For as long as I can remember I have loved to dance. As a kid and teenager I would spend hours locked away in my bedroom dancing and singing, totally losing myself in the music, movement and sound. It was never about choreographed moves or performing, it was just something I was innately and instinctively drawn to do. I did it because it felt good.
As I reached my late teens I discovered the electronic dance scene and threw myself fully into partying and clubbing for a solid ten years. At the beginning it was purely as a punter, but as time went on I became incredibly inspired by all my musician friends to start singing and went on to perform in many clubs where I would sing my own songs and covers over DJ sets. I loved the scene, the community, the gigs and how much I grew as a person from it, but it often felt like something was missing. The excessive drug usage, binge drinking and egotistical politics started to play on me in an unhealthy way and I pulled away.
I felt a part of me die when I moved away from the EDM scene. I knew I had to, but in many ways life lost its sparkle and fun. It wasn’t until recently since discovering Chakradance and beginning to use dance/music in a much more conscious and sacred way that my lust for life has returned.
If I were to reflect on the most amazing moments of my life almost all of them would involve music and dancing. Not only have I found plenty of delight, joy and fun in dancing, but I have also had incredibly profound spiritual experiences. Music and dance have a way of opening up the body in a unique way to embody the energy of the divine. For me it provides a point of experience where the mind takes a back seat to let the heart and soul fully lead.
For the last 18 months the Dancing Eros journey had been calling me. I kept finding myself on the website and feeling a mixture of attraction and repulsion towards signing up. It wasn’t until October last year that the dates aligned and I decided it was time to take the plunge and do it. As my regular followers would know I have been on an enormous journey over the last couple of years being initiated by the divine feminine and Dancing Eros felt very much in alignment with what I needed to do to support that journey.
What is Dancing Eros?
Dancing Eros is a conscious erotic dance practice designed by Vanessa Florence to assist woman to invoke their authentic sexual and sensual selves. The course runs over 6 weeks where each class explores a different erotic archetype through free-form dance, individual processes and group practices.
Eros energy is a raw, potent, orgasmic force. Eros is the greek god of desire, passion and sexual love. The word “Erotic” is derived from the word “Eros”. Eros is the particular form of love that fills us with bliss, euphoria and ecstasy. I found it to be incredibly powerful, blissful, healing, revitalizing and life-giving.
Walking into the first class I was literally terrified. A pit of anxiety had been building in my stomach all day leading up to the evening and it reached epic proportions as I sat down and joined the circle of woman in my group.
The class began with our teacher Lulu explaining the history of dancing eros, her own experiences with the practice and what we could all expect from the journey. She clearly laid out that DE was like “Draino” for sexual shame and that by the end of the course we would be clear of all shame towards sexuality. Big call considering HOW repressed sexuality is in our culture, especially for woman.
After the intro talk Lulu invited every woman in the circle to share how she felt and her intention for doing the course. I found this to be a beautiful way to set the foundation for the group connection, as with each woman opening her heart I felt my anxiety starting to ease and felt more of an inner recognition that I was exactly where I needed to be.
As the class continued Lulu guided us through different gentle practices to invite the eros energy in. The first class is well designed as a warm up to get you prepared for the journey that is about to unfold and I appreciated the pace that it moved at. I was genuinely surprised at how quickly I was able to get out of my (freaking out!) mind and into my body and really enjoy the pleasure enhancing practices.
After the first class the archetypal journey begins, with each week there after being a different archetype to explore and embody. I really loved showing up each week and entering the sacred dance space that was prepared like a mystery school temple. Every time I stepped into the room and was lovingly smudged or anointed by one of the assistants I would feel like I was entering into another dimension. It was an opportunity to leave the mundane every-day world behind and enter a magical portal of infinite potential and possibility, where I had full permission to be ALL of me without anything being repressed or hidden.
The archetype classes would begin with Lulu doing an initiation dance and then briefly sharing the energy, history and attitudes of that archetype. We would then be lead into our own indvidual movement practice to awaken the chosen archetype within ourselves. The journey with the chosen archetype would then continue to unfold and be invoked through different practices and processes designed to deepen the energy.
What I adored about the format of the classes is that they are a mixture of solo, partner and group work. This allowed me to be continually pushed out of my comfort zone as I recognised early on, I was very comfortable with my own inner process, but wasn’t as comfortable with sharing myself with others. Within each process there was always an opportunity for deep growth, expansion and reflection. Mirror and shadow work was encouraged so you could have insights into how your experience in the dance was also manifesting in different areas of your life. When you claimed something amazing there was then prompts of how you could integrate that into daily life, thus really creating a sacred healing space for deep, life-changing transformation.
All the archetypes already innately exist within every woman. It just depends on life experience as to how assessable or repressed that they might be. The course allows all of the archetypes to rise in an empowering way that is perfect for the individual and what they need specifically at that time.
