When I wake up to crisp air and cold skin, I slowly remember where I am. Oh yeah I’m on the bus, my new home for the week, traveling to connect with other conscious/ecstatic dance communities and spread the word about the transformative power of this type of movement.
I close my eyes again, hoping to slip into warm dreamscapes.
I’m here with 30 other people, most of whom I did not know at the beginning of this journey. Now at day 5, I get that these 30 incredible spirits are soul family, a microcosm of the soul family of humanity.
I realize that when people connect in the forum of conscious/ecstatic dance, the mind quiets, we enter our bodies, and become informed from a heart space, if you will.
We begin to recognize ourselves beneath our roles and personalities, and then recognize others, past social constructs and stories. We begin to recognize our oneness beyond the surface and feel our divine connectedness.
I walk out to the lake and the sight takes my breath away. White steam rolls across the clear water, barely brushing the surface, like the gentle hand of a lover on a shoulder. And then my eyes take in the snow covered mountain before me – Mt Shasta.
She is majestic. Her essence explodes into my heart and I feel the medicine of this place as the tears flop on to my cheeks. I don’t know why, but the prayer I hear coming from my lips is “Fill me, fill me, fill me.”
Maybe it’s the magic of this place -the fresh headwaters flowing through my system, the warm eyes of the people who live in the energy of the mountain – maybe that’s part of what has made this dance stop my absolute favorite so far.
Connection. Connection is the gift of this magical mountain stop. The dance starts with a contact dance class, where people move gently through the space. After a few minutes, the instruction comes to continue to move the body, now physically connecting with another body. The body informs the movement in contact dance, and “listening” to your partner and then responding in the way your body feels moved to respond is truly a beautiful art form; and this contact newbie is in awe of those moving in fluid flow with one another.
I connect with a partner in the “selfish cat” exercise, where we are instructed by the teacher to embody our inner cat and snuggle up to our partners in selfish cat mode.
And we all begin. Whoa. It’s amazing how we can weave a dance together with this permission, each moving in their own way and allowing others to move the way their bodies inform them. This practice invites feelings of deep trust, surrender and connection.
The contact class is over and partners acknowledge each other in silence.
As the conscious/ecstatic dance begins, I feel alive and opened. The dance finds us swirling, twirling, rocking out, and jumping in joy in this sweet, warmly lit space. I look into countless sets of eyes as we pass each other on the dance floor and I feel like I’ve known their souls for eons.
I’m highly aware that it is possible not only to dance like this, but also to live life in this heart felt and connected way. I resolve to remember the medicine of this place and this dance so I may bring its magic beyond the dance floor.
Thank you magic of dance, thank you Mt Shasta!