?
When you are heading out to an ecstatic dance class, make sure you wear something comfortable. We recommend wearing something that you may wear to a yoga class. Wear cotton clothing that can breathe at an ecstatic dance class and bring a sweater, wrap or cover up. When you dance you will get hot and then when the class stops your body cools off quickly. For ecstatic dance the best way to dress is in layers.
Where did ecstatic dance originate?
Ecstatic comes from the Greek word Ekstasis, which means to become unstuck or to be free. Ecstatic dance is a free form movement practice that has become popular in recent years however the ritual of using dance in ceremony transcends all time. Dance has been a part of ancient civilizations as a way to communicate with the divine (god), receive messages and insights, to bring about good fortune, good crops, for war and for peace. Today ecstatic dance is a part of the path to awakening ecstasy within ourselves and its origins vast, far and wide.
What is dance ritual?
Dance ritual is coming together for a conscious dance or ecstatic dance session with a shared intention and purpose. When we dance, we create or generate energy and through the ritual the energy can be focused in a particular direction or for a specific intention. In some dance rituals each person creates their own individual intention and then there is a general group theme or intention. Think of your intention as being the set of instructions that you give the universe. Setting intention in a dance ritual is also referred to as a prayer.