Pulling Together

In my work as a networker, social networker, email marketing, Facebook teaching, activist, kibbutznik, I tend to think big picture much of the time. At one of my recent Facebook classes, one of the participants, Robert, pulled me aside and asked “why aren’t we Portlanders pulling together more of the time?”  He had lived in San Diego and watched as the new age movement prospered there as many of the participants would support each other by buying one anothers’ books, attending each others’ seminars and basically boostering for one another – the helping all boats to rise theory in action.  And, it worked.

I agree with Robert and have often thought that our community could use a directory of services, a bank/fund for helping members through tough times as well as something that might be available for scholarships for dance workshops or similar purposes.  Since I think that ecstatic dancing is the cat’s meow, and one of the best methods for staying healthy and smart and is also a great community creation tool (like), I’ve also been interested in seeing it spread far and wide. To that end, I wrote this piece last year, and also turned it into a cute cartoon.

Since then a few folks from Portland have gone and started ecstatic dance in their new communities – Erik Blender in Orcas Island and Cheri Anderson in Surprise Valley near Phoenix are the two that I’m most familiar with, and if there are more – please let me know about them.  If you know people who live near these areas, please send them Cheri/Erik’s way – as their success will both add to their financial well-being, but will also move more people in the direction of the goodness we have found.  Spreading good ideas = healing the planet.

In this vein, Eleanor O’Brien’s show, Dominatrix for Dummies, is a big shout out for ecstatic dance. Eleanor’s show is playing in Seattle 4 more times – we all know people who live in Seattle – help her show sell out and help your friends find their way to the dance floor (The Seattle ecstatic dance scene is building with new dances starting up at OmCulture and beyond.  They even have a clothing optional dance… Portlandia???)  Eleanor and her show are also about to take the show further afield to Santa Cruz, CA, Orlando, Edmonton (Canada), St. Lawrence, NY and elsewhere.  If you want to help spread the goodness of ecstatic dance and support one of our own, figure out how to track what Eleanor’s doing (her email list is a good start, get on it!) and send your friends and relatives to see her when she comes to their town. She’s probably also up for performing her show in towns that are on her road-trip route if you want to go the extra mile 🙂

Pulling Together for reals

What would our community look like if we were all pulling for each other a little bit more?  I’ve got a list of local healthcare providers who are mostly dancers that I share with the world. What would happen if we routed our buying decisions through a dance filter?  It’s certainly something to ponder. I welcome your comments and involvement.

Thanks for dancing
Thanks for continuing to show up
Thanks for continuing to DJ
Thanks for continuing to make alters
Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!

Albert, Caffe D’arte, April 18, 2012

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmXw3Jg-7G0

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,

Albert

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

Related:

Dance Guideline suggestions
Sarah Kreisman – A healthy Community Model

 

 

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