Creative Movement Connects Body, Mind and Spirit
“Most are familiar with the performance or competitive dance world of learned steps. Conscious dance is a non-competitive, body-based way of raising consciousness. There’s no wrong way to move and your shape and measurements don’t matter,” says Mark Metz, of Berkley, California, founder and executive director of the Dance First Association (DFA) and publisher of the Conscious Dancer Magazine andUpShift Guide.
The group identifies more than 100 forms of conscious dance, ranging from ecstatic dance to somatic movement therapy. Commonalities include body awareness, barefoot movement, inspiring global music and minimal structure facilitated by leaders.
With 1,000 DFA studio locations, many are finding the power of conscious dance suits their search for movement with purpose beyond improved fitness as it’s practiced in drug- and alcohol-free club-style events and ecstatic dance experiences, as well as dance fitness programs. “It’s about honoring body intelligence and paying attention to the body and mind-body connection,” says Metz.
“The modalities mentioned most often are 5Rhythms, Soul Motion, Open Floor, JourneyDance, and the Nia Technique,” says Metz. A brief look at three of them shows how each has its own style.
In St. Petersburg, Florida, 22 women have gathered to seek the bliss promised by 5Rhythms, one of the original conscious dance forms, founded by the late Gabrielle Roth. “Find your flow. Feel your connection to the Earth through your feet and release your head,” guides facilitator Amber Ryan, of New York City, who travels the world for dance sessions. “Use your body as a gateway into the now.” For two hours, dancers move freely and individually, swaying, sensing and interacting in an experience called “the wave”, intended to move energy through the body, release emotions and heal the psyche. READ MORE