Dance Like No One's Watching This New Year at an Ecstatic Dance Party By Teresa Manring

As the New Year approaches, you probably have the thought of a New Year’s Resolution weighing on your mind. Maybe you're trying to be healthier this year (aren't we all), working on stepping out of your comfort zone or simply trying to be happier in 2017. Luckily, there's a new trend that gets you working on all of those resolutions at once. So in 2017, try your first ecstatic dance party!

Known for bliss and copious amounts of sweat, ecstatic dance parties are taking cities from Berlin to San Francisco by storm. The point of the parties is to allow your body to move in whatever way it feels called to do. Constant free-form, mindful movement allows you to whirl yourself into a meditative, blissful, and completely unhindered state.

The drug and alcohol free gatherings usually take place in the morning or post-work, and typically feature live DJs spinning up the latest in new age, trance-dance tunes. But don’t let the music fool you: the vibe of ecstatic dance parties is more “yoga-flow-free-for-all” than late night rave.

These events not only burn a ton of calories—they’re also hangover-free, and awaken an all-natural ecstasy that’ll carry you through the doldrums of winter...and the work week. But let’s be real: it can be intimidating to sober-sway around a bunch of strangers.

Here’s how to make ecstatic dance the New Year’s Resolution that actually sticks.

The Gear

Whatever you usually wear to yoga works perfectly, but feel free to add a flippy skirt or a flowy top to your usual yoga pants/tank top combo to get you in the dancing mood. Remember, dozens of bodies dancing non-stop really brings out the perspiration, so sweat-proof gear is your friend. And feel free to pack face wipes and ditch the makeup that morning, because it’s all going to drip off anyway.

Dancing Guidelines

  1. No talking. Conversations can be distracting for those trying to trance dance their way to bliss. Feel free to chat with friends in the bathroom, in the lobby—anywhere but the dance floor.
  2. No shoes. Socks? Cool. Barefoot? Also yes. Your brand new loafers? Probably not.
  3. Be respectful to others’ privacy. It may be tempting to snap or insta your way through the experience, but other people may not want their moves out there for the world to see. Instead, opt for a post-dance, super sweaty selfie to show off how much fun you had.
  4. You can dance all by yourself or with others who consent. Look for eye-contact and a verbal “yes” before beginning your duet. You also have every right to ignore anyone who approaches you with a mental “boy bye” and a healthy dose of side-eye.

The Mindset

You’ll probably feel a bit awkward your first time, so feel free to bring a friend who also loves trying new things.Get ready for 15-20 minutes of feeling self-conscious and clunky. You’ll get over it quicker than you stopped going to the gym for your resolution last year.

And remember: anything goes. This includes breaking out your childhood ballet steps, swaying back and forth in tree pose, or even imitating your favorite Beyonce moves. The best part? No one can tell you what they think of them (Remember Rule #1?). Have fun welcoming 2017 in the most ecstatic way possible!

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