What to Expect

New to Open Floor? Everything you need to know.

EXPERIENCE OPEN FLOOR MOVEMENT PRACTICE

There are many ways to move on the Open Floor with hundreds of teachers offering classes online and across five continents. These include Trainings for all levels of experience. You can dance every day of the week.

The Open Floor Movement Cycle

Teachers and Therapy in Motion practitioners guide students through the various phases of the Movement Cycle. This may include a combination of structured exercises, verbal guidance, open periods of dance and movement along with supportive music.

We start with  Open Attention. Take time to arrive. Warm up and prepare the body for movement.

Enter your body, enter a theme and the present moment. 

Begin to Explore. This is where we broaden, deepen, expand and move with the Movement Resources.
Settle…digest, integrate.  This helps re-map the nervous system and allows new embodied pathways to be encoded.

FAQs

Yes, we are. Open Floor is a mindfulness practice – doing it with others, to great music and with the guidance of a teacher can be very helpful. Students everywhere join online classes to learn how to navigate the current state of our world.

Visit our Teacher Calendar for more information on our current online offerings.

Classes will vary between 1.25h and 2hrs. Workshops usually take place over several days. 

Class sizes vary greatly, you may find yourself in a small, intimate group with a handful of people or with 100 other dancers – and anything in between.

A water bottle and a journal/notebook if you wish to record your experiences.

Many people like to dance barefoot. Soft shoes are also good. Avoid socks and outdoor shoes. Socks make it easier to slip and get injured. We recommend wearing layers so you can adjust temperature.

Wearing layers and comfortable clothing recommended.

Open Floor uses dance, movement and some talking as a means of meditation and personal development. It is not a performance. All you have to do to be the perfect Open Floor dancer is show up.

Taking part in Open Floor movement classes online means that you can choose if you dance on or off camera…or do a bit of both, or keep your camera turned off entirely if that’s what works for you. 

A dance can look like anything, from a wild boogie to a gently tapping finger. We don’t learn to dance, we dance to learn.

Teachers offer a combination of structured exercises, verbal guidance, open periods of dance, and supportive music to encourage students through the various phases of the movement cycle.

These exercises can be solo, with a partner or in a small group. Pairs and group exercises are optional and don’t involve touch unless you consent to it.

Dancers sometimes do make physical contact but it is neither compulsory nor an essential part of the practice. Everyone is expected to be mindful of consent. We also recognize that the act of initiating, and the accepting or not accepting of physical contact is a vulnerable place for both people.

Your teacher has been trained to facilitate this conversation and keeps a constant eye on the group.

No. Open Floor welcomes people of all religions, spiritual practices and none. We use the term “Spirit” very broadly. It is about having a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves. We sometimes have a visual focal point in the dance space. Some people like to think of it as an altar, others like to think of it as an art installation.

Some Open Floors welcome all children, some have age limits and some are adult only. Check with your teacher beforehand.

HAVE A QUESTION?

for a Great Experience

There are no steps to learn or routines to follow. You move as much as you can and want to. If you’re not sure what to do, look at what the others are doing and copy a move that catches your attention. It can look like anything. You can go fast or slow, big or small, spiky or soft. You don’t have to make pretty shapes or put on a performance…and you absolutely can if you want to. It’s all welcome. However you want to move is the right way to move.

As with any meditation practice, distractions happen – expect them. When you notice you’re somewhere else, bring yourself back to your body and include a flavor of whatever is coming up for you in your dance. We all hit patches of fatigue, boredom, shyness, frustration, or discomfort. Even if you can only wiggle a finger or nod your head to the beat, stay with it until something changes. Most often, it will.

Use your breath as an anchor. When we keep bringing our attention to the quality of the inhale and exhale, we make it our meditation. It’s easier that way to unhook from self-consciousness, resistance and stories that are keeping us stuck in the past or projected into the future. Each breath keeps us firmly rooted in the present and is the impulse for our next move.

We use music to catalyze movement. Love it or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Use everything to inspire movement. We play all sorts of music. Everything from dance to rock to tribal to classical. If you don’t like a particular piece of music, have a go at doing a “I-don’t-like-this-music-dance” and see what happens.

No matter what anybody else is doing, listen to your body. If you relax in the beat, like a swimmer treading water, you can keep going.

We put some chairs right on the dance floor in Open Floor movement practice. This is so every BODY can take part.

  • We can keep on moving when we’re tired.
  • We can keep on moving when we’re injured.
  • We can keep on moving when we can’t move much at all.
  • We can keep on moving when there are no moves left.

 

The chairs make it possible to keep on moving and including without checking out, giving up or giving in.

Let the body do the talking. On the Open Floor we shift from communicating with words to conversations in movement. Do introduce yourself and say hello to others and your teacher at at the beginning or the end of the class. You might be surprised by the difference in your conversation after having moved with these people for a few hours.

Last but definitely not least, prioritize pleasure.

Words from Students

"I felt elation and freedom. I felt welcome, and like I’d come home. ”
Sasha Renfit
U.S.A.
“It felt fun and nourishing. I slept like a log aftewards, which I don’t often do."
Beatrice Karmann
Italy
"It feels like I'm doing something grown up and meaningful"
Nilay Seyranoglu
U.K.
"There is a sense of inclusion, grace and openness to all. I have landed home ... ”
Jos Carenau
Germany
"I love how I connect with my body, trusting that it will guide me on how it needs and wants to move. ”
Wendy Frazer
U.K.
“I felt very nourished, and my cells in my body are happy. Thank you for a very inspiring way to live life."
Jean claud loredano
France
"I had an amazing experience. I knew conscious dance was something I loved and now I know it even deeper."
Samantha Briatico
Australia

Watch A Class

Open Floor Class in Tel Aviv, Israel with Tammy Vardi

Filmed and edited by Maya Ofer

Open Floor Class in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Laure Noterman

Video made by Jorge (jojo) Paraskevaidis, Music by Kiasmo, Swept

Join the Movement.

Join a global community of movers from around the world. Resource yourself and revive the world!

Subscribe to our newsletter below to learn how you can get involved.