What is Sugar Dance people often ask?

A dance like Sugar Dance can be many things to different people.

For some, it’s just a safe place to come shake it loose, without the presence of alcohol or conversations.  For others, it’s a place to come explore a fuller range of emotions, whether it is diving deeper into grief or celebrating one’s renewed commitment to vibrancy and health.  

For me personally, having always danced in that way, and having offered such dances around the country for many years (see Gypsie Nation), a dance like Sugar Dance is a place to reset my emotional system, engage wholeheartedly in the moment, and bring all my longing, questions and aspirations into motion.

It always has been for me a remarkable environment to pray, for myself or others, and seek answers to many aspects of my human quest.

I often refer to the dance as medicine because my exposure to indigenous cultures has taught me that ancient cultures have always relied on ritual dance as a way to commune with their ancestors, seek answers to complex and often life-threatening community dilemma, and explore reality beyond our ordinary perception.

The dance itself is just a space, a sacred space some call it, designed and facilitated in such a way as to provide for the free expression of emotions through movement.  No form, no instruction, no obligation but to refrain from conversation, arrive on time and be respectful and sensitive to other participants.  

As much as I deeply appreciate form in many dance traditions, I have always been interested in dance as a vehicle for healing, self-discovery and in the past few years as a phenomenal environment to stay in shape.

If I had to call it something, I think I would say that for me it's a spiritual workout! 

People always want to label, associate or compare a dance.  People ask if it's an ecstatic dance.  Yes, it is on the surface.  Like ecstatic dances, the music draws from all world musical traditions.  There's no talking on the dance floor.  People dance barefoot.  One chooses to dance (or not) just the way they see fit.

My interest however, which deeply influences the way I present the dance, and participate in it, is to help emulate the types of healing dances that indigenous cultures have relied on to maintain the spiritual health of their community.

My experience over the years has taught me that in indigenous music itself is embedded a form of magic that, under the right conditions, can transport one's spirit beyond the ordinary and give one access to insights, healing and visions.

I am deeply thankful for the dance.  It has lately re-opened new layers of healing and understanding for me.  


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