Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ecstatic Dance Evolutiontm?
Ecstatic Dance Evolution is a unique Ecstatic Dance practice created by Houston native Sydney Strahan aka SunShine Samadhi. Based on what is natural to the human body, including the seven major chakras and the 9 Energetic Functions, the Dance provides open space for attendees to explore freedom of self-expression within an accepting community. Trained facilitators create new music programs for each dance, refined and designed to carry the Dancers on an intimate journey of self-discovery that leads to group unification.
The magic is in the music, in the intention and creativity of the Facilitators, and in everyone who comes to share the experience. Together we create a sacred and safe inclusive uplifting and transformational and space for all.
When you come to Dance, you will likely observe several of the following happening:
– People dancing by themselves
– People dancing with others – in any number of styles from swing and salsa to contact improv, or more likely a blend of all of them
– People witnessing people
– Emotional release- including laughing, crying, shouting, whooping, animal-like noises or any number of other auditory expressions of human emotion.
Although we always have one or more Facilitators present at Ecstatic Dance Evolution events, they are not teachers, and there is no instruction. We therefore have the following guidelines and agreements to help us all create and experience a safe, sacred, and respectful space:
1) Ecstatic Dance Evolution is a non-verbal practice. We ask that conversations or chit-chat be taken outside the Dance space or saved for later.
2) We dance barefoot, unless medically unable for safety, agility and to help us ground and connect with the Earth.
3) We practice acceptance of what is including dropping judgments and expectations of ourselves and others. This give us permission to show up fully and be ourselves.
4) We practice respect for our own and others’ comfort levels, AND we practice expanding our boundaries and trying new things.
Ecstatic Dance as we know it today, has emerged from the somatic teachings and practices of Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms Wave and Sweat Your Prayers. Out of her teachings from the 70’s at Esalen have blossomed a broad spectrum of transformational and conscious dance modalities using the wisdom of the body with the power of music and intention to facilitate self discovery.
Ecstatic Dance Evolution’s Ecstatic Dance structure has drawn inspiration from a broad range of experiences since its 2003 inception that include physical movement philosophy, spiritual and energetic practices, and emotional healing techniques. These tools are brought together in a non-verbal and non-instructive environment created for the exploration of individual freedom and self discovery that invite an Evolution of Love, Connection, Peace, Unity and Expanded Joy to our Lives!
Some of our favorite inspirations are Transformational Festivals, Earth Dance International, The Rainbow Family of Living Light, Body Choir Austin and Oskar Maderas’ Liquid Sol, Dunya’s Dance Meditation, Gabrielle Roth, Vin Marti’s Soul Motion, Antara’s Kundalini Dance, Frank Natale’s Trance Dance, Pablo Bobio & The Silent Language of the Body, Isadora Duncan & Ruth St.Denis’ Spirit & Inner Directed Movement, Robert Tennyson Stevens’ Conscious Language, Anonymous Groups, Rabbi Shefa Gold’s C-DEEP, Toni Bergin’s JourneyDance, and Sonya Sophia’s Goddess Awakening.