Why the Blindfold?
I am often asked if one can participate in Dance of Liberation without wearing a blindfold. The idea of purposely setting aside one’s ability to see physically can seem strange, even intimidating, for many people. Yet my experience demonstrates over and over again what a gift it can become.
Originating in my own shamanic apprenticeship, the use of a blindfold in all facets of my work is an invitation and tool to go on one’s personal Vision Quest through dance. The dance, in turn, serves as a safe and sacred container to explore and enter other states of consciousness and awareness, infused with the intention of healing. As I myself experienced in the apprenticeship with Wilbert Alix, “blinding” ourselves physically, setting aside what for many of us is our most reliable sense, frees us from seeing only what we ordinarily see. It frees us to discover the extraordinary – the whole world behind the blindfold. We find ourselves releasing the judgmental voices, inhibitions, and distractions that often plague us. The space behind the blindfold simply exists; we can move about effortlessly as the constrictions that limit us in our everyday life are suspended.
During my apprenticeship, I was guided to close my eyes in order to learn the tools and techniques that I teach today. And while as a facilitator of the Dance of Liberation I don’t cover my eyes, having trained in darkness, I see on the Dance floor differently because of that training. It allows me to facilitate a profound process that involves opening to an inner space of trust deep enough to allow the dancer to surrender to the rhythms of movement, breath, intention and inner transformation. The dancer journeys, in a trance-like state, through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual blockages, to a discovery of energies that heal the dancer’s own wounds. Surrendering to that initial physical darkness frees us to bring light to all the corners of our own souls.
The Dance of Liberation is like an inner “house-cleaning”; we rid ourselves of the old ideas, emotions, and traps that don’t serve us any longer, and we re-create our “home” as a sanctuary connected to our own roots. Like houses that have accumulated “junk,” when our bodies are over-packed with unpleasant memories, troubled desires and emotional baggage, we need “a spring cleaning.” That “spring cleaning” is our Dance of Liberation, at the end of which, when light returns, the Dancer’s true journey begins. We seek to integrate our new understandings with the world beyond the blindfold.
One such dancer is Angie, who I deeply have had the chance to witness her healing and wisdom on the dance floor, she shared the following:
What was your first experience with Dance of Liberation?
My first experience with Dance of Liberation was interesting. I was nervous at first but it was a good nervous. An awaiting for something amazing to happen....for a freedom and a true feeling of liberation. Being that I had never been to one of these before, but love to dance, I figured I would take the leap and if nothing else, then I would have a wonderful evening meeting new people and dancing.
Did you know about the blindfold – what was that like for you?
I knew about the blindfold and was very excited about it. I am adventurous by nature, and this was an exciting idea! To dance blindfolded in a room full of energy and love, while being led by my heart and amazing live DJ Fabian Alsultany and the Liberation drummers ....is truly indescribable. I enjoyed the idea of returning the focus inward. So much of our life is spent looking outward and around us, that we rarely have time or energy to look inward. We worry about what we look like on a dance floor, or what we are wearing, etc....and with the blindfold, the focus is intensified and purified and centered inward. It truly becomes “all about me” and once the rebalance of self occurs on the dance floor, we are able to be more mindful in the world around us.
And how did you feel after?
I felt alive! Reinvigorated! Like all the feelings....all of them, we released to the universe. I felt purified and detoxified. I felt as though I had cleaned house and made room for new and wonderful experiences. And I felt as though I was able to view the world through gentler, more healing eyes. That while there may be chaos around me, I am at peace in my heart, body and mind.
Dance of Liberation sounds tribal?
Yes! It dates back thousands of years. Our Ancestors danced in this way. It’s a communal gathering of like minded people, that I have come to know as my extended family. We deepen our relationships by seeing each other in a different light after the blindfold comes off and we sit in a circle and share our experience and journey. It’s like an oil change for our spiritual engine! All of our energies and emotions are free to “run out and play”, rev their engines on the dance floor, play and dance, while our deepest intentions are released to the universe. As I keep in touch with my new family from the dance floor, its powerful to witness how their intentions have manifested into amazing experiences, and that we are all spreading our gifts from the dance floor with the mission of helping and building community.
Do you always set an intention before the Dance?
Most of the time I do. There have been times that I found it difficult to find and intention, so I allowed “allowing” to be my intention. Or I offered myself as “open” to the possibilities....the message always comes if you are open to it. And sometimes, its easier when you don’t “over think” and overanalyze the situation. Just allow and let it be. All else generally, falls into place!
How do you feel Dance of Liberation has helped or changed your life?
I feel a freedom I never knew before. I feel it energetically, spiritually and physically. Dance of Liberation is a great workout! You sweat out your intentions and wring out the toxins of your life! Dance of Liberation has given me a new perspective and shown me that rather than always look ‘outward’, sometimes you need to just close your eyes and look inward. Rarely do we have the opportunity to look inward and focus on what our soul’s true intentions. Dance of Liberation is a gift. A gift in that it holds a safe space to allow you to simply be who you truly are. And in that being, you return to an organic, pure way of life that changes your perspective on self, love, health, the spiritual and the world.