What is Ecstatic Dance?

published on 18 July 2022

Ecstatic dance is a form of dance in which the dancers surrender to the rhythm of the music and move freely as the music helps them to release tension and blocked energy, bringing them into trance and even ecstasy.

Dancers feel deeply connected with their own emotions and with others. The meditative aspect of the dance helps people cope with stress and find inner peace. Feeling revitalised by the process.

The structure of an ED session

  • Ecstatic Dance session usually starts with a form of meditation or yoga, allowing the dancers to connect consciously with their inner self and be fully present in the moment and in their body.
  • The music steadily builds up and takes the dancers on a journey of ecstatic feelings and movement.
  • After reaching an initial high ecstatic state, the music slows down again, allowing the dancers to reconnect, feel and integrate the created bliss.
  • This wave is repeated 2 or 3 times. Sessions usually take about 2 to 3 hours.

The setting of an ED session

Although it is not prescribed, an ED session works best in a green, open environment. The connection with nature strengthens the connection with one's inner world and surroundings.

A few guidelines

As a dancer you are welcome as you are, you are invited to move as you feel and let your body guide you.

These rules are designed to allow each dancer to fully experience the dance in a safe and conscious way:

  • no chatting during the dance
  • no alcohol, cigarettes or drugs
  • dance barefoot, no shoes (highly recommended)
  • repect the space of your fellow dancers


This video, created by Sophie Sôfrēē of Wakamaia, starts with a guided meditation, followed by a beautiful sound journey and dance:

To get a good idea of the ecstatic nature of the dance, I can recommend this documentary by the ED tribe in Koh Phangan, Thailand:

"Ecstatic flow" video by Odessa Amsterdam: