I’ve mentioned before that I’m not so big on going out anymore these days and that’s still true. I don’t mind going and hanging out at a chill laid back bar where the music is upbeat but low enough to hold a conversation and the overall vibe is positive and happy. The type of place I typically don’t venture out to is dance clubs. I spent years working as a DJ in them and am over the whole drunken dance scene and the music that seems to be popular among it’s usual crowd.
Fortunately, there is a one party in town that’s quite unlike any other. It’s a once a month event called Shakti Shakedown hosted by my good friend Dawn Thompson, a modern-day medicine woman and healer of many modalities. She manages to single handedly create a very unique experience for the evening that keeps people coming back month after month, and if you come check it out, you’ll understand why.
She describes Shakti Shakedown as a “gathering that bridges the gap between muggles and magical people” and that’s about as accurate of a description as I can imagine for it. But get any thoughts of characters from J.K. Rowling’s famous series out of your mind! Instead imagine modern day goddesses dancing, shaking their asses, and yes, even twerking. There were, of course, men there dancing and having a great time too, but I can’t say that’s really where my attention was drawn.
Now, I have to pause in my description here for a moment and just say that if you don’t have any belief in magic, just watch someone “twerk” and try to wrap your head around the actual mechanics involved in making the human body do that. I’ve studied anatomy quite extensively and I can tell you which muscles are theoretically involved in such an activity, yet I still cannot manage to wrap my brain around how that actually works. In all fairness though, this may be more the result of a noticeable decrease in blood flow to my brainpan while observing such a dance move, but I digress.
As a former DJ, one of the reasons I typically avoid the usual sort of dance clubs is that I am generally annoyingly critical of the DJ’s and there are few who are capable of putting on a show that allows me to just relax and enjoy the music without overanalyzing every detail. Shakti Shakedown doesn’t have a DJ in the traditional sense, but rather, Dawn carefully compiles the entire playlist for the evening herself.
She either just has particularly good taste in music, is divinely guided, or intuitively knows how to create a good vibe for a party, but I suspect it’s more likely some combination of all three factors. The majority of the songs played are ones I am not familiar with but instantly connect with and enjoy, which is pretty rare for me.
One of the really awesome parts about the music is that she makes these playlists available on Spotify for anyone to listen to. As I’m writing this tonight, I’ve got my headphones in and am musically reliving the experience through tonight’s playlist ‘Where the Wild Things Connect’. It’s also one of the ways I end up finding new music I enjoy every month.
Despite my descriptions so far, Shakti Shakedown is much more than just a dance party with great music. She also starts off the night by offering her services channeling and giving readings for those that come to the event. Tonight there was an artist there doing Henna tattoos, something that, as a tattoo artist myself, I find the history and traditions of to be fascinating. For next months event, I even plan to bring my massage table and offer free short body work sessions.
That’s something I’m rather excited about personally. One of my favorite parts of Rootwire, the Transformational Arts Festival I work at each year, is at the end of the day setting up my table or zero gravity chair out in one of the fields in front of the stage and massaging and doing reflexology while one of the live artists is performing. So far, that sort of massaging to the beat has been something that I’ve pretty much only gotten to do at Rootwire, so I’m really excited to get to bring it a bit closer to home and offer it to those who come to Dawn’s event.
Even before I left my house to head downtown tonight, I suspected that I might end up discussing Shakti Shakedown as my topic for the night. When I got home and sat down with my computer though, I wasn’t sure quite how to go about describing such a unique event. In search of inspiration I put my headphones in, turned the playlist from tonight on shuffle, and closed my eyes. The first song that came on was Martin Garrix – Animals.
The title seemed fitting enough to describe the night, although, while there is most assuredly a very primal energy to the event, I would say that it’s not so much animalistic in nature; it’s not a bunch of people behaving badly and giving in to their basest desires. It’s more like a gathering of very highly evolved animals who are taking time to intentionally connect with their more primal ancestry through dance and ecstatic movement of their bodies, letting themselves feel free and complete.
If this sounds like something you’d like to experience (I would highly recommend it), and you live in central Ohio, either look up Shakti Shakedown on Facebook or get in touch with me and I’ll make sure you get an invite with all the details. If you’d like to know more about Dawn, be sure to check out her website, Dawn of the New Era. As always, Thanks for reading!