Dance Guidelines

A friend in Seattle sent this my way. It might be good for our various dances to be guided  



This is a free-form, family-friendly dance space.

Listen to your body, move to your felt truth.

Offer both impeccable respect and exquisite care to yourself and others!

Let “Yes” represent a genuine desire & “No” be an expression of honesty & kindness.

Yes, I Agree:

o To celebrate the different, individual ways we express ourselves and our identities, striving to dissolve preconceived ideas and judgments.

o To encounter another’s space sensitively, engaging in all interactions consensually. Honoring cues, whether clear or subtle. Start small and observe! Approach others with an awareness of the quality of connection needed for conscious consent, especially with people I don’t know.  Sense into full consent especially when touching, sharing weight or lifting.

o To stay fluid, gauging each dancer’s moment-to-moment boundaries. Move freely in and out of shared dances, without obligation to wait for a song’s end.

o To be willingly accountable for misunderstood signals. If someone does not respond to your invitations, please take that answer as a “no” and do not persist.  Do not approach dancers who are by themselves with eyes closed, or approach anyone from behind without prior consent to do so.

o To trust and honor my internal preferences, whether “I want this!” or “I don’t want this”.  Practice conveying and acting on whatever you hear within yourself. Do this often and as clearly as you can.

o To allow the safe expression of our whole selves, including sensual and sexual energies, by not engaging in deliberate touch of each other’s private sexual areas (including making out). We want to keep this public space safe for ourselves, for dance connection, and for the vulnerabilities of those who witness us.

o Not to presume that connection on the dance floor implies consent to advances off the dance floor.

o Healing self-expression is a primary intention for us. Including, yes, connection and community building! So please, no, let’s not confuse our dance environment with a pick-up scene.

o To refrain from substance use that could hinder one’s awareness or caution.

o To care for the health and sensitivities of some dancers by avoiding scents.

o To not wear street shoes on the dance floor.

o To cherish our immersion in this journey by refraining from conversation on the dance floor during the dance. (Do use your words when needed!)

¬ If you experience discomfort or harm, we are here, without hesitation, to support your sovereignty and security. Reach out to a facilitator or other trusted dancer the moment you feel the desire to.

¬ Since risk-free experiences are not fully attainable in such an exploratory space, our initiatives in addressing and repairing boundary mistakes are as loving and vital as our efforts to prevent them!


Grateful blessings, enjoy!



The Skinny ~


Ì Move as you wish, honoring each Yes and No, your own and others, with loving care.

Ì Honor our individual identities!

Ì Engage consensually, releasing assumptions & expectations with free-flowing mindfulness.

Ì Reach out for support.

Ì Be open and ready to repair mistakes and for mutual healing.

Ì Hold dance floor conversation to necessities only.

Ì No substance use that could hinder awareness or caution. Sobriety, please!

Ì Refrain from scents.

Ì No street shoes, thank you! 

Learn more about how dance is good for your brain

Find out more about ecstatic dance in Portland, Oregon – where/when

Moondance Agreements & Commitments – Seattle

Evolution Agreements & Commitments – Seattle

Related: Spread Ecstatic Dance far and Wide
A healthy Community Model, by Sarah Kreisman

ecstatic dance

A note from Joshua Seaman:

September 6, 2018

I’m frequently reminded of one of the male privileges I have, of being able to go to ecstatic dance and do my thing and dance freely… without having to deal with regularly holding boundaries against unwanted advances from men trying to engage with me. In numerous conversations with female friends over the years, I’ve heard the same stories again and again of men uninvitedly getting all up in their space and trying to dance with them, or unwanted touching, or even following them around the dance floor when they try to move away. And it takes a lot of energy to deal with having to maintain energetic boundaries, and the conflict distracts from the enjoyment of embodied dance.

