Why are you dancing ecstatically

Ecstatic dance, what does it mean exactly? Phanganist asks Sandesh

Perhaps you've heard of ’Ecstatic Dance’ or seen a flyer here on the island? Are you wondering what exactly that is supposed to be? It looks like it's going to get bigger and bigger ...

Ecstatic means "passionately expressing overwhelming feelings of happiness and joy". But you could actually say that any dance style would be ecstatic, right? Not quite, there's a lot more to it than that.

(Photo courtesy of Tal Haim Yoffe)

We once sat together with our good friend Sandesh, who by the way is known in the trance scene by the DJ name ’Psymbiosis’. He's been DJing at Ecstatic Dance events for a long time, so we thought we'd ask him what exactly that means.

Hello Sandesh, how did you manage to be a DJ in Ecstastic Dance Events?

It all started almost 8 years ago in Bali. In the beginning there were only a few and over time the events got bigger and bigger. It wasn't long before the Ecstastic Dance current spread across Southeast Asia.

In November 2016 I organized this event for the first time in Koh Phangan. Nowadays I have nothing to do with the organization, but I like to hang up if you ask.


(Photo courtesy of Ely from Pyramid Yoga)

Is there a difference to music in ecstatic dance events and trance parties? If so, what exactly ..

Yes, I always like to put on a little different sound. I am a 360-degree DJ and have the ability to play all genres of music, which is one of the reasons why I like ecstatic events so much; It gives me the freedom to express different styles of music without any restrictions.

Could you tell us what exactly Ecstatic Dance means?

Every event starts with an introduction; At the beginning I always said that the ecstatic dance is a journey through our body and music. Everyone has the opportunity to go free and be 100% there. We finally have permission to let out our feelings by dancing, screaming and moving and we can contact others through this.

There are no rules, just let go! Dancing is one of the best ways to get all of the bad energy out of our bodies. You just have to leave your sorrows and worries behind the door when you enter and be crazy and wild.

You will see some scream, some laugh, others stand still or just dance crazy; you can jump, turn around and roll down the floor and so on. The most important thing is to let go and be present and a little bit playful.


(Photo courtesy of Tal Haim Yoffe)

And there is no alcohol there?
No alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and no chat. No pictures should be taken either because the people in events are very sensitive and express many different feelings; I think it's not nice to publish something like that in public media.

How do people feel before and after the event?
To be honest, what you see in the events is amazing! They know that they have two hours to let go and dance and the energy in the room is fantastic!

If you've seen a video of it before, you know how crazy people get and of course after such an action they feel very refreshed, reborn and filled with new energy. Usually they end up feeling very loving with big smiles on their faces and everyone hugs each other. We have mornings too, I think there's no better way to start the day than that!


(Photo courtesy of Ely from Pyramid Yoga)

What does the island get from it?

These ecstatic dance events bring a lot of new energy, a good atmosphere and new people to the island, and people who are not party people also get an opportunity to get involved in events. Most of them don't use alcohol or drugs but still want to party and have fun.

I've never seen anything like this on a party island like Koh Phangan, in the events you can feel a totally different atmosphere.

I sometimes invite musicians to play live while I'm DJing. I haven't seen this anywhere else on the island and it gives the music a different meaning and style, and it also helps people to enjoy and remember the moments better. There are a lot of very talented musicians on Koh Phangan and I think ecstatic dance events are a perfect place for them to perform. The special vibe we have on occasions gives them an extra kick.


(Photo courtesy of Tal Haim Yoffe)

Can everyone participate?

Of course, there are no limits. There is no age or gender limit, the only thing we ask is that people respect the other and if the parents come there with children, then you should also be responsible and make sure that the children do not hurt themselves on the dance floor in case it gets wild.

You shouldn't disturb the others either. Everyone is welcome!

And could you tell us what the philosophy of ecstatic dance is ...

I would say no one should judge the other, one should let one's thoughts go and just be absent.

Come and find out more about our dance culture, rituals, seremones, atmosphere and what goes on in general in our event!

Updates will be in ourConscious Event Listings made.