The body is anchored into the presence,
the mind travels to the past and future.
- Buddha -
ECSTATIC OR CONSCIOUS DANCe?
'Open Floor', '5 Rhythms', 'Movement Medicine', 'Azul', 'Soul Motion', '360 Emergence', 'Zero One',... Each one of these conscious (dance) movements have their own, unique approach.
As Sue Richaerds (5 Rhythms and Open Floor teacher) once said:
"Do you see that garden out there? Do you see it through this window? Do you see it through that window? It's all the same, it is just that the window you're looking through is a bit different."
Some conscious movement practices avoid the term 'dance' because they dedicate more meaning to mindfully moving the body than to the high energy party aspect one might expect for 'a dance'.
OPEN FLOOR CONSCIOUS DANCE
Open Floor connects on the dance floor the 4 dimensions of embodiment (physical, emotional, mind & soul) with the 4 relational hungers (solitude, connection, belonging & spirit). An ‘anchor’ or specific body part helps us to stay in the present.
In our session we work around our emotional intelligence of 10 core resource movements (10 CMR's: ground, center, spatial awareness, release, activate & settle, vector, expand & contract, dissolve, towards & away & pause)
Most of the session exists out of a collective ecstatic dance during which the dancers can, if they want, practice the tools they were handed at the beginning of the session.
Open Floor supports resilience, compassion and joyous connection with others. It challenges your emotional intelligence.
What will you experience?
"People who dance regularly are healthier, have keener minds and a calmer presence. Self-expression, community, creativity and fun – this is why we dance. Open Floor is an embodied movement practice bringing self awareness, mindfulness, and purpose to life." (source: website Open Floor)
“It is eye-opening to explore the gift that is our body inch by inch while bringing the mind in the here and now. We can detect how thoughts, feelings and emotions move around, grasp them and bend them. In Open Floor we learn how to read our bodies and how we can make our own conscious decisions for the future. The things you learn on the Open Floor can help you in your daily life.”
Gabrielle Roth, inventor of the 5 Rhythms, brought ecstatic dance back to the western world in the 70's. Since then, the search of our western society for a more mindful, embodied, and authentic movement practice translated itself in multiple conscious dance movements. Ecstatic dance is the umbrella holding all other conscious dance movements.
The general ED RULES are the same: no shoes, no drugs, no talking and no judging of others. Move as you wish.
Coming together as a community and creating a safe space for all dancers is what all ecstatic dance facilitators aim to do.
The SCIENCE behind ecstatic dancing
That ecstatic feeling we get from dancing is scientifically proven: our bodies release hormones from working out and moving together with others in sync.
SERATONIN: the feel good hormone (mood stabiliser, wellbeing, happiness)
DOPAMINE: the motivational, pleasure hormone (pleasure, motivational role in brain’s reward system, decision-making control, memory & attention)
OXYTOCIN: the cuddle hormone (bonding, love and trust)
ENDORPHINS: natural morphine hormone (stress and pain relief, euphoric ‘runner’s high, relaxation)
To some it is exercise, to others therapy, a way to connect or decompress. Whatever your reason might be, it’s all welcome on the dance floor!
SUB-MOVEMENT ECSTATIC DANCE
To make it more complicated, 'Ecstatic Dance' as a sub movement also became its own thing: a dance that builds up to a collective release. There is an opening circle during which some grounding instructions are given, a closing circle, and the focus lies on a dj.
Dance without thinking, surrender yourself to the rhythm of the music and lose yourself in the moment.
It’s a party!
Line’s FIRST ED experience
When I first set foot on the ecstatic dance floor I thought I had ended up in a zoo! People were screaming and bouncing around like monkeys. I just couldn’t get that awkward smirk of my face.
Society dictates us how we’re supposed to behave in public and this? No, this was definitely not it…
But the music and my love for dancing kept calling me back to this dance floor. After a few sessions I noticed the freedom it brought me to break out of my harness and act like I wanted to, without being held back by my own ideas of how it’s ‘supposed to be’.
Dance like no one is watching, allow yourself to play, and break free… Be authentic. Being spontaneous. This was the perfect way to exercise, get rid of stress, connect with others, and go home as a better version of myself. After a busy workday filled with meetings, I didn’t have to speak a word to feel seen, accepted and supported by the other dancers.
What this all comes down to is that we move our bodies, encourage self-expression, freed of social judgement by others, experience joy, connect to others, release creativity, form a community, practice emotional fluidity & mindfulness,... and so much more on the dance floor.
Get to know your inner-self better by moving your body.
QUESTIONS & FACTS
What is the difference with clubbing?
The focus is on dancing and there is no talking. There are no alcohol or drugs allowed. On the dance floor, we dance sober.
What is the difference with other ‘normal’ dance classes?
There are no dance steps to follow, no choreography to learn. You move as you wish. In conscious dance you will get some themes to explore your movements with but how you move is still entirely up to you.
What is the difference with dance improvisation?
The big difference with dance improvisation is that you’re dancing mainly to connect with your inner-self, sometimes maybe a partner or a group of other dancers but NEVER an audience. It is not a performance and you do not need to impress anyone. Ecstatic dancing you do just for yourself.
Why is there a chair on the dance floor?
One of the most beautiful things about Open Floor is that there is always a chair on the dance floor. This chair represents inclusivity. Everyone is welcome on the dance floor - all ages, all shapes, old and new injuries… By offering a chair on the dance floor we include the ones who otherwise might feel like they need to step out of the group for self-care. You are welcome to dance with us, also when you are listening to your body and need some self-care. Line brought the Open Floor chair also to her Sunday Dances because she loves the message and wants to include everyone.