Why a Dance Retreat?

If you’re wondering why the next retreat on the beach in Cyprus will have a focus on dance rather than yoga, the answer is simple.

I’ve always loved dancing.

I spent 5 winters in Goa back in the 90’s and once a week or so I would go down to the beach to dance all night in the moonlight to the sound of the waves. With the silver light falling on the waves and the stars whirling overhead, I found my own little piece of paradise with the beach all to myself. I played games with the incoming waves, the soft sand melting beneath my feet, finding new joys and expression than I ever knew movement could offer.

Moonlight dance retreat


I played games of imitating the walk of imaginary characters, I played chicken with the arriving waves, I became a tai chi warrior by the edge of the sea, I became an ecstatic lover of the moon, celebrating the beauty of existence with each leap and twirl.

Anyone watching me probably thought I was quite insane.

In later years I learned how to bring my breath into movement and a sense of grounding that gave stability to the passion, and as I came across dance styles like contemporary dance, butoh and movements like 5 Rhythms Dance or bio-dance, ecstatic dance – they all seemed to be to come to the same thing: it was about listening to where you body wanted to go rather than trying to control it. Dance was the language of the inner self, a calligraphy in the air that disappeared the moment you finished writing it, just like the tracks in the sand that that were erased with the next wave.

In the following years, however, it became harder to find places to dance as I travelled around the world. It needed an open space to really open up but if I danced in parks I attracted too much attention and most clubs were far too crowded and full of people intent on getting drunk and laid to really allow much space for ecstatic dance. Then as I came to work more with a computer putting my books together and building up www.roadjunky.com I lost the habit of waking up and encountering the world through dance as my first gesture of the day. I would still release cathartic energy when I found a drum circle or a swing band but essentially the memory of dancing on the beach grew dimmer and dimmer.

Recently though I took some singing lessons that were all about rooting the voice in the body and replacing control of our movements and breath with a contact with our bodies; instead of trying to sing correctly, I learned to feel where the voice wanted to go. Gentle movements helped that and before I knew it I was dancing like in the old days, combining spontaneous movements with voice and feeling an old joy reawaken.

meditation retreat on the beach


So I’ve decided to make regular dance retreats and the next one will be on the Golden Beach in North Cyprus September 29-October 4. It’s an astonishingly beautiful beach and it’s going to be such fun to gather there in the moonlight with everyone who loves to dance.

See you there!

You can also check out the event on Facebook