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Fri, Apr 14


Morris Pavilion

Ecstatic Dance at Warren Wilson College

Join us for an Ecstatic Dance and Fundraiser for CCLD! At the Morris Pavilion at WWC.

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Ecstatic Dance at Warren Wilson College
Ecstatic Dance at Warren Wilson College

Time & Location

Apr 14, 2023, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Morris Pavilion, East Ln, Swannanoa, NC 28778, USA


About the Event

When: Friday, April 14, 7pm (Warmup); 7:30 (Opening Circle and Dance)

Suggested Donation: $15-30 or name your amount. (No one turned away for lack of funds.)

-- Cash or  Venmo @ConsciousLivingDying

Bring: Water bottle, socks or bare feet to dance in; shoes are okay if they are clean

Where: Warren Wilson College Morris Pavilion

In Google Maps, search “Morris Pavilion Warren Wilson College” (*At the end of this document, there is a map of campus.*) You can park most anywhere on campus on Friday evenings, including “Staff parking” -- with the exception of spaces for Public Safety or Theatre Parking Only.

What is ecstatic dance?  and do I have to become ecstatic?!?

Ecstatic dance is a free form of dance and movement expression. There is no one way to “do” ecstatic dance. It has a long history across many cultures. It is sometimes used to get more into your body and less in your head; to connect with your breath, the music, and others dancing around you; to manage stress and challenging emotions; and, yes, sometimes to achieve an ecstatic state (feeling free, letting go, not feeling judged by self or others, feeling joyous). But, no, you do not have to become ecstatic in these dances. They serve many purposes and needs of our community.

How does it work? When should I show up? Is it okay to come late?

7pm marks the beginning of the warm-up period. Music will be playing. This is a good time to arrive, relax, connect with others (speaking quietly), warm-up your body, dance, meditate… whatever you need to do to enter the space. We have a warm-up time of 30 minutes. As that time winds down, the warm-up music will also begin to close and we will move into an opening circle. Please arrive in the dance space before the opening circle. While we will not stop you from joining late, the opening circle is an important part of the evening and we encourage you to come early.

Opening Circle: This is a time for us to connect. The co-facilitators will welcome people, go over guidelines, and then help set an intention for the dance.

The Dance: The dance typically follows an arc, starting with slow, flowy music; building tempo into percussive, staccato moments; moving into a period called “chaos” in which the music is fast and throws us headfirst into the beat; gradually slowing and becoming more lyrical; and ending with a few songs that are much slower and intended to create a stillness within us. Usually, participants end up lying on the dance floor as the music begins to come to a close.  The sets are usually 70-75 minutes.

Closing Circle: After a period of time following the end of the music, people come back to center, reforming our circle. The closing circle is a time to begin to integrate what you experienced. It is also a time, if you wish, to share some of what you experienced. We ask that you only comment on your own experiences and that you only speak once in this circle, so as to give room for as many voices as possible. There is no need for the circle to respond (e.g., clap or snap) to a person’s share. This allows everyone to share whatever they want (positive experiences, challenging experiences, etc.). The circle holds the space for all of it.

Agreements / guidelines for the dances

~ Every dancer is welcome to their space and to their way of dancing; if you want to dance with, hug, or otherwise share contact with someone, please get permission first.

~ The dance floor is a non-conversational space, unless you need help. Please speak in quiet voices away from the floor; allow the music and movement to guide your dance!

~ Take this time to engage directly with the world and set your phone aside for the dance; don’t bring phones on the dance floor or use them for videos/photos. Make sure they are off/silent.

~ We hold a safe, substance-free space, and we value clarity of presence. Please do not arrive high or intoxicated, or partake in substances during the dance.

~ This is a participatory, not a spectator event. You don’t have to dance the entire time and may want to rest, lie down, etc.  But while doing so, please be respectful of not overly watching the other participants.

Ecstatic dance as a practice

We dance our joy and our sorrows.

We find healing in movement, on the exhale, on the yell that escapes from our throat, in the moments of stillness on the floor, feeling the pound of others’ feet.

Often, words can’t quite touch the things that live deep in our bodies — our healing, our empowerment, our joy —  but dance can. Music can. Breath can.

This is not choreography — there are no steps to learn, and there is definitely no way to do it wrong.

This dance is a free expression of everything swirling within you, and our community holds space on the dance floor to set it all free. We dance our joy, our freedom, our longing, our wildness. We dance our sadness, our frustration, our anger, our pain.

Within the WWC Ecstatic Dances, there is opportunity for community to be built; for rituals and creativity to be discovered; for self-judgments to be released.

The body can move and breathe and jump and sweat and stomp and twirl and pulse.

And it is all welcome

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