Dancing as Therapy – dance 4 joy and lift your mood!

Dancing as Therapy

Dancing as Therapy.  RVIR logo with four stick figures dancing across the middle, representing dancing therapy.

Last night a DJ saved my life from a broken heart with a song! We all know that old disco tune with its walking bassline, and funky guitar riff.

Many of us have had that experience. Music has an immediacy that few other art forms possess. In fact, hearing music does not only affect the ears but the entire brain.

“Music listening, performance, and composition engage nearly every area of the brain that we have so far identified, and involve nearly every neural subsystem.”
― Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Listening to music vs dancing to music

Listening to music is one thing. Dancing to it is another! Dancing as therapy has been around for a very long time and doesn’t need a lot of scientific analysis to let you know that it works. We all know that, we have all had that experience of shifting our emotional world the moment that we step onto the dancefloor.

Does music influence us more than visuals?

What do you think? Are images more or less impactful that sounds? Here is an interesting example of happy images set to frightening music. It is quite unnerving. But is it more unnerving than scary images set to happy music? Take a moment and have a look at those two links, and let me know in the comments if you agree with me.


I am just about to begin a one-year Masters in “Neuromúsica“. This course promises to weave together the disparate strands of my professional and personal interests. I am a therapist by profession and a musician hobbyist by passion.


Because I teach yoga and breathing, I have a depthless interest in neuroscience. Yoga pretends to “still the fluctuations of the mind”. This means that yoga helps the mind to become calmer. It also helps us to modulate emotion and express it in healthier ways.

The drawback is that yoga works over a period of years,and requires many hours of practice beneath the watchful eye of an experienced instructor. Nightclub dancing is pure expression. Music is pure emotion and works very quickly. Dancing as therapy is a thing, I promise you.

Dancing is also a way to express emotions, something Aujoulat-Mendez said many adults have lost much of the ability to do. While the popularity of looking after one’s mental health has encouraged people to articulate their emotions through things like talk therapy and journaling, dance floors invite people to metabolize their emotions. According to Aujoulat-Mendez, that means living their emotions through the body. Dancing lets people go through a whole range of emotions, be it joy or sadness or rage, through movement.

VICE – “The Importance of Dark Sweaty Dancefloors

My interest in “Neuromusic”

Fast working therapy

In the year after the pandemic and the lockdowns, I had guest after guest tell me about loved ones having attempted to, or having succeeded, take their own lives. Listening to this, holding space for this, was very hard. When I was young and struggling with anxiety and trauma, I often thought about ending it all. But, with lots of dilligent work, I turned all that around, healed myself and came back to help others. Part of my healing journey involved dancing as therapy, but in, perhaps, an unexpected way.

When I arrived in London in 1997, I was there to dance. I wanted those beats, and I found them. Apart from making friendships that endure to this day, I aso learned one of the biggest life lessons ever: I learned to hug people.

In Canada, we keep a large social distance. My family was not particularly demonstrative. I wasn’t in the habit of touching anyone. Clubbing shifted that in me, and I emerged a bit ragged around the edges for lack of sleep and self-care, but redeemed in my sense of human connectedness. It was after this episode, and a few more things, that I changed from being a technologist to a therapist. But, that’s another story.

One of the startling things about suicide is that the act itself is often spontaneous, not particularly premeditated. People may struggle with their demons for a long time, but then there is something that triggers the act.

It is this spontaneity that I would like to address and research in Neuromusic. Is there some sound, some composition, some frequency, that can help people who are thinking of harming themselves stop and take stock? Is there some way that we can harness the stunning immediacy of music as medicine to help people in dire need? Or, long-term, is there a way to harness that dancefloor madness into something healing but without the possible drawbacks? (drug and alcohol use, late nights, clubs in dodgy neighborhoods, drink spiking etc).

Ecstatic Dancing

Ecstatic dancing is definitely an option. Other dance therapy examples are dancing in your living room, dancing in the street, on the beach, and at the bus stop! Don’t stop dancing, ever! Dancing as therapy is REAL and it’s easy, free, and natural. So Dance. Please. If you’re feeling down, dance. If you’re feeling stressed, dance. If you’re feeling lonely, dance. And if you need some good advice from a cool, creative, highly qualified yoga and breathwork therapist, get in touch. I believe you’re worth investing in. Do you?

