In case you aren’t hip to it, ecstatic dance is a term used to describe free form dancing, and ecstatic dance events usually feature a DJ or live music. Local yoga teacher Alex Seaman has been hosting ecstatic dance nights for a couple years now, and this weekend she’s turning things up a notch by hosting a dance night featuring both live music, from the Nico & Ben Experience, and a DJ, Aunti Ayi. The dancing starts at 7 p.m. at St. Julian Devine Center and donations of $10 and up are encouraged.
According to ecstaticdance.org, there are three “agreements” involved in ecstatic dancing: no talking on the dance floor, no street shoes on the dance floor, and respect the space. These agreements encompass a general sense of respect for other people and a sacred space, as well as a friendly, welcoming, no substances-allowed environment.
When City Paper interviewed Seaman last year she talked about the benefits of ecstatic dance, “And what comes up is anything from fear to insecurity to expectation to judgement, and you work through it in a way that’s very open. It will depend on the dancer how internal or external that experience is. Sometimes you just need an hour or two hours to be with yourself, and you dance like crazy, and another time you might find yourself dancing with another person or the entire group, so each time can be very different.”
DJ Auntie Ayi, a.k.a. Duolan Li, was recently featured in City Paper‘s “Turning the Tables,” story about fierce DJs around town. Li had this to say about her musical selections, “There’s a connection you feel to it. There’s a soul element. So, if I hear something and it makes me want to move, that’s a track I want to DJ I think that has a lot to do with how I curate my music — do I actually have a physical response to it?” If that doesn’t sound like the right kind of sound for ecstatic dance, we don’t know what does.