BERKLEY (WWJ) – Can shaking and dancing really make you feel better? WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports that there’s a growing school of thought that it does.
Toronto scholar Bradford Keeney has been leading the charge for ecstatic dancing, which is based on the shaking medicine practiced by the tribal Bushmen of Kalahari and at one time, the Quakers.
Once a month at the Balance Holistic Center in Berkley, evolutionary psychologist Dr. Dale Bach leads a group on a journey that starts with stating an intention, then dancing together to drum music.
Bach believes that humans have come too far away from original man.
“We’re yearning for the past,” Bach said. “When we’re going Kumbaya, it’s not about the future. It’s about ‘why aren’t we like that anymore?’”
The theory is that modern man has forgotten what the ancient hunter-gatherer societies like the Bushmen know: how to be happy and at peace.
Jacob Davis, 24, of Sterling Heights, Benicia, California has a poignant story. Both his parents were addicts who committed suicide. His father’s suicide happened while Davis was in the room next door. He then fought his own addiction with heroin. Davis says he knows his friends think it’s weird, but the dance circles help him.
“The whole world is focused on negativity now,” Davis said. “Everyone’s so focused on their own bubbles, and no one wants to let go. It’s like the only way to let go is to get hammered.” He said it makes him wonder, “What happened to you?”
When he’s dancing, Davis said, “I just feel like a human being again. I feel like a part of everything.”