By Nineth Rachma
A non-judgmental space of free expression…
Samadi Bali, a hub for alternative healthy and healing activities with a beautiful and natural tropical setting in Canggu, offers various yoga classes, yoga teacher training and retreats. It also serves guests with daily fresh delicious vegetarian cuisine at its Samadi Kitchen and holds Canggu’s most popular Sunday Market that features artisan products and organic fruits and vegetables. And now, Samadi Bali just added a new signature program to their existing schedule, the Ecstatic Dance Journey.
The Ecstatic Dance Journey is a 90-minute dance class in a facilitated space, conducted by Jacqueline who sets the theme and the whole function of the room. Unlike other dance classes, here there is no such thing as choreography or sequences, not even right or wrong movements, and most importantly no one judges how participants flow with the beat.
First timers might experience a few minutes of self-conscious, thinking, “What if I do it wrong? What if everyone stares at me?” There’s no need to worry though because soon enough they will realize that everyone focuses on their own moves. Ecstatic Dance Journey is more of a movement meditation where participants have to be in a constant motion to connect with themselves and, if they want to, with others in the room while respecting other’s space.
Jacqueline began conducting classes in May this year, and they quickly gained popularity amongst Canggu residents and dance community. What used to be a once-a- month class has now become once a week due to high demand. Ecstatic Dance Journey has now become one of the most happening weekly events in Canggu. According to Jacqueline, this dance is about letting go of control to really feel and experience the energy and our physical bodies. The dance helps us break out of habitual movement patterns to move more freely, creating new neuron pathways to open up the whole energy body, as well as raising sexual energy and understanding our bodies fully by only moving the way our body wants to move.
Jacqueline’s class typically starts with gentle music playing to invite us to get into our body. Then, she guides and encourages participants to start moving – this warming up session usually takes up to 15 minutes before she calls participants to assemble in a circle, where she welcomes everyone and explains the process and sets the intention and the theme of the evening. Jacqueline also explains the rules – no talking during the class, we just need to talk with our own body.
When the circle breaks, people spread out and are guided through the first main part of the class called “awakening the dancer”. Jacqueline guides us to connect with our body from toes all the way up to the top of our head, inviting us to connect with a specific body part, let it move and get intimate with that part of the body. This process helps us build intimacy with each of our own joints and removes stagnant energy from our body.
Let It Go
The second part of the class is called the Kundalini shake. Standing as wide as your own hips, you need to shake your pelvis while keeping your feet on the ground. This step takes five to ten minutes and as time goes by, the shake will become more natural. In today’s modern world, emotions are often suppressed which creates tensions and traumas in your body. This shake is a medicine created by indigenous cultures to release those tensions and traumas. The main thing is to keep your feet on the ground, because through those shaking movements you are giving and receiving information to and from the earth, and the energy bounces up through your body. During this part, conscious breathing is important; you need to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Last but not lease, making noise with your voice are also encouraged.
As the energy flows at this stage, and the music tracks have built up from chilled to upbeat rhythms, you are at the last part; letting go. In this session, aside from encouraging people to keep dancing, Jacqueline doesn’t give much guidance. You can express yourself by moving gently and slowly, or jumping up and down, or even crawling like an animal. You just need to dance away and express your mood through movements.
As the music becomes more relaxed, you dance more slowly. Then you lie down, and are guided back into a circle where everyone can release any sound or enjoy a moment of silent meditation with beautiful music playing in the background.
Born in Scotland, Jacqueline first encountered Ecstatic Dance Journey through a meditation where she was dancing naturally. At that point, she realized that her consciousness expanding into moving freely. She then found a shamanic dance group in London which she became a part of in 1999. Yoga has become her daily practice since she was 19 years old and has saved her from a rather abusive life. This out-of-the-box yoga teacher has also been teaching yoga in Cape Town in South Africa for 10 years, and is currently enjoying her life in Bali, teaching those who are seeking a transformational experience.
Jacqueline invites everyone to come to her Ecstatic Dance Journey class at Samadi Bali every Thursday at 7.30 p.m. With benefits beyond cardiovascular fitness, this class also helps release stress and toxin from the body, and gives a sense of freedom for everyone with no dancing experience required. This is the place where we can connect with people without talking to any of them and be free to express what is within our heart. Ecstatic Dance Journey can also be very emotionally moving for those who really connect with themselves during the session. In fact, many participants leave the class weeping at the end.
Get to know Jacqueline and her signature Ecstatic Dance Journey class through a 90-minute conscious movement with South African contemporary rhythms and Latin America’s electronic tango music playing in the background amongst the mix of other tribal rhythms. Enjoy a journey of transporting yourself into another level of consciousness with complete freedom and joy. This class celebrates the body, self-expression and emotional release. Jacqueline’s upcoming yoga and Ecstatic Dance Journey class, yoga teacher training and retreats are available on her website www.ecstaticjourneys.com.
Jalan Padang Linjong No. 39, Canggu