What is a Biodanza class like?

A fictional account about a first Biodanza Class

So I thought I'd write about joining the Biodanza class. After all of this lockdown it really felt like time to put myself out there again and try something new. Amy recommended it to me and said there was a new class starting. She said it was a kind of dancing class where you could just do your thing only people danced together and it was nice. She said she couldn't make it but that I'd be alright on my own.

So that's how I turned up at Tresillian village hall on Saturday. I was pretty nervous. I didn't really know what I was going to but I liked that it was the first class and everyone would be kind of new too. You know I don't like to be late so I got there at about ten to. The hall looked quite nice from the outside, there didn't seem to be many cars and I wondered if I was in the right place. But when I went in I could hear music playing from the hall. I took a breath and pushed the swing doors open - like in a saloon. You know - like in a Western. It wasn't really but you know what I mean.

The hall was big and had a nice wooden floor and smelled of old varnish in that way that village halls do. There were just three people there, they were all at the edges doing stuff like sorting out their leg warmers. No, no one actually wore leg warmers, but you know what I mean. Then there was the teacher. He was fiddling with equipment over by a big pile of speakers that were playing some sort of South American elevator music. The teacher came over when he saw me. He had no shoes on and his face was mostly beard, but he had nice eyes and a nice smile. He said his name was Rue. I told him mine was Nell. He asked if I'd done biodanza before. I said no. Then he told me to just hang around and that we'd get going in a bit. I didn't know what that meant so I went and sat at the side. Slowly more people arrived, some knew each other and hugged, others didn't seem to know anyone. Some danced. Eventually there were about twenty people, different ages, mostly women, maybe about a third were men. I was probably one of the younger ones. Most looked quite 'normal' if you know what I mean. There were a few that looked quite hippy or floaty, and some that just looked like something out of harry potter. Come to think of it, the teacher was one of those. I was just starting to feel like I shouldn't have come when the music stopped and the teacher gathered us all into the center. I felt better now we were doing something.

We all sat down and he, Rue, the teacher, told us some stuff about the history of biodanza: About how it was sort of dance but more about how to feel good. He said about how just dancing the exercises that he showed us would make ourselves know how to feel better without having to do anything. He talked for quite a bit, and actually it was really interesting. It all sort of made sense, like we'd dance but not talk and just do things for the fun of it and that everything was okay. It made me feel okay actually, although I didn't really follow it and by the end I didn't really know any more about what were were going to do.

Then we all got up and stood in a circle holding hands. Rue told us that it was alright to like holding hands, which was a bit weird but I did actually like the feeling. The first song we just sort of walked round in a circle. Rue said that we always would start like this and that it was like an opening ceremony. That we all stopped talking and stuff and stopped being outside people and started being in the thing. He called the session something but I can't remember what. Anyway were were all to be in it. It was definitely the weirdest bit, with people not knowing where to look, but it was easy at least. Just go round and listen to the music, and actually it did make a difference. I started to feel sort of more at home. I liked not talking, and having something just to do. When I looked at the teacher he was smiling and looked really happy. Although he was in the circle going round like everyone else, his body just seemed to be dancing. He smiled at me and I smiled back, then didn't know where to look.

When the music stopped he put on another song and made us walk around to it. It's crazy to say, but it was really fun. The music was sort of naff - like a Dixie Jazz band - but Rue just marched up and down with a big gin on his face - he looked like he was in primary school and having so much fun that it was infectious. It made me want to do that too and soon everyone was like grinning and marching up and down to this crazy naff brass band.

After that we did it again only this time we held hands - like two people together. I didn't know anyone so I just chose this girl who was near me. She was really fun, when we marched off we just started like skipping together and we were both sort of laughing. Then Rue shouted 'change!' and we had to let go and find someone else. Honestly I know it sounds a bit cringy but it was way better than it sounds. It felt a bit awkward with some people, but we kept changing a lot so it didn't really matter and it was nice. I got surprised by how nice some of the people were that I thought were going to be really like stern or something.

Anyway it carried on like that - It's super funny but I really can't remember what we did - it sort of became a blur. We played some games - like really playing together - and the energy just kept on building. By the middle I really did feel like I was in a different kind of world. We did this brilliant dance, Rue said just for ourselves, like you know sometimes when you dance like crazy in your kitchen, only we were all there together.

Right after that we started doing this really slow dance - just like breathing and stuff to this music that was really beautiful. And that changed everything again. It's hard to describe but I just felt really peaceful - and the crazy thing was after that the other people just looked different. Like everyone had just got out of a warm bath or something. I don't mean they were naked. Just their faces were like softer. We did another kind of dancing all together, "flowing into the space between us" Rue said. It was lovely. And we danced together again, like just touching fingers. Rue demonstrated how to do it and he just looked so lovingly at his partner while he danced, it really touched me. You don't see that very often. I did the dance with one of the older women in the group. I think it must have been the music or something but it felt like there was an angel dancing with us - like this woman that I didn't know was sort of sending love down through the years. I made me cry a bit. And everybody, almost everybody sort of got into it like that, you know, affected by it.

At the end, we did a circle again, and the music started all slow then got faster and by the end we were all laughing. I don't really know what happened but when I left I was all like my heart was glowing and my face felt happy. Maybe like I'd been waiting years for something only I didn't know what and now I'd got it without knowing what I'd got. I'm sure going back anyway.