Resiliency Field Trip: Ecstatic Dance

Ecstatic Dance Resiliency Field Trip Em Capito, LCSW

Synchronicity is happening all the time, if we tune in.

A few weeks back, my friend Andy suggested we take a Resiliency Field Trip. He had compiled a list of fears he wanted to face in 2020.

“Absolutely!” was quickly followed by a resounding NO, NO, NO… 

“Which fear do you want to face down first?”

The universe laughed and Andy responded: Dancing in front of people.​

White people don’t dance in Utah. The high school “dances” I went to? Perhaps there was an awkward slow rotation within the confines of a small invisible boundary of comfort. There was certainly no actual dancing.

I haven’t really danced since I was a small wild child.

Wasn’t that remarkable? That freedom to move, to express joy, to laugh with your whole body without even a tinge of fear?

On Wednesday night, I donned sparkly white leggings to embrace that long dormant wild child…and danced until all the insecurities, cares, and fears fell away…which is to say that I danced furiously for three hours because that is a tall order for me.

When we intentionally step into discomfort, it’s best to do so wholeheartedly.

Ecstatic dance is the deep end of dancing in public. 

And it’s also the safest space imaginable: A sober, wordless, sacred space where every imaginable form of movement drowns out the internal loudspeaker judging each awkward step and that pervasive, spotlight myth that everyone is watching you.

It’s a space that initially invites a terribly intimate awareness of your mean-spirited inner prude.

And just like that, you can see her fear as separate from your authentic self, and dance without a care in the world.

Our field trip was a wild success, but for me, it was also a serendipitous ritual of rebirth.

I’ve been on a journey of finding peace and joy inside of chaos (aka em’s epic saga of divorce and ensuing custody drama) for four and a half years. A huge chapter in that saga closed for me the day before we danced.

We get to dance again, out of our pain, loss and regrets. 

In fact, I never would have danced with that lightness, if not for the darkness that stripped away any last real concern for the “But, what will other people think!?” category of neuroses ping-ponging through my mind on any given day.

So, if you cringed in horror, even all alone, when you clicked the ecstatic dance link in curiosity…please accept that as your hand engraved invitation to dance again.

​No excuses: Ecstatic dance groups can be found all over. We have a very special group in Utah, which can be found dancing at the Krishna Temple every Wednesday and Saturday night.

  1. YES! More dancing! Can’t say that I’m surprised that dancing has been a part of your journey to freedom!

  2. One of the primary beneifts of working from home is taking breaks to dance, especially when I’m in a rut. There’s something about moving around that makes it a lot easier to get going on a project again. My personal go-to is Caravan Palace. 🙂

    Very cool that you found a Meetup group like that. Maybe that’s something I’ll find in early retirement. 🙂

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