Boulder Mag: Meditation in Motion

This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Boulder Magazine.

Meditation in Motion

Lisa Fasullo, Ecstatic Groove aim to bring ecstatic dancing mainstream

By Kate Jonuska

Dance has been intrinsic to almost every human culture, yet many people today people feel they can’t or shouldn’t take a spin,. Dancing in public regularly ranks among Americans’ top fears — just behind death and public speaking.

“That fear is the biggest impediment to entry for so many people,” says Lisa Fasullo, founder and director the Center for Transformative Movement and a long-time practitioner of ecstatic dance, where there are no specific steps and the dancers freely abandon themselves to the music. This specific type of dance, she says, can be transformational for those frightened folks. “It excites me to see, over and over for the last 25 years, when people feel that no one is judging them and discover that they feel good dancing. I love creating that environment.”

Bandshell Boogie

And she’s also devoted to spreading the awareness and practice of ecstatic dance to a wider audience.

Unlike structured dance programs, which she calls “a different medicine,” ecstatic dancing “accesses a part of you that feels good and is in the moment and puts you in touch with, for lack of a better term, your primal self that doesn’t have all those layers of conditioning,” explains Fasullo, who holds master’s degrees in health education and social work and is co-author of a study about the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of specifically sensual dance.

“What (ecstatic dance) really does is puts us in direct connection with our life force energy,” she says. “That feels ‘woo woo,’ but feeling connected to that life force energy is something most of us recognize as feeling fully alive in our bodies, lit up, vibrant.”

In addition to hosting many community dances through the Center for Transformative Movement — including the monthly Dance with a Doc program at the Boulder Circus Center, run through the Walk with a Doc national wellness nonprofit — Fasullo is now launching Ecstatic Groove, a training program for folks interested in leading their own dances.

“I hope every exercise and yoga studio wants to offer something along these lines,” says Brian Comery, an ecstatic dancer for more than six years both with Fasullo and at other venues, such as the recent Rainbow Family Gathering. He says that ecstatic dance can completely flip his emotional state and will likely be a lifelong practice for him.

“There’s a stigma around dancing because we live in such a critical world,” he says. “But just coming as you are and to be around other people who also don’t have judgments, who are also there doing the best they can, feels very open and accepting. Those situations are rather rare nowadays.”

All the more reason Ecstatic Groove hopes to give more folks access to an easy, safe movement practice you can do anytime, anywhere, alone or with others.

“It’s a way to activate your best self anytime…. And it’s following in that trajectory of yoga, going from being hippie and esoteric to mainstream,” she says. “It’s exciting to me to see people who wouldn’t have considered a dance or wellness practice of this kind to be able to tap into that part of themselves. You can feel playful, fun and free.”

For more information about the Center for Transformative Movement and Ecstatic Groove, visit or call 720-971-1972.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Boulder Magazine.

%d bloggers like this: