Dendrophilia and Other Social Taboos
Dani Burlison is fascinated with the weird shit people are into and is into some fairly weird shit herself. She also has a keen eye for inappropriate and outlandish behavior. A California native, rooted in what is arguably the most New Age vortex of the universe in all its entirety, she is regularly exposed to poor boundaries, pioneering alternative healing modalities, questionable self-help practices, cults and so much more. Dani utilizes her master’s level education in Consciousness Studies to explore a variety of situations and philosophies—legitimate and complete hallucinogen-induced hogwash—for Dendrophila and Other Social Taboos.
DIY Ecstatic Dance Jam.
1. The first step to planning your very own personal Ecstatic Dance Jam is to thoroughly reflect on whether or not an Ecstatic Dance Jam is the right thing for you. You may want to find a quiet place to sit and ask yourself questions like…
- Do I enjoy documentaries about Whirling Dervishes but wish they were slightly unkempt, spinning with their shirts off, moonstone necklaces glistening against their hairy chests?
- Do I love warm, dimly lit and poorly ventilated rooms?
- Do I enjoy being in close proximity with sweaty men and women who do not believe in antiperspirant, who instead feel that bodies will “self clean” if just left alone?
- Do I really believe that dance is sacred and that it can, like, really take me on a journey?
- Do I enjoy unconventional cardio workouts?
- Do I become giddy at the mere mention of “embodied play,” “soul activation,” or “vibrational sound healing”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be ready to ecstatically jam on the dance floor.
2. The next step to creating an Ecstatic Dance Jam is to find attendees that share the same feelings about sweat, drumming, raw foods and saffron-dyed fabric. Again, find a quiet place, practice deep breathing and tap into your intuition’s core. It will lead you to the people you need to invite. If you live near power lines or a cell phone tower and find that their unnatural energy or radioactive waves create a barrier between you and your clairvoyance (and you loaned your tin foil hat to your aunt Freya), there are other avenues to finding the group of Ecstatic Dance Jammers that will mesh well with you in your sacred space. Places to seek these jamming dancers include the Whole Foods raw desert aisle and Earth Day festivals. You may also spot potential guests dancing to jam bands at the local farmers market or pedaling pot brownies or other cannabis-rich snacky treats at reggae concerts. And of course, don’t forget the 7 a.m. naked yoga class at the nearest hot spring resort. Also, tantra workshops, crop circle study groups and your neighborhood psychic institute are well worth looking into for attendees. Tip: Men wearing linen pants and no underwear are always game for Ecstatic Dance.
3. Make a shopping list. You will need very specific edibles at your Ecstatic Dance Jam. Acai juice, raw cacao, vegan, and gluten-free raw nut paste for slathering onto organic vegetables sticks are all hot items. You’ll also need electromagnetic charged water, kombucha, mate, various tinctures, magical elixirs and fresh coconut juice, straight from the nut (which double as hats, bowls or breast shields, reducing your carbon foot print. Bingo!). It might be a good idea to also stock up on massage oils, animal friendly personal lubricant, hypoallergenic condoms, mouthwash and tea tree oil hand sanitizer. You can never be too prepared for the needs that may arise at an Ecstatic Dance Jam.
4. Probably the most important step to setting up your own Ecstatic Dance Jam is to prepare your body and spirit. In order to brush up on Ecstatic Dance Jame moves, rent as many DVDs as possible on Pentecostal Snake Handling, Zumba, various tribal dance practices and most importantly, recorded exorcisms. Slink into a favorite leotard and warm up by jumping, waving your arms and spinning in circles—all at the same time (be sure to remove glassware, ceramic Goddess sculpture and other items from your practice space before hand. Training for Ecstatic Dance Jams can break a lot of valuable shit). If you don’t have access to electronics like a television set or DVD player, an alternate approach to preparing your body for the night of boundary-less, sweaty grooving and flailing is to think back to a time when you or someone you love had food poisoning. Remember the violent heaving? Reenact that. While standing up. Or visualize a swarm of angry bees or Jehovah’s Witnesses approaching you early on a bright crisp Saturday morning. Go into full-on five pointed star pose and then begin swinging your arms wildly, as if swatting said bees and Jehovah’s Witnesses away with the aggression of divine, otherworldly energy. That is good practice, too.
5. Finally, it’s time to start thinking about ambiance for the Ecstatic Dance Jam. Smudge your Ecstatic Dance Jam Space with sage, smoldering Palo Santo wood, patchouli oil, what have you. Adding floral scented incense into the mix—like rose or jasmine—is always a nice touch. It won’t diminish the overwhelming presence of body odor in the room, but will make it more difficult for attendees to pinpoint which body exudes the most intensely sour aroma. You’ll also need props like sitars, bongo drums, lots and lots of silk scarfs, maybe a tambourine or two. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What about candles?” Candles actually create a huge fire hazard with all of those exposed locks of body hair, flowing fabric and belly chains flying around in a cramped space like your garage. Its better to include those only in your restroom or another “chill” environment you create for your guests. After the space is mostly set up, an altar with figurines vaguely resembling genitals is essential to rounding out your ecstasy-inducing space. Tip: Don’t forget collections of Rumi poetry. Ecstatic Dance Jammers eat that shit up.
6. When guest begin to arrive, remember this is a safe place to express yourself without fear or judgment. Every dance move is acceptable at an Ecstatic Dance Jam. Remember that kid who threw himself across the floor of the bank last Friday? The drunk girl chasing her boyfriend out of the taqueria with shoes in hand the day before that? The mime in front of the coffee shop downtown, acting out a scene from Houdini untying himself inside an underwater coffin? All of these moves are welcome. Invited. Cherished. Take off, fly, sweat. It’s Ecstatic Dance Jam time.
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