Go with the Flomotion
Getting too old for a bit of dancing? Bah humbug – this free-form dance could change your life.
Guest Blog by David Cohen
I’m at the recently retired stage in life, where I’ve been spending increased time investing more in understanding who I am, including my wellbeing and keeping in good shape. This has taken various forms, such as mindful meditation, song circles, Tantra, home work-outs and other forms of self-nourishment.
A friend of mine said “I go to a conscious dance session every couple of weeks. Why don’t you come along, I think you’ll really enjoy it and get a lot out of it. They are a lovely group.”
“Hmm,” I thought. “Dancing? That’s for weddings and bar mitzvahs, isn’t it?” Well the last time I did any dancing was too long ago – some body-popping with my teenage son at a function.
The only person I’d know is my friend, and I don’t always get along so easily with new crowds, although I’m getting much better at that.
So, on a Saturday evening in late January 2022, I rocked up at a Methodist Church Hall in Archway, north London.
After introductions, I did my best to settle into the mood of the evening. Slow, ambient sounds to start with help me warm up and ground myself in the space, and not get too conscious about moving around in front of others. Then for the next 90 minutes, an eclectic and heady mixture of specially selected dance tunes including soul, Afro, reggae, pop, rock etc. Some you’ll know, many you won’t, and that’s the beauty of it – you’ll also get to hear some great new sounds.
In-between all of that is some guided meditation, where everything slows down – I’m getting too old to lie on the floor so I just sit on a chair. The ‘shake’, which is a wonderful stress releasing all body shake, eyes closed, really gets things moving; you need the thighs to do a bit of work too, but after a few sessions, you’ll be in the zone for sure. Oh, yes, they’ll also be a bit of jigging with other dancers, and a number where we move in and out of a circle, culminating in a grand movement as if we are dancing as one.
The real takeaway, the effect and impact, can be quite startling. It didn’t take me long to feel a real heightened sense of wellbeing. It’s difficult to put into words exactly, but I was feeling a lot of love (no, really) and light pouring into my body – such a wonderful thing, with many, many positive thoughts and feelings rushing through my body.
There’s a closing circle where – only if you want – you can share how the session went for you. And there’s plenty of humour in there too, which makes it all the more enjoyable.
Those hardy enough for further action retreat to a local restaurant, for more real-life connections, accompanied by rather moorish food.
Julia Franks runs the sessions. She ran Superstition and other club nights way back in the 1980s and now puts her energy into this incredible form of conscious and ecstatic dance.
It may seem that Julia is at the controls, in terms of making it all happen the way it does. Yes, she chooses the playlist (but suggestions are always welcome),and guides us through some parts of the session. But it’s really everyone else – the dancers – that make it special. It’s their energy and exuberance that really stamps the loving vibe over the whole evening. Taking a look around the room is a great way to let the temperature of the evening infuse you, and I’m just as guilty as anyone else at sneaking a lot at some others’ smart moves, and doing a bit of the same myself. Hey, take the best, from the best, is what I say.
And there’s certainly not a hint of ageism. All ages are welcome, and all contribute in their own special way.
So, if you are a bit like me – over 40, wanting to dance without the distraction of pick-ups, competition, drugs, or booze, then conscious dance might just be for you. And if you can get yourself to Archway, Flomotion is a great place to start.
Dance like there’s no-one watching – you might just like it, and it could do wonders for your wellbeing!
l Flomotion dance is held every two weeks in Archway, north London. On-line sessions are also held once a month.
l See www.flomotion.dance for more information.
© David Cohen February 2023