© by Ernesto Ortiz

I was surrounded by darkness, a darkness produced by wearing a bandanna blindfold. It created a sensation similar to having my fingers in my ears, but this time it was a visual “silence” with my eyes closed, instead of a silence produced by plugging my ears. The music was loud and tribal, with passionate rhythms that I could feel all over my body. It was as if all of the cells and neurons in my body were responding spontaneously to the music. The darkness was so beautiful, supportive, and complete, and I wasn’t dancing with anyone and no one was dancing with me. I could not control my body. It was simply responding spontaneously to the music. Sweat was pouring down my whole body and at times I could not even feel my body…I was alone dancing in this darkness. I was Trance Dancing!

As I expanded my awareness, I could feel the others dancing around me. I could not see them, but I could feel them and could feel well beyond my normal perception of reality. I started to hear sounds coming from the other dancers, sounds of ecstasy, and an occasional gentle touch of someone. If I wanted, I could feel as if my dancing was mimicking the movements of another.

Wow, what a rush! The music changed, turning wild and I… found myself in the forest, running along beside a black panther. She was guiding me, taking me for a ride as the music disappeared into a background of explosive sounds, primitive sounds…I was feeling my primal self. I kept on going with the panther. We went over a river to a water hole where we stopped and I jumped in to swim. My body was all wet, and I was in total communion with nature and the elements of my experience. The music changed again and again, going from wild to mild, and after an hour and forty-five minutes of dancing the music turned to be sublime. It elevated me to a space, a sacred space that I have felt before: a delicious space of completeness and reverence, of ecstasy and total elevation of the self.

What an experience! And to think that some people have to use drugs or substances to alter their consciousness to feel this way! We accomplish this with powerful evocative music, movement, and the Trance Dance breath.

What is Tribal Trance Dance? Trance Dance, as we know it today, is a blend of ancient rituals with a modern techno-twist. Ultimately, it is a way of recognizing our ancient heritage and applying it to our modern lifestyle. We can go as far back as we can in time and we find evidence of it in the history of dance and movement.

Anyone can Trance Dance because there are no steps to follow and no external expectations. The Higher Self knows the steps, and once awakened, Spirit takes over. It is a journey out of your head and into your heart and body, something that we modern humans seem to need so much.

Dance is synonymous with Prayer, a demonstration of reverence. Dance is a doorway to the soul or spirit within and if you dance into the state of ecstatic trance you will connect completely to the healing powers of Spirit. Trance Dance is pure ecstatic energy. Trance Dance is the vehicle by which you become that energy and that’s what makes it remarkable. At the level of Spirit, anything is possible. Trance Dance is meditation in motion, the vehicle that takes you from outward to go deep within to explore and be an active participant in that exploration. We use the body as an instrument of the Divine, and we engage in the exploration of our feelings and emotions, aided by music and the breath.

So where do end up after a Trance Dance experience? Well, to me we end up in a state of very deep meditative and ecstatic bliss, a state of unlimited potential, and a sacred space where spontaneous healing occurs.