IS IT A DRUM CIRCLE OR A DRUM CIRCLEJERK?by Evanthia Savva on 04/21/11
The history of the Drum Circle as a way to heal body, mind & spirit and uniting the participants into One Consciousness has been used by indigenous peoples of the world for millennia. They would gather under the light of the Full Moon to drum and dance and make music. Tribal members with drums and other instruments form a circle around a small group of dancers. This is what we all know and would probably agree on concerning drum circles. The beat of the drums uniting the group into the rhythms of nature.
Drum circles are still going strong and attracting flocks of followers to weekly and monthly drum circles. But what's the draw? There is a sense of being in a trance as described by drummers and dancers. Drumming is one of the most effective forms for energy raising, and is sometimes used in ritual for just that purpose. When dancing or drumming, you become connected to everyone else within the Circle. You share energy between the individuals of the Circle.
Dancers enter this same trance state when they stop thinking about how to move with the beat, and relax into the dance. Drummers and dancers both tend to close their eyes, and...leave. The drumming can be fast or slow, loud or quiet. It's not how or what you play, it's the repetitive rhythm that causes the trance. While in this state, you may find solutions to problems, or vent the negative energy out. Others travel both in space and time. I know this sounds hard to believe, but the mind really is capable of doing the impossible.
I am coming into this as a dancer, when I am dancing and in the zone, I am no longer controlling the movements, if anything with all the drums beatings, movements are not "beautiful" but spasm-like as if someone is using your body as a drum from the inside out. I'm not sure how the average drum circles function around the US and the world but what's going on here in Florida in the Tampa Bay area has me very, very confused.
Why isn't everybody participating? Drum Circles are not for professional drummers or dancers, even though I can see where the first-time participant might be nervous. Even if you cannot play the drums or dance, you can hit ONE beat, repeatedly, with your feet, your hip, your hand. Male/Female... Young or Old... The key is to get it into the subconscious where you don't have to think of the next move or fumble. Make it simple. We can ALL reach that state and it's your responsibility to get yourself there if not for yourself but to contribute to raise the ENERGY for ALL at the Drum Circle. The dance should be free form movement, channeled through the rhythmic beats and presented as another energy-raising instrument, not as a performance. Belly Dancing is not part of a Drum Circle... not sure why it is in Florida. The Middle Eastern Beat is a different beat than that usually played at a drum circle which is more African based. Except for shimmies that are only 2% of what belly dancers do, the rest of Middle Eastern dancing is very lyrical and fluid especially when veils are part of the dance. Cabaret bellydance costumes look stupid and out of place at a drum circle. Are you trying to raise the energy for the group by titilating us... showing us a woman in a revealing costume shaking her hips and assets? Hers is a Solo Performance; a drum circle is a group event- there for men, women AND children to join in and participate, and it DOES NOT make people want to join in when they see women in jeweled costumes dancing.
Why not trust in the drumming to create the tempo to raise the energy honestly and without the EYE CANDY? Why must women always be the sexualized center of attention at these drum circles. The mood is set when the first hand creates a beat.
Bejeweled breasts do not make the beat better. Close your eyes, let go and trust in the music.