A Congregation of Dancers
Sunday Dance is a weekly ritual in Ubud. Charley Patton, creator of the Yoga Barn debuted this new Ubudian tradition at the 6th BaliSpirit Festival of
Yoga, Music and Dance on the last day of the festival in the Main Pavillion. “This is what all the hippies in Ubud do on Sundays”, Charley joked to
the crowd of about 250 people. Charley’s main roles as the DJ of the local event in Ubud are to maintain consistency (that is, to show up and make
it happen) and to create a playlist that gets your booty shaking. As the facilitator for Sunday Dance at the BSF, Charley’s task was to transplant
the high vibe of Sunday Dance at the Yoga Barn to the international community gathered for the festival. I’ve been an occasional drop-in to Sunday
Dance in Ubud and today’s dance had the same beautiful and freeing energy. There were lots of smiles, lots of sweat and tons of joy.
Ecstatic dance has taken off as a shared movement phenomena that creates communities as much as it unites them. There is no how-to or dance instruction,
just a few simple rules. Most of these guidelines are universal for ecstatic dance events around the world.
1. Honor the space by not talking.
2. Regard the dance space as sacred and safe. (You can forget about being judged by others for how you move.)
3. Enjoy the journey. (If you can get out of your head about dancing and into your heart with your movement, you will have an amazing experience.)
After a few warm-up songs which included two very different and equally inspiring renditions of “Fever”, Charley addressed the crowd. “Who feels like
a billionaire here? Who feels like a trillion, gazillionaire?” Indeed, there was a lot to be grateful for. We were dancing our buns off in Bali,
surrounded by beauty in a multitude of forms; the people, the land, the shared creativity and inspiration, and on and on. Charley reflected, “We’re
so blessed to be here. Dedicate your dance today to someone who couldn’t come to Bali this time. Dedicate your dance to someone who has passed
away. Dedicate your dance to the healing of the planet.”
Dancing is an evolutionary act. The power of dancing communities has been used to motivate political causes, bring healing where there has been strife,
and to express the beauty of being physical. If you can walk, you can dance, if you can talk, you can sing. We live in a world of dancers
and that simple fact makes the Earth a better place.
Written by : Jaguar Mary