The music continues to play on in my head the morning after the new moon dance celebration. I remember the mystery and power of my dance. I remember that dance is older than time.
For me, this was an ecstatic ritual experience. A dance honoring the element of fire through the use of staccato beats. I dance at the entrance to the autumn's seasonal gate as the harvests are recognized. I felt the ancestral presences around me as I danced my intentions for my creative ignition, purification, transmutation, vitality.
The instructor shared how the layers of Gabrielle Roth's* teachings of the 5 rhythms in music can be experienced. She eloquently showed us, through her enthusiasm, movements and breath, as she demonstrated how this concept is interpreted within the dance. She encouraged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, to grow with the journey of this night's music. This a conscious practice, illuminated with our intentions, radiating our inner fires out into the world.
It is one of the many ways I consciously weave a sense of the sacred into all that I do. As an artist and as a human being. It links me with an ancient lineage of Creatives - the dancers who danced in ceremony. Dance sustains me during times of joy and sorrow, nurturing through the easy times and burning through the challenges.
Humans have been dancing for a very long time. Music and dance are languages unto themselves. Dance is an art form. A liberating, ecstatic series of postures and movement, usually in time with audible music. Sometimes the music is only audible on an inner plane.
Music and dancing in a collective rite gives expression to a community's energy. When this happens our creativity is increased, multiplied and empowered. When we use this vital life force, combined with our own intentions, and contextualize it all within a ritual setting, we engage with energies that are larger than we are as individuals. This is where the sense of the divine comes to play...through an ecstatic connection within our physical being.
Dancing with intention and awareness, choosing to become a vessel for the ecstatic union with a divine source, opens an inner door to undreamed of possibilities. The effects of such an experience are euphoric, enlightening, and rhapsodic. Serotonin, a feel-good hormone, floods our brains and bodies initiating joy. Dancing awakens all kinds of other benefits, essentially, making us healthier on all levels of our being.** Dancing is a gift we give to ourselves and our world.
When we combine our dance with our intentions, we become the prayer. This is when the ecstatic connection with divinity occurs. We let go of our thoughts, our feelings, and move with the music. We open ourselves to that sense of "something greater" and the transformation happens. We are changed by the experience.
It is in the surrender to the dance that I become one with a wholeness that is not always a conscious part of my awareness.
This state of ecstatic union with the divine deepens my connection with my creativity, allowing me to reach into an ever-renewing source of life and energy that sparks inspiration. Ritual dance revitalizes me and my creative fire is refueled.
My ancestors danced. Our family dances at as many of our celebrations as possible. Dancers were, and are, admired in our family and our culture. Dancers and musicians are an integral part of our human family's heritage.
As the gifts of this September's new moon dance celebration continue to be illuminated in the light of day, I am grateful for the experience, for the instructor's capable facilitation, for the group's participation. Most of all I am grateful for the ability to dance, for myself, for others, for those who no longer dance, for those who danced before me, and for the gifts of the dance, itself. <3
This post is dedicated in loving memory to my mother and all of my dancing ancestors with love and gratitude.