Movement & Dance

Move & Dance in Alignment with the Stars



Ecstatic Dance is a global “open source” movement. It grew out of several grass roots affiliations with movement groups and trance music dj’s in Austin, Texas and Hawaii, in the last 1990’s. It took off in the early 2000s’ as groups spawned spontaneously through dance networks across the U.S. , Europe, India, South Asia and in South America. No one owns the “Ecstatic Dance” concept. It continues to grow, morph and form various offshoots.

It is loosely based on much earlier work of the Cosmic Mass introduced by Episcopalian priest, Father Matthew Fox, as way to honor the four-part traditional mass through dance movement. 

There several other forms of free-flow or loosely structured dance, which complement nicely with Ecstatic Dance, that have been trademarked by other various later creators.

We generally follow the same dance format and we incorporate additional ceremony and enhancements. The space is considered ‘sacred’ because we bring the intentions of connecting to the cosmos, to the spiritual energies and to those beings around us. If you haven’t been to a dance, find one in your area and try it out.. there is nothing else quite like it!


Have Any Questions?


For those new to free form expressive movement and Rhythm Sanctuary “Dance Church”….

Ecstatic Dance is a freeform movement journey, held in a safe and sacred container, & facilitated by a professional DJ. It’s a place where we can be our unique selves, and also connected to a common source.

Shannon felt the need to bring people together to dance and began by inviting people to dance in her living room. She created regular post-dance ritual practice and soon adopted ‘the wave’ format from the emerging ecstatic dance movement, becoming the first ecstatic dance in Colorado. RHYTHM SANCTUARY-Ecstatic Dance ‘Church’ was born. She and her team soon took on the 5000 square foot AVALON dance hall every week. Word began to spread and those coming in from Denver wanted to have a dance closer in town so in 2007 the DENVER RYTHYM SANCTUARY was formed, which is still going on 250+ strong every Sunday.

Since relinquishing the reigns in 2014, and moving back to Austin, Texas (one of the founding cities of the early national Ecstatic Dance movement), Shannon re-created an ornate temple space for sacred dance in 2017 and spawned the Rhythm Sanctuary Illumination Dances for workshops and conferences.


There is never any talking on the main floor. Vocal expressions (not intended for disruption) are encouraged. Talking and chatting takes you out of your body and keeps you in the mind… this is an expressive space, a place to learn to commune with the energies through your body.

Honoring many traditions, it is a courtesy and sign of reverence to take off your shoes when entering a space which is curated for personally communing with others and respecting the sanctity of the place you have entered; and it just cleaner that way. 

We ‘circle up’ at the beginning and at the end of the dance! Yes, just like you did when you were in school! No one is required to speak but we often do a share and a name shout out to connect with everyone and add our names to the field.

Have you never been to any Ecstatic Dance before anywhere but you want to try it? As per community tradition, your first dance is on us! We go by the honor system, so just let us know you are a complete newbie! And we may call you out in the group circle!

Yes! There are various discounts and volunteer opportunities for those who may be in need of periodic assistance and for those who may wish to help build core community on a regular basis. The Ecstatic Dance takes a lot of time, energy, funds and collaboration to facilitate. The pure joy of sharing the dance encourages a generous and volunteering community. Reach out to us at 

Many in the community are willing to organize ride-share and even child care in order for everyone to have a dance!

The local Ecstatic Dance is incubated and supported, in part, by the non-profit Shift Foundation, TSF. Rhythm Sanctuary and Illumination dances are part of a joint venture between TSF and ASTRAM to guide people of all ages and beliefs into a shared space of embodied communion. For more information on how you can become a part, go to the main dance page at TSF website. 

You will help support the dance with a traditional tithing for the services and ceremony. And you can support ASTRAM by becoming A MEMBER… 

We will be calling the community in Spring 2022  


One-time Dance


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