Men, THIS IS NOT OKAY. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to want to dance with women (or anyone, however they identify) and to initiate a dance. This isn’t to dissuade that. But to state the obvious: if she is in her own zone, leave her alone. _Especially_ if you don’t have a solidly-established dance relationship with the person. Getting eye contact and engaging body language is the standard. If she’s not looking at you, it’s best to give her space. When women are dancing, they’re well aware of who is around them and who they want to dance with, so if you’re not getting eye contact just assume she doesn’t want to dance with you.

When you get a more comfortably established relationship with your dance friends, this may change. You may see people initiating physical contact without first getting eye contact and consent – this is usually because they already have an established dance/friend relationship where that is welcome. This is not a model for how to engage people you don’t know, but the result of trust that has been established between the people over time. And even if you have danced with someone before, do not assume your touch is welcome. When in doubt, ask. It’s okay to hold out your hand and ask if they’d like to dance. Or if they’re looking like they might want support, ask if they’d like touch. If they don’t accept it, no need to take it personally.

I know there are many men who are great with navigating the invitation to partner dance. And the intention of this post isn’t to shame or blame those who have made mistakes or may not know how their actions affect others, but to offer guidance, and to share what the experience of women is like. (Women, feel free to add to this, as I don’t assume to speak for all of you, but am sharing the fruits of conversations). It is exhausting at times to hold energetic boundaries from unwanted advances, and that extra energy takes an emotional toll, and distracts from enjoyment and flow of ecstatic movement. Especially if you’ve dealt with trauma (like most of us have, being human) and are in your body moving with it. And of course, everyone is responsible for taking care of themselves, and voicing boundaries, or declining dances through body language or words. But verbal requests are a lot easier to deal with than people imposing on your personal space or touching you when you’re not open to it. We want to cultivate a space that is supportive for all of us for freedom of movement, expression, feeling, healing, play, joy, consensual connecting, and embodied dancing of what’s alive in us. And while we can’t make anyone else feel safe, we can engage with others in a way that honors and respects their boundaries.

Please feel free to add to anything I’ve written here, or to share this to spread awareness.

Dance a Day

The Eleven, August 2014 – Beloved & Next Door (a new tool I’m ga-ga over)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Eleven, my monthly e-letter where I tell it like I see it. If you’d like to unsubscribe, there’s a handy link below. And, if you’d like to know more about what I do for work, please click the “update profile” link below and join one or more of my biz lists that will appear!

OK, first of all, I’ve been secretly and not so secretly giggling over my new found love of NextDoor!  NextDoor is a new platform that is a super-local bulletin board. It allows you to connect with your immediate neighborhood (our cat is missing, is a common announcement (our cat actually is missing – come home, Scooter, we miss you!)). Then, you can also connect with the 7 neighborhoods nearest you. This makes finding others with similar interests (spanish conversation group, anyone?) a synch. I have been waiting for something like this all my life, and I am very excited to share this with you and see what you think. For those of us wishing our lives were lived closer to home, this is a Godsend.

For 3 years I lived at a big group house. Downstairs was The Happy Clam and upstairs, The Lucky Cock. Last month, the last folks who lived upstairs moved out and we had a great, sweet goodbye to our communal home. I had some of the best times of my life in this house on 13th and Hancock (thus, Alex Kain dubbed the house – The Lucky Cock 🙂  We had many great parties; lived with some close friends; and the house is a beautiful 1910 craftsman – a beautiful, historical Irvington house – a great home for all of us in so many ways. I’ll miss this house and the community we experienced there.
Beloved: Photo by Zippy Lomax

Last weekend, at the last minute, I decided to attend the Beloved Festival for my 7th year. I’m glad I did. It’s one of the most beautiful festivals I’ve ever been to – the music, food, people, setting (Oregon temperate coastal rainforest), dancing, art (lots of live painting), camping, community, purpose, (the porta-potties had Rumi and Hafiz poems in them this year!) and general evolved communication and connection – is a welcome change from how our society generally connects. I’ve often mentioned to friends that it’s also a “mens’ retreat” for me. It’s a chance to hang out with my men friends in a relaxed environment where we don’t have to be anywhere else – and so can hang out for long stretches – over a meal; watching some incredible music or going for a walk together. I don’t know, but somehow I find it hard to have that kind of ease with my men friends in the city. I applied to lead a mens’ workshop this year at Beloved, but the workshop was not accepted. I’ll definitely apply again as I think it would be a great addition to an already incredible experience. I could write a book about this year’s experience – here are some quick highlights:

