Guidelines for Ecstatic Dancing to create a safe container

A couple of guidelines before we start dancing:

  • Move however you wish
  • Avoid *verbal* communication
  • No shoes or phones on the dance floor
  • Observe respect for self and one another
  • Use sensitivity when engaging with others
  • Obtain consent before dancing with someone
  • Respect the collective space
  • No drug and alcohol use
  • Ecstatic Dance is what you make of it
  • Have a glass of water ready, a pen & paper in case you want to journal
  • Create a nice ambience for yourself on your dancefloor at home i.e. candles, flowers, sage to create a warm feel
  •  
    Allow yourself to drop into a safe space free from distractions!

    6 Waves of Ecstatic Dancing

    Wave 1:
    Arrival & graceful music to ground everyone in the space

    Wave 2:
    Playful & thriving music to get energies going

    Wave 3:
    Chaotic, orgasmic, wild, soaring, for cathartic release

    Wave 4:
    Cruise, steady, unwavering, recharge music

    Wave 5:
    Nostalgic, lyrical from peak into heart music

    Wave 6:
    Integration, stillness, wholeness, meditation

    What is Ecstatic Dancing?

    Sensual Dance Journey
    As an Ecstatic Dance DJ I listen to a lot of music, to find songs that evoke feelings and make your body tingle. Music helps people shift from one state to another, it can provide a healing experience for people who fragment or dissociate themselves. AND music simply wants to make the body move! I then carefully place the tracks in a perfect order to make sure they follow a dance wave, starting from slow music, building up to ecstatic music and then taking you down into a more cruising, landing and integration space. Creating a sensual dance journey for you to enjoy.

    Safe & Judgment Free Space
    There is no self judgement on the online or physical dance floor. I provide a safe space where judgment and the illusion of separation have an opportunity to dissolve. Making room for wholeness, empowerment and community. Allow yourself to move freely without editing or judging yourself. We create and release a lot of energies in the space during the dance.

    Storytelling through dancing
    Dancing is like storytelling, often times it is also a birthing & rebirthing of yourself. Express the story of who you are at a particular point in time, knowing you might end up in a different place after the dance. Allow the song of your soul to come out, who you are before the “thinking mind starts to filter”. Ecstatic Dancing allows you to express yourself in a way that you can’t through words or sound. You can even use blindfolds if it allows you to go deeper inside of yourself.

    Let the body move you, rather than you controlling it
    Ecstatic Dancing is about feeling, going inward and dancing from a space of inside yourself, rather than outside of yourself where you are judging every move that you make.

    Sound Baths, Cacao Ceremony & Sharing Circle
    I often like to finish an Ecstatic Dance session with a relaxing sound bath. A sound bath is usually a calm music accompanied by music instruments, crystal bowls or nature sounds. I also like to give people the opportunity after the dance to have a short break to prepare a sacred cacao or tea and for us to drink together after the dance and during our sharing circle. The sharing circle is an opportunity to exchange with other members of the dance community, share how you feel and what’s going on or what has shifted with you during the dance. Sometimes I might also chose to read a passage from a book.

    Collaborations with painters, musicians, consciousness pioneers and other interesting artists
    I also like to introduce interesting people within or outside my community who I feel inspired or connected to. These could be musicians, painters, tarot readers, consciousness pioneers or otherwise interesting people.

    “Spain has passed a law to legalise euthanasia, becoming the fourth country in Europe to allow people to end their own life in some circumstances. The law allows adults with “serious and incurable” diseases that cause “unbearable suffering” to choose to end their lives. Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Canada and Colombia are the only other countries in which euthanasia is currently legal.
    We are heading towards the recognition of human rights and a more humane and fair society.

    Euthanasia is the act of intentionally ending a life to relieve suffering – for example a lethal injection administered by a doctor. In cases of assisted suicide, the act is undertaken by the person themselves with help.

