I am an ecstatic DJ/facilitator, a contact improv teacher, but most of all, I am a dancer. dancing has been my foremost passion for the last 8 years. Being a dancer first and a DJ second is what allows me to weave ecstatic dance sets that take the dancer on a truly ecstatic journey.
In my sophomore year of high school I remember watching with envy the "b-boys" at our homecoming dance as they played effortlessly in their bodies, breakdancing and pop and locking as I swayed back and forth awkwardly hoping no one was paying attention me. I came to one of the dancers and asked for a private lesson in the hope that I too could be cool and could learn to move like them. After a single, painfully clumsy lession, my would-be dance mentor declared that I had "no rhythm", and simply "couldn't dance".
It took 3 years before I had the confidence to hit the dance floor again. And I decided that if I didn't have rhythm, then screw it, I'd dance with wild abandon without it. I danced for years at clubs and raves, letting my "no-rhythm" dance me until I found Ecstatic Dance in 2008. A place where I didn't have to close my eyes and pretend I was alone to let loose, but was in a room full of ecstatic movers, shaking and spinning in freedom with no care for how they looked. I had found home.
Around the same time as discovering ecstatic dance, I began hosting and creating playlists for a Silent Disco in the park called "Just Dance Free". We danced wildly and silently in the park almost every weekend for about three years before travel took me temporarily away from Santa Barbara.
It was in Ecstatic Dance and at Just Dance Free that I also discovered Contact Improvisation, a movement form with seemingly no rules, no steps, just the invitation to let go deeper and deeper into connection with myself and with a partner. This love of contact improvisation led me to take a year traveling the world to all of the different contact improvisation workshops, festivals and jams. In 2017, I finally decided to step into my role as a contact teacher, and share this dance form that has given me so much over the years.
After experiencing many ecstatic dances in the world, I was finally inspired in 2016 to create an ecstatic dance in my hometown of Santa Barbara with an accepting and welcoming culture, no added "spirituality", and the kind of musical dance journey that has sent me into ecstatic frenzy. I got my friends together to advertise the first dance, taught myself to DJ, and voila! Here we are...
Check out some of my music at: https://www.mixcloud.com/aaronmusicant/