New to Open Floor? Everything you need to know.
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.
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.
Enter your body, enter a theme and the present moment.
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.
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.
We put some chairs right on the dance floor in Open Floor movement practice. This is so every BODY can take part.
The chairs make it possible to keep on moving and including without checking out, giving up or giving in.
Last but definitely not least, prioritize pleasure.
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