And this is what Trance Dance is about, at least how I see it:
People have been dancing to rhythmic music for thousands of years. The dance acts as a gateway to ‘non-ordinary’ consciousness: to the Spirit world, the Otherworld, the Unconscious…. There are many ways of framing it. In this sense it is a ritual, a ceremony.
Trance dance helps us re-establish that relationship with the larger self, which knows no boundaries, that connects us to the whole of life. At the same time, the dance journey is personal and practical: we can bring those ‘close-to’ places that trouble us, or a desire for guidance, or prayers for others. Whatever we bring, the Spirit world has a way of addressing it, of helping it move on.
Trance dance can be like a shamanic journey, or like a big dream. We are taken somewhere else, and it can have a profound effect on our daily life. Everyone’s relationship to this other world is personal to them, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ experiences. And it takes time afterwards to reflect on and absorb what has happened. Like dreams, the implications can sometimes take years to unfold.
The dance itself lasts about an hour. We are in ceremonial time, so it can seem much shorter or longer. And there is plenty of space around it: beforehand, to quietly gather ourselves and find our intentions (if any) for the dance; and afterwards, to slowly make the transition back to this reality.