Tell me and I forget.Teach me and I remember.Involve me and I learn.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever attended or offered an online movement experience, like a class or dance? How is it different than being in person? What are some of the ways you might see this migration to virtual offerings changing the field of conscious dance?

We’re all sailing into uncharted waters with stay-at-home orders being extended in most communities around the world. You may be home alone or perhaps you’re with some close family, friends, or housemates, but those days of gathering together in big groups on a dance floor are definitely on hold for a while.

Since we’ve never done this before, no-one can predict how it will end with any certainty. We’re dealing with an adversary that can’t be ordered around, walled off, or wished out of existence. So it’s likely that our ‘new normal’ of social distancing will ease up gradually and cautiously when the time comes, not suddenly overnight with some proclamation from on-high.

All of this means that the rush to move classes, workshops, and community dances online is going to be with us for a while, and undoubtedly will cause a sea-change in our field in the long term. Many of us are offering or attending virtual sessions for the first time.

However, delivering conscious dance experiences directly to your living room is nothing new to some of our pioneering Dance First members. What was once the province of only the most tech-savvy is now being democratized and demystified, with many of our forward-thinking pioneers leading the way.

I’ve been holding weekly Zoom roundtables with our Dance First members and folks from the extended conscious dance community to talk about the move to virtual and people’s experience with bringing their offerings online. Some really interesting things have come up.

What’s missing from online movement experiences is fairly obvious. We’re not all in the same room together! What’s less obvious are some of the positives that emerge.

First of all, when you teach online, geography is no longer a barrier. Folks from far away can join you just as easily as someone from your neighborhood. People who might never have the nerve to try out your work in person now have no excuse, you’re just a click or two away, and they can always mute their mic and turn off their camera.

Another interesting phenomenon that a facilitator in our roundtable pointed out was the sometimes deeper level of sharing back. In person, there are always those in the circle who are eager to speak up effusively with their insights, while the more timid or reticent often hold back.

But when you’re with a group online and offer time for one-on-one sharing it turns out people open up in a way they never would if they were surrounded by faces in a circle. When you’re delivering an offering online it’s important to remember that each participant is typically alone, so from their point of view it’s a very personal experience.

For me, playing records live online is a bit like being on the radio. I spent many an hour on late-night college and community radio stations back in my early record collecting days. At four in the morning I would be wondering if indeed anyone was out out there. The occasional phone call from a listener was like gas in my tank.

Streaming online gives immediate feedback. I can see how many people are listening, and say hello to folks who log in to the chat. One of our traditions at Dance Jam when we’re spinning records is to display the album cover of what’s on the turntable at the time. We have a little easel on the DJ table and people will dance over to learn what they’re hearing. (Especially handy since there’s no phones allowed on the floor to Shazam with.)

So I’ve taken to listing my song titles and artists in the chat as I spin, just like the log we kept at the radio station. I like it that I can go back and listen to my sets in the showreel as well, my streaming platform automatically records and archives them.

But it’s the immediacy of delivering an experience in real-time that is electrifying. Knowing that you’ve got a live in-the-moment connection going with some number of people keeps you on your toes.

We’re all shifting to a new pace and a new set and setting. There’s plenty to learn and adjust to as we navigate our new connections in cyberspace. We’re stepping up our service to include a virtual setting for our member’s events on the MoveMap and collecting a list of online offerings at the top of the listings below.

Taking care of yourself is more important than ever in these unprecedented times. Try out a new modality or spend time with a facilitator you’ve wanted to know and you’ll be inviting something inside your mind and body to balance out the news, Netflix, and your social media streams.

It’s looking like we’re in for quite a ride, so be safe, be healthy, follow the guidelines, and make the most of your time-shifted schedule.

Much love and good health to you til next week!


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

Dance First Member Insight – Coping with Covid with Kristen Mangione, creator of LîLA – Dance Alchemy for the Soul

This week’s Dance First Member Insight is brought to you by Kristen Mangione, founder of LîLA – Dance Alchemy for the Soul. Dance First members are sharing their insights and inspirations during this troubled time, as well as how they are coping. Plus links to live streams and online offerings for you.

Hello Conscious Dance Community-

The COVID 19 crisis has awakened, in my community and across the globe, an unprecedented call to heal and create.

In the last two weeks, my world has both shrank and expanded far beyond anything I could have imagined. Like everyone dealing with the social distancing precautions, my live, in-person teachings, workshops and entire business came to a grinding halt two weeks ago. While I had already been preparing to lead the first online version of LÎLA – Dance Alchemy for the Soul©, I was in no way ready for the impact that social distancing would have on my life.

One of the pillars of LÎLA, the WHY behind every dance, is transformation. I know of no better way to transcend, process, feel, and BE like never before, than when I dance. Sharing this transformation with others has always been my purpose. Knowing this, I am tasked with a dilemma: how best can I serve my community inside of my truth?

Within this mindset, I created a brand new LÎLA program experience. It’s specifically designed to meet the daunting new realities of our daily lives. This LÎLA experience focuses on transforming fear, worry, negativity, isolation and hopelessness. It holds intentions far above our current circumstances.

In creating this program, I tackled tech learning curves with my new online platform, designed novel content, and put out invitations like never before. From this, The RECALIBRATING Reality Program emerged.

This week, a dozen of my students and community members gathered virtually for our first session. We meet for weekly streamed sessions to dance, meditate, process, share, and grow. Together, we are bigger than our individual circumstances. In between, the students have videos, audio, and self-study content to keep the course alive.

If you would like to learn more about the RECALIBRATING Reality Experience, and LÎLA, including more upcoming live-streamed events and experiences, visit