We create a safe space to play in.
For about six months after MCDC was founded, our team of people (varying between six and twelve dancers and facilitators) would meet weekly to organize the dances and to articulate what they felt conscious dancing actually meant to them. In these fun and sometimes intense meetings, they would discuss basic questions such as: Why do we dance? What is a safe dance? What should we pay a facilitator, given that some easily spend 20+ hours to prepare a new playlist? What should we do when parents want to bring their children to the dance? Out of these meetings came MCDC’s Dancing Agreements, which is what our community has been dancing by ever since:
1. Why Do We Dance?
When we set a conscious intention, powerful things can happen. Articulating why we dance in the first place is important information to have in regards to setting an intention for our dances. In a community-wide survey MCDC held in 2014, dancers expressed many reasons for coming to our conscious dances: to experience the joy and freedom of movement, to meet new people and connect with friends, for prayer, for healing, for creative expression, for emotional and physical health, for expanding boundaries, for singingout loud, for spiritual bliss, and many more. Knowing the variety and diversity of these reasons helps us hold space for each other as we experience our dance journeys.
2. On The Floor Communication
Please keep any talking off the dance floor unless there seems to be no other way to communicate. As in a yoga class, the journey of the conscious dance is one that encourages us to disengage from our linear thinking so we can go from doing into being. Not using words on the dance floor is one of the easiest ways to get there. If you see others chatting, please feel free to gently use the universal sign for silence.
The conscious dance floor is a place where we can dance alone and together – both are beautiful and recommendable! Dancing alone is a wonderful way to deepen your relationship with yourself, while dancing with others can be very inspiring.
Please take responsibility for reading each others’ body language and setting your own boundaries. If you want to engage with someone, please check in with the other person’s body language to decide whether he or she seems up for it. In most cases, dancers are in tune enough to read each others’ preferences in this way.
We encourage you to move freely and always with respect for others. Please keep your dance physically safe. If you enjoy lifting others, please be extra aware of your surroundings and keep feet below the waist.
Please stay conscious of the space around you. Pause and acknowledge instances whenever you bump into someone or whenever you hurt someone.
If you notice that a dancer is not physically or emotionally safe, please try using body language first to create safety for yourself or others. Dancing away is always an option. If this does not work, try a conversation during or after the dance, whichever is most appropriate. If your communication does not change the behavior, you can approach someone on the MCDC team for assistance, preferably after the dance but sooner if you feel that is warranted. If you cannot find us, please ask the person who is taking care of the entrance. We will do our best to talk with all parties involved before taking any action. If the dancer is not open to making changes towards being more safe, MCDC may ask that person to take a break from dancing with us.
If you are healing from an injury, please make sure you communicate this to other dancers when needed, using either words or body language. A dancer once wore a sign describing their injury with two words and it was very effective.
Please be aware that illegal substances as well as alcohol are not to be consumed anywhere on the Makawao Union Church property. Doing so could result in MCDC no longer being able to gather at the church. Our landlords are very strict on these matters; previous tenants have been asked to leave because of overstepping these church guidelines. Please be mindful and mature about this and spread this knowledge around our collective so we all hold this responsibility together.
Our dance gathering is healing medicine in and of itself and we appreciate sobriety. Nonetheless, if someone chooses to partake of any substances, we request that it is held mindfully and not in a way that it bothers other dancers.
It's wonderful when we can all be on time for the beginning of our dance at 5:30. When we all start and end our dance together, it helps to create an amazing atmosphere of unity and joy. Please come on time if you can! If that is not possible, please enter the dance space aware of the fact that the rest of the collective has already embarked on their dance journey. Tune in and be conscious to not disrupt whatever space has already been created and join the flow.
After our dance journeys, many dancers want to bask in the space of non-linearity we just created together. It is a moment of prayer and meditation much needed for many. This is the main reason why we rarely have announcements at the end of our MCDC dances. MCDC feels confident that the information on conscious dances and workshops on Maui will find their way to our community via the Internet and various postings around the island. Also, we want to be fair about letting everyone in our community promote their offering, which could mean a LOT of announcements! We have two public announcement boards up front where you are welcome to post your offerings as well as any personal outreach.
MCDC has made a few exceptions regarding announcements when the causes are not-for-profit and they affect our community widely. Shaka and OneBillionRising are examples of such exceptions, as are occasional announcements from MCDC itself. If you feel you would like to get such an announcement through to our group, please let us know ahead of the dance.
7. Children and dogs
For dogs and children to be physically safe, please only bring them on the dance floor if you are carrying them. Your children can join us if they are tall and aware enough to dance (generally 14+).
We highly recommend you leash up your dogs during the dance if they remain outside given all the parking lot traffic. Please tie them in such a way that people won't trip over the leash.