A thing I love about ATS, and have heard from a lot of ATS dancers, is that it resonates with my spiritual practice. There is spirit in the dance, in the connection with my bare feet hitting the ground when I dance, (and how I love to dance on the Earth!) There is spirit in the movement and communication with the women I dance with, with the drummers whose music we are blessed with and with those we dance in front of.
EVERY time I dance it's a spiritual experience for me.
This is never more evident to me than when I have an "off" day dancing. When there is turmoil or even a little more stress than I can really handle in a moment, my dance is weak. When I am dancing with others and I am in a weak place, or they have something stressing for them, I feel that from them and it is detrimental to OUR dance.
There was something that Masha Archer said in an interview in the Tribal Bible, "...and the audience knows that what you're saying by your presence is: "We are great and you are lucky. You have to appreciate us."
I take that one step further into the spiritual. It's important to me that when I perform, an audience is aware, even if not overtly, that this is a spiritual rite they are witnessing. For me, it should never just be that the audience is appreciating the dancers. It should be that they are in awe and reverence of the mere fact that Spirit is showing Itself to them through these dancers. That this is a sacred act, as sacred as The Great Rite, as sacred as a coming of age.
I am honored to be a part of this coming Beltane Rite with the local CoG. My friend, Paul, who is so dear to me though I only met him this past August in another ritual we were in together, asked me to be Earth. Earth in Her splendor, her dancing into being, dancing for her lovers, dancing with her lovers. I am more humbled by this request than anyone can ever understand. I know that doesn't read like humility, coming from a blog, but I assure you...
I came home from our first meeting regarding the Rite so full of joy and excitement to be calling forth the Goddess in my dancing. Knowing that is the responsibility of the role I am to play invigorates me to not just honor Spirit, but to make every time I dance a calling forth of the Goddess.