‘A mountain is a bridge between the earth and the sky; similarly, dancing is a bridge between the body and the spirit. Dancing, we reconnect the wisdom of our bones, muscles and cells with the experience of the ‘invisible light’ that lives within and all around us. Dancing, we remember who we are and how we are connected to the sacred, luminous web of all being.’
These words echoed in my mind as I made my way from Geneva to the Swiss mountains, (Kientaldorf) where the 5 day Intensive Movement Medicine course would take place. The cost of the course, accommodation and transport was a considerable financial stretch for me, but something in me knew I had to be there.
I did a 3 day intensive course with Christian in London 2 years ago and it was the beginning of a beautiful journey into movement.
Last time, I had joined the course because I’ve always loved dancing but mostly because I was curious. What I discovered was that movement medicine could touch the depths of my soul and help me reconnect with my true essence: that bright light and pure love unaffected by life’s difficulties. I also discovered during the dance that there was some unresolved ‘stuff’ I needed to work through, and to my surprise I managed to release all that came up to the surface in only 3 days – Incredible!
This time, I went in with a heavy heart and a foggy mind. As I waited to check in on the 1st day, I felt a mix of excitement and anxiety. I was happy to be in Europe, but after a month of leisure, teaching only one class (which I was very grateful for) I felt a sort of guilt. I know my worth does not lie in the money I make of course, but living at home after having left at 18 felt a little unsettling. I was also finally accepting that my previous relationship had come to an end, for good, and although it had been a long time coming it wasn’t easy to face.
Waiting for my room, I met another dancer and we decided to go to the river once we had checked in. And so we did.
We walked through the village and into the luscious forest and found a little path to the glacial river. As soon as we arrived, she took her clothes off to take a dip and I felt inspired to do the same. It was COLD and exhilarating and at the same time refreshing and cleansing. We dried in the sun exchanging very few words, until we knew we had to go back for our 1st Dance.
It was such a special moment that we both said we treasured when we spoke after the retreat.
I won’t try to describe the retreat, it seems futile, but I will share the 3 reasons why this practice is so dear to my heart, as well as a handful of entries from my personal journal; in the hope that they might incite you to try Movement Medicine for yourself.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Movement Medicine is a movement meditation practice, intended to create an experiential and embodied connectedness with the world.’
What I Love most about this practice is the sense of freedom it gives me.
Although I Love many other movement practices, there tend to be some firm ‘rules’ around alignment and sequences to follow. In movement medicine the only rules are: ‘No speaking, no phones and no substance consumption’ – right up my street haha! This means I can move my body in Any Way I Want! – FREEDOM!
The 2nd thing that makes Movement Medicine so special to me is the human connection it enables (and its inclusion of ALL participants.)
Since talking is not required (nor allowed) dancers connect in many different wonderful ways, gazing, smiling, exchanging energy – raw connection. What we share on the dance floor is often beyond what we can understand with our minds and explain with words but we don’t need to.
And again, while other movement practices there can be poses or steps that some people might not be able to do, however in movement medicine each dancer can express themselves as they wish, as long as they are moving, no matter how little, they are taking part in their own way and that is enough. I Love dancing with people of all ages. In fact I think intergenerational practices are essential for a healthy society / community yet they are becoming rare so this is a great opportunity.
But what Really keeps me coming back to this practice, are those moments of pure bliss attained when I surrender to the music and let my soul guide the dance.
In those moments my mind pauses, I forget about time and feel like a flame gliding through space. Interestingly, the state of consciousness I experience in those moments feels like those I experience when I sit still in meditation.
As I said, I kept a diary and wrote a lot each day but here are some entries I’d like to share:
‘In some moments I feel ecstasy, pure joy and bliss of simply being, being me, being free, being here, in the mountains.’
‘I found dancing without music in the cold, under the rain, unexpectedly pleasant. It wasn’t easy but it was joyful. I felt very connected to nature, I also felt very small. I like feeling small sometimes.’
‘I am growing, detaching, healing. Thank you mountains, thank you body, thank you dance for this sacred healing.’
‘My heart felt like a tree at the edge of a mountain, able to withstand the storm because its roots are intertwined with the other trees’ roots’
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If you are interested in experiencing this practice and live in London, keep an eye on the Dancing Tao website to stay up to date with Movement Medicine events led by Christian de Sousa.
If you live in Germany I recommend keeping an eye on Kristin’s page.
Next events with Christian de Sousa: Ten Thousand dances in Limehouse London.
Thank you for reading!
Now go dance your heart out, your soul will thank you.