Dancing has been a form of prayer throughout human history. Now when we hear the word ritual dance, we think of tribal culture, whirling dervishes or Hindu goddesses. Those of us living in modern societies may not realize, but if we go back far enough in time, all of us have ancestors who danced in order to feel a divine connection.
In Europe, dance teachers like Anna Barton, Laura Shannon and many others, have found places where ritual dance still exists. These dances are often practiced in private and they do not focus on technical skill. The idea is to create a feeling that is so profound that it feels like a spiritual experience. Many women have used these dances to stay positive during difficult moment. The truth is that it is something we can all do.
How to get started
Find a space that feels safe, either alone or with others who want to share the dance ritual with you. Try to clear the furniture enough to not bang anything.
Choose a piece of music that touches you deeply. Try to find music which is ancient, culturally important to you, relaxing and/or inspiring. You can also play a drum, maraca or tambourine instead!
Begin with some gentle stretches and deep breathing exercises. Allow your movements and breathing to align.
As your body is moving with the music, bend towards the ground to give thanks to the earth and then reach up and send positive energy to the universe.
If you have the space, try spinning gently or using your body to create circle shapes of different kinds. Circles are an ancient symbol of divine, peace and unity.
Allow your emotional body to be moved as well, letting out any stress, sadness or suffocation. Exhale those feelings out as your breathe.
Just like a meditation, try to keep your thoughts positive – being thankful, sending love those who are in need, envisioning a positive future.
During quarantine in Italy, one woman brings her ritual dance out of the privacy of her home, into the street and out into the digital world. Her enchanting dance balla la pizzica, has spread that healing feeling to all of us who watch it.
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