For that reason everyone’s journey was unique and there was no pressure to do anything that you weren’t totally comfortable with. There was only constant loving support to really push yourself beyond your edges of comfort so you could experience a break-through. While some of the processes really put me in an uncomfortable space I never felt unsafe. It is totally up to the individual participating of how deep they want to go and for how much integration work they want to do outside of the classes. I personally wanted to get the most I could out of the journey so chose to see my personal healer weekly while I was doing the classes so she could support me in integrating and processing what came up. I found this to be incredibly helpful.
|| The Priestess
The journey began with the Priestess. The priestess is strong, powerful and magical. She knows how to set strong boundaries, say no and ask for what she wants with ease and grace. She is holds a grounded, sacred presence and has a laser sharp intuition. She is a seer. A visionary. A witch. A healer. An initiator.
I slipped into the Priestess energy very easily, and this didn’t surprise me. As a full time healer and reiki teacher I work with the priestess energy daily and have spent years bringing her out of repression. As I invoked her energy I could feel strong pulses of kundalini energy from deep in the earth rise up and flood my body. While I was used to her energy, I wasn’t used to feeling her in an erotic way. As I danced I felt incredibly powerful, multi-dimensional and magnetic. Waves and waves of orgasmic energy rippled through me causing my body to shake and tremor. I had past-life flashes of being a temple dancer who would work with other healers in mystery schools using orgasmic energy to heal and manifest whatever was required on behalf of the community. It was utterly amazing, she unlocked a level of confidence within me I had never experienced before, and that has stayed with me since.
Since the Priestess initiation my intuition has absolutely enhanced, I am recalling my dreams and gaining amazing insights from their insights on a nightly basis, I am feeling much more grounded and present within myself and life. I have also really noticed a significant shift and enhancing of my abilities as a healer and teacher.
In the days following the Priestess class I started having memories surface from my past of sexual experiences with men where either just after or during sex they would have panic attacks. At the time I personally took their anxiety on as my own, feeling that I was to blame and that I had done something wrong to cause them. Often after sleeping with me these guys would then disappear and again, I would feel deeply rejected, believing it was because there was something wrong with me. I shared this with my healer and she explained to me that sex for me would often always be a mystical experience due to the healing energy I hold.
Sex builds kundalini energy in the bodies of both parties, so often during sex it can unlock kundalini energy and shoot it through the chakra system. Depending on what energy may be stuck and stagnant in each center (usually old repressed emotions!) that energy will be dislodged for release & clearing. Exactly like what happens after an energy healing. My healer helped me to see that in the past sexual encounters with men where they had experienced panic attacks that our energies together had ignited a kundalini awakening, that they ultimately didn’t know how to manage. This realisation really allowed me to let go of a lot of old pain, rejection and feelings of confusion I had been carrying for a very long time around these experiences.
|| The Wild Woman
The Wild Woman is totally uninhibited, free, primitive, instinctual, animalistic, undomesticated, fierce, powerful, intense and unapologetic. She is also the most repressed out of all the erotic archetypes. What I experienced at the course is that it is one thing to read about the wild woman and gain an intellectual understanding of her, and it is totally different to actually embody her energy.
Wild woman week was really intense for me. When Lulu did the initiation dance I was terrified and felt sick to my stomach. I found myself incredibly confronted by being faced with that energy. When it came to invoking the energy for myself I stayed in the corner of the room, on all fours with my hips splayed out like I was in labor. The Wild Woman unlocked a deep well of ancient grief and rage I had been holding in my body so I spent most of the class in emotional purging mode. I didn’t only purge for myself but I purged for the woman in my family, my ancestors and for mother earth herself. I wailed and screamed so violently when I woke up the next morning I found I had broken blood vessels around my eyes and a sore, scratchy throat.
I found the class deeply cathartic, it was actually exactly what I needed and I am so grateful to have connected to that wildness. After the emotional clearing in future dances with the wild woman I was able to connect to more of her sexual side that is amazingly energetic, freeing and expansive. I still have a way to go with this archetype but she is much more active within me than she has ever been before.
|| The Maiden
The Maiden is gentle, soft, vulnerable, innocent, emotionally open and trusting. She is open to receiving and letting herself be adored, desired and adorned.
I LOVED Maiden week. After the harshness of how I experienced wild woman it was so delicious to slip into a softer, more receptive vibe with Maiden. It was a week where I thought I would struggle more, however was pleasantly surprised to acknowledge in my own journey with the divine feminine I have become much better at being more open and vulnerable with others and have the capacity to be much slower and sensual within my life.
Maiden week was the week where I really started to fall deeply in love with my own body and recognize my own inner beauty. For years I have suffered negative body judgment and shame. I have always had a curvy body and felt I never fitted societies model of an “acceptable” physical form. For years I struggled with an eating disorder and due to feeling “fat” established harsh belief systems that I was undesirable, unattractive and unlovable. It significantly affected my sex life and personal relationships as I struggled to accept even when someone wanted to be with me sexually, that I was worthy of their desire.
Something significant shifted within me in maiden week. At the start of the class we were all given an ostrich feather to play with in a sensual way. As I stroked my entire physical body with the feather, I for the first time I REALLY acknowledged its beauty. I touched and stroked my skin and really began to worship all parts of me. I fell in love with my long legs, my curves, my belly, my breasts, vagina, arms, toes, EVERYTHING. I think for the first time I ever I was actually able to accept my own beauty, knowing that it comes from a radiance within.
