Have you ever just gotten to a point where you fantasized about throwing the homework in the trash, skipping karate lessons, lighting the dinner on fire and just taking your kids out clubbing? In this fantasy, you’d dance until the break of dawn like you used to in college, screaming “THERE’S MORE TO LIFE THAN GOOD GRADES AND POPULARITY CONTESTS!!!” Your kids would finally think you were cool and you would connect on a deeper level on the dancefloor. Then Bianca Jagger would come riding in on a white horse, and after convincing your kids that it wasn’t one of those Central Park horses, they would think it was magical. You’d all be laughing and dancing, and most importantly having fun like a family should!
Chances are your kids would be too tired to enjoy the adventure. You’d be paranoid about one of the kids accidentally eating some molly, or worse still, slipping through a wormhole to Burning Man. But what if I told you there was a way to have just as much fun dancing with a rockstar, with none of the night life risk? Because Debbie Attias, founder of the (now defunct) electroclash band, Avenue D, has started a Family Dancorcism dance party on Thursday afternoons from 4-5pm in a church in Greenpoint. (She’ll host one over winter break if she gets enough interest–email her if you can make it.)
On the day that my son and I attended with friends, the room was already full of energy. We started in a circle, holding hands, setting our intentions. Our friend was wearing her glitter dancing shoes, Debbie had stripped down to her shorts, and I immediately regretted wearing non-breathable fabric. The music started, and then… we danced. Debbie showed us moves to mirror and we let loose. We jumped, we twirled, we ran in circles, and we “shook it off.” At one point we were all spinning to the point of fainting. No dancing talent is necessary, just the ability to lose your inhibitions. At just the moment that I started to feel like a lunatic, Debbie would shout words of encouragement and positivity: “Paint a rainbow with your hands!” My son’s favorite part was roaring like a tiger, and our friend loved “twirling with mommy.” By the time we lay down to a short savasana cuddle session, the grown ups were all tuckered out, and the kids were counting the seconds until next week’s “ecstatic mind-body workout.”
Afterward, I reached out to Debbie to talk about the classes, energy work, and her favorite playlist for creating your own at home dancorcism.
BB: How did you come up with the idea for Dancorcism?
DA: I love dancing. People throughout time, all over the world have danced to celebrate and express joy. I used to dance all night. When I stopped going out so much, I missed really dancing. Dancorcism was a way for me to combine my former life as a performance artist (and rock star) with my new interests/studies in energy work, healing, yoga, and meditation.
BB: How did you think to do the classes with kids?
DA: It was my friend Jana’s idea. She had been wanting to come to Dancorcism for a while, but due to her schedule with her son, she could never make it. We were talking about it, and she mentioned that there are dance classes for adults, and dance classes for kids, but she wanted one that they could do together. She asked me if we could make this happen, and since I love kids, I was more than thrilled to do it. The class is so much about the connection between the parents and the kids.
BB: Most dance classes are all about learning specific choreography and repetition. Since we are just watching and copying your moves, it is a lot freer–and more fun!
DA: Yes, it is all about freedom and fun! It doesn’t matter if we do it perfectly, it’s about getting in our bodies, being together, and having a good time.
BB: Can you speak a little about if how these classes work as almost an energy healing?
DA: A lot of my work is based on finding an inner balance. Kids have a lot of energy, and during most of the class, we let ourselves get wild and crazy, allowing the kids (and adults) to express that energy. At the end of class, after playing so hard, it becomes easier to take a mindful moment of stillness and rest.
BB: Your slogan is Fun Heals Everything! Tell us what that means.
It’s about being happy in the present moment and cultivating the awareness that life is fun right now. So often we think, “Once we ____, then we can start having fun” and the truth is if we start having fun now, all the other things fall into place.
BB: At the Dancorcism we attended, the kids were CRAZY about the music. How do you choose the songs you’ll play? Can you provide a playlist of your favorite kid friendly jams for “at home” dance parties.
I have been a DJ and music curator for many years. From big clubs to big weddings, people usually hire me because of the good-vibing atmosphere that I create. For Family Dancorcism, I ask for requests from the kids, and add some songs for the parents too. The song choices and the order are all very intentional to create a specific experience.
For more suggestions, contact Debbie directly. But here’s a couple jams to get your at home party started.
-Jungle Music, Rico & the Special AKA
-Shake it Off, Taylor Swift
-Rock n’ Roll High School, The Ramones
-Roar, Katy Perry
-The clapping song, Shirley Ellis
-True Blue, Madonna
Dancorcism with Debbie Attias runs Thursdays, 4-5pm at the Park Church Co-op, 129 Russell St. in Greenpoint. It’s $25/ family (adults and children). More info at www.funhealseverything.com. She’s currently not planning a winter break session Feb. 18, but if enough parents express interest she’ll host it.)
I love this class!! My son and I go every week!!