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Free Form Dance

Guest Blog by David Cohen

You’ve started going to free form dance sessions (maybe Ecstatic dance, 5 Rhythms, Open Floor), but dancing with strangers is something you are just not sure about.

Naturally, you first of all have to get comfortable dancing generally. For me, this didn’t take that long, and has put me on a really wonderful journey of self discovery.


When I first started attending free-form dance sessions (see below for details), dancing with others made me feel somewhat awkward, clumsy, a bit intimidated and exposed. In time, I realised that this was all perfectly normal.

At Flomotion I would see people dancing with each other in all sorts of ad-hoc ways, and then the facilitator [Julia] would say 'Turn to someone and welcome each other by dancing with your feet', and then 'Okay, move onto a new partner.” Yikes!

At a basic level, we all want some sort of connection, and when your body moves in perfect harmony with another, and the music, we feel touched in meaningful ways.

You pick up new moves as if you are mirroring each other. And then when you start moving around the dance floor, well that’s just the best, and you might even have a laugh with your ‘partner’. All this is done without having to utter a single word.

Is it sexual?

What about the men versus women thing, you might ask. There is a sexual nature to dancing, and this really began when women had a chaperone – the only way men and women could get close to each other without interference from others, was through dancing. Well, I would say that free-form dance doesn’t have other connotations like sexual tension – you’re doing it for fun, to get out of your head, feel more positive and truly alive. Yes, you are invading each other’s space, but it kind of feels consensual in a way, but you don’t need to touch or hug anyone, and it doesn’t mean you’re engaged to them!

The age barrier

And let’s cross another potential barrier whilst we’re at it – age. I’m not going to say any more. Smile, and just get on with it!

Yes, it took me a while to get confident around dancing with strangers, following each other's moves. But it helped me connect with others and experience the music in new ways. Ultimately, it has become a whole lotta fun!

Strangers in the night

“Strangers in the night, exchanging glances…”? Accept and appreciate yourself and others. Be curious. Go on, lose yourself, celebrate coming together, and dance with a stranger…

· Flomotion dance is held every two weeks in Archway, north London. On-line sessions are also held once a month.

· Email for more information.

© David Cohen April 2023

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