Dancing Meditation... Are You Rocking Your Groove?

Tania Sloan | 20 May 2024
Dancing Meditation... Are You Rocking Your Groove?

The universe is dancing along, the universe is singing a song, the universe is dancing on a day like this…and its high time to dance, its high time to dance, its high time to dance so Wake Up and Dance!”   Osho

As a person who shudders at the sound of the word ‘exercise’, dance and Laughter Yoga®, has become an integral part of my meditation practice and also doubles as my self-care regime. That’s the “fitness box” ticked. Don’t tell me that it's exercise and I’m in! I fully understand the concept of mind-body connection and for me dance is it. 

Dance as Meditation

As a meditation teacher and lecturer, one of the most frequent comments I hear from people is “I can’t meditate, my mind doesn’t stop”. I can feel their frustration and get the sense that they really want to be able to meditate in a way that comes naturally to them. 

People have the perception that meditation is about having no thought, being very still and sitting cross-legged with their fingers in a mudra position. It can be, but it can be so much more. 

There is a meditation practice for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding what you like and what suits you the best.

Emperical Evidence that it's good for you!

Not that I need to be told, nor that you need to go into your head but if you are looking for proof studies successive studies such as this one show that dance as a form of therapy improve affect-related psychological conditions by decreasing anxiety and depression levels, and increased quality of life and cognitive skills. Why not read Judith Hana's article on Dancing to Resit, Reduce and Escape Stress

Setting Intentions

With all forms of meditation, your intention is an important part of the ritual so it goes to say that it’s also an integral part of your dancing meditation practice. Why are you dancing and what do you want to achieve from the practice and bringing your full attention to it.

Being clear about your intention, you are able to get the most out of your practice whether it is going with the flow and allowing yourself to be moved by the music; being mindful of the body as it occupies the space around you or how it moves in response to sound. Perhaps you dance to connect with your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual body. It doesn’t matter what the intention or theme, bringing mindful awareness or focus to the practice is the key.

As an act of radical self care and reclaiming your birthright of true wellness, your intention is all about coming back to your true self..the one before all that has happened to you has happened. Ever seen a kid dance?  Go there!

The Benefits of Dancing Meditation

This is an exciting time for meditation and it’s resurgence across the world, with the increase in body awareness practices such as yoga, mindful movement, Laughter Yoga® and dance. If you have trouble sitting still or have excess energy, then dance meditation may be right up your alley. Here are some of the possible benefits:

  • Improves balance and spatial awareness
  • Supports psychological wellbeing, as well as your mental functioning
  • Moves chi (life force energy) through your body, improving circulation and may support the release of energy blockages
  • Relieves stress, anxiety and overwhelm
  • Improves your overall self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Increases your Happy Hormone serotonin which regulates your mood, prevents depression and makes you feel a greater sense of joy
  • Brings you into a deeper connection with yourself
  • Dancing is wellness embodied

Trusting Your Body

For me, dancing meditation brings me joy, laughter and good feelings. I’m usually smiling from ear to ear and the feeling of euphoria stays with me for the rest of the day. I found that I can’t hold anger, anxiety (or any negative feelings for that matter) whilst I danced. Being able to let go of control and allow the music to flow through me which entices my body to simply move with the energy of the music.

My body knows how to move, so I let it. It’s like controlling the breath in meditation, there’s no need to, your body knows how to breathe.

There’s a real sense of freedom, my heart opens and flies in all directions – overwhelming joy flows through my veins and it changes my entire day especially when I’m being challenged.

So, Let’s Dance!

  1. Body Awareness Dance – an excellent way to develop a deep connection between your mind and your body. A beautiful mindfulness practice, allowing you to really get to know your body by making space for your body to speak to you. Here's a great example.
  2. Sacred Dance – the dance of intimacy, the dance of self-love. Dancing to the I AM of all that you are on all levels of being. This can be such a graceful dance and then at other times be aggressive as you honour all elements of you
  3. Ecstatic Dance – also known as ritual dance, is dancing to achieve altered states of consciousness. This is usually through dancing to themes such as the lunar cycle, the equinoxes, gratitude or anything you want to embody. This form of dance is much more powerful as part of ceremony or ritual
  4. Free Form Dance – all the different styles of dances may include free-form or structured dance yet free form encourages a real sense of freedom and liberation which I have found has led me to profound awareness’s and insights about my ego-self. You might like to check out what our therapist, Kate-Marie Mutsaers has to offer
  5. Car Dance – excellent for heavy traffic as it assists you to avoid impatient behaviour and road rage. Car dancing usually includes loud singing to 80’s music. (I also sing completely out of tune at the top of my voice – let me tell you, I haven’t sounded better than in these moments. You know the feeling!)
Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Check out this wonderful exploration of Ecstatic dance

Remember that the most important criteria about Dance Meditation is setting your intention. Now, I invite you to bring your full attention to it. We have so much to be grateful for!

Use dance to express your gratitude for life and in those moments when you are struggling to connect to your grateful heart, ask the energy of your dance to reconnect you. Enjoy!


What is dance meditation and how does it differ from traditional meditation?

Answer: Dance meditation combines physical movement with meditative practice. Unlike traditional meditation, which often involves stillness and sitting in specific postures, dance meditation involves rhythmic movement to music. It allows for expressive movement and can be more accessible for those who find traditional meditation challenging.

What are the benefits of dance meditation?

Answer: Dance meditation offers numerous benefits, including improved balance, spatial awareness, enhanced psychological wellbeing, better circulation, and stress relief. It can also boost self-esteem, increase serotonin levels, and promote a deeper connection with oneself. Discover the holistic advantages of incorporating dance meditation into your routine.

Can dance meditation help with anxiety and depression?

Answer: Yes, studies have shown that dance therapy can reduce anxiety and depression levels, improve overall quality of life, and enhance cognitive skills. Dance meditation provides a joyful and expressive outlet that alleviates negative emotions and supports mental health. Learn how dance meditation can enhance your emotional wellbeing.

How do I set intentions for my dance meditation practice?

Answer: Setting intentions is crucial for dance meditation. Determine your purpose and goals for the practice. Whether you aim to connect with your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual body, or simply enjoy the movement, clear intentions help you gain the most from your practice. Discover tips on setting effective intentions for your dance meditation sessions.

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Answer: Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is a type of psychotherapy that uses movement and dance to support the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social integration of individuals. It is based on the premise that movement and emotion are interconnected. DMT can help improve self-esteem, body image, and communication skills while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Learn more about the transformative power of Dance Movement Therapy and how it can benefit your overall wellbeing.

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About the author

Tania Sloan

Meditation Education, Sacred Movement Facilitator and Yoga Instructor

Tania is a wellness educator, energy healer, meditation teacher and laughter yoga leader. As an energy healer, Tania loves providing a safe place and sacred space for universal energy to help balance and support the innate wisdom of your body to heal itself. 

Disclaimer: This Content has been developed from our generous global community and is intended for informational purposes only. This Content is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon. Further, the personal views and experiences published are expressly those of the author, and do not represent the views or endorsement of SoulAdvisor through the act of publication on our site.

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