Dancing Mindfulness is….
Dancing Mindfulness is a wellness practice that brings together movement and mindfulness. Developed by Dr. Jamie Marich, growing originally from her own clinical experiences working with trauma and addiction, designed to tap into each individual’s potential for movement, creating beauty, and achieving mindful awareness, is what defines a dancing mindfulness practice. The practice of Dancing Mindfulness is not about doing the dance “right” or figuring out the steps, it is about connecting with your unique individual dancer and allowing a sense of mindfulness to move your body and your heart.
Structured classes of Dancing Mindfulness brings attention to two things: The 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness (as identified by Kabat-Zinn (2011) in Mindfulness for Beginners and the 7 elements of Dancing Mindfulness as created by Dr. Jamie Marich.
7 Elements of Dancing Mindfulness
-Breath, Body, Mind, Spirit, Sound, Story and Fusion
7 Attitudes of Mindfulness
-Acceptance, Beginner's Mind, Letting Go, Non-Judgement, Non-Striving, Patience and Trust
Each facilitator incorporates these elements and attitudes differently. These all create a sense of awareness for the participants and opportunity to dance that much deeper if they so choose.
This experience is meant to be very individualized and the dancer is always encouraged to listen to their own body in order to determine the most appropriate movement and intensity.
What to expect in a group class or one-on-one session
A class or one-on-one session is usually 40-50 minutes in length from beginning to end. Structured classes begin with a facilitator gently leading participants through a series of breathing and body awareness movements. Following a short stretching series, the facilitator leads participants to their feet for letting go and dancing with non-judgement of themselves and others. Many participants find this practice, especially when supported by the energy of others in the setting who are also taking risks, an experience that may bring about release and healing.
Although some find themselves overwhelmed and intimidated, all are encouraged to acknowledge these potential feelings, without judgement. Opting out of any dance or movement is always a choice for participants. The session ends with coming back to the breath and allowing for final stretching and rest. This creates grounding and opportunity to celebrate the dance that you just authentically participated in.