Can I bring my kids?

The simple answer is yes! Kids are welcome to come. But you might want to know a little bit more about how to make the most of it for the small one you bring along. I have a lot of support on that. Follow this link for a lot more!

What kind of dancing do you do at NoMI Ecstatic Dance?

Dance is maybe not the best term to use because what we are doing is moving our bodies in any way we feel compelled to move them.


There aren’t any forms to learn, or positions, or moves. No instructions are given on how to move during the dance. There are no expectations about what you are supposed to look like. 

The invitation is to get curious about how your body wants to move today. To put aside your thinking mind and let your body and spirit come forward.


This looks like laying on the floor covered with a blanket while kicking your legs.


This looks like standing in place and swinging your arms in circles.


This looks like twirling and jumping.


This looks like shaking your chest and slapping your thighs.


Whatever moves or shapes or rhythms your body finds is just fine.

Why is it called ECSTATIC dance?

In this case, the term isn’t used to suggest overwhelming joyfulness, necessarily. It’s more in-line with the second definition in my computer dictionary,


“involving an experience of mystic self-transcendence.”


Ecstatic dance is a sacred experience.


It’s not casual or just for fun, like a dance party.


It’s an intentional gathering of people in order to tap more fully into the truth of who we are.


Our bodies carry lots of information and ecstatic dance is a place to check in with that information. Physical movement connects us to emotional and spiritual realms in ways that our thinking minds can’t always access.


As part of the dance you might experience overwhelming joyfulness, or tears may come, or anger, or no emotion at all.


There is nothing in particular that we are striving for, except to be open to what else we can understand, receive, or put down to help us live more fully as ourselves.

What should I bring to the dance?

Yourself. That is all you need to bring.


The fullness of you, all of your emotions and struggles are welcome. Your celebrations and your questions. Your shadows and your lightness. There is space for all of it.


What you bring can be explored and shifted through movement.


Other optional things to bring:

Water to stay hydrated. (Especially important in the warm months when we are outside and water is not readily available) 

A friend to share the experience with. But most people come alone, so you will be very OK if you arrive solo.

When outdoors: a blanket, mat, or towel can make sitting or dancing on the ground more comfortable. 

Other tips – don’t eat a big meal just before. Eat lightly, about an hour before, or more heavily at least two hours before. Or don’t eat at all if that’s more your constitution.

What should I wear?

Anything that helps you feel relaxed and comfortable.


Sometimes I wear my stretchy pants, sometimes I wear my blue jeans, sometimes I wear a fancy dress. Most people wear stretchy pants and a t-shirt or tank. Some people toss a skirt or dress over that.


Or bring their feather boa.


Take the opportunity to wear your playful accessories: cowboy hat, glitter paint, spooky cape. Express yourself if that feels interesting!


For your feet, go bare or wear socks. Indoor soft-soled shoes are fine if you need footwear.

When we are OUTSIDE: Shoes are recommended. I like to wear soft soled shoes so I can still feel the ground. Long pants or tall socks are recommended because the grasses can be pokey. Dress for the weather. 

Who else will be there?

That is something I never know. People don’t necessarily sign up in advance, so it’s always a pleasant surprise!


Often the group is mostly women of all ages – 18 to 75. But there is also a solid group of men and non-binary folks who come. Sometimes the group is only half women. 


This form doesn’t require any thing special from your body: strength, flexibility, agility, etc. so everyone can participate.


To be clear, your gender identity or gender fluidity is not a factor in how welcomed you will be. 

Nor is the size or shape of your body. Nor your ability or disability. Nor your skin color or ethnicity. There is simply no factor inherent to who you are that can disqualify you or limit your ability to participate and receive the full benefit of the dance. Everyone is welcome.

Expect anyone. I do. 

How much does it cost?

Cost should never be a barrier to participation, which is why I run this on a pay-how-you-are-moved basis. Check in with your financial situation and consider the value of this experience for you personally and for your community. 

I offer this to the community because free form dance has been critical for my own well-being and I know it helps others as well. At the beginning, costs were very low. Music came from free streaming sites, yoga studios donated space to us, and the labor to produce each event was relatively small. 

As the experience has become more curated and I have worked to expand our reach and become more independent, costs have increased. Payments are used to buy equipment and materials, rent space, pay for music, technology and other subscriptions, and advertise the dances. A financial report will be made available each September to show how funds are applied to enrich the dance. 


It takes many hours of joyful effort each month to make this thing happen and at this time all of those hours are donated, however the intention is to compensate the creator/s of the dance to some degree. As the creator/s are cared for, the dance will remain an exuberant offering. 

Your contribution is need to support all parts of this dance and its continuation in the community. $10-$20 is a good amount.

Who leads this thing?

My name is Jeanie Williams. I live in Suttons Bay and have been in this area since 2014. I have been holding space for Ecstatic Dance in this community since 2016.


Intentional movement through activities like ecstatic dance is key to my well-being.


Since 2004 I have explored various movement forms: yoga, contact improv, authentic movement, modern dance, yoga dance, and ecstatic dance as a practitioner and with some incredible teachers.


I am not certified or trained to lead any of these forms, but in my professional life I was a teacher for over 20 years, I am currently a professional facilitator and certified life coach. It is my greatest joy to hold space for people. 

Most importantly, Northern Michigan Ecstatic Dance is held by the community as a whole. Everyone is expected to welcome everyone else, and everyone is invited to contribute their talents and experiences –

to make a playlist,

offer a poem,

bring something beautiful for the center of the circle,

share a treat,

decorate the space with lights,

put things away at the end of the dance,

or even hold the circle itself.


The community comes together to make a truly magical experience each time.

What is the music like?

The music lasts for about an hour, and is usually in the form of a playlist, not a live DJ. (Although sometimes we do have live mixing or live music and we welcome it!)


As much as possible, the lyrics are positive or empowering. Often there are no lyrics at all.


I like to use as many different types of music as possible because each genera resonates with different parts of the body and thus different parts of our life experience.


However, most of the time it is somewhere in the realm of world music, new age, or dance music, with a handful of popular tunes mixed in. For some examples and more details check out the music page of this website

Is Ecstatic Dance for me?

The best way to find out is to come. It might be for you. It might not be.


What do you have to lose by checking it out? You can pay only as much as you want, or leave at anytime if it it's not working for you. Freedom!


It also might feel just right. It might be what you have been looking for. Another kind of Freedom.


Every dance is beginner friendly. Reach out if you have more questions. nomiecstatic@gmail.com

What if I don't live in the area?

You can join our Northern Michigan Ecstatic Dance Community on Facebook and still be part of the experience. Playlists are sometimes posted there, often with a suggestion for how to explore the theme. 

We also send a monthly newsletter that contains playlists and themes for upcoming dances, and sometimes a few extra tidbits. This is the best way to keep up with special events and all of the happenings. Sign up here  to get the newsletter.

If you'd like to bring an ecstatic dance to your community, please reach out. Jeanie can hold a one-time (or regular) experience for a small or large group.

You can also start your own group! The more groups we have the better we all will be. If you want to know how to make great ecstatic dance playlists, let us know. We have a great training. Playlists are the core of a great dance.  

Email us at nomiecstatic@gmail.com to let us know what you are looking for, or to be notified when the next training on playlists is available.