Free-form Dance and Meditation – what a great mix !

Saturday 1424 – 13th April 2013


This Saturday was a busy one and I had planned to go out in the evening with my daughter, but I was very tired and didn’t really feel like going. This is where this blog comes in and was one of the reasons I started it because when I have in my mind to do something new, to both experience and write about, I am way less inclined to rather lazily think I won’t bother. So on this occasion I DID bother and I’m very glad I did because I had a really great time.

Way back in October last year I wrote about The Buddhist Centre in Cambridge where I was learning to meditate.The post was called “An Oasis of Calm in all the Madness” and you might like to read it here. .

The centre has been hosting monthly events by Danceitation, a fusion of free-form dance and meditation.. Sounds odd?  That’s what I thought but I love dancing and at my age ( big Ahhhh of sympathy please !) it gets harder to find places to dance that don’t involve pubs or conventional clubs.  My daughter was up for it so off we went, though I would have gone alone it was good to have her company.

The night didn’t start too well because this dancing is done barefoot and I can’t do barefoot because of a problem I have with my right foot/ankle so I should have made it my business to find the organiser ( would you call her a DJ ?? ) and explain beforehand that I would need to keep shoes on. Foolishly I waited until we were in the room and then spoke to her which was all a bit awkward in front of everyone but it was resolved and off we went.

The room used was the beautiful old theatre and it was dressed with candles and fairy lights to give a lovely warm feel. The evening was led/DJ’d by the lovely Jayagita Kirkbride and started with standing meditation which helped us all relax and feel comfortable. 

Jayagita KirkbrideThe music was a great mix of east and west, drums and bass and all sorts in-between. High energy club type dances and slow eastern melodies.  You could dance alone or there was an option to wear a white wrist band to indicate that you were happy to dance with others. I didn’t wear one because I wanted this to be a very personal experience; my daughter didn’t wear one either ( we’re not really standoffish ya know!)

We were encouraged to really feel the music with our bodies and move them in whatever way we wanted. It was a wonderfully intense experience just going with the music and I loved it all. It was great fun jumping about to all the high energy stuff ( lots of water was needed !) and dancing more sensually to the slower music..

Jayagita didn’t talk too often just occasionally to remind of us of the breath and to be very much in the moment.. I needed no encouragement on either!  You might imagine that it would feel a little awkward dancing around in a very free way with a room of strangers but everyone just seemed to throw themselves into it.  About half the people had been before the rest of us were danceitation virgins!

There was a wonderful feeling of connectivity dancing with others as even though we were very much doing our own thing there was, as my daughter pointed out afterwards, also an element of mirroring what others were doing and she felt you could see little waves of similarity in movement.

Jayagita very cleverly bought the dancing to an end by slowing the pace right down to a more contemplative one , finishing with the sound of waves which I loved. Everyone was then just still for a while before they gradually started to leave the room.

Evening ended with a cup of Chai and chat out in the reception area of the centre which was again light with candles.. Very relaxing

As 1500 Saturdays go this stands out as one of the best things I’ve done purely for myself and I’ll be making this a monthly routine.  I think my daughter will be joining me too.  If you get a chance to attend one don’t be shy it’s a great feeling to throw off inhibitions and dance; utterly, utterly natural.  You’ll find dates on the website which I’ve linked to below.

Danceitations Facebook Page is here

 and their website is here

As ever I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment below.

That’s all until next Saturday. Go on have a dance this week 😀


You can find my photography blog Photomania here I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already.


12 comments on “Free-form Dance and Meditation – what a great mix !

  1. Sounds like fun but hand on heart not for me….I used to love to dance but last time I did was with Mrs Shpics BEFORE we got married and it almost put her off…SERIOUSLY….Nearly the deal-breaker!!!
    She still says it was the first and only time that she couldnt ingnore the sixteen year age difference…..
    She will forgive my deafness, receeding hair line, spreading waist, tooth decay, flagging libido and fondness for Angela Rippon..but she will not forgive “The Dad Dance”..

    • Helen Cherry says:

      The beauty of this place is that no-one cares what you are dancing like.. the point is just to go with the flow.. leave Mrs Shpics at home 😉

      • But the problem is I honestly didn’t know I did “The Dad Dance”….
        Now I do and it’s something that there is simply no going back from…
        With one withering look I was forever changed from the dance floor sex-magnet I’d been convinced I was for a good thirty years, to a silly old fool who should know better……
        I COULD leave Mrs Shpics at home but her ‘look’ would still be there with me..A mixture of sadness, pity and fear.
        No Helen…I’m serious when I say it sounds good, it really does..
        But I’m simply too scarred.

        Imagine the toughts of Nijinsky.. running to fat, bloated, old and tried…
        Well thats me!
        I will dance no more!

  2. This sound like a fabulous evening, good for you for going.

  3. scillagrace says:

    This sounds a lot like what my sister and I do in San Francisco…she’s been a Sikh for about 30 years and has been doing yoga and dance that whole time…contact improvisational dance. We go to an event called Barefoot Boogie at a studio to free style, contact, dance. We’ve gone together and taken my daughters. We all LOVE it!

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    Helen, that whole experience sounds absolutely wonderful – good for you for going! Music is getting to me increasingly tremendously. I usually listen to it with earphones, and it can simply take me and transport me. I yearn to able to translate such feelings into my photos – but that feels like a mountain to climb. Hope you’re fine! Adrian

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