As with most esoteric knowledge, being shrouded in a playful or entertaining way has preserved the knowledge. Elements of this type of dance can still be seen in modern day Ecstatic, Trance, Tantric, Middle Eastern, Tribal or Belly Dance. What differs is that Sacred Dance is danced for expression rather than performance. It is all about the experience and how that experience impacts the dancer. Not what it looks like, but what it 'feels' like.
The Dance was originally the Dance of the Womb rather than belly. The womb being a sacred space the Dance then held a more spiritual significance. As this link to the Divine aspect of the feminine dissolved the dance became more about the actual body part, the belly, than the sacred centre, the womb.
Dance is a very natural part of our lives. Children dance spontaneously. Hearing music they are almost compelled to move and dance. The human body is a standing wave. Hearing or feeling other waves around us causes us to resonate with them.
Sacred Dance is as ancient as creation it’s self. Historically we can only trace the origins of this Dance back to the High Priestesses in temples, although its original origins pre-date 'his-story', because it was part of 'her-story', back to the beginning of time. Evidence of this type of this type of ecstatic dance has been found in cave drawing in Europe dating as far back as 30,000BC.
As we know time doesn't exist (it is created by man) but rhythm (earth time) does. Music is created by tapping into the different rhythms of the earth. Musicians, especially drummers, are tapping into this same pulse. Different instruments resonate with the different rhythms emitted from the earth. Basically what we are doing, when we dance, is connecting to the earth’s rhythm. The same pulse the musicians are playing on their instruments is passing through our bodies. The piece of music creates the form in which to express these rhythms, like the guide on a journey. The rhythm is channeled from the earth but we use the music to bring the different rhythms together and synchronize ourselves with others.
Different instruments pick up different pulses. These pulses resonate with different parts of our body. Drums in the hips, lighter instruments in the upper body, electric guitar up the spine! Basically we can play a piece of music through our bodies, using different parts of our bodies to represent the different instruments.
All dance is like this to a certain extent. What makes Sacred Dance different is our intention. We are intending to make this connection with the Divine and directly to the Earth. From a healing perspective this makes all the difference in the world. We can channel healing energy and discharging unhealthy energy through the Earth. Through the Dance the intention is conscious, which intensifies the experience even more.
The Dance not only works on the physical level but on the energetic or spiritual level as well. The benefits are numerous; it is playful, fun, and creative as well as healing. Participants have commented on the physical benefits such as relief from back pain; as well as emotional release.
This all sounds very complicated, but in fact it is not. The movements are very basic to our nature anyone can learn them. You need not be a dancer or have any dance experience. By connecting to the Earth's rhythm the movements flow naturally. Sacred Dance is taught in an interactive workshop for women, teaching them how to reconnect with the Earth's rhythm. In the workshop various methods such as visualization, kinetics and transmission are used to achieve this connection.
Because we are focusing on the sacral chakra, our center of pleasure and joy, healing takes place in a joyful creative way. We are dancing for expression rather than performance. By reconnecting us to our bodies, the Dance also aids in developing our perfect body type, not only due to the physical activity but also because of the balancing nature of the Dance.
Once the basic movements are learned and integrated we can move to a place of complete connection. This involves connecting in both directions, to the Earth and the cosmos/universe, a practice common in Martial Arts. In this state we reach the point of 'no-mind'. We become one with the music, the Earth's rhythm and everything around us. We create in the moment, completely in the 'present'. Like a moving meditation synchronized to music moving from within and without. It is at this point where we can recognize the Sacredness of the Dance and feel the complete connection, the fusion point of the Universal Dancer. It is at this point that the Dance becomes a spiritual practice.
In this Dance we Dance the most primordial of all sacred geometry, the serpent-like sinusoidal wave. With each Dance we recreate the universe just as Nut did, birthing Ra a new, every morning.