My childhood memory is filled with nights when I gathered with friends in the streets of my old neighborhood, utilizing anything to make rhythmic beats, creating endless variations of long, soulful rhythms that I now know induce trance.

Wilbert Alix




"I grew up in a world of spirit, rhythm & music."




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The only community in United States history that allowed Africans (slaves) to keep the drums, music and rituals of their homeland was New Orleans. Faubourg Tremé in particular holds the distinction of beng the oldest African (American) neighborhood in the US. I am a descendant of this community and Trance Dance is my way of not just continuing but also energizing these same traditions of music, rhythm and dance as spiritual techniques that have the power to induce transformation. Being a wayward child, the hypnotic pulse of these Black Indian and Afro-Caribbean rhythms easily spoke to my soul. I could see early on in my life how sound transforms, and my chosen way was through percussion. My childhood memory is filled with nights when I gathered with friends in the streets of my old neighborhood, utilizing anything to make rhythmic beats, creating endless variations of long, soulful rhythms that I now know induce trance.

I believe that all roads lead to a place we refer to as the heart. In my childhood this feeling came through powerfully in communal music, cultural chants and 'second line' ecstatic dance. This has never left me. Early in my 20's I moved away from New Orleans to explore broader areas of my life both geographically and spiritually. Through experience I have learned that the doorway to every authentic spiritual moment I encountered invariably had a sign on the door that said "I don't know". Another word for "I don't know" is mystery... and I soon understood that my biggest mystery was myself. So my journey turned inwards even more. The more I explored my heart, the more I began to trust what my heart was saying to me and so the more spiritual my life became. It made perfect sense that the original way that I found 'soul' in my life would eventually return even more of my soul on the beat of another drum.
 
My life's journey has been more than interesting... I could never have dreamed that it would lead me to where I am today. I guess we can all say this, which somehow validates our experience of mystery. I continue to hold dearly the idea that the evolution of my soul lies in my own hands and my hands are not the only hands playing this drum. I've devoted more than 40 years of my life to the pursuit of this self-discovery, both in terms of my own evolution and the evolution of new shamanic ritual techniques. I believe that Trance Dance is a descendant of these ancient traditions... and obviously so am I. ~

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