Ecstatic Dance 101

What is Ecstatic Dance

More and more retreats and festivals are including some form of Ecstatic Dance in their schedules. But what is ecstatic about a drug-free and alcohol-free event?

We asked Robin Parrish & Atasiea, the creators of one of the largest Ecstatic Dances in the world, Ecstatic Dance LA:

What is Ecstatic Dance?

It’s a free-flowing dance and movement experience where participants are encouraged to dance and enjoy the experience however they’d like with an intention of connecting deeper to themselves and explore movement without words. It’s an open space to play, celebrate life, practice embodiment modalities, enjoy great music, process emotions, connect with others, and ultimately be nourished by the experience on a physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual level.

It has its roots in “conscious dance” practices that utilizes movement and physical expression for transformation and cultivating embodied connection.

Humans have been practicing versions of Ecstatic Dance as long as humankind has existed. The current version of Ecstatic Dance taking place in spaces across the world are connected with three main guidelines: it’s a substance and alcohol-free space; with no talking on the dance floor; and taking photos or video during the experience is discouraged. The guidelines help to keep the Ecstatic Dance space safe and focused on delving deep into the experience where people can move out of the mind and more fully into their bodies, hearts and flow-state, where profound moments of connection to life and the present moment can occur.

What kind of music is played at an Ecstatic Dance?

DJs play multiple genres of music from world, to EDM, and sound healing. Listen to Robin’s sets here.

Atasiea facilitating Ecstatic Dance LA at the Wisdome.LA
Atasiea facilitating Ecstatic Dance LA at the Wisdome.LA

What has dance taught you?

To get out of my head and into my body. Let go of thinking and embrace feeling . To be free.

Dance has taught me how to move, flow and connect more fully with the present moment and my surroundings. It’s helped me contact a space inside of me where my outer movement feels connected to my inner world and my dance takes me through a process of merging my spirit, heart, emotions, and energy in embodied expression, which feels very healing for me. Dance has helped me tremendously in moving out of my minds interpretation of the world, and to feel more embodied, grounded, playful and connected to the larger dance of life on a day to day basis. Through dance I feel more freedom inside of me and a sense of renewal and ritual where I find myself waking up to the miracle of life with every focused breath and movement.

One more thing: what song are you vibing right now?



Events to get your spirit dancing:

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