Why I love . . . conscious dance

It’s pure dance, a workout and meditation, where I lose and find myself at the same time

Helen Bohan: ‘I dance up to three times a week usually for two-hour sessions where often I’m the host.’

Helen Bohan: ‘I dance up to three times a week usually for two-hour sessions where often I’m the host.’

 

You know when you’re going about your day, then you hear a certain piece of music and suddenly you’re moved to tears? Or you just break out in a dance in your car at the traffic lights? It was this realisation – that music has the ability to reach places usually inaccessible – which led me to follow my passion and make dance a lifestyle.

In my early 20s I was big into dance music. Lost, dissatisfied in my work, and disillusioned, dancing brought escape. And though the club scene wasn’t offering sustainable fulfilment, somehow I knew the beat was leading me to a more joyful life.

In a school gym lit mostly by candles, tribal rhythms fuse with electronic bass, beckoning some 30 dancers to follow their bodies. They twist and turn, some dancing on their own, some with others. This is a conscious dance, you can’t get it wrong; there’s no choreography. And no one gives a hoot what anyone else is doing. It’s just pure dance – both a workout and meditation – where I lose and find myself at the same time.

When I first encountered a scene like this I stayed in the corner of the room feeling self-conscious, yet intrigued. That was 20 years ago. These days I dance up to three times a week usually for two-hour sessions where often I’m the host.

Intuition lives in our bodies and when I get away from the business in my head I come home to that inner knowing. Following that intelligence has led to a whole life of learning. Now a whole tribe has come together around me – all seeking connection with their bodies through the dance. 

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