dancers:
Michael Julian Berz : facebook.com/mjbvisuals
Jelena Marda: facebook.com/pages/Dance-Divine-Ecstatic-Free-Style-Vancouver/151347671550704

edit: Michael Julian Berz adancingeye.com
Facilitator - DJ: Jelena Marda dancedivine.ca

Celebrating Embodiment through Ecstatic Free-style Dance

Jelena Marda is the host and producer of Dance Divine; a weekly, un-facilitated, ‘Ecstatic Free-Style’ dance event, held every Sunday morning from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at The Dance Centre on 677 Davie Street.

Dance Divine is a weekly dance event where people of all ages, all abilities, and all dance and non-dance backgrounds come together to practice authentic movement, or “embodiment”, and collectively create a safe and sacred environment where a person actively ‘holds space’ for themselves and for each other, so that everybody may enjoy the freedom and support to move through and attune to what is true for them.

Dance Divine will be celebrating its 2nd birthday on Sunday November 13th with a draw for a give-away of 3 free passes (good for 5 classes each, valued at $65 each)

Jelena holds a degree as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Counsellor, and works as a Graphic Artist and Designer on various creative and entrepreneurial projects. Through the deeply ‘experiential’, catharsis- and processing-based nature of her studies in Transpersonal Psychology, Jelena found herself particularly drawn to the art and science of the ‘body-mind connection’ and she has both explored and facilitated the dynamic relationships between the body, the subconscious and the higher conscious. “Regardless of how much I may be fascinated by psychology and the intellect, I have never been as impressed, mystified, educated, healed and humbled as when the body, the heart and the spirit are invited to speak to us, through us. “

For 3 years, Jelena continued her learning as a student of the 5 Rhythms, which has been described as a “moving meditation”, an “authentic movement” or “dance movement” practice. In November of 2010 she launched Dance Divine, which has grown to be a well-loved weekly event with ‘classes’ ranging in size between 30 and 40 people, welcoming weekly newcomers and committed, bonded regulars, who have been dancing together for years.

Free-style Dance is an “Awareness Practice” that helps us to sense, scan and listen to our (inner) selves, creating an awareness of ones own feelings/content/state. And once something is brought into consciousness, acknowledged, and accepted, it can shift.

The dance is also an expressive art form. Using authentic, internally referenced movement, we begin to explore our own personal way of expressing what we find when we attune inwardly.

At that point we are actively ‘articulating the self’, and simultaneously moving with, and through, the content that we discovered there. Of course, this is cathartic, cleansing and transformative and helps to create more ‘flow’ and spontaneity in life. It also happens to sharpen our intuition!

Once we have Returned to the Self, and Expressed the Self, all that remains is to Transcend the Self. The dance can be a powerful way of transcending the ego mind and connecting with an expanded sense of self. This part of the experience is extremely personal and I will not venture to comment on what happens for people, however many people refer to the Sunday morning dance as their preferred brand of “church”.

Dance has long been revered for its power to heal the body, mind and soul, strengthen the bonds of community, and facilitate communing. It allows us to discover deeper aspects of who we are as human beings. Ecstatic dance is a multi-layered experience that takes the dancer on an inner journey. It is a form of active meditation using music, movement and the breath.

We celebrate the courage it truly takes to be fully embodied, and beauty that flows from that embrace.

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