HomeHealth3 reasons why ecstatic dance makes you a happier person

3 reasons why ecstatic dance makes you a happier person

Reading time:  5  minutes

Remember what it was like to dance when you were a kid? Wild and free, without any restrictions. You moved your body however you wanted to the beat of the beat, you let go of control completely and surrendered to the moment and the music. Your whole body radiated with joy and light. You had no shame or fear when you were dancing.

Through ecstatic dance you can still dance like that even if you are an adult now. Of course, if you start dancing like crazy in the street, your passers-by will probably think you are crazy. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't deprive yourself of the many joys and benefits of ecstatic dance. We are always told to be serious in our Western society, but perhaps what we really need is to let our inner child go out and embrace our purest selves without judgment.

What is ecstatic dance?

Ecstatic dance is an ultimate dance journey where you enter the dance alone or with a dance partner. It is about your own inner experience and coming completely into your own body in the dance.

It is often practiced without a set choreography. The idea of ecstatic dance is to completely lend yourself and your body to the rhythm of the music. In this dance you move freely through the space that leads to a state of trance and ecstasy (hence the name ecstatic). In trance, many practitioners find that the dance puts them in a deep meditative state. With ecstatic dance one is complete and committed in the body and therefore also fully in the present moment.

The effects of practicing this dance form are many and vary depending on the dancer. Many dancers report a feeling of bliss and happiness, due to the ecstatic state of being. This ecstatic dance can also be extremely therapeutic, it can heal trauma. Many dancers also feel more connected to their peers and their own emotions.

DANCE like no one is watching. SING like no one is listening. LOVE like you've never been hurt and LIVE like it's heaven on Earth

Mark Twain

Ecstetic dance has been around since ancient times and has been practiced for centuries. Shamanism practiced all over the world combines ecstatic dance with rhythmic drumming and spiritual practices designed to enhance the states of consciousness of the individual.

Today ecstatic dance is found and offered all over the world in many different variations and traditions. Many compare modern ecstatic dance with a rave-like house setting, but without drugs, alcohol or a nightclub.

How ecstatic dance makes you a happier person
How ecstatic dance makes you a happier person (fig)

How to dance ecstatic?

First of all, there is no right or wrong when it comes to ecstatic dancing. The important thing is to enter with an open mind without any expectation, but fully present in the body.
You can dance as wildly and expressively as you want, shake your whole body, jump, make noises, crawl on the floor, cuddle, scream, do a handstand, shake your head or just be still - whatever you want. The motto of ecstatic dance is dance as if no one is looking!

The benefits of ecstatic dance

To get people out of their routine to do what is considered “crazy” in our mainstream Western society, there must be great benefits to physical, mental and emotional health. And there are many benefits!
Dancing has been proven in several studies to increase happiness on all levels. When we dance, our brains release endorphins, hormones that can activate neurotransmitters that create a feeling of comfort, relaxation, pleasure and strength. Music and dance not only activate the sensory and motor circuits of our brain, but also the pleasure centers. Ecstatic dance is no exception! It is a dance technique that stimulates the feel-good hormone endorphins the most.

In addition, dancing is very good for your general physical health, since the whole body moves and you can start sweating within minutes. It also reduces stress on a physiological and mental level. Being fully in the body and moving freely and without thoughts or limitations while listening to the music will bring you back to the present moment, lowering the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and taking you out of fight-flight mode and into a state of bliss and satisfaction. You can literally shake off all your stress and worries.

During the dance, we disconnect from the beta brainwaves that are active in our daily life and problem-solving skills and connect to a deeper and trance-like state of theta brainwaves. Theta brainwaves are normally only present in sleep or deep meditation, but are also activated during dance practice. Theta brainwaves are known to improve creativity, intuition, memory and learning.

Ecstatic dance is nowadays increasingly used in a therapeutic setting. It can help the dancer to let go of emotions, to process problems from the perspective of the body and not to heal from the conscious mind and the inner child, by giving him or her love and attention through the dance. In fact, regular ecstatic dance practice has been proven to be successful in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

After the dance, many participants feel a deep inner bliss, calm, serenity and deep connection with themselves and the environment.

Sources include; Psychology spot (link), Southern living (link)


  1. Bonjour après avoir fait cette danse dans l'ignorance qu'elle portait ce nom, j'ai ressenti un total lâcher prize mais après j'ai eu une sensation de lourdeur dans les bras et les jambes ainsi qu'une douleurs a la hanche et au ventre hors je n'ai pas forcer car j'ai commencé par faire un design intuitive, je ne comprends pas. thanks


Please enter your comment.
Enter your name here


Recent comments

en_GBEnglish (UK)