This knowing rippled into my life as that week I experienced the most beautiful and sweet attention from many, many men. Everywhere I went doors were opened for me, car horns were honked, smiles and hot eye contact was exchanged. I was able to actually really receive that attention and enjoy it for what it was. To not feel threatened by it, or place any expectations on it, to literally just enjoy my beauty and feminine essence being received.
|| The Slut
The empowered slut is playful, joyful, cheeky, happy and totally free with her sexual expression. She is empowered with her sexuality and everything she does is to enhance her OWN experience of pleasure.
The Slut archetype is the energy that gave me the biggest breakthrough of the entire course. Before the class I found myself to be incredibly tired, thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn’t go. I recognized I was in major resistance mode and that if there was one week where I had to force myself to go, this was the week.
When I was younger I was quite promiscuous, my slut energy got me into trouble on more than one occasion, not only with men but also mostly in upsetting other woman. I learnt over time it was safer to repress my flirty, sexually expressive side rather than upset my female friends. This meant my slut would often come out with a vengeance when lots of alcohol or drugs had been consumed. Many a poor choice was made under the influence of alcohol around sexual partners and I seemed to be a magnetic for men in relationships. I made some really poor decisions that lead to a lot of pain, grief, public humiliation, shame, social anxiety and rejection, which totally shattered my already low-self worth.
So my slut energy was pushed far, far down into the shadows. What I didn’t realize was by rejecting her I repressed an entire facet of my personality and self. As the class started and I watched Lulu’s initiation dance I felt quite disconnected and numb. It was like my body had shut down and I wasn’t able to connect with my felt-sense, I recognized again the sheer amount of resistance I was uncovering and also how defensive I was to connecting to the slut.
I started the first solo practice with a bit of trepidation, only to be amazed that the moment the music started and I moved my body my erotic energy totally exploded in the most fun, playful and joyful way. After ten years of repression my slut had full permission to come out of hiding and rather than her causing hurt and pain she brought me face to face with a cheeky, vital goddess who pulsed with a lust for life. I went from feeling exhausted to experiencing more vitality and pleasure than I had felt in years.
When the slut archetype is flowing positively she is revitalizing, refreshing and replenishing. Particularly for me having her repressed meant my own energy was really being affected. Since slut week I have noticed I am sleeping better and my adrenal health and general energy is so much more vital than it has been. More importantly I really re-claimed my cheeky, playful nature and I am so grateful to have full access to this part of me again.
One of the most profound things of the DE experience is having the opportunity to witness other woman embody the archetypal energies. I experienced profound shifts while witnessing the other woman in the group in their process. I can’t even express how magical it is to watch a woman in her full expression of her pleasure. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. I was constantly amazed and in awe of all of the sisters I shared the special journey with.
For the group practices slut week was my favorite. I had so much fun. Obviously what happens inside a DE temple, stays inside the temple, but I will say the image of 25 woman in their full slut energy dancing along to the sexiest, dirtiest, juiciest hip thrusting music will stay with me for life as a huge highlight.
|| The Ritual
The course concludes with an integration day and evening full of amazing practices and processes to bring all the four archetypes together. The pinnacle of the day is the evening ritual where each woman has the option to invite a guest to witness the final ritual dance. I personally chose not to invite a guest, only because part of my insights over my DE journey was that in the past I have often been been fuelled and dependent on external validation, so it was more powerful for me NOT to have a guest there as that meant my validation needed to come from within.
The final ritual itself was one of the most profound, liberating and phenomenal things I have ever experienced in my life. I have never felt more alive, vital, powerful, confident, sexy, beautiful, present and in love with myself ever!! I am intentionally not sharing too much of the details of what occurred in the ritual because it was such a profoundly sacred experience it almost doesn’t feel right to limit it too much with too many words. I also don’t want to give too much away for anyone that is considering doing the journey themselves.
What was the main thing I claimed by doing the journey?
I fell in love with myself.
Huge statement I know. Yet, after 8 years of intensive self-healing work it all seemed to culminate to a pivotal point where all my healing work clicked into place. Layers of old toxic fear, shame and collective shit dropped away to reveal a sparkling love-fueled goddess, ME!!
I have enormous gratitude and respect for Lulu, my gorgeous teacher and guide for the journey. Lots of love for Bec, Marnie and Chhuotmany who were divine assistants. Amazing appreciation and love for Vanessa Florence who birthed and gave life to this phenomenal journey. Also, there is no way I could have had the experience I did without the beautiful sisters I shared the journey with. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing woman I have ever met in my life through this course, some I suspect will turn into life-long friends.
For anyone reading I honestly cannot recommend the journey enough. If you are a woman on a journey of truth seeking, feeling called to birth the divine-feminine and have a desire to embody all of who you are, this course provides an amazing opportunity for you to access that.
// You can found out more about the course and find dates for upcoming classes here.
// Follow DE on Facebook here
// and you can read more from the founder of DE Vanessa Florence, here.