The Dance

Sugar Dance offers freestyle ecstatic dances for self-exploration, healing and community building.   This is not a class.

Sugar Dance strives to re-create what has held communities and generations in balance since the beginning of time: spirited dance environments that foster the free expression of emotions through movement and music.

Offered weekly, the dances provide a non-dogmatic, playful and safe movement environment, giving participants an opportunity to embrace life in a passionate and renewing way.  

Sugar Dance welcomes people of all ages (including young children) and from all walks of life, and invites participants to gift their body and spirit to a treat of freedom, healing and exuberance through dance.

Participants are encouraged to let their body move as inspired by the various musical landscapes being offered by local DJ’s and musicians.

There is no obligation to do anything during the dance but to be free, safe, genuine and respectful. 

People sometimes also connect for partner dance or group dance when the music inspires them.

The dance is conducted in a “circle spirit” and talking is suspended from the dance floor during the entirety of the dance. The non-verbal space assists in creating more sacredness in the space in gently separating participants from ordinary reality.

For many participants, the dance is a prayer, a place to feel free with their body expression through music, a sanctuary to shed or embrace energies that often require a caring, spirited and respectful environment.

At the end of the dance, participants circle up, if they wish to stay for that part of the dance, and are encouraged to share their insights, healings or breakthroughs experienced during the dance.

This optional sharing is a powerful opportunity to reveal one’s heart in the circle, assists in developing trust and intimacy between participants, and can greatly contributes to the building of community.

We encourage participants to join in the co-creation, governance and nurturing of the dance, as for many, such a place is the Heart of the Village.  Musicians and DJ’s are invited to collaborate in the creation of supportive, accessible to all, spirited and transformative musical landscapes for the dances. 

Sugar Dance facilitators often ask such questions as:
What if your dance had the potential to positively affect your, or a relative’s health, help you receive a vision for your life, or help alleviate the suffering of the World?  How would you prepare for the dance and how would you dance?”

We pay great attention to many aspects of the dance because we view the offering of this medicine as a great honor and responsibility.

A Pueblo priest and clan chief once told Carl A. Hammerschlag, MD, a Yale-trained psychiatrist who has spent more than twenty years working with Native Americans, Author of The Dancing Healer, “You have to be able to dance if you want to heal”. 

Many cultures around the world have identified, enhanced and continue to practice ecstatic movement, or ‘shaking medicine’ as internationally renowned traditional healer Dr Bradford Keeney, author of “Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit through Ecstatic Dance”, calls it.
The healing power of ecstatic movement is well known to indigenous cultures around the world who have discovered and worked with the power residing in our own bodies to heal ourselves and others.