    To request either, the person must:
    Suffer a “serious or incurable illness” or a “chronic or incapacitating” condition that causes “intolerable suffering” and be “fully aware and conscious” when they make the request, which has to be submitted twice in writing, 15 days apart. A doctor can reject the request if the requirements have not been met. It must be approved by a second medic and by an evaluation body.”
    – taken from BBC article https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56446631

    My musings:
    This is a great step in the evolution of death care and dying with dignity. Imagine knowing it is time to leave but your physical body is not giving out on you yet. It feels like being trapped in your own body when you want to leave. I find it more dignifying if you have a choice and can assist your body in giving out. It is a fact that some people take 7-10 years to die off, think about the responsibility to other people and the burden on your own soul. There is actually very little to be learned by humans who take years to die off, it is painful and degrading. Do you want somebody to clean up and feed you before you go? The human has ownership of their own being, they can do whatever they choose. If they choose assisted suicide there is no judgment.

    The art of creating an Ecstatic Dance playlist

    Ever since I finished my Ecstatic Dance DJ & Facilitator training, I started practicing putting together sensual dance journeys for my myself and my dancing clients. Putting together an Ecstatic Dance playlist is truly an art, because there are many steps to that process and it usually involves hours and hours of scanning the web and then putting the music together. Here is a little insight into the art of an amazing playlist:

    1) Searching the web for amazing artists across various genres from meditation & medicinal music, to percussions, house music, bass, funk, world music, electronic, tribal music and then buying the music to support the artists. Yes, I now have a “monthly music budget”. I usually search artists on YouTube and then either go to their website to buy the song or go to Bandcamp.

    2) Labelling songs into 6 dance waves. Once I bought the music, it gets divided into 6 folders. It is now a very intuitive process. I buy the song and automatically know which of the 6 waves the song goes in:

  • Arrival Music
  • Build Up Music
  • Climax Music
  • Cruising Music
  • Landing Music
  • Integration Music
  •  
    3) Selecting the final songs for the playlist. Some songs make it into the playlist and then if they don’t give me the shivers or shakes when I play them, they make it out of the playlist again. Any song that makes it into the playlist needs to make my body move, otherwise we won’t dance together to it.

    4) Putting the songs onto the DJ decks, applying filters and working with the volume fader to make sure there is a smooth transition between the songs. Then I hit the record button and start sweating in anticipation whether I get it right. Sometimes I make a mistake with a transition or a filter. I then try and smoothen out my mistakes by exporting the final playlist into another editing software and correct any mistakes in case I turned up the volume too quickly or a filter transition was too abrupt.

    5) Uploading the song onto Soundcloud and then listening back to my own playlist to check in how the playlist makes my body feel. I love the way certain filters create shivers in my body. Yum!

    Music is truly medicine for the soul! I only realised the power of music when I started creating my own playlists and getting hands on involved in the process. It’s like my body opened up to receive the delicious ingredients of the songs being played. Who needs food, when you can digest music!

    PS: I am planning an Ecstatic Dance & Paint event 🎧🎨💃 for next month with the topic “Song of the Soul” with the gorgeous Corina Capri on Saturday, 06th March 2021.
    Save the date, more info to follow.

    Cacao Ceremony with “Cacaogasm”

    Have you ever taken part in a cacao ceremony?

    Having lived in London for 18 years, I knew about afternoon tea and tea ceremonies but I had never come across a cacao ceremony. It was only when I attended my first Ecstatic Dance event, I was invited to drink cacao before the start of the dance session. The cacao wasn’t just any old cacao from the supermarket, it was the type of cacao that was suppose to give you a “cacaogasm”. A cacao that opens your heart and gives you an oxytocin rush, showering you with the good feels. After finishing my Ecstatic Dance DJ & Facilitator training, I was inspired to include ceremonial cacao at the end of my Ecstatic Dance sessions too. I thought it was better placed towards the end of the dance, than at the beginning. I personally don’t like the thought of dancing with cacao in my belly 🙂 and I felt it goes along nicely with a sharing circle at the end.

    How does Ceremonial Cacao work?

    Ceremonial cacao comes from the Criollo bean, usually sourced from Peru. In my PDF here, I’ve included a few links as to where to buy the cacao as you can’t get it in a local health store, you mainly need to buy it online. Ceremonial Cacao is a subtle yet potent medicine that helps us be more present in our bodies, feel our emotions more vividly and open up to a deeper connection with ourselves. It’s a supportive companion for anything that requires presence and soft focus.

