If you’re a fan of spirituality and dancing, you’ll be delighted to learn you can combine the two at one of these spiritual dance sessions…
1 Ecstatic Trance Dance
Based on Nataraj – the original dance of Shiva – this is an ‘active meditation’ developed by the guru Osho, who said in his book Sufis: The People of the Path:“You go on dancing and dancing and dancing, and a moment comes of such ecstasy… that the rocklike ego cannot exist. The rock disappears and there is only dance… meditation has happened.” Ecstatic Trance Dance is a structured form of Nataraj, done with your eyes closed. Through repetitive movement and breath, it is said to help nourish and revitalise your body, and bring you into the present moment.
2 Meditation dance
Created by Marita Sanguinetti, meditation dance’s main aim is to educate you to better understand your body, movements and life, and to help you develop positive ways of relating to yourself, others, and the world. Regular practice is said to enable you to shine with health, happiness, energy and beauty. No prior dance experience is needed.
3 Praise dance
This is a Christian form of worship involving a variety of freeform steps and ideas taken from jazz, modern, hip hop and ballet. Each individual gesture encourages the movement of energy and conveys a personal message. Larna Martin, author of book and DVD Dance God’s Way , says this style of dance worship will “remind you that you are not alone, but part of a worldwide move of God’s Spirit in our generation”.
This style of partner dance is native to Angola, and fuses sensuous rhythmic movements from Angolan Semba, Argentinian tango, samba, salsa and French zouk. Performed in pairs, this passionate technique encourages interplay between the leader and follower. Ladies are taught how to trust their partners by closing their eyes and following the lead.
5 Shamanic Long Dance
This all-night ceremony sees participants first preparing their own medicine banner and then painting onto them a vision they wish to manifest. The ceremony begins with a purification lodge, before a fire is lit in the centre of a square marked out by eight posts, connected by twine on which hang the banners. Dancers enter the square and move in a circle around the central fire. Under the watchful eyes of the chief and supported by the drum beat, they dance in a clockwise direction until the drum stops. When it resumes, the dancers change direction and continue dancing until dawn. After the dance, everyone sleeps for a few hours before breakfasting together and giving a gift of money to fund future events.