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Ecstatic Dance 4 at Judson Church- Ny, Ny

Ecstatic Dance

April means this was the fourth ecstatic dance of the year. This one was unique. Don’t get your hopes up for some amazing new experience you’ve never imagined, instead, this dance offered the same thing it always does. So what was unique? Ecstatic dance creates a space of authentic connection to people, to yourself, to music, and to the intersection of all those elements. Each dance has some regulars I recall and lots of new faces including new DJs and new opening experiences. While the intention is a well-worn path, the steps are always new, the spirit is rebuilt each time, and the memories are both familiar and surprising.

This dance was a year for me. I came in expecting the awakening spring brings. We began by meeting and connecting through movement; Greeting each other with feet, elbows, booties, and bellies. Walking the floor and connecting with partners for extended and deep connection, we sat and looked into and through our partners’ eyes. This brought laughter, tears, and revitalizing intersections that are often lost in the long cold winter.

DJ Dragonfly began slowly and bloomed through some Dead Can Dance into a tribal-infused set of smile-inducing beats. The floor was full, the floor was shaking, the floor was alive and dancing in equal response to our steps. Unrelenting soul dripped out of the speakers as we all began to sweat. The breaking point was the drummers taking up the center of the floor playing us to an equinox. Now fully drenched, summer was here!

On comes DJ Rhythmstar. More electric, more complex, more sweat. The energy picked up, the connections grew, the dancing was free. People started to dance together in closer partnerships and groups. Summer was in full effect. This was camp, this was long days in the sun, this was a warm breeze. I ventured upstairs for a view of the scene. While there I watched a reiki session, a painting in progress, got to meditate at an altar, and hydrate with their amazing elixirs.

People began to fall away from the floor. Some did yoga in the back, some started conversations away from the floor, some had left. The day was growing short and I started to grow aware of my body. Not sore or tired, instead, I felt spent in a delicious way. The ground was beckoning as it does to the leaves this time of year so I fell. Down dog, cobra, pigeon, lizard all manifested and I knew the hibernation call of the bear was near.

We came together laying on the floor for a sound bath. Darkness descended with closed eyes that were, in fact, more open than they had been three hours earlier. The heat was gone and my body absorbed energy to find stasis. The entire evening solidified in the newly still air. We rose and gave thanks. To the DJs, to the nourishment, to the volunteers, to the space, to each other. Then, as is the new custom, we had a chance to hear about the events people are working on so we can leave ready to spring into action.

Outside, the air was fresh and cool. There are buds on the trees, short sleeves, laughter, and hugs. The tired was gone, the spring had come once more.

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