Can you feel it? The rhythm of the music as it moves you!
Recently we had a fantastic weekend dance retreat here at New Life. The facilitators, Niraj and Katy were incredible and their passion for freedom of self expression and promoting joy was down right infectious. There was really something for everyone.
Dance Mandala is a personal journey inwards to explore how the body wants to move when free from thinking, judgments and inhibitions. The music takes you on a guided journey ranging from soft and flowing to upbeat and ecstatic. The facilitators also guide and support you, encouraging personal expression. There is no physical interaction with other dancers. In fact, we are encouraged to stay within ourselves and not pay attention to what’s going on around us. This promotes freedom of self expression and also freedom from wondering what people think of you.
So how would you dance if no one where watching? Alive! Kinda silly! High on life! Happy?
The next day we experienced Biodanza. A very different and unique form of connecting with other people. Biodanza translates as the dance of life. A system of self development utilizing music, movement, and positive feelings to deepen self awareness. Again, we were fully supported and guided by our expert facilitators. They were very natural at calming our nerves, especially at times when you feel a little ridiculous. Biodanza is not so much about dancing but more about connecting on a deeper level with yourself and others. The format allows the inner child to emerge and ‘play’ with the other kids in the room. We were guided to make contact with others through touch, twirling around, eye contact, holding hands and lots of warm embraces.
As I write this, I can see how this type of intimacy could be intimidating to some and to be honest I woke up that morning a bit grumpy and thought to myself “I don’t really want to connect with anyone today.” I felt a bit overwhelmed but something inside of me told me to push through the discomfort and give a try. I could have left early if I was truly uncomfortable. To my surprise, not even ten minutes in I was laughing hysterically, holding hands with a stranger and really feeling like a kid in a candy store. I’m so glad I went! My mood was uplifted for the rest of the day. In fact, Niraj said something I’ll never forget. He said “imagine doing this every morning for just ten minutes a day, How would your mood be for the rest of the day!” So admittedly, I have tried it. The other day I put some music on in my room, and danced like a crazy person. I felt so free! Free to be me! I am grateful to all of the amazing workshops and retreats I am able to experience here at New Life. They sure have brought me out of my shell. Of course, there are still many days when I wake up in a grumpy mood but now I feel like I have an arsenal of tools to call upon to shift my moods.
Have you had the pleasure of experiencing Dance Mandala or Biodanza? If so, we would love to hear your feedback. If not, we are happy to share some links so that you can research this non-stop fun in your area. When was the last time you danced like no one was watching? Why not give it a try?
Thanks also to Katy for the great photos.
by Marisha Schaefer