Ecstatic Dance Classes and Workshops in San Diego
Looking for a place to unleash your authentic and unique self? Learn more about the ecstatic dance San Diego environment and what value it has to offer to the health and wellness community!
What is Ecstatic Dance?
Ecstatic dance is an improvisational and meditative dance form that is considered to ignite healing, creativity, and community. “It’s a great place to let your inner child play, smile, laugh and cry,” say’s Victori May, performing artist and co-facilitator at Ecstatic Dance San Diego.
Those who seek an ecstatic dance container are usually looking for a safe place to express themselves which often creates the feelings of bliss and ecstasy. Through this deeply meditative and fully embodied experience, the dancers often receive health benefits in relieving stress and stagnate, dense emotions.
Benefits of Ecstatic Dance
There are an infinite amount of benefits to ecstatic dance. Since each person is unique, the benefits can vary between each dancer. “It’s a space where people come together. You can meet new friends, new employers, new partners or just a new part of yourself,” May shares.
A study done in UCLA found 98% of the dancers had improvements in their mood after practicing ecstatic dance. In the same study, the participants also reported that it helped them in releasing distressing thoughts and gave them a greater sense of confidence and compassion.
What to Expect at Your First Workshop
Usually consisting of three parts — an opening circle, the dance, and closing circle— the event generally lasts around 3-4 hours.
Opening circle: Depending on where you go, the workshop can start in a variety of different ways. Most venues lead the group through warm-up exercises to help nurture and prime the space before the main dance. Some ecstatic dance events may even hold a cacao and prayer ceremony beforehand.
The dance and climax: Similar to an orgasm, the tempo of the music usually starts out at a slower pace and then gradually builds to the main climax. Once the climax has been reached, the music begins to calm down, guiding the group into a space of release.
Closing: At the end of the event, most venues will close with a sound bath or meditation, easing the group into a state of relaxation and bliss.
Ecstatic Dance Guidelines
Designed to create a positive experience for all involved, these principles give the participants an opportunity to create a space in which everyone is able to express themselves freely and safely.
- Move freely without judgment: This space is an opportunity for each individual to express their fullest self and release any blockages that are keeping them from their highest potential. Some venues even keep a no video or picture rule for the safety of the container.
- No talking on the dance floor: “We avoid the chit chat because it gets us out of our body and into our minds, and that is the opposite of our goal at ecstatic dance,” says May. It is encouraged to communicate through movements and noises (i.e. laughter and grunts) and to keep the talking limited to the designated areas.
- No shoes on the dance floor: For the safety of toes and the grounding of souls, most venues ask for your shoes to be off. Wearing socks is usually okay.
- Drug free, substance free environment: This guideline is an invitation to create the feelings of ecstasy, bliss, and joy through the natural rhythm of your own energy and the energy of the container.
- Respect the boundaries of others: “At ecstatic dance, people can express themselves in a more intimate, potentially vulnerable way,” Victori May shares. Because of this, the facilitators teach consent practices to ensure that everybody has the space to express themselves safely.
Practicing Ecstatic Dance on Your Own
Not ready to join the vibe with a group? Try it on your own with the help of this video! Here are some easy tips to get yourself ready:
- Select your space. Choose a safe space where you feel the most open and free to express yourself (your bedroom, out in nature, etc.)
- Choose a playlist that you enjoy. If you need a recommendation, check out Yo Rider, a local Ecstatic dance DJ.
- Shake your body. This can help loosen the body and shake out any negative beliefs or roadblocks in the way of your fullest potential.
- Open your chest and loosen your shoulders. This simple technique can bring you into a receptive and relaxed mode.
- Start off slow. There’s no race here —just you, your body and your unique expression.
- Try something new. Allow yourself to be surprised, weird and crazy.
- Shake off the judgments as they come. You could even incorporate it into your dance moves by literally brushing it off.
Ecstatic Dance Classes in San Diego
Ecstatic Dance San Diego is a community of souls who are collectively embodying the ecstatic dance mission: to free the body, mind and soul through expressing one’s fullest potential in a safe and respectful container. Meeting every other Friday in Encinitas and San Diego from 8pm – 11pm.
Not only a great place for food and yoga, Trilogy Sanctuary often has events that are great for practicing ecstatic dance. Their full moon drum circle and dance medicine events are one of the top places to dance at in San Diego.
Give It a Try!
Whether you are implementing ecstatic dance on your own or with a group, it can be supportive in expanding your soul and healing your body. This practice can adapt and take shape to the uniqueness of your being. If you haven’t already, give ecstatic dance San Diego a try and let us know how it went!
DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare provider.
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