Dancing with Trees
“If we see the real source of the dance, if we go to nature, we find that the dance of the future is the dance of the past . . . the movements of the savage, who lived in freedom, in constant touch with nature, were unrestricted, natural and beautiful. Only the movements of the naked body can be perfectly natural. Man, at the end of civilisation will have to return to nakedness . . . (and his) body will be the harmonious expression of his spiritual being.” Isadora Duncan
Dancing with trees or outside in a field on the grass or in woods is a beautiful and enlivening experience.
Have you ever noticed how trees dance? If you spend any time with trees on a breezy day you can see them move and blow in the wind and it looks very much like dancing. Isadora Duncan – the mother of modern dance used to spend hours dancing under a big oak tree until she could feel the spirit of the tree blow through her.
As you know spending time with trees is grounding and energising. We cannot live without the oxygen that trees provide. There is something deeply magical and soothing about dancing barefoot on the ground with a tree to accompany you. It can feel really relaxing to copy the moves of the branches and leaves with your arms and hands and fingers and body. Of course you can play music too but you don’t always need it as there is a natural rhythm that comes with the breeze.
Dancing has always been a part of human connection. Traditionally communities, tribes and villages always came together to dance in order to celebrate or to find the answer to a problem. Solutions that come through moving the body can be more transformative than those which come from the mind and logic alone. Nowadays we don’t dance together so much. There are lots of forms of more and more natural dance that are becoming really popular like 5 Rhythms and Biodanza and Freedom Dance. However, if you go to any gathering of any religion or community you will find dancing together in celebration is still the norm and we dance at weddings and birthdays and parties. Dancing is one of the most re-connecting experiences of being human. When we dance we can express things we may not be able to say. When we move our body we can feel truly alive and in our natural state.
Dancing together outside with trees heightens this experience. I have known people to feel at one with the tree and to create the most extraordinary dance together. When you dance by a tree three things happen:
- your feet become connected to the earth and you feel grounded and supported
- you get extra oxygen in your lungs which give you more energy
- there is an innate feeling of this being normal and real which makes you feel deeply whole and at one with yourself and in the universe
There are many places to dance outside with trees and nature other than just yourself and a tree:
I host dancing with faeries at intervals throughout the year when I find a place where faeries like to gather.
Seth Newman offers free Dancing with Trees events in London
I also host Dancing with the Soul of the Earth Dance Ceremonies at The Green Gathering and other festivals
Guy Barrington hosts the Dancing Heart Path at many locations both in and outside