Dance Tribe is NOW every Tuesday & Thursday from 7:30 – 9:30 pm
At The Church in Ocean Park
235 Hill Street in Santa Monica
Find yourself in an immersive experience: a waking dream, an opportunity to let go, express, play, process and explore in the supportive sanctuary of a warm, respectful and open community. (Email me at [email protected] if you would like to be part of the altar building, set-up/tear-down, or door duties of the Dance Tribe Team as work exchange…)
** ALSO: sign up in the side-bar to receive FREE Dance Tribe Playlists!
* It’s not just a dance party —but you will have fun.
* It’s also not about choreography —but an invitation to find YOUR authentic movement expression.
* It’s not about pushing hard to burn calories —but damn if it ain’t a good workout!
* It’s not about any particular belief system —but the experience will open you up to a sense of embodiment, connection, meaning, feeling, symbolism, insight and healing like nothing else I know…
Dance Tribe is a most delicious combination of sacred space and playful, fierce, poignant self-expression in community.
These Tuesday (and now ALSO Thursday) nights from 7:30 – 9:30 at the Church in Ocean Park have been a dream come true for me! Shout out to Full Circle and Inhale, Venice who hosted our Thursday nights in the past, pictured below!
For almost 20 years I danced in free form ecstatic dance classes held by my good friends Michael Skelton and Jo Cobbett. It was amazing. Deep, soulful, fun, healing…
I had been facilitating my own yoga + dance event every week for 10 years, called Funky Friday —which introduced free-form dance-as-awareness-practice to my long established yoga community.
When Michael told me he was moving to Portland and that he wanted me to take over a class for him in this beautiful room with this amazing community I was beyond honored. For many years I had been trying to figure out how, when and where to start a class like this myself —but the logistics were not easy…. The opportunity has been so exciting, fun and meaningful to serve this community and facilitate movement in a new way!
The response has been so overwhelmingly supportive and receptive, that we added the Thursday night event at a new location, Full Circle, Venice, and then moved to Inhale, Venice, before the Church in Ocean Park offered to extend our residency to both Tuesdays and Thursdays every week…
“I have been to other ecstatic dance experiences before in different parts of the country. What makes Julian’s experiences different, in my opinion, is his many years of teaching yoga, being an energy healer and being a musician. He guides dancers and yogis as a shaman would – engaging all of our senses.
His musical selection and intuition on what to play when – is otherworldly. The whole dance is a healing work that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know you’ve changed and you’ll never be the same. The people that Julian attracts are also a unique breed of kind, spiritual and creative individuals who contribute to the atmosphere creating a vortex for healing and change. What a gift to LA spiritual community!” ~Vera Ostrova
People who’s only experience of a dance space has been my Funky Friday class (or the evening classes on Retreat) all ask me the same question: How is it different?!
Well, Funky Friday was my way of introducing my yoga students to this related practice —so we go from doing a little over an hour of yoga to transitioning into about 40 minutes of dance. The dance playlist generally takes you on a building arc that is pretty high energy for most of the 40 minutes.
By contrast, Dance Tribe is two hours of dance! What this means is that there are no yoga mats, no formal set up in the room. People slowly filter onto the 2000 square feet of wood floor in these gorgeous, high-ceilinged church spaces, over the first 30 minutes or so. On Tuesdays, many spend a little quietly time contemplating the artistic “altars” that my friend Laurie Ginsburg creates at the front of the room as part of their arrival into sacred space.
We stretch, breathe, roll around on the floor and invite breath and awareness into moving our bodies slowly at first. No explicit instruction —just trust your body and feel your way in. It’s an awareness process, and the energy level ebbs and flows so as to create a really rich and soulful landscape of experience. Quite beautiful —and yes, the room slowly fills up over that first hour, and the energy gradually builds, and builds…
I DJ live and generally take the room through 2 arcs of experience —from contemplative and tender, to fierce and sweaty, and back again. I draw on my two decades of being in the dance/movement practice and community (as well as holding space for yoga, bodywork and meditation and studying psychology, poetry and music) to create the unique Dance Tribe experience.
If you are familiar with ecstatic dance in it’s various forms, you will find reference points and a general spirit infused both into what I do and the non-verbal language of this magnificent community.
But if you are not familiar with these approaches it really doesn’t matter! Whatever the brand name or certification, I feel they are simply doorways into experiencing something absolutely natural and innate to our tribal roots in breath, movement, process, play and communal celebration.
” I woke up this morning with a calling to dance tonight! What a delicious calling it was….a calling I listened to all day! I am not much of a night dancer…as I love my mornings with all my energy! But tonight….my heart wide open, dancing, flying high from some place deeply happy and satisfied within and by just being in the room with the people around me.
And then the surge of tribal sexiness that rolled, drummed and thrusted out of me, my body sweating, being taken away by each beat, by each rhythm…pounding out of each pore of my body….my hips grooving, grinding and swinging to the flow of my heart…..which was listening deeply to the soul tapping tunes coming from the speakers!
Sweat flying off my body…my body singing, my voice singing loud and clear and my dances with others….were by far the most sexy, fun, playful, sensual and divine I’ve experienced in some weeks!
Thank you….for all you bring to me dance, the music….my tribe….I bow to you and I am ever so grateful to have connected with all of you on and off the dance floor afterward. I feel filled!
Thank you Julian, for the fabulous mix tonight….touched something so deep within! I am very grateful!” ~Heather Rhea Dawn
The first word that comes to mind is intention. The second is safety.
The way our community values the practice of ecstatic dance means that you are much freer to explore and express yourself than you would be in a nightclub. It’s less self-conscious, less about image, the dance is more authentic, and there are no leering spectators on the hunt. No alcohol, no pick up scene, no ego-posturing, no high heels or hard leather shoes, no competition…
It’s a barefoot, comfy clothes, all for one and one for all, you do your thing and I’ll do mine vibe, with the intention of really exploring the power of dance to heal, balance and liberate each of us personally and to connect us to a sense of tribal belonging and affirmation.
Are you ready for an adventure?
I’ll see you Tuesday & Thursday Nights!