‘You want me to do what? Dance in front of loads of people without having had a beer or seven? I don’t think so. All those sweaty people moving and shaking like they’re on something, hugging and loving life with that happy-clappy attitude – that’s not for me. I’ll stay safe over here in my repressed, stuffy and conservative lifestyle thank you, and not look like a twat.’
These were my thoughts when it was suggested that I go to an ecstatic dance, which, according to wikipedia (don’t you just love a bit of wiki knowledge?) “…is a form of dance in which the dancers, without the need to follow specific steps, abandon themselves to the rhythm and move freely as the music takes them, leading to trance and a feeling of ecstasy.” Hmm, I wasn’t convinced and I certainly didn’t want to take the risk either.
I knew it was my duty to analyse this – what was it about the ecstatic dance that made me shudder? Why was I so anti? Ha, of course, it had nothing to do with the dance or the people involved, it was all to do with me and my issues, which included; fear of looking silly, fear of not dancing correctly (whatever that is), fear of judgement, fear of letting myself go and having fun, fear of expressing emotion, fear of finding and being the real me, fear of being love. *Sigh* Off to the ecstatic dance I go then to push myself beyond the fear boundaries.
My heart was racing, I felt so incredibly awkward, but I was the only one worrying, no one else cared because they were too busy enjoying life for what it had to offer. After a quiet word with myself, some encouraging thoughts and micromovements, I started to dance. I closed my eyes, listened to the music and experimented with arm and leg movements that I wouldn’t normally do. Every now and then a sneak peek through slitted eyes confirmed that still, no one was looking at me, confirming it was safe to carry on. But it felt clunky, something wasn’t right… ahhh yes, I wasn’t enjoying it. I was stuck there for 2 hours, so I needed a strategy – what did I need to do in order to turn this into a positive experience? And then it struck me, all I needed to do was what everyone else was doing; feel the music, feel my body, feel how it wanted to move, what it wanted to express and how it wanted to express it. I needed to connect with myself and let go of all the fears I was holding on so tightly to. Only then was I going to receive this so called ecstasy that everyone else was in harmony with.
Reaping the Benefits.
The music tempo increased and before I knew it I was one of those sweaty, fun-loving, emotion sharing people who was higher than a kite swirling amongst the clouds. Liberation consumed me as I shed all expectations of myself and allowed myself to just be in any way that I wanted to. Waves of emotion flooded me as I looked around and I saw people who were connected through their hearts and the electric energy that we were swirling around in. We were all there for the same thing, to just be. This was togetherness and connectedness in its purest form. No alcohol, no alternative agendas, no judgement, just ecstasy for life. And me? I was exactly that – me. I had given myself permission to feel and be me. I felt love for myself and those around me on a new level. I felt part of a bigger family without having said a word to anyone. I felt safe, liberated, connected and bliss. I felt free.
Wikipedia also says “The effects of ecstatic dance begin with ecstasy itself, which may be experienced in differing degrees. Dancers are described as feeling connected to others, and to their own emotions The dance serves as a form of meditation, helping people to cope with stress and to attain serenity.” I can confirm that Wikipedia is correct. I will look forward to my next dance where I will leave my fears at the door and enter with my eyes and my heart fully open from start to finish.
Take a look at my reaction and the experience itself. Thank you to Pyramid Yoga for providing the space, the love, the energy and of course, the music.
I’d love to hear from you, have you ever wondered about ecstatic dance or maybe you’ve had your own experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the bell icon to be notified the next time I post a fear-busting video. Like, subscribe and share away… as long as it’s with love 😉