What a difference a decade makes! Have you ever noticed how as we mature a decade can feel like a year and a year can feel like a month? As I was writing today’s spotlight below I realized that we are coming up on the 10 year mark for Conscious Dancer, which means that “conscious dance”, the open-source term I coined back in the early 00’s has been gaining traction for well over a decade.
What began as a tongue-in-cheek joke on my DJ business card, has grown into an umbrella term that people are comfortable using all over the world. And as a larger and more expanded phrase, it has allowed some of the subsets to bloom and prosper on their own, without the burden of trying to fit square pegs into round holes.
I remember Gabrielle Roth telling me in no uncertain terms to not refer to 5Rhythms as “ecstatic dance.” Even though the title to one of her books was “Maps to Ecstasy”, she was very clear that the practice she developed held space for the full range of emotions. Meanwhile,Ecstatic Dance, the network of freestyle events promulgated globally by the hub organization based here in the Bay Area, has codified into a framework oriented towards a younger festival-friendly population, specifically requiring the use of bass-heavy sound systems and current EDM, (Electronic Dance Music).
So ‘conscious dance’ is a big enough umbrella to hold space for a wide variety of movement aesthetics, happily accommodating everything from the most cutting edge and ecstatic, to the most refined and somatic. Somewhere along the way I was asked to put a definition on the term I coined, and I’ve stuck with what I came up with to this day: “Movement with an intention towards greater awareness.”
That’s why it makes me so happy to see long-time Dance Firstmembers such as Vinn Arjuna Martí referring to Soul Motion as “a conscious dance practice.” Or Debbie Rosas calling the new Nia Freelance program “the art of conscious dance.” The One Dance Tribe events in Europe and Hawaii are “conscious dance gatherings” and so on.
The hunch I bet on back in 2007 gains more traction every year. Dance IS the next yoga, and with each new generation more and more people are inviting movement into their lives as an awareness building practice, rather than a mindnumbing escape.
I trust that if you are reading this you are part of the movement. Thanks for enrolling yourself into the conscious dance vision! Movement is making inroads into the very fabric of society. We are starting to see more in schools, healthcare, and the corporate environment.
Every time you lead a class, host a workshop, or DJ a dance, you were doing your part to model best practices for the new millennium, and create “movement for a better world.”
Much love and happy movement!
DANCE FIRST Member Spotlight:TransDance and Heather Munro Pierce!
If we would have been numbering our Dance First members from the very beginning, then Heather Monroe Pierce, creator or TransDancewould be member #1! Long before there was even an idea for a global association for movement facilitators, there was Conscious Dancer magazine. (print archives online here) Early in 2007 we held a launch party at the now defunct Studio Rasa, ran by Marissa LaMagna, (now the proprietor of Bay Area Green Tours, with the help of CD co-founder Aspen Madrone), in the Sawtooth Building where we host now host Dance Jam.
That night Heather led a movement ritual and offered a blessing toConscious Dancer on our future that I will never forget. She’s one of the very first conscious dance facilitators that we got to know when this journey was starting, and to this day remains one of the Bay Area’s most well-loved facilitators.
I’m so happy and grateful to be here some nine years later celebrating her work in my weekly newsletter. She’s become a well known leader presenting at places such as Esalen, The Omega Institute, and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, as well as events such as the Science and Non-duality Conference and One Billion Rising.
She also hosts seasonal women’s TransDance Circles, daylong retreats, quarterly rituals and annual retreats in Tahoe. She’s also released a dance meditation CD for your personal enjoyment entitled Embodied Awakening through the Elements.
Check out her new website womenbody.dance and make plans to attend an event or retreat with this dynamic leader soon!
Thank you Heather, your support and encouragement has meant the world to Conscious Dancer over the years. We plan on being here to serve you for many decades to come!