Watch this space for more about Neuromusic, as I get deeper and wider into this lovely world of healing through sound vibrations.

dj mix: Dance like you mean it – 11-10-22

Light and fluffy

new dj mix dance like you mean it

Like the perfect french omelette, made with simple ingredients and skill, I present to you my newest dj mix. I bought and downloaded some new tracks this week, and thought I would see about crafting a new dj mix. Turned out quite ok, I think!

Click on the image or just go straight to my mixcloud profile.

Tops and tails

I like my audio clean. As Traktor limits recordings to 57 minutes, you have to time your last track carefully in order to ease ears out kindly. When listening back to my last dj mix, I realised that it dropped out very suddenly at the end of the set. One Mind by Robert Babicz (Jerome Isma-ae remix) is a bottom-heavy track that does not withstand being cut off suddenly and abruptly. Realising this, I had no choice but to import the track into Ableton and tidy up the ending. Voilà!

Today’s mix came out practically perfect! I just exported the track listing, made a cover in Adobe Express and uploaded to Mixcloud. Man do I love modern technology.

Track Listing

1 Brightest Lights ft. POLIÇA (Shui Mi Tao remix) – Lane 8

2 Ocean Color (Extended Mix) – Greg Ochman

3 The Mistery Of The Waves (Original Mix) – Marian (AR)

4 Optimism (Simone Glad, Jelly For The Babies Remix) – Hassan Maroofi

5 Wanderer (Original Mix) – Makebo

6 Music Is The Way (feat. Klara Sestiniova) (Original Mix) – Spada, Klara Sestiniova

7 I Don’t Want to Wait (Soulfeed Remix) – Chris Domingo, Mariner, Mariner + Domingo

8 Calypso (Original Mix) – Markus Homm

9 Lullaby (Baez Remix) – Yuriy From Russia, Julia Gherber

10 Mirror (Original Mix) – Coolnick + HALL

11 Heartbeating (Original Mix) – Coolnick + HALL

12 Chakras (Original Mix) – Taleon

4 Fall Feels – New Mix

fall feels mix cover

For your listening pleasure, a feel-good fall mélange on my Mixcloud. I dropped in tracks by Kamilo Sanclamente, Robert Babicz, Maximiljan and Who Made Who. Hope that you like it as much as I liked making it!

Here is the mix listing:

1 Drifting Away – Faithless

2 Flight of Birds (Original Mix) – Bedouin

3 Silence & Secrets (Frank Wiedemann Version) -WhoMadeWho

4 Abu Simbel (Extended) – WhoMadeWho

5 Heimarmene Vs. As The Rush Comes_Acappella (Minestrone Mashup) – Volen Sentir Vs. Motorcycle

6 Simon Vuarambon – 1996 – Shanti Radio

7 Together (Extended) – Kamilo Sanclemente

8 Music Is (Original) – Maximiljan

9 Summer Like (Original) – Atrejou

10 Tell Me (Ezequiel Arias Space Mix) – Galestian, Mira J

11 From the Silence (Extended Mx) – Deviu

12 One Mind (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix) – Robert Babicz

It’s been a while…

September was a busy month. I had a little trip to the US, then some stupid admin to take care of.

Also, I renovated my little music studio. I painted an accent wall in a lovely inky grey and generally tidied up. I bought some panels to improve the acoustics in the room, but, to be honest, I need to replace the window first. Still, it is now much tidier and prettier. I am looking forward to the quieter winter months.

I started djing only last year, in September 2021. I think that I have done well. I hope that you like the music. It is not perfect, but I like it that way. Artificial Intelligence can make perfect mixes (but surely boring, imho). We beautifully imperfect humans make little errors and that’s what makes life so ineffably lovely.

Something cool mix 13-8-22

Hello all you groovers, hot enough for you? Here in Spain we had 100Km/hr gusts of 40ºC winds…at 3 in the morning. Nice. Not.

Chill and cool

Given how sweltering this summer has been, I decided to make you a nice something nice and cool, a long tall icy mix. Downtempo and somewhat leftfield, I dropped in some Henry Saiz, Matthew Herbert and Sahalé, for your enjoyment.

