Now is the time for ecstatic dancing

Story and photo 



It’s not infrequently that we hear, like a bitter ghost of perpetual displeasure, “Ugh! There’s nothing to do in Tucson” echoing through the hallways at Pima Community College. 

While we know that this is hyperbolic and seemingly fallacious, we must not hate the player. Instead, we should hate the game itself. 

Many might be bored, but perhaps it’s because they don’t know where to look when seeking external stimulation or entertainment in any form. 

Look no further, because I come bearing wonderful news. As a young woman under the age of 21 in the Old Pueblo, I, too, find myself reverting to the dark underbelly of Facebook’s news feed when placed in a trance of extreme boredom. 

A few weeks ago, an ad popped up for an event happening every other Thursday. The title read “Thursday Night Ecstatic Dance.” 

Locals engage in self-expression through dance September 5th


I clicked on the event and sent a message to the person in charge for more information. He twisted my arm, and thus, I made my way there one Thursday to see what all the commotion was about. 

According to, the goal of the practice is to “… enjoy a safe space to dance without talking, drinking and the nightclub vibe. This is about getting great exercise, freeing your mind and body, and connecting with yourself and others in vibrant health.” 

And that is exactly what came to fruition as I glided through the doors of Solar Culture Gallery. 

Live music, meditation, smiling faces, grooving bodies, high vibrations and an exceptional workout. Around me, human(oid?)s ranging in age from 3 to 63, men, women, and non-binary folks alike, moved through the space. 

Smashed Barry plays a variety of world music

It was unlike any dance party I had ever attended. Conscious selections of music from around the world captivated me into movement alongside the others, and I felt a state of meditation and natural movement take over. It was truly liberating. 

Barry Wachter, who goes by the DJ alias “Smashed Barry,” is the facilitator of these events. He maintains a personal desire to create a safe environment promoting health, interpersonal connection, and self expression. His events attract humans of all ages, shapes, sizes, experiences and lack thereof. “(The goal here is to) Free your mind and body while connecting with yourself and others in a safe and healthy space,” Wachter said. 

According to, the practice is rising in popularity worldwide, and it has made its way into Downtown Tucson. From 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 3 and 17, the fun will unfold at Solar Culture Gallery. The cost of entry is $10 for all ages.