MOVE! GROOVE! CONNECT! Berkeley’s Original Somatic Sojourn!
You’ve found Berkeley’s longest running “barefoot / freestyle / ecstatic” dance! Grooving every week since 1976 with a long line of various community leaders carrying the torch. There’s no steps to learn, no dress code to adhere to, just freedom to move and play in the sound! This is the only all-vinyl organic audio somatic/ecstatic movement event in the USA!
Dance Jam is where we come together every Friday night to create a warm and inviting space where you are free to stretch out, loosen up, and release the week’s energies with somatic expression and community connection.
We strive to create an atmosphere where you’ll feel comfortable and accepted, regardless of age, culture, gender, or persuasion. We believe in a diverse appreciation of music, and in providing high-fidelity sound at healthy volume levels. Our goal is to offer a social environment where you are free to connect and be playful with others, while having your personal boundaries respected in whatever manner you choose at all times. We feel that the generations have a lot to offer each other, and that dance and movement are consciousness raising ways to communicate.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Every conscious dance environment is unique, here are some of the details about our space and what we offer.
- Our musical roots are in the psychedelic sounds of the 60’s, the soulful dancefloors of the 70’s, the new waves of the 80’s, the raves of the 90’s, the freshest EDM, and today’s top pop beats and world rhythms.
- All happening in a spacious 2000 sq ft studio with a polished & sprung bamboo floor.
- There is a comfortable chill/lounge area to the rear of the dance floor.
- Filtered drinking water is provided in the lobby.
- Some of our dancers do Contact Improv, either vertically or on the floor.
- Our audiophile sound system is played at a level so that earplugs aren’t needed. (but are provided)
OUR FLOW AND FORMAT:
This is the general shape of our ‘wave’, it varies to some degree from week to week depending on who is the DJ and how the dancers are responding.
- 8:30 – Doors open, lights go down, music starts.
- The warm-up starts very soft and slow, with light and beautiful music designed to help you stretch, loosen up, and arrive in the space. Some folks bring yoga mats, others have regular contact improv partners, most simply move around and get comfortable. By the end of the warm-up, the music usually has enough beat and flow to have you up off the floor.
- At about 9:15 we stop the music briefly and invite everyone to form a loose circle. Our host or hostess for the evening will ring some chimes and place our faux flame in the center and speak a few words to introduce the DJ’s, welcome any first-timers, and give thanks to our community. Then we raise our voices in a round of three OMs or tones, the chimes are rang once more, the flame is placed on the DJ table, and the dance kicks into gear. The welcoming circle generally lasts no more than 5 minutes, just long enough to acknowledge the spirit of our community container without cooling you off or losing your momentum.
- The first 45 minutes to an hour after the circle are intentionally upbeat, with faster beats and big basslines to help you break a sweat and access those all-important endorphins that empty your mind and clear out the cobwebs from the week.
- Somewhere around 10:15 to 10:30 you encounter what we call ‘The Dip’ which is where the DJ slows it way down and shifts the texture for 15 or 20 minutes so you can catch your breath and realign your body.
- The ‘post-dip-peak’ might include something organic that invites partner dancing, something vocal that conveys a message, or something silly that leads to levity. You never know what the DJ might have in their record crate, late nights at Dance Jam are meant for surprises and an appreciation of the wide world of music.
- Our dance ends at 11:30, and generally the last few songs bring us back to the floor, although if enough people are in a dancing groove the DJ may want to roll with that nearly to the end.
SOME BASIC PARAMETERS:
We cater to folks of all ages, and trust that our participants are good citizens on the dance floor. Here are a few guidelines that support everyone in having a great experience.
- Street shoes or hard-soled footwear are not allowed on the bamboo floor. Leather-soled dance shoes or ballet type slippers are welcome, please check in with door staff.
- We encourage you to make friends and socialize, but ask that loud conversations, (the kind where you need to stop dancing and take up space on the floor), are better had in the lobby or the chill area.
- Please avoid wearing perfume, cologne, or other scents from laundry or personal-care products.
- Awareness for physical boundaries is a must. Invitations for contact or partner dance are welcomed and encouraged, however the desire for solo movement and expression must be respected at all times.
- Dance Jam is every Friday night from 8:30 to 11:30pm
- 2525 8th St. (at Dwight) West Berkeley
- Suggested Donation $20.
- Sliding Scale for Students/Seniors/Artists
- First-time? Pay what you like and receive a FREE PASS for another dance!
- We offer scholarships and an ambassador program.
- 10 Pack = $120
- 5 Pack = $70
- 3 Pack = $50