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Dancing Towards Collective Wellbeing

Written By: Andy Prescott, LMT, Core Crew Member

July 27, 2023

If you've never been to an ecstatic dance, it might be difficult to imagine what attending one might look like, feel like, sound like...Here's an idea of what happened last Saturday at our bimonthly Ecstatic Dance (Which features live DJing by Darian Wigfall, Instagram handle @DJwhiz_stl). ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

Last Saturday (Just like every other ecstatic dance held at CONNECT) opened with an intention setting (facilitated by

Liberty Gonzalez, Core Crew Member, @awakeningcreatives on Instagram) and a commitment to care for our wellbeing in our time together, in two particular ways: ⁠ ⁠

  1. We agree to take care of our own wellbeing by staying hydrated, nourished, and engaged as our bodies guide us to do so. ⁠ ⁠

  2. We agree to take care of each other's wellbeing by holding compassionate space for whatever may come up in an ecstatic dance: playfulness, joy, internal reflection, slowness, grief, petitions to the universe for abundance-- there is no wrong way to feel a feeling at an ecstatic dance. ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

And then DJ Whiz started playing and we started dancing! Stretching, releasing, celebrating, hoping, grieving, and connecting. For 90 minutes there was room for joy, mourning, and everything in between, all in the same room. ⁠ ⁠ ⁠We moved in unique unison, connecting with the felt sense of our physical bodies, emotional state, and our desire to be in community with our need for free expression, belonging, and tenderness.

After the energy of the dance settled down, we circled up again and talked about our experience. One participant spoke to the need for places of safety to freely express and connect with one's body through movement in St. Louis, and a commitment was made between participants that if they every ran into each other at a place where there's dancing, they could hold that safe, compassionate space for each other.⁠ ⁠ ⁠ CONNECT Community Center for Wellbeing is about so much more than personal wellbeing. We are here as a container to build community, to dream of what a more liberated St. Louis might look like, and nurture the relationships that will allow us to create that joyful, compassionate future. ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

What does collective wellbeing look like to you? ⁠

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