“The Dionysian is no picnic.”

 ~Camille Paglia

Have you ever felt marginalized for any reason? Found yourself on the wrong end of a stereotype? Or worse yet, realized that your actions or assumptions were devaluing someone else in some way?

Our culture is blowing up lately with ugly stories of invasions of personal sovereignty and gender bias gone wrong. Tales of long simmering wounds and violations are suddenly in the #MeToo spotlight as people all across the spectrum find the courage to express themselves.

It’s almost as if Hugh Hefner was somehow exerting a subtle force field for the past 50 years, and with his passing societies blinders came off and the floodgates opened to a litany of unfortunate recollections.

We owe it to ourselves and everyone around us to view our relationships as a dance that’s done with respect. The old language that looks at it as a ‘battle of the sexes’ doesn’t serve anyone. Conflict presupposes that someone has to lose, while dance ensures a win for both partners.

It’s a delicate balance, one that we do our best to manage, wherever we fall on the spectrum of gender. It’s fascinating to watch the pendulum of culture swing, especially in our leaders. One interesting result of our current situation is the vast number of women who are stepping up to run for office.

Evolution demands that we get these uncomfortable topics out in the open and find a healthy way to move forward. How can we raise our kids and teach our youth about healthy boundaries while acknowledging the procreative polarities that are at the heart of nature?

Attraction and desire are hardwired into the very mystery of our souls. We ignore these forces at our peril, and to think that somehow the shiny Apollonian future of Artificial Intelligence and high technology will make them obsolete is sheer folly.

For me, nature was always very concrete. I grew up on a cattle ranch where both the beauty and savage elements of the natural world were on full display. Somehow I’ve matured into a person with very progressive views, especially on social and environmental issues. My worldview is very much informed by the red dirt and wide open horizons of the American West.

So I sometimes ponder what it must be like for kids growing up today. Instead of watching the sun set over a mountain some 50 or 100 miles away, they get to peer into infinity. The universe behind the screen is like a black hole with no earth or sky, only more advanced levels or deeper links.

So it’s into this brave new world of no fixed points on the compass that we humans are to forge a more kind and loving way of relating with each other. Once-fixed polarities are now fluid abstractions just as once-observable facts are now just different shades of opinion.

And I, dear reader, do not profess to have the answers. It’s simpler to simply point at the mystery with the power of metaphor, such as Soul Motion’s Vinn Arjuna Martí’s take on religion as “different fingers pointing at the moon.”

At Dance Jam, the weekly event I currently carry the torch for in Berkeley, we do our best to maintain a special balance on the dance floor. Everyone, both women and men, must always feel safe and free to move and express themselves however they wish. At the same time, it’s a social occasion, and interpersonal connections are encouraged to form. It’s about having sensitivity to another persons energy, and only initiating a connection with consent.

When it comes to your relationship with another gender, the lessons of dance are a great place to start. On one hand, much like a freestyle dance jam, it’s an improvisation, a give-and-take, an energetic exchange. On the other, like tango or waltz, there’s a tradition of customs and protocols that keep it safe for everyone.

Balancing your actions with kindness, consciousness, and respect will generally serve the highest good. Modeling clear communication tempered with good boundaries is your best path forward in today’s world.

Much love till next week!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Member Spotlight – Sofiah Thom and her Temple Body Arts School Global Mentorship!!!

This week’s Dance First member spotlight shines on Sofiah Thom and her upcoming Temple Body Arts School Global Mentorship!

Many of you may already know Sofiah from her background as one of the founders of the Envision Festival or Danyasa, her home-base retreat center she runs with her partner Brendan Jaffer in Dominical, Costa Rica.

Sofiah is hosting a free online New Moon Magic of the Muse Webinarthis coming Saturday at 1pm PST. You’ll learn all about her background and what’s in store for you in the Body Arts Mentorship.

She’s a world-renowned and well-loved leader famous for her destination retreats and yoga teacher trainings, so this is a rare opportunity to learn her secrets of Expressive ‘Temple Body’ Arts and Embodiment online from anywhere in the world.

This program is a ’tantric path to reclaiming your feminine power’ where you will learn practical tools, open your creative channels, and magnetically attract all that you are calling in to your life.

If you feel called to become a Temple Body Arts Guide, then this mentorship is the prerequisite you need.

Learn more about this opportunity and register for the free New Moon online Magic of the Muse webinar today.

New Moon Magic of the Muse Webinar
Nov 18th, 1pm PST, Online