  • Rafe Pearlman‘s shabbat invocation on Friday night was like nothing I’ve ever heard before – part mystic, part kirtan – it was other-worldy and beautiful.
  • YogiTunes. They did some sound-scaping at the yoga dome which was delicious. I’m enjoying continuing to learn about them. Kristen, Ryan and Jon R’s sound-healing offering was super-fine, too!
  • The fountains of green drink, oxygenated water and vitamin C water that was provided by Healthforce Nutritionals.  Kept me dancing and hydrated all weekend long. In the food category, I was also elevated by Lydia’s Kitchen, Get Fried Rice, Coconut Bliss – you get the idea – delicious, conscious food, at a reasonable price, available all weekend long.
  • My friends. Their friends. The kids – bouncing all over the place and having the time of their lives.
  • the art – and especially all of the alters.  Annie and her crew were at the festival a week early to install dozens of little and big alters all over the grounds. They were beautiful – temporary – created by Nature and Annie Eshaia.
  • Here’s a nice collection of pictures that can give you an idea of what the Beloved Festival is all about.  I look forward to going back again next year – it keeps improving from year to year.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot – hanging out talking to Michael Meade for a while – definitely a highlight!
Work-wise, I’ve been going a bit lighter this August. Meeting with clients (feel free to refer people to me who are seeking to up their on-line presence through email marketing and social media!). I’ve got a couple free classes coming up (see below).
Yeah, Summer! – heat, sunshine, friends, playing guitar, and being my activist self, too 🙂  Making sure friends are registered to vote (for labeling foods with GMOs in them in Oregon this Fall – to Legalize Recreational Marijuana here in Oregon this Fall, and more).  More on these issues this Fall.
I hope life is treating you extremely well. Rest, relax, and please take some time to have a Summer 🙂
Much love,

Upcoming Events

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday August 20, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost effect way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location.

Holladay Park Church of God

Social Media Marketing for Small Business Success

Wednesday September 24, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Come learn about social media from local expert, Albert Kaufman. This presentation is a guide for small businesses or nonprofits who have been using social media marketing, but need some tips to take them to an intermediate level and/or add new channels to their marketing efforts. Heather Fulton, social media expert, will also be speaking!

Uptown Billiards



My birthday is May 11th – garden celebration on May 14th, too!

birthdayMy 50th birthday is on May 11th! I am organizing some times and places to celebrate – join me in person in Portlandia if you can!

Wednesday, May 11th – Albert turns 50! No big plans for the day yet, but in the evening… Ecstatic dance at the Village Ballroom’s Mindful Meltdown Dance at Dekum and 7th NE at 6:30-8:30pm ($8-$12 I believe) – DJ Chris Browne will be spinning the tunes and I’m doing the “intention” – living a bigger, bolder life! Also, I’ve invited those who are also turning 50 this year to come and join in the fun – so if that’s you, please get in touch!

Afterwards, join us for dinner at Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant @ 2413 NE Martin Luther King Blvd. (note restaurant change).  We’ll gather from 8:30-10pm. Also, you can just come and join us and not eat, that’s fine, too. Yay!

Then, on Saturday, May 14th, come to the new Birthday Garden, 3rd and Hancock NE. From 9am to 4pm we’ll use shovels and other implements of farming to build up some garden beds, shovel compost and turn a big lot into a community garden. I could use some help organizing the day – need someone to fetch a bbq from SE and perhaps others to help create a rain protection system (big tent? Tarp?) in case it rains. From 4-6pm we’ve reserved the Common Grounds Wellness Center on 33rd and Alberta, NE, so 40+ lucky people will get to soak together which should be a blast. I’m still working out the details of food and drink and live music for the day, but things are coming together.

