Inspirational and Trance Dance

Inspirational and trance dance are not quite the same.Inspirational dance may become trance dance but trance dance is always inspirational but not necessarily improvisational. However, improvisational dance(where there is no set choreography) can lead on to inspirational dance. Inspirational dance can only happen when mind, body and spirit are in perfect harmony. This form of movement can safetly be undertaken alone in a group and in any venue.

The dancer is inspired but not out of control even when the movement is strongly energetic. This dance form leads to a feeling of ” being at one” with the universe and ones fellow men. The dancers own body carries on a “conversation” with him or her which can result in unexpected insights for that person. There is a release througth the heart which has nothing to do with the intellect. This enables a deep connection with the World and its’ People to take place. The energy of the dance must suffuse the whole of the dancers body from head to toe.

I would like you to try an experiment. Stand with your arms at your sides. Now lift up one arm to shoulder height in a way which expresses first joy,then fear, anger, defiance, love and finally tenderness. Does each emotion give rise to a different quality of movement? Poetry, a single word, an object, a vizualization or music can all provide the motivation for inspirational dance.

Both inspirational and trance dance have nothing in common with a chorus line or corps de ballet where dancers follow fixed choreography and are told to “make your face” which too frequently becomes a grimace. Any facial expression in inspirational and trance dance will be a true expression of the energy of the dancer. They are not putting on a performance for an audience.

Trance dance is closely associated with ritual robes, special colours, regalia, music and taboos. Trance dance seldom occurs when the person is alone. In fact it is dangerous toundertake this solo.The support of people in a non-trance state is essential to prevent the participants hurting themselves and to bring the dancers round and back to this level orf existence. Trance dance needs to be undertaken in a group and in a controlled setting. Most usually this dance is a form of worship and the participants are believed to be possessed by spiritual powers.The form of expression may appear frenzied as in certain African and Asian shamanic dances or very contemplative and calm as in the dances of the whirling dervishes of Turkey and the Middle East. A dancer usually has no recollection of the dance. He or she has so to speak “vacated” their body allowing it to be a vehicle for a spiritual power that wishes to manifest itself. This form of expression should not be undertaken by people on their own or by those in a fragile state of mind.

In an inspirational dance the performer is aware of the movements they are making and also of the associated physical and emotional sensations. The dancer in this case acts as a vessel into which energy can be poured but the person is aware of this happening. Inspirational and Trance dance has much in common with Sacred dance but sacred dance acknowledges a spiritual element which is not necessarily the case with inspirational dance. Both inspirational and trance dance can develop into highly effective theraputic dance.

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