About two years ago, I found myself in an uncomfortable dilemma. There was nothing I loved more in the world than music, dancing, and connecting with tribe on the dance floor- but all the shows and festivals I’d been attending were saturated with an incredible excess of drugs, alcohol, and the kind of unconscious behavior that can become really scary when a person is so messed up, they have no idea what they are doing. This “dark side of the scene” was a constant point of contention and discussion between all of us at Lost in Sound, especially since we have poured our hearts into spreading the “Use Your Head” message, encouraging people to rage responsibly. It all climaxed for me in Denver, Colorado, at the most insane place on the face of the planet- Cervantes. This venue has absolutely no rules. People were doing everything from openly smoking cigarettes inside to blowing rails of white powder off any available flat surface. There was no discretion, no security, and wild abandon at a level I had never before experienced. It was the absolute pinnacle of what I couldn’t stand about typical “raging” – the desperate, sad energy of escapism.
I flew back to the East Coast and promptly quit Lost in Sound and The Brain Trust, severing my connections to everyone and everything I associated with raging. It only lasted about a week before my compadres convinced me to come back, with a newfound drive to raise consciousness in the community.
I had Martin Dagoberto set up a “Conscious Community” table at all our Brain Trust shows, wrote a new manifesto for Use Your Head, and worked harder than ever on my own personal journey so that I could truly shine a light to illuminate the healing path for others. I was feeling better about where things were headed, but after touring with the Disco Biscuits and being exposed all over again to a very dark, synthetics-driven druggy crowd (keta-critters, coka-monsters and moll-dogs galore) I was just about ready to quit for good.
Then, I moved to the Bay Area and discovered Ecstatic Dance.
There are three rules at Ecstatic Dance: No Booze, No Shoes, No Chit Chat. It is a haven for those who love to MOVE- everyone on the dance floor is very much in their own experience, if not contact dancing with one or two or even three others (look up contact dancing on YouTube- I’ve just begun practicing it and there are not enough words to describe how good it makes me feel). Beginning four years ago in Oakland, CA, the original Ecstatic Dance is held at historic Sweets Ballroom. There are now Ecstatic Dances in 14 major cities around the world. It begins with yoga & contact improv classes, and segues into 3 hours of free form dancing. There is massage available for $1/minute, raw food to eat and coconuts to drink, and a gorgeous space to stretch and meditate. Held in Oakland on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, the Sunday dance has become my church, and I have no idea how I could fully function to the best of my ability during the week without it.
The real reason to go is for the people. To be surrounded by bright, radiant, fully expressive beings lifts you up and inspires you to move in ways you never knew you could- and the revelations that come up in your mind on the dance floor will blow you away. It is the single most inspiring, welcoming, energetic, and sacred dance party I have ever been to.
Many of the Bay Area’s favorite producer/DJs have played Ecstatic Dance- The Polish Ambassador, Kaminanda, Knowa Knowone, Neptune and Bombgoddess are just a few of the local talents who have graced the decks. They specially craft sets to take you on a journey, so that you experience a wealth of emotion, an upheaval of that which you need to let go of, and an uprising of bliss and joy.
To all my friends in New York- If you are curious about what the West Coast scene is really like, go to Ecstatic Dance. I know many of you have felt the same way I do about the underbelly of the shows, parties and festivals that contain the community we adore. I guarantee Ecstatic Dance will allow you to connect, awaken, open up and experience bliss, the way you do in those most epic of moments on the dance floor – except this time, the memories will last, the feelings will be pure, the people will be aware and respectful… and you will find exactly what you are seeking in this sacred space.
Daniel Laureano is the mastermind behind Ecstatic Dance NYC, and this time he is bringing in Srikalogy, one of my personal favorite producer/DJs, to provide the musical journey for the dancers.
Ecstatic Dance NYC w/ Srikalogy
June 20, 2012
265 W. 37th Street, 17th Floor
7:30 – 10:30 pm – $20 – all ages
$5 off if you buy in advance!
Contact Improv with
Jesse Johnson & Rebecca Bone
Srikalogy returns to Ecstatic Dance NYC
for more music and movement magic!
June 20, at Om Factory. 7:30-10:30pm.
He wowed us and moved us on April 27 and we want more.
Srikalogy blesses up our dance floor
with more music, more medicine and more awesome.
Hydrate. Stretch. Let go.
Srikalogy @ Om Factory.
Ecstatic Dance NYC.
~ See you on the dance floor!!! ~
Ecstatic Dance Guidelines
1. No talking on the dance floor (plenty of room to talk off-floor)
2. Drug-Free, Smoke-Free, Alcohol-Free environment
3. No photos or videos, cellphones muted and out of sight
4. Care/Awareness for the space and each other
5. Move your body however you wish
6. You can dance alone, or with as many partners as you’d like to join. If you’d rather not dance with someone, thank them for the offer by placing your hands in prayer position at your heart.
What to Bring
1. Loose-fitting clothes that let you move your body freely.
2. Water and a water bottle. You can refill it at the venue.
Blending original music and music composed by others, Srikalogy’s sound introduces our dance floor to his next-level cache of high-vibrational, conscious music for the mainstream. An acclaimed and celebrated MC, DJ, music producer and percussionist, Srikalogy incorporates hip hop, reggae, dubstep and kirtan, to create a soundtrack for movement and transformation. Founder of Artist Ashram and Unitribe Productions, Srikalogy is relentlessly creating spaces for people to freely open their hearts in creative collaboration. His devotion to bhakti permeates his work, and his musical creations are charting new territory in the world of mainstream conscious music.