Sunday, January 31, 2016

What You Might Experience at Sunday Dance…

As you enter the studio, remember that a sacred container has been created, and that we are all moving into our own inner space. Turn off your cell phone. Keep your conversations outside in the lobby. And BE welcomed into the dance!

For the first 15 - 20 minutes we’ll be arriving into the room, arriving into our bodies, warming up, stretching.

Breathe deeply, your breath will help to connect you with the process, especially if you‘re new to this practice. Any time you feel unsure, focus on your breath, on the bottoms of your feet securely on the floor, allow your body to move freely.

The music is designed in a ‘double wave’ moving from a slow circular flowing tempo to faster sharper staccato, building into chaos before releasing into lyrical, arriving at stillness then flowing again into the 2nd wave (as inspired by the 5Rhythms). Allowing us to move even deeper. In this form the music is a guide/support into our inner realms.

What am I feeling right now? How does my body like to move - right now?

This is your time, your practice. Tune in, BE curious about your Self.

If you feel the need to connect with another on the dance floor, remember - we are all in different places within, make sure you have full eye contact before engaging another, before moving in too close.

If you need to be lying/sitting down on the floor at any time, please do so on the edges of the room, very near the wall, keeping aware of moving dancers.

There may be tears, shouts, or other forms of release happening on the dance floor. Do give space to the person in process, allow for their unfolding, we do not need to fix nor assist. The facilitator is holding everyone in awareness. Use the opportunity to deepen your own self discovery.

Honor each others’ space and journey, we are all moving into more of our Selves. Closing is our sacred time, a time to put our names into the circle and briefly share what is living in our hearts and minds. Pass the chocolate and YUUMmmmm…

Thank YOU for showing up!

By Nina Smith, facilitator of Phoenix Sunday Dance

Monday, November 2, 2015

Why I Dance, by Nina Smith

Why I Dance, by Nina Smith Nearly 14 years ago my life took an unexpected turn, and I was devastated into a depression that had me contemplating leaving this life. A kind friend saw me one day and offered me a small piece of paper with an address on it, he said ..." go here, you need this"... and so I did. The address was to a huge warehouse in Venice, California (I was living in L.A. then). It was a Sunday morning, and I had no idea what was going on in there. The music was pulsing and there were around 100 people dancing freely. My mind said crazy things, yet my body yearned to dive in, as if drinking from a deep well after a long thirst. I followed my body. It was the "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" dance tribe (Jo Cobbett). Little did I know that my whole life was about to change, forever. And that I was creating a new pathway that would eventually bring me to Arizona, and that I would be holding sacred space for YOU here at Phoenix Sunday Dance. I began to show up and move every Sunday morning (11:15 am - 2pm) for a few years. I never spoke with anyone, I didn't socialize there. I just showed up danced and let my mind rest while my body opened more and more. The depression slowly dissolved. During that time I heard about Gabrielle Roth, that she was coming to California, to the Esalen Institute for a week long intensive in the 5Rhythms. I love Big Sur, and had begun going there regularly to work with Dr Hank Wesselman, in the area of Shamanism ( I attended my first (of many) workshops with Gabriele Roth, in the dance dome at the Esalen Institute. Life illuminated. I began to discover my inner terrain in a way that only conscious movement can deliver. There is so much more to this story. I share these few bits here in order that some might comprehend my devotion to this practice, and to the fearless facilitators who share this sacred work throughout the world. In a few short weeks Amara Pagano will be here in Phoenix, offering her heart and her work "Living Fully Loving Deeply" ( and I will BE!

--This story is part of the growing "Share Your Story" virtual altar at Arizona Conscious Dance highlighting reflections and art how conscious dance touches lives. We invite you to share your story or other artwork with the community by emailing it to 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All Souls Procession Weekend ~ Nov 7-8 Tucson ~ For the Community, By the Community

 Come dance from your heart, honor those passed, and be moved by the inspirations of so many...
The All Souls Procession is perhaps one of the most important, inclusive and authentic public ceremonies in North America today. The Procession had its beginnings in Tucson, Arizona in 1990 with a ceremonial performance piece created by local artist Susan Johnson. Johnson was grieving the passing of her father, and as an artist, she found solace in a creative, celebratory approach to memorializing him. Says Johnson, “From the beginning, it was different people’s ethnic groups, different cultures, but also it was all these different art forms put together.”

After that first year, many artists were inspired to continue, growing the Procession into its modern incarnation. Today we find ourselves organizing well over 150,000 participants on the streets of downtown Tucson for a two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the ceremonial burning of a large Urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed.

Myriad altars, performers, installation art, and creatives of all kinds collaborate for almost half the year to prepare their offerings for this amazing event. The All Souls Procession, and now the entire All Souls Weekend, is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones and ancestors.

Many Mouths One Stomach, a non-profit arts collective based in Tucson, AZ, is the organizing body for the Procession, and serves as a vehicle for working artists to collaborate, create, and inspire the public through Festal Culture. “Festal Culture”  is the expression and fulfillment of core human needs through public celebration, ceremony, and ritual. The All Souls Procession is an event that was created to serve the public need to mourn, reflect, and celebrate the universal experience of Death, through their ancestors, loved ones, and the living.

The Procession is a sanctuary for community members from all walks of life to express their grief and loss in a celebration of creative energy and rejoicing of life.
With the continued cooperation of the City of Tucson, Tucson Police and Fire departments, local businesses, civic organizations, and participants like YOU — MMOS stewards the development of the parade to accommodate the growing number of participants in a healthy and harmonious way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Share your story...

Conscious dance gatherings across Arizona are growing! We're so excited to now have our website and calendar up to share more of conscious dance in our desert land. We're just getting started, but look for events, inspirations, and blog posts highlighting the work and wonder of conscious dance across the state.
Please help us make this website a place of outreach and inspiration. We are collecting brief reflections or long stories, as well as art on how conscious dance has touched lives, to share here on the website. We'd love to hear yours.  
Please email yours to 

Thank you for being a part of conscious dance in Arizona! heart emoticon

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Welcome to Arizona Conscious Dance!

Welcome! Arizona Conscious Dance is here to bring more conscious dance to more people. As a collective we create and nurture conscious dance throughout our community. A diversity of offerings throughout the state are posted on our Facebook group.
Conscious dance is a free form dance/moving meditation open to all ability levels, body types, and ages (however, please check if a particular class is appropriate for children before bringing them.) There is a great spectrum of approaches to conscious dance, so if one type isn't your thing, we encourage you to try another!
If you know of other great conscious dance opportunities not listed here, please let us know.
Spread the word, join our Facebook group, and may your life be ignited with authentic motion!