One of the best dances I had in my life has been at the New Life Foundation. Totally sober, in the middle of the day or early evening, in a hall in nature somewhere near Chiang Rai.
When I first read that they had Dance Retreats and workshops at New Life, I was surprised. Dancing didn’t seem to fit into the range of meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. I thought that this kind of dancing would be probably some sort of hippie dance I probably wouldn’t enjoy.
Man, was I wrong! The dancing experiences have been one of the best things I experienced in New Life – and luckily there had been a lot of dancing in New Life in November and December.
We started off with Biodanza led by Katy Bullen – something I have never heard before. Biodanza is a system of self-development that uses music, movement, and positive feelings to deepen self-awareness as well as deepen the bonds with others. At first, it took some time – or some songs – to really dare to leave our comfort zone and follow the music. And maybe it even makes us feel a little bit uncomfortable to hold hands with people we don’t know and to dance with them. We aren’t used to it. Life in western cities can often be quite isolated and anonymous. And so is dancing: In big cities, we dance in a club, surrounded by people – but everybody is kind of dancing for themselves. You dance, but you stay in your comfort zone.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche
But if you dare to follow the music and connect with your body again, it can bring you so much joy and energy. And it can simply make you very happy to dance and to connect with other people through dancing.
Of course, this is also about knowing your boundaries and limits – when some dances feel too intense or too intimate for you, you should listen to that voice. Because it’s about connecting with yourself and with your body – and finding out what feels right for you.
Dancing continued with the JourneyDance with Evgeny, another great dancing experience. JourneyDance takes you on your own, personal Dance Journey, where you can connect with yourself and your feelings and discover Freedom, Self-Expression, sensuality, release, and emotions. The aim is to get out of your head – and into your body.
“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” Eckhart Tolle
And I did. Not caring about how I look, how my dancing looks, just following my instincts and moving the way my body wanted to move – it felt amazing! And then looking around, seeing the joy in the eyes of the others, the big smile on their faces and feeling the energy in the room was a unique feeling. Especially considering the fact that everybody was totally sober. For many of us, going out and dancing often meant getting drunk or wasted in some way. These workshops were a wonderful experience in getting in touch with dancing in a sober and safe environment.
By Antonia Friemelt