Dance was initially experienced as a sacred form of movement before its degeneracy to a form of entertainment, veiling its sacred origin and value. The appeal to take up dance as a personal activity is evident as many exercise programs incorporate the latest dance moves or trends. For some, this is the closest thing to having a personal practice with a specific dance style, whereas for others there is an underlying desire to explore the dance genre more without the necessity of technique and skill that seems to be the focus of many public dance programs. In order to develop a personal dance style into a devotional practice, there has to be a clear understanding as to what a devotional practice is, what it consists of, if the personal dance style is suitable, and the intent of starting the practice.
What I offer are innovative elements necessary for developing a dance style as a devotional practice – a performance art that is personal and appeasing to the heavens. In addition to learning breathing techniques, movement and dance technique, participants are guided in the process of building a devotional dance practice through movement, dance, different modalities of the expressive arts and intuitive inquiry.
It will empower an unobstructed exploration of various dance disciplines as an enjoyable physical activity not limited to entertainment and specific body types. Participants will also be able to observe the effects the development has on the personal and professional aspect of life, the benefits and helpful insights into the whole developmental process based on personal experience and scientific research.
In order to develop a personal dance style into a devotional practice, there has to be a clear understanding as to what a devotional practice is, what it consists of, if the personal dance style is suitable, and the intent of starting the practice. Is it for personal gain and growth or to add a new level of skill to one’s performance repertoire?
A common obstacle for this process is determining how to react to the personal opinions of peers, family, and audiences. Is it worth moving from the comfort zone of the professional dancer to explore the inquiry into uncharted territory of transcending a learned dance style and technique? For the beginning student, is it worth the time to take a class or two per week, intensive, or private lessons, to explore a new outlet of expression and self-discovery without encountering hurtful criticism?
As one strengthens their devotional dance practice, one will notice how open one is to the many possibilities of any situation that may arise, in general, an increase in tolerance, physical energy, and in creativity, both in one’s dance and day to day activities. The state of bliss and joy that one attains while in dance class becomes a part of one’s life, at home and at work.
What is a spiritual practice? • What is dance? • Choosing a suitable discipline • How to develop a personal devotional practice • Personal experiences and transformation
A devotional practice is concerned with the discovery, exploration, and cultivation of one’s unique experience of the sacred, allowing for a transformation of how one views one’s existence in the world, and one’s relationship to the cosmos. Dance is not only a physical activity that stimulates a deeper understanding of the human embodiment, but it is also a structured series of movement. Each dance discipline is rooted in a specific culture, whereas each dance movement is a universal language that can be used by any person, just as they are used by many cultures.
These concepts will be explored in greater detail, revealing their elementary meanings and purposes. Once these elementary concepts have been defined and explored, the steps to selecting a dance discipline will be introduced and examined.