In the past decade, ecstatic dance has been booming. And that’s not such a surprise as it’s a great way to open yourself to a meditative state of mind while expressing through movement. We’re going to have a look at what ecstatic dance is, and maybe it might even be something for you! Anyway, it’s a lot easier now to find an ecstatic dance event near you.
What is ecstatic dance?
In theory Ecstatic Dance is the following:
It is a form of freeform movement and self-expression that encourages individuals to dance in a spontaneous and uninhibited way. It goes beyond traditional dance styles and choreography, focusing on the inner experience of the dancer rather than adhering to external rules or techniques.
But as you know by now, I’m not that much into theoretical constructs.
For me, ecstatic dance can be approached as a form of moving meditation. By letting go of conscious thought and surrendering to the rhythm and music, individuals may enter a meditative state. This meditative quality is thought to facilitate spiritual insights, self-discovery, and a deeper connection with the divine.
But everybody has their own way of looking at this type of dance which is often guided by a (trance) DJ.
What are the benefits of ecstatic dance?
The reason ecstatic dance got so big in my opinion, is because it’s so diverse in benefits that makes it accessible for all! Let’s list them all.
#1 Physical Benefits
Ecstatic dance involves continuous movement, which contributes to cardiovascular health, flexibility, and overall physical fitness. It can be a fun and energizing way to stay active without the structure of traditional exercise routines.
It’s just a great way to lose some extra calories while not having the extraneous burdon of going to the gym!
#2 Reduction of Stress
The freeform and uninhibited nature of ecstatic dance allows individuals to release tension and stress held in the body. The rhythmic movement and music can serve as a natural stress reliever, promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Our body is a sponge, and a lot of stress builds up in our muscles. If you are ever in a very stressful moment, try to have a look at how you clench certain muscles.
#3 Spiritual Connection
Many practitioners find a spiritual dimension in ecstatic dance. It can be a means of connecting with a higher self, a divine presence, or a universal energy. The dance may facilitate a sense of oneness, spiritual insight, and a feeling of being in tune with something greater than oneself.
As I already mentioned in my explanation of the yoga sutras, surrendering to what is (Isvara Pranidhana), might cause a form of spiritual awakening. It doesn’t have to be of course, but in many religions, this is seen as a prayer, in others they practice meditation in different forms.
Ecstatic dance encourages individuals to explore and express their authentic selves without judgment. This self-exploration can lead to increased self-awareness, personal growth, and a deeper understanding of one’s desires and intentions.
Letting go is a big challenge for a lot of people. There is very often a lot of shame or trauma in just dancing like no one else is watching, but still being surrounded by a lot of people. If you have a bit of self-reflection, this can be a great way to explore your inner thoughts together with the physical challenges you might experience.
#5 Joy and Happiness
The spontaneous and joyful nature of ecstatic dance can elevate mood and bring about a sense of happiness. The combination of music, movement, and the freedom to express oneself contributes to a positive and uplifting experience.
This last one is the big definition of the word Ecstatic of course. With this dance, you’d want to create a feeling of ecstasy afterward.
Where to find ecstatic dance near me?
Normally I’m always very big on making directories where to find certain workshops or yoga classes. However, ecstatic dance is so big at the moment that it’s already a mainstream activity. If you are living in or near a big city, then you can just type in Google where to find a session near you!