Over the years I have created long playlists of different music genres (such as reggae, jazz, Latin etc) as well as playlists that correspond with different parts of the flomotion experience, for example music that goes well with meditation or tracks that facilitate the ‘Inner Dance’ (when we dance with eyes shut). The idea is that when I am designing a flomotion session I have a place to begin, some options for putting together a diverse dance playlist.
Arriving and Warm Up Tunes
In the last blog I described some tracks I chose for the Arriving and Warm Up parts of a flomotion session. The next thing that happens at flomotion is called The Shake. This was taught to me in my Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher training. It is a powerful move to let go of stress held in the body which involves a continuous bouncing up and down with the knees while the rest of the body and face is soft and the eyes are shut. The music that I choose for The Shake for this week’s playlist is a funky number: wah wah guitar, tight horn section, funky flute.
In a live flomotion session, rather than an online one, I will choose the next track to get the participants interacting a bit. This will often be a Brazilian samba tune or a beaty jazz funk number with minimal lyrics so that my facilitation can be heard above the music. I might, for example ask participants to turn to a pair of feet next to them and welcome those feet (and that person!) to the dancefloor by their feet dancing together. I will then periodically tell people to switch partner, so that they end up circulating with each other and moving around the room.
Next up, there will be a few tracks for ‘free dance’, often involving one or two cover versions of well known tunes mixed up with some less known tracks. People like dancing to music they are familiar with so it is important for me to play stuff they will find easily accessible. On the other hand, it is also good to experience new music and find new ways of moving to it.
The genres that I pick for this section will be reggae, soul, house, African. From time-to-time I will come back on the microphone to remind people to take deep breaths, or to encourage people to focus in again on their feet, hips, knees etc
The Relaxation Slot
By the time the relaxation slot comes up, people are often tired and ready for a sit or lie down. Here I might choose gentle piano or guitar music, often with an emotional edge. I might also include singing prayer-type music: minimalistic, deep, healing. People have given me feedback that it is in the relaxation and meditation sections of a flomotion session that they move into deep feeling, maybe finding that some tears come and they have a sense of being ‘touched’.
After the relaxation we move into 2 tracks of the Inner Dance. This is where we all dance with our eyes shut so that we can really move our experience from the inside out without the self-consciousness that can arise when we are feeling watched. The first Inner Dance track will be something slow. People have been in a quiet meditative space during the relaxation, and the idea is to keep a sense of that as their body starts to move again.
I will often play dub reggae here. I might also play a soulful number with a strong emotional underlay to give participants the opportunity to get closer to their feelings through movement if they wish.
We then open eyes and we might have another group mixing track to get people present again to each other and the whole group. It could be a Latin tune or an upbeat jazz tune, again not too many lyrics so that people can hear my voice as I encourage them to mix and move around the room.
Free Dance Tracks
We are then into a final few ‘free dance’ tracks which will again be a mixture of genres, some familiar songs and cover versions and some less known music carefully chosen to build atmosphere. Sometimes when I am making a playlist I will be unsure of a whether a track’s beat and tempo is well-placed for this moment in the playlist. I might get up and move around the room, getting the feel of the track in my dancing body.
Every flomotion session ends with around 15 minutes of meditation that I compose for each occasion. My favourite music for this will be slow, gentle and spacious without too much complexity. My voice will need to be heard over this track as I guide people towards rest, recouperation and integration after 90 minutes of dancing. The meditation wasn’t always at the end of the session but over the years people have given me feedback that this is where they like to finish.
And so we reach the End.