Next dance - 24th March 2017
After a break of a few months (for health reasons) we are resuming on Friday 24th March.
If you'd like advance notice before each dance please join our mailing list.
Experience the sheer pleasure of moving in your own way to great music!
You pay £6-£10 depending on your ability to pay (no proof required).
What is a DanceJourney?
Love dance and live within easy reach of Cheltenham? There are no steps to learn and no rules to follow - all that is a required is a willingness to let go and experience the pleasure of discovering your own way of moving to music, from pop to classical, tribal to meditative. If you're aged between 18 and 82*, no matter what your level of fitness, mobility or confidence, then it's for you.
Moving to music is a way of entering another world - of feeling, of being, of ecstasy. It can liberate you from your normal state of being and provide a creative way of relating to other people. It's also fantastic exercise! By the end of the evening, you'll be in a different place from where you started.
Free dance is also a way of understanding your body and expressing what is inside you that builds confidence and increases the capacity for joy. Unlike most dance classes it is led lightly, the emphasis being on discovering your own way of moving - but there is some direction for those who need it.
*Our oldest guest attended after hearing us on the radio and phoning the BBC to ask if he could come, given that he was 82. We said 'of course!'. He came and he loved it!
Those who have never been to a dance group before, or who feel feel awkward or shy about dancing are very welcome - we've all been there :-)
What happens during the evening?
Please arrive between 7.30 and 7.45pm in time for a pre-dance warm-up with Jo-Anne. During the warm-up, you will perform gentle movement exercises in order to get you into your body and stretch your muscles in preparation for dancing. At 8pm we will have an opening circle in which we introduce ourselves to each other, after which the dancing begins. Please note that there is no admittance after 8pm (we won't be able to hear you knocking).
We then take the first steps on our DanceJourney. The music follows a wave-like pattern, starting slowly and gently, then becomes more rhythmic, reaching a crescendo towards the middle of the evening. Coming down from the ecstatic high the music becomes lighter and more playful, then finally reflective and spacious, allowing you by the end of the evening to reach a place of profound peace.
You are free to move in whatever way you wish, or even not move at all if you wish to take a break.
The lighting is kept low so that if you feel self-conscious you can be in your own space until you are ready to step out and interact with others - though you don't have to if you don't want to.
If you wish to chat to someone, please do so in the kitchen (or outside during the summer), as the sound of other people talking can be very disruptive when one is lost in a piece of music or one's own dance process.
The music stops at about 9.15pm. in a closing circle during which we can take a few minutes to appreciate the sound of silence, not only around us but within ourselves, and we can share any experiences, feelings or thoughts that occurred during the evening. We disperse at 9:30pm.
If you're familiar with Five Rhythms or The Wave, you'll enjoy DanceJourney.
Below is a typical playlist, to give you an idea of the kind of music you will be dancing to. You can hear others on our Playlists page. Please consider supporting the artists by purchasing some of the tracks you enjoyed.
When and what time?
Sessions take place on a Friday evening starting at 7.30 and ending at 9.30pm. Please arrive between 7:30 and 7.45pm.
Click here to be notified about the dates.
No admission after 8pm (we won't be able to hear you knocking!).
How much does it cost?
You can pay anything between £6.00 and £10.00 inclusive, depending on your income (don't worry, we don't ask you to provide proof!). You can pay on the door, or in advance by cheque, BACS or paypal.
What Do I wear?
Please wear loose clothing as you may get very hot. Male and female changing facilities and toilets are available. You can dance in in bare feet (at your own risk) as the sprung wooden floor is smooth. You can also wear soft dance shoes, but not street shoes as these could lead to injury.
Need a reminder?
Subscribe to our mailing list and we'll send a reminder before the next dance - handy if you have a hectic schedule. Don't worry - we won't spam you or try to sell you stuff (we won't pass your details on to any third parties either).
DanceJourney takes place in an alcohol and drug-free environment. All you'll need is plenty of water. Either bring your own or drink the tap water provided. It is important to drink more water than you think you need, to avoid dehydration and stiffness the following morning.
Bayshill Unitarian Church Hall is accessed by two steps at the rear entrance. If you are a wheelchair user please let us know beforehand however so that we can help you in at the front of the hall (road entrance), which although it also has two steps, has only a single doorway, rather than the rear exit which has three doorways to negotiate.
Please take care of yourself physically so as to avoid injuring yourself or other dancers, i.e. look where you are going so as to avoid crashing into people, and be aware of your own muscular or other physical limitations. You are responsible for your own health and safety during the evening, so look after yourself.
Where is it?
Bayshill Unitarian Church Hall is in Royal Well Lane, Royal Well, Cheltenham GL50 3ET, directly behind the Cotswold Auction Rooms and Gianni's Italian restaurant in Royal Well - very close to Cheltenham's coach and bus station.
There is some parking on single-yellow lines right next to the sude of the hall, as well as a car park within a few yards. For Satnav, use GL50 3ET.
Who leads it?
I am a therapeutic dance exercise and movement facilitator and have worked in this field for about 15 years.
For more background information on my training, qualifications and approach to movement see www.zestforlife.org.uk.
I love to dance and I love to dance with others. It's the best way I know of shaking off the cares of the day and feeling fabulous!
I coach and run courses in web design, SEO and online marketing, as well as help the Isbourne Holistic Centre and Isbourne College with their marketing.
I ran Space2Dance in Cheltenham from 2003 to 2006, and published Connections magazine (an holistic events guide) for 21 years.
For me, apart from being great exercise, dancing is a way to tap into my imagination and connect with my body, getting me out of the head-space my work creates.