About Open Floor
Open Floor International (OFI) is a creative collaboration of seasoned movement teachers from all corners of the planet.
Most of us grew up on the dance floor with Gabrielle Roth and consider her one of our most honored teachers. We have also studied with many other brilliant pioneers of movement, meditation, body psychotherapy and healing arts – and been deeply informed by their radical, grounded wisdom.
Now, as new "elders" in the field ourselves, we are joining together to share what we have learned. Our inquiry has been simple:
Why have dance practices exploded around the world in the past decade?
How and why do people heal through movement, no matter what the practice?
What are the healthy human hungers that are expressed and met in the simple act of dancing – alone, in classes, in flash mobs, in community?
What are the universal principles underlying all conscious movement disciplines? What is our common ground?
What is the common good being generated by this simple act of collective embodied self expression?
These ongoing creative conversations are at the centre of Open Floor International.
What is Open Floor?
There are no steps to follow.
On the Open Floor we shift from speaking with words to speaking with movement. It makes for very creative conversations.
If you have no idea what to do, try something below:
Stay As with any meditation practice, distractions happen – expect them. Just gently bring your attention back to movement.
Pace yourself No matter what the rest of the room is doing, listen to your body. If you relax in the beat, like a swimmer treading water, you’ll refuel.
Stretch yourself If you always keep to yourself, include someone else in your dance. If you prefer dancing with a partner, try going solo. Slow down. Speed up. Experiment. Break a habit. Imitate somebody and see how it feels. Create your own remix of others' moves.
It’s not just about the music The teacher uses music to catalyse movement. Love it or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Use everything as fuel for your dance.
Don't give up on yourself We all hit patches of fatigue, boredom, shyness, frustration, or discomfort. Even if you can only wiggle a finger or nod your head to the beat, stay with it until something changes. Most often, it will.
Enjoy yourself Excessive seriousness will slow you down.
Since the beginning of time human beings have gathered to dance. Mindful movement is surging all over the planet because it's good for us. People who dance regularly have keener minds, greater emotional intelligence, and a calmer presence. Connection, compassion, and communities grow. In this challenging world, common sense tells us to spend time dancing.
The ripple effect is inescapable. One dance can change someone’s day, one act of kindness can inspire a whole community. Students often leave a session able to bring a more generous presence out into the world. We dedicate our work to the common good, to the benefit of all beings.
Common ground. Common sense. Common good.
This is what we cultivate on the Open Floor.