(PS – In case you missed it, there is another nice chilled mix right here…)

Track listing:

  1. Laika – Lower Than Stars
  2. High Noon – ID
  3. Julee Cruise – Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart
  4. Window Pain – ID
  5. The Story of Light – ID
  6. Orbient – Boarding (Doubleseat Mix)
  7. Sahalé and Samarana – Three Years in the Forest
  8. David Douglas – Moon Observations (Henry Saiz remix)
  9. Sahalé – Magharibi
  10. Marat Mode – Lows
  11. Bonnie & Clyde (Herbert’s Fred &Ginger Mix)
  12. Qrion – It’s all Over (Moon Kyoo Extended Mix)
  13. Avidus – Dunes (Jesse Trinidad Remix)
  14. Calling the Ancestors (Elfenberg Remix)

Fresh pressed! Downtempo mix…3,2,1🧚‍♀️🍹🎧

dj RVIR sweet sunset downtempo mix

New downtempo mix!

Ladies and gentlemen and everyone in-between, I present to you my newest downtempo mix!

Featuring songs by Rhinôcéròse, Jerome Isma-ae, Kamilo Sanclamente, Planeta Libre and Sahalé and Nicola Cruz and carefully and kindly mixed by yours truly. I sure hope that you dig it, cause I sure do.

I am looking for gigs right now, sure that this mix will get me into some of the nice beach bars around here. For now, I am hanging out at Olla Beach Bar every Friday evening. Just helping out my friend Josh, AKA dj Purple Rabbit, I usually select the first half hour of tunes. So come out and say hi! Hopefully we will get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

Downtempo tunes are groovy enough to boogie to, but chill and easy on the ear. When I dj, I try to respect people’s hearing. I am happy to have conserved my own hearing after a lifetime spent going to gigs. I always used earplugs! But, when I dj, I hope that you don’t need to use them. Good sound is so important, and too much volume just makes the sound distorted and crunchy. Who needs that?

Listen out for my voice on the Planeta Libre track 😉

Track Listing

1 Slowly -ID

2 Colibria_Original_Mix – Nicola Cruz

3 Galaxy – Hippiehaus

4 Maruera – Nato & Sahalé

5 Deep Happiness – Planeta Libre

6 Purple Haze (Original Mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae

7 Love Vibrations feat. GIOKA (Instrumental Mix) – Kamilo Sanclemente, Giovanny Aparicio

8 Shere_Khan_Original_Mix – Sesion

9 Diminished (Dub mix) – Rousing House

10 De La Soul – All Good (Sylow Remix) – Sylow

11 Machine Pour Les Oreilles – Rinôçérôse

12 Static (Original Mix) – Pugilist

13 It Takes Two (Ziggy Phunk DJ Re-Edit) – Bobby Patterson

14 Sunset At Cafe Del Mar – ID

Waldorf Rocket

A new synth!

I am super excited to have bought a hardware synthesizer! I have a few software VST synths (u-he Diva, Arturia Pigments), and one hardware synth (AKAI Miniak). But…my attempts at production are routinely hampered because I just can’t find the bass sounds I want!

I was watching the Bad Gear Youtube channel and he was reviewing I don’t know what. But when he went to make a song using whatever gear it was, he hooked up a small-ish square box. I zoomed in and discovered that it was a “Waldorf Rocket.” Apparently, these synths are particularly good for basses as they have no attack adjustment. (bass sounds, in general, have a fast attack).

Well, I found two for sale on Reverb (an amazing music gear buy-and-sell app…check it out if you’re a second-hand gear junkie like me. I just love the fact that thrift and vintage shopping is tax-free and environmentally wise. But I digress.)

So Marc from the Hague made a sale and the synth was in my hot little hands within a week. Right out of the box, after a few knob adjustments, I got this growling pumping proggy bass and immediately fell in love with the Rocket! There are no presets, and you can’t save your sounds, so like Nu-Trix says in this video, the Rocket is about finding a sound that fits with your song, recording it, and moving on.

Hopefully I will finally finish the projects that were left languishing for want of a beautiful bass!

In the meantime, make sure that you check out my other music on my music socials.

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