Your teacher or facilitator describes and demonstrates a series of exercises or dances. The group does each dance after it is demonstrated. All dances are an invitation - there is no right or wrong and you can choose whether or not to participate. You just express yourself in the spirit of each exercise however you wish. But they are fun you will want to join in! There is always lots of laughter and smiles.
The dances usually start with energy and vitality and become quieter and more reflective as the session progresses.
Some exercises you do alone, some are for the whole group and some are in pairs or groups of three to five.
Classes usually last for around 60 to 75 mins. Except for groups just starting out, each session normally begins with the group sharing their experiences from previous weeks for a short time. After this, to enhance our experience we dance without talking.
The exercises are drawn from dance traditions all over the world. You might find yourself spinning around the room to waltz music - by yourself! Doing a tribal stomp. There is almost always a walk. Some exercises might remind you of tai chi. Some are games - be a child again! But with the great range of possibilities you will be constantly surprised.
Both at once! You are invited to express yourself freely - for example "Dance feeling like you are a flower in the breeze". But Biodanza has a very great depth of theory behind it. Your facilitator has done a lot of training in choosing from over 250 exercises and hundreds of pieces of music to create each single session of 10-15 exercises. The music and invitation are closely matched and are intended to have a specific and progressive effect on participants. The overall purpose: body and mind learning and healing together, through joy.
It is always fun! But after a few sessions you will start to experience vivencia. [Lucky ones will feel it sooner.] This is best thought of as being transported into another world - a trancelike state where you lose awareness of everything except the intense experience of what is happening here and now. Do you remember the wonder of your first time as a child on a merry-go-round? That's vivencia. There was movement and music then too ...
In Biodanza theory, vivencia is believed to be a moment of powerful healing.
Your teacher works very hard to create a safe and supportive environment and to bring those values to the group culture. You will be encouraged to look after yourself, acknowledge your own feelings and always self-care. And to give the same to others. There is no judgement, no right or wrong way.
Rolando Toro Araneda, Chilean psychologist and anthropologist, began developing the system in the 1960s, working in the mental health area. He then brought it into the wider world. Today you can participate in "The Dance of Life" in over 54 countries. It is particularly well known in South America and Europe and has been in Australia for about 7 years.
Who knew evolving one’s consciousness could be so fun? Biodanza blends music and movement with group and solo exercises aimed at releasing the freedom and truth within. I have found myself walking in waves of bliss, surging with aliveness and I have repeatedly been humbled by sharing deep connection with classmates. Jacinta
For the first time I was able to think of myself as belonging … fitting in and connecting deeply with others and through others. Julie
Biodanza gives me the opportunity to remember joy, pleasure, connection with nature, connection with others, the giving and receiving of love and sweetness … Mary
I have opened up a part of me that was covered with fear. I smile with confidence now and I dance like never before. Spiro
Biodanza saved my life. I was sinking deeply into depression and the joyful experience of dancing with a wonderful group of people pulled me back. Mike