As a child I was already fond of dancing. Only learning dance steps was not possible. Everyone went to the right, then I went to the left and vice versa. It made me go through at a young age: "I better start working for a dance company, because dancing: I don't learn that". Fortunately, there are now a lot of free forms of dance and I became a Tantric Dance Teacher about 8 years ago, without really thinking about it. Not a profession I could have ever imagined!
I now dance various free forms of dance. Why? Because they all bring me something different. Because I often notice that it is not entirely clear what Tantric Dance is or brings, for example because of the question: "Tantric Dance that looks like Esctatic Dance?"
I like to share my experiences about three different dance forms that I practice: 5 Rhythms, Esctatic Dance and Tantric Dance. And I will briefly tell you about Contact Improvisation. I take you into what they show, feel and bring to me. And I am very curious about your experiences.
In the 5 rhythms, you mainly dance individually and you go through 5 rhythms (the rhythms of life): fluent, staccato, chaos, lyrical and silence. This form of dance invites me deep into my body and into who I am, my Essence. I investigate, how does my body feel, what moves, what does not move, what can I put in motion, how can I bring the rhythms into my life and what do these bring me? What patterns do I recognize in my body and how can I break them? Which rhythms do I feel comfortable with and which ones can I bring more into my life? And every time the lesson: do not stand in one place, but move your feet. Especially when I shoot my head. Because moving brings me back to my body and keeps me from getting stuck. At the end of a 5 rhythm wave, I always feel more grounded and I have more contact with my body. I feel parts of my body that I have never felt before. When I start, a lot of fatigue often comes from my body. Which I was not aware of before. At the end of the wave (of the 5 rhythms) I usually feel charged and there is always more space in me. Not to forget: I often get creative inspiration while dancing the 5 rhythms when preparing a Tantric Dance workshop!
Esctatic Dance, feels more like a dance to me, while the 5 rhythms for me is more about moving and feeling. Sometimes Esctatic is quiet, sometimes wild, sometimes sensual, sometimes crazy, something of all tastes. The music takes me on a journey, sometimes in resistance and sometimes in ecstasy. There are times when I focus completely on myself in this dance and other times there are all kinds of encounters. A dance of recognition in playfulness, sensitivity, sensuality. Time and time again feeling what I want, what is right for me. In the dances with another, the leading and following often mix. There is no clear leader and no clear follower. Because of the set-up of Esctatic, you can dance alone and together, I always learn that contact is only correct when I do not want or need anything from the other person. When I don't want anything and the openness is there to make contact, the contact and the dance come together in an organic way. It feels wonderfully free to just do what I feel like for two hours. Afterwards I often feel vibrant and charged.
Contact Improvisation, is a dance form in which the contact with the body of another dancer is used as a means of communication and as a source of inspiration for the dance. I took a number of contact improvisation classes because I wanted to gain some more technical tools for the Tantric Dance. With contactimpro you play with the weight of your body. Sometimes you give it completely to the other person and you use weight and also the other person's weight to see how you can roll, move and turn. Leading and following are mixed here. And although you make contact and the contact with the other person can also be very close to this dance form, intimacy is not paramount (for me). It is a super playful research into what two or more bodies can create together. During the lessons I noticed, like with every dance step I ever tried to learn, that dance techniques and I don't go together so smoothly. Many partner dances during Esctatic Dance use (elements of) this dance form.
The Tantric Dance, is a free expression dance between two people in which one leads and the other follows blindfolded. In this dance you are both in the lead and follow in your own center and you always carry your own weight. This dance form shows me all kinds of things, because sometimes I am asked to step into my leadership, while the next time I am invited to trust deeply,
© Esther Janssen