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Lots of Heart? Try Touch Art AKA Ecstatic Dance

By Tara Babette

las vegas ecstatic dance

As I rolled up to Windmill Library, the palm trees were blowing like an inflatable ad you see posted on the sidewalk. I’m realizing my posts have a theme–it’s been a windy spring. She notices me before I see her, smiling as she waves, momentarily stepping away from her class.

Wearing white high tops

With baggy jeans

Letting her belly button pop

A peach colored Adidas Zip

With two braided pigtail tips

She greets me with a hug

Our Dance Facilitator

With years of moves to guide us

Marissa Romero

Of Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas

Marissa Romero was at Windmill Library this past Saturday offering a dance class to coincide with Clark County’s Event, “Mystic Fair.” The class was called “Connective Movement.” Romero had us using our bodies to mirror our dance partners’ movements, while guiding us through different ways our bodies can connect to each other. This dance meditation started to feel like one unified fluid movement that you can’t find on just any Saturday night dance floor.

Romero started dancing at the age of four in Las Vegas dance studios, learning Classical Jazz & Ballet up into high school, where she learned the art of Hip-Hop and Contemporary Dance. When she turned nineteen, Romero took her very first yoga class. “

Las Vegas Ecstatic Dance

Yoga is what really got me interested in movement as healing,” Romero says while we sit inside Windmill Library after her Connective Movement class. “Soon after, I went to India where I received my yoga training, contemporary dance training, and contact improv facilitation training. Once I received my training in Touch Art, I dove from there.”

Romero says that she tried to start up Ecstatic Dance in Las Vegas during 2018-2019 but was only getting about ten people to attend.

Romero decided to follow her love for Ecstatic Dance culture and moved to Nevada City, California where she heard the community was thriving. She quickly started volunteering, helping with set up, break down, and running ticket sales at the door. “Ecstatic Dance Nevada City gave me the toolbox to start up Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas,” she says.

Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas

Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas has been offering monthly dance events for the past year and half. “I really want to see the ecstatic dance culture grow in Las Vegas,” says Romero, “We want the city to know about this, and we want the people that come, to keep coming back.” Romero explains that the first time around can be overwhelming. “I would love to see more people showing up and feeling comfortable in environments of intimacy, connection, and presence,” she says. “I want to see it grow to a point where we can have a weekly Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas.”

In addition to Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas, Romero will be facilitating an immersive four hour embodiment training Saturday 3/30. She is calling it “Body Speak.”

“Body Speak offers a gateway to using your body as a tool to connect with everything around you. We change the way we interact with the world by changing the way we interact with our body.”

If you are interested in learning more about an upcoming Ecstatic Dance Las Vegas or want to learn more about Romero’s immersive four hour embodiment training “Body Speak,” connect with her at @ecstaticdancelasvegas and @marissaromero.

body speak embodiment immersion training workshop

Tara Babette Shuttleworth

Writer @tara_babette_shuttleworth

Owner and Event producer @babetteseventslv

Curator and Performing Artist @skylarskyeevans

I'm currently looking to produce a performance art piece and looking for performing artists please reach out to me @skylarskyeevans

***Editor's Note: I used to run into Marissa at punk shows, and she was always such a force on the dance/concert floor! It was so cool and inspiring to see her raw, pure, movements and it's so cool to see her raw, pure, movements in this form as well! If you're interested in engaging and being more aware of your body, you should definitely check out her sessions. -CoCo

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