I was not a typical teenager. At least not the one you see in the movies or TV shows. I was not rebellious, I never tried to get a tattoo or piercing or dye my hair in a funny color. I have not ever attempted escaping from home (although I considered it a couple of times) and I got along with people. Mostly.
If you looked at me then, I must have given you a solid impression of a girl that has everything sorted out: I liked studying, I had my homework done all the time (well, almost all the time) and I was always back home around 10 pm, exactly when my parents told me to do so.
But if you cared enough to ask me (and if I trusted you enough) I would tell you that I did not always feel so good inside. I used to experience some overwhelming emotions of anger, frustration, freedom, love, loneliness, and fear. Like any other teenager.
But I had a secret!
Somehow already in my teens I discovered that I could deal with all those overpowering emotions JUST… BY… DANCING!
So yeah, there you have me. At home in my room, alone, doors shut, I used to turn on the music and shake it all off until I hit the ground because of tiredness and happiness.
I used to dance my head off. I used to plunge into some extravagant, ridicule and courageous movements that were uniquely mine, and it always did the trick. I felt alive, calm and myself every time.
Today when people ask me how I found Ecstatic Dance, I remember that teen version of me. I think I discovered Ecstatic Dance by myself, naturally, through listening to my body and my own needs. It was MY version of Ecstatic Dance.
The “proper” Ecstatic Dance came into my life many many years later. But when I danced at my first Ecstatic Dance event, it was like coming home. I already knew about its healing powers, I just needed to discover that the healing is even greater when I dance consciously with other people.
Since then I deepened my understanding and experience of healing through movement and dance, I have studied to get certification as a Dance Movement Therapist, I started a weekly online dance for people ALWAYS have an opportunity to share and enhance their practice. I still dance to deal with my emotions and I encourage other people to do the same.
Today I am writing this text mostly for those who are yet to discover the amazing practice of dancing ecstatically. Ecstatic Dance is a free form of dance, a practice, a prayer, a therapy, a way of life… It is simple, it is affordable, it is available and enjoyable for majority of people. It is taking the world by storm.
If you have not tried it before, please consider doing so. Remember that even if you don’t have the means or courage to attend a regular ecstatic dance locally, you can always dance online. Online dances give you an extra layer of safety and privacy and they are generally more affordable. Ecstatic Dance Online runs Saturday dances every week (you can check them out here)
And you know what? If online dancing is not for you, but you feel that dancing is your thing and can benefit you, you can still start dancing as I did in my teenage years: alone at home, at your own terms. You just need to start =)