    After having tried my first ceremonial cacao the other day, I noticed the cacao was making me feel more grounded. I could feel myself more anchored in my body. I didn’t necessarily experience a “high” but I felt more present in my body. I wouldn’t recommend the cacao on an empty stomach or late at night, but rather as a treat after having eaten a meal or in the afternoon.

    How to make the Ceremonial Cacao?

    Ingredients:
    10-30g Raw Cacao from the Criollo Cacao Bean (usually is sold as raw cacao liquor or paste and looks like a huge, thick block of chocolate or chocolate crumbles
    200 ml Nut, Soy or Oats Milk
    2 tbsp. Water
    Agave Syrup / Stevia / Cane Sugar /
    Coconut palm Sugar / Honey/ Dates Syrup

    Optional spices:

    Cinnamon Powder
    Ginger Powder
    Cardamom Powder
    Chilli
    Cayenne Pepper
    Rose pedals
    Vanilla Essence or Extract
    Sea Salt

    Put all your carefully selected ingredients in a blender and then heat them up in a boiling pan or skip the blending part and put the ingredients straight into the pan. Do not boil the cacao so the yummy ingredients don’t get lost in the process.

    Nutrients:

    Please note the below is from the active chemicals of true raw ceremonial cacao. Almost all regular chocolate on the market does not have the full bliss chemicals offered. No wonder ceremonial cacao was valued even above gold by the Mayans!

    Serotonin: A neurotransmitter commonly known as the “feel-good chemical. Cacao not only supplies the body with serotonin, but also aids the body in producing its own serotonin naturally. Serotonin is well known for its ability to combat stress and improve our mood by promoting the feelings of comfort, contentment, happiness, relaxation, and well-being.

    Phenylethylamine (PEA): better known as “the love chemical,” for its association with the giddy excitement one feels when falling in love. When ingested, PEA stimulates the central nervous system to release the body’s natural opium-like compounds called endorphins. PEA signals the body to promote the sensation of alertness, focus, and mental acuity, all while elevating one’s mood, speeding up metabolism, and boosting memory.

    Anandamide: in Sanskrit, ananda literally means “bliss,” making anandamide the “bliss chemical” in chocolate. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter found naturally in cacao and also in the human brain (the only two places it has currently been discovered). Anandamide binds to the same receptors sites in the brain as THC from cannabis. Unlike THC, anandamide won’t leave you in a mind-altered state, but, does produce a feeling of euphoria.

    Theobromine: this chemical acts as a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes smooth muscle. Benefits of this chemical include enhanced blood flow and oxygenation to the brain in addition to long-term antioxidant properties.

    Magnesium: every cell in the body contains this mineral and requires it to function. Magnesium helps increase energy, calms nerves, aids in digestion, and relieves muscle aches and pains (among a whole host of other benefits).

    What happens at a Cacao Ceremony?

    The session is always set under a specific topic or intention on which the group or the individual would like to focus particularly. Perhaps you would like to devote yourself to a specific question or problem, or simply to give space to a feeling that appears spontaneously and is otherwise rather suppressed.

    One or more meditations are also part of the cocoa ceremony. So you can find more and more to yourself, let go of thoughts and look inside. Sounds and chants can follow, free movement and dancing, but also conscious (body) contact with other participants. This, together with the cocoa, can create a trance state for some.

    Either way, group gathering is the most original form of such a ritual. The common energies reinforce each other and create community, (self) love and a special collective experience. The cocoa ceremony can therefore have a therapeutic and healing effect, which is why we sometimes talk about healing. A consciousness is ascribed to cocoa, which can significantly determine the course of the ceremony.

    In connection with the cocoa, the ceremony should above all have a heart-opening effect, i.e. create and release feelings, bring knowledge and strengthen intuition, vitality and creativity. It ensures a harmonious balance of the top-heavy everyday life. You may know it from the film Chocolat, as well as from numerous illustrations for cocoa and chocolate advertising: with the cocoa and the right spices, a touch of the exotic and a lot of sensuality is always conveyed. In addition, there is a modern, spiritual aspect in the ceremonies.

    Click here for my full PDF on Cacao Ceremonies and how to hold Individual or Couple Cacao ceremonies yourself at home.