Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is DOWH for?
If YOU are a woman who loves to dance, regardless of your background, age, size, shape or fitness level, no matter where you are on your life path of experience, you are welcome! Due to the gentle and healing nature of DOWH, you can feel safe to attend even with physical restrictions such as pain or stiffness. Whether you feel shy to dance in the company of others or not, or if you think you can’t dance or not, or if you feel uncomfortable in your body or not, this is the perfect practice for you! And if you have other life-enhancing practices and experiences in your life already, such as yoga, meditation or psychotherapy, DOWH can be the ideal complement. You don’t need any dance experience, only a willingness to move, and be moved.
2. What is the format of a DOWH session?
- Opening Circle: We begin in circle. This is where you will first connect with the other women and will be introduced to the DOWH practice, its principles, format, and theme with its supporting quotes, poetry and teachings.
- Relaxation: Next, you will be invited to relax your body and mind with a guided visualization or meditation, followed by a warm up, moving through body parts. This is the initial coming-home.
- Personal Dance: Then, you will begin your dance journey inwardly focused, to meet yourself in your own free-style dance. You will practice allowing whatever is true for you to rise up to be felt, sensed and known. You will then be guided to expand your awareness to dance with the entire room and all of us in it. These first dances will open and ground you. The music is usually fluid and soulful.
- Partner Dance: You will then find partners to dance with, and explore taking risks in being seen just as you are, to dance authentically from your own center (without physical contact). These dances are delightful and inspiring. The music is often up-tempo and rhythmical.
- Group Dance: You will come back to the circle in a dance of sisterhood, of belonging, to gather our healing and powerful energy in a co-creative act of celebration not just for yourself, but for each other, and for all beings everywhere. These dances are joyous and supportive. The music is varied.
- Release Dance: You will experience a letting go of outworn ideas through practices of shaking, exhaling, sounding and releasing. These dances are clearing and liberating. The music is often fast paced and tribal.
- Free Dance: No guidance is offered in these next dances. You will be free to dance or stretch, relax, play with shakers or scarves, or whatever you need, as you practice trusting and following your own instincts, to be your own authority. These dances are freeing and playful. The music is varied.
- Back to Self Dance: The final part of the journey spirals back around, back to self. Your focus will be directed inwardly again. In a slow moving meditation of integration, gratitude and healing, you will feel your connection with life, spirit, and your sacred feminine within. These last dances are prayerful and deep. The music is usually slow and peaceful.
- Closing Circle: It’s time to sit together again in circle, and give thanks.
3. What is ecstatic dance?
Ecstatic dance is a form of dance where the dancer moves spontaneously from the inside out without choreography. In the DOWH practice you are free to go at your own pace, to follow your own impulses, breath, comfort, sensations, emotions and energy as they arise in each moment. You are free to go as deep or as light as you need. There is no ‘have to’ or expectations. There is no right or wrong, only what feels right for you. DOWH can also be called Conscious Dance, freestyle, healing, sacred and communal dance.
4. How is DOWH different than other dance classes?
DOWH is unique because it is:
- a safe and sacred space specifically for women.
- a holistic dance practice; touching body, mind, heart and soul.
- rooted in spiritual principles; Earth-based and Divine Feminine spirituality, Buddhism & Shamanism.
- a community of women who will accept and meet you just as you are.
- a combination of dance and relaxation, supported by guided imagery and inspiration.
- infused with inspirational themes, affirmations and wisdom teachings.
- a no-talking zone where the verbal script, roles and status drop away.
- never the same experience twice, with surprise explorations such as; journaling, divination and poetry-making.
5. What themes or invitations are explored?
Here are some favourites:
- Awakening Aphrodite
- Dancing in Beauty
- Joyous Flesh
- Loving Kindness
- Moving with Everything
- Sacred Sensuality
6. What kind of music is played?
Every session has its own musical journey designed specifically for it. Some favourite musical genres are:
- Global Soul
- Women’s Voices
You will hear:
1 Giant Leap, Afro Celts, Brazilified, Dead Can Dance, Deva Premal, Dubtribe, Ekova, Emar, Erykah Badu, Gigi, Laura Nashman, Layah Jane, Michael Moon, Moby, Molly Johnson, Natasha Atlas, Paula Cole, Prem Joshua, Professor Trance, Sade, Sarah McLachlan, Sheila Chandra, St. Germaine and Zap Mama.
7. What do I bring and wear?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in and won’t be distracted by. We dance in bare feet. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Plan on sweating! Bring a yoga mat, blanket or towel to lie on during the opening relaxation segment.