Friday, January 16, 2015

An Interview about the Dance Our Way Home Experience

What is Dance Our Way Home?

Dance Our Way Home is an ecstatic dance practice co-created in 2001 by Erica Ross and Nan Keyser in Toronto, Ontario. It was developed as a healing practice for women experiencing eating disorders and body image issues.

But what is ecstatic dance exactly?

Have you ever been driving or at home by yourself when your favourite song comes on the radio and your body naturally starts to sway and bob to the music? That moment when you feel the music deep into your body and your day brightens, a smile forms on your lips and you get your groove on. That is ecstatic dance; that feeling of deep body connection and flow, of elation and release. 

Do I need dance experience to attend a DOWH session?

Absolutely not! There is no right or wrong way in ecstatic dance. You move however your body wishes to move in the moment – whether that is standing, sitting or even lying on the floor. The key to ecstatic dance is to be open to the experience and just let whatever happens to have a chance to happen. 

So, what can I expect from a Dance Our Way Home workshop?

Every DOWH workshop begins with an opening circle to invite each person to the space and discuss the theme of the session. The circle is then followed by a guided meditation, body warm-ups and, lastly, the ecstatic dance before coming back together in a closing circle.

You mentioned themes; what sort of themes can I expect at a DOWH workshop?

Each month, we invite a different theme into the session. Themes may relate to the time of the year the session is being hosted, such as: Beautiful Beginnings in the New Year or Moon Dance surrounding the phases of the moon. Sometimes the theme may be in regards to emotions, such as Radiant Joy, a spiritual invitation, such a Divine Feminine, or an element within our lives, such as Loving Roots. The beauty of the theme is they allow us to work with ourselves however we are in the moment - mentally, emotionally and spiritually, through an action so innately instinctual within our genetic makeup. The act of gathering together in dance brings us back to our tribal roots to a time when people lived in small communities and celebrated everything in their lives; from the sun and the Earth to a birth or death and a marriage or harvest.

Any final words?

DOWH allows us to come home to our body and experience our emotions in a safe and supportive environment.  It is a spiral journey away from the ‘norm’- where our comfort zone lies, out into the zone of self exploration and self love – where the real magic lies. Lastly, it is a community of like-minded individuals; which is something many of us are longing for and missing in our busy lives. 

Here is a lovely video that shares more about DOWH:

Join us!