7pm, Saturday, May 14th, healthy potluck dinner and party at The Happy Clam – 1823 NE 13th Ave.

Albert Kaufman
1823 NE 13th Ave.
Portland, OR 97212

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Spreading ecstatic dance far and wide

Ecstatic Dance – It’s good for what ails you!ecstatic dance

Help Spread ecstatic dance spread all over the world, easy steps right here!

The Cartoon version: Spreading ecstatic dance far and wide

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you’ve danced at one point or another in the PDX Ecstatic Dance world. Perhaps more than once. Most people I speak to remember their dance (even if it was just once many moons ago). And many of us return to the well as often as possible, can’t get enough. And so our community has grown – 30 people becomes 50 people becomes 100 people. The question that keeps coming to my mind is: how do we spread this even further?” So that 100 becomes 1,000, becomes 1 million, and on and on.

We all know this dance is good for us. Keeps us healthy, challenges us, brings up emotions, can be scary, can be illuminating, can be fun, can be a drag – all of the above and more. I think one thing that’s in the way of dance spreading is our own quietness about it. Shyness? Fear that others’ that we invite, might not get it? Fear that friends we invite might see a side of us that we’re afraid to show? There are probably a few fears in the way of our inviting everyone we know to dance.

Then, there is our hesitancy to recommend something so big to someone else. It might come across as a cult. It might come across as showing support for a certain group of people, and their take on this dance – I can imagine there are a few sets of emotions and blocks in this area that keep people from sharing with others.

All of that said, I think it’s time for us all to jump over our own shadows (a phrase I once learned in Germany) and help to get the word out about this beautiful thing. And here’s why.

It’s good for the people – the potential for personal growth found through dance is humongous. The health benefits are great – stamina, balance, coordination, stretching sore or hurt bones and muscles: therapeutic… I’m sure you’ve experienced some of this, and I suspect you know that it would be true for everyone you know – if they could just move like this once in a while they’d face some of those demons, get off the couch, get out of their stuff and move, both physically and emotionally.

It’s good for the community – I probably don’t have to go into this too much – it’s somewhat obvious to anyone who has danced and then shared a meal with fellow dancers – new friends, old, the mix of people who are dancing are living inspiring lives and after-dance conversation is often scintillating. We also learn new things at dance – how to hold space, how to listen, how to observe, how to make mistakes and clean them up, and new skills, and dance moves.

It’s good for the planet. Groups of people coming together to celebrate life, practice being around each other, touching each other, and moving together to raise the vibration – if you’ve ever felt this you know what I mean, and if you haven’t, keep an eye out for it, it happens quite a lot on ballroom floors in our town frequently.

So, here’s what I recommend. If you agree that ecstatic dance is good in the ways I’ve outlined above, stop being quiet about it. Start being loud about it. Put it on your resume. Invite your 10 best friends to dance with you at your favorite dance spot. Once in a while volunteer to help set up, break down, or lead the intention – get to know the folks that put on the dances and ask how you can support their efforts and share the work.

Then there’s the other 500 ways to support something: word of mouth, passing on some flyers, posting flyers, posting your intention on your FB profile, blog, website…

Being shy about this thing we love serves noone. Let’s be out and proud and see what happens.

My vision is to encourage this fire to grow big everywhere. Right now I’m trying to help the folks at OmCulture in Seattle get their dance on. My sense is that Seattle has the people, it is just waiting for the spark and the infrastructure to show up. And just like any good and worthy movement, if we play our cards right, encourage the growth of the dance in many places, we will help the world to dance ecstatically.

If you’d like to continue this discussion, please feel free to write me with your ideas. And, I’d love to hear back from anyone who takes any of the suggestions above and runs with them.

Remember the last time someone came to dance and said “this is my first time here and I feel like I’ve found my home”? Yeah, let’s spread that – like a big slathering off goodness all over this planet earth.

Till we dance again,


I welcome your feedback in the comments section below or email me at ! Please share with me how this treatise can be improved. Thank you!


Dance Guideline suggestions
Sarah Kreisman – A healthy Community Model



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