What is The Open Floor Movement Practice?

So, first, in the words of the Founders, it is a “lively, sweaty, full on dance enquiry” based on the following values:

  1. Movement heals.
  2. Some things need more than dance to heal.
  3. Move and include.
  4. Everything is a remix, and everyone is unique.
  5. Open Floor is open source.
  6. Everybody matter
  7. Moving forever.

Second, the reference to  “sweaty” is not surprising given that the Founders of this new practice spent countless years “Sweating their prayers “ with Gabrielle Roth and her  5Rhythms community before creating  Open Floor International in 2014

So, for example, one of the four Founders, Kathy Altman, spent forty years collaborating with Gabrielle and helped her, as did Lori Saltzman, give birth to her first two books.  Similarly, Andrea Juhan, Ph.d., another of the founders, spent some thirty years teaching with Gabrielle while she was quietly working on the framework for the Open Floor practice.  The other two founders are their respective partners, Lori Saltzman and Vic Cooper who were also very much a part of Gabrielle’s team of teachers.

Third, l like the simplicity of their underlying model which is based on three shared ideas: Common Ground, Common Sense and Common Good.

Next, as Kathy just reminded me, “OFI, is not a new methodology. It is, rather, a compilation of universal principles found in conscious movement practices for millennia.” However, it is equally clear that what they have added to those age-old practices is a much greater emphasis on the word “conscious”.

As she also wrote: [We] “bring awareness to what is moving through us physically (our sensations); emotionally (our feelings); our thoughts (the brilliance and shackles of our mind); and to the bigger field we all inhabit (our spiritual nature).”

And, to me, that synthesis is a significant step forward in using dance/movement  to make us all more conscious of what it is we are experiencing, and why. And on  an “open floor” where, as the name suggests, there are no judgements, and no right way or wrong way to move our bodies.

Lastly, inspired by the Buddha, they wrote this:”Why Move? Because for this one precious lifetime our body is our home address”.

And that is a huge challenge for the dominant theme of Western civilization with its emphasis on rational thinking in the head, as if the rest of the body does not have a wisdom of its own.