School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: November 2011
Dancing Mania

By Roland

Its Monday afternoon. Ya’Acov’s train from Holland is about to pull into St. Pancras in London. Susannah is approaching London by car on the M5. I am in the School of Movement Medicine office playing a game to see if I can reduce the number of emails in the inbox to below 15. I’m getting close and have actually reduced the number down to 17. Then the phone rings:

“Is that the School of Movement Medicine?”

“Yes.” I reply. “Can I help you?”

“There is a crowd of people on the South Bank in London dancing in a trance. They have been there for hours. No-one can stop them. One person has died.”

I forget about the email game. A plan starts to loosely construct itself in my head. I see Ya’Acov dashing from the train to taxi rank and Susannah calmly resetting the SatNav in her car. Taxi and car will arrive at the same time. They jump out and confer. They will not panic. Yes, they know what to do. Within a few minutes they are there with the crowd of people. Susannah and Ya’Acov start drumming and dancing merging their energy with the chaotic mass of writhing bodies. To begin with nothing noticeable occurs but then very gradually over a period of two hours they reduce the tempo of the drumming until the mass of people are brought to a standstill and then the final beat from the drums releases the crowd from the trance. There is laughter and tears. Relieved relatives and loved ones are hugging those who have been dancing. The press are gathering around trying to get interviews with Susannah and Ya’Acov. But they decline the interviews and instead just hand the press a card on which there is a mysterious mandala of a phoenix surrounded by an arrangement of circles and lines.

“Sorry,” I say to my caller, “You say someone has died. Are you at the South Bank now?”

“No I’m at home. I’m listening to this happening the radio. It sounds really serious.”

“Which station are you tuned in to?”

“Radio 3.”

“Are you sure? Can you check?”

“No sorry Radio 4.”

“You do realise that this is the time when there is the afternoon play on Radio 4.”

There is a slightly awkward silence from the other end of the phone and then the caller says “It’s very convincing.” And so it was. I listened to the whole play ‘A Time to Dance’ on the BBC iPlayer and it was really very good. My caller was by no means the only person to believe that it was real and there were a number of concerned people who called the emergency services. Unfortunately it is no longer available to download.

I say goodbye to the caller and turn my attention back to the emails. A quick glance at the inbox tells me that a further 5 emails have arrived and the tally has gone up to 23.

The radio play, by the way, was loosely based on the dancing mania phenomenon that occurred several time in different places in Europe between the 13thand 17thCenturies. For more details go to

By a curious co-incidence the school is going to involved with some  real flash mob style events on 11.11.  Susannah has written about these in an article in this newsletter entitled Dance Fever and 11.11.

For a dance based broadcast but not of the mania kind I strongly recommend the School of Movement Medicine webinar series. The next one is due to be broadcast on November 1st at 7.30 pm (UK time).  This one will be led by Ya'Acov as Susannah will be in Germany working with Volker on the Long Dance music.  She will be tuning and dancing.

We are confident that we have now sorted the sound problems that affected the first two webinars. In spite of the poor sound quality of the last one, we have received a lot of positive feedback about the webinar, particular from people who do not have many opportunities to get to classes and workshops. We are very grateful for Tina Haveland for this posting on the Movement Medicine Facebook page. We think it encapsulates something about what we are trying to achieve with the webinars.

“Computers and the Internet are still not my "best friends" but reading Hafiz this morning, (as Susannah said, incredible that this was written 700 hundred years before the "webinar" whose spirit I felt in this :)

I Saw You Dancing

I saw you dancing last night on the roof of your house alone

I felt your heart longing for the friend

I saw you whirling beneath the soft bright rose

That hung from an invisible stem in the sky

So I began to change into my best clothes in hope of joining you

Even though I live a thousand miles away

And if you had spun like immaculate sphere just two more times,

Then bowed again so sweetly to the east

You would have found God and me standing so near

And lifting you into our arms

I saw you dancing last night near the roof of this world

Hafiz feels your soul in mine calling for our Beloved.

Thank you ALL for dancing with me where ever you are!”

We have added one extra webinar to the present series so it is still possible to sign up for 10 webinars for just £35. To enrol press the sign-up button on the webinar page on the Movement Medicine website.

For dancing opportunities with flesh and blood partners, we recommend the following:

November 2nd. Hamburg. A ver special chance to experience a Move & Sing! evening led by Susannah accompanied by Ben Burrows on drums. To book or for more details please contact Edgar on 00 49 40 1888 65 95 or

November 3 -6. Susannah will be teaching Resonance at the Pegasus centre near Hamburg. This workshop is full at the moment but contact Edgar on 00 49 40 1888 65 95 or if you want to join the waiting list.

Ya’Acov will be teaching in South Africa. There will be a Move! evening in Johannesburg on the 3rdand on 5thand 6th he will be leading the Poetry of Presence in Cape Town.

Ya’Acov will be off again later in the month. This time to Israel where he will teach The Way of the Dancing Warrior workshop on 16th– 19th. Contact Aviya on 00 972 9 7418203 or or

An event not to miss is Susannah's Party and Pray in Paris on November 18th. See her article about it in this newsletter. The 'after party' will be a weekend workshop on 19th and 20th called Rock My Soul. Contact Pierre-Henri + 33 615 325 816

In December Susannah will teach a Move! evening in London on

Back to contents

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.