Amy Elliott Ph.D. LCMHC 919-724-1002
Amy Elliott  Ph.D. LCMHC                                                                                                  

NVC Dance Floors

 To be clear - NVC Dance Floors is not learning dance steps - Bummer, right? No Cha-Cha-Cha or modern dance in tights -- okay, that's probably a relief.


The steps you will be learning and practicing through the NVC Dance Floors are the basic steps of NVC.  Each step supports focusing your curiosity and awareness. The steps are simple, not necessarily easy. I imagine the steps of NVC like a Haiku: capturing the essence of an experience in the present moment. 


There are 4-5 steps: 1. What happened or what did I Observe? 2. What judgmental thoughts arise in me regarding what happened? 3. What am I feeling or sensing in my body toward what happened?  3. What needs or values are connected with this experience?  What request might I make of myself or another?  This inquiry process can be modified for connecting inwardly or outwardly, or what is called for Giving and Receiving.    


But let's slow down .... NVC stands for Nonviolent Communication. Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D. (1934-2015)  who developed NVC, emphasized how compassion is the core or spirit of NVC.  Marshall Rosenberg met with the developers of the NVC Dance Floors, Bridget Belgrave and Gina Lawrie, and was enthusiastic and supportive of this experiential method of practicing NVC. Below I provide more information on the NVC Dance Floors. 


Brief Description of NVC

NVC is experienced by some as a  spiritual path that cultivates compassionate connection with Self and Other.  NVC consciousness can transform our experience of being separate to living in community with honesty, tenderness and heart energy.   


NVC can also be experienced as a process that translates thoughts, beliefs, body sensations and emotions into needs or values and do-able requests.  Through practice overtime, we can grow our ability to use language and presence to connect with ourself and others in an honest way without harm and hurt. 


Practicing NVC

Most people learn to practice NVC in groups. This makes sense because we learn with and from each other. I find it reassuring to notice that others also are chunking along, are stymied at times, need to pause and breathe to feel into a deeper knowing.  A practice group is a safe, brave place to explore, make mistakes together and deepen relationships by learning and practicing together. A purpose of an NVC practice group is to support capacity and authenticy not mastery and expertise. 


NVC offers us a paradigm shift away from domination, competition, individual focused culture to a culture of choice, compassion and connection. 


The NVC Dance Floors is just one approach to practicing in groups -- it gets you on your feet, brings an embodied felt sense and a playfulness to the practice.  


Description of NVC Dance Floors: are comprised of brightly coloured laminated 8 X 11 cards that are layed out on the floor.  On each card are printed the words that identify the focus of each step. You can step on the card or next to it; you can choose to step forward, backward, or sit down on the card and breathe as you feel into a step and let your response emerge -- all your choice, all in your time.


There are three different Dance Floors that I work with: The Dance of Self-Empathy, The 13-Step Dance, and the Dance of Anger/Shame and Depression. Each of these dances has a specific set of cards and layout.  In total, there are nine different NVC Dance Floors, all developed over a four year period (2000- 2004) by Bridget Belgrave and Gina Lauwrie, Certified Trainers with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication. For more information: 


Preparing for an NVC Dance Floor Workshop

If you can, familiarize yourself a bit with the philosophy and basics of NVC prior to taking an NVC Dance Floor workshop. It's not essential, but you will find it very helpful.

1.There are many videos on Youtube. Some of these videos are of Marshall Rosenberg. Others are of different NVC trainers.

2.Lately, I have enjoyed  a free course through go to the Get Started tab; it only takes a moment to register for the free course and also access to their library, which is fantastic.

3.I like the free lists of Feelings, Needs, Body Sensations at: feelings, needs.

4. For a short description of NVC try Bay NVC: 

5. If you prefer to read a book: there is a free pdf of Marshall Rosenberg's book, just google the title: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. second edition. I highly recommend it. 


I do not provide handouts of feelings and needs at workshops. But I do engage groups with these elements in warm-up to the Dance Floors: interactive games to connect the group, increase a sense of belonging and spontaneity and to settle in. Warm-ups help us to shift from performing to authentically being present. Wear comfortable, casual clothes. 


During workshops realizations and insights come on their own accord. Each of us is unique yet our humanity and compassion connects us. As the facilitor I hold a brave space for and with people to explore on their own terms. You can pause or stop at anytime. There is no requirement to push towards a final resolution or expected outcome. Workshops are paced such that there is time to learn from doing, without pressure to do anything, and time to reflect through writing, silence. We share in dyads, small groups and whole group. 


We will take time to enter into agreements. Basic agreements are: your Choice in every moment, Compassion to self and others, Confidentiality. Confidentiality means you can share outside of the workshop your own experience, but other people's experiences are their own to share. It is natural to want to share your experience, just do so mindfully of others' need for trust in your capacity to hold confidentiality. 

    September 2023

Compassionate Community

September 9th 12 - 6pm

This group is by invitation only for and by members of the Community Glue subgroup of Common Ground Eco-Village. 

       NVC Dance Floors

When: September 16th  1-4pm

Arrive between 12:30 - 12:50 to start at 1pm. With informal socializing and discussion afterwards from 4-5pm. 

Event Organizer: Amy Elliott, aka Amelia. a member of Common Ground Eco-Village. This group is open to anyone who wants to attend. Space is limited.  Contact Amy Elliott to register by using the form provided above in orange or contact her directly though her email for location information and your questions. . This event is in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Cost: This event is by donation. 

A portion of your donation goes to the space that is supporting this event, which also welcomes paper towels or other useful items. And 80 % of your donation will go to the cost of replacing the well that waters the sustainable organic farm at Common Ground Eco-Village. If you have already donated to the well  upgrade, consider this workshop a thank you gift. The cost of replacing the well was around $2,500. so your cash donation is deeply appreciated --"Cash in King" as they say. For information on Common Ground Eco-Village go to: www.CommonGround and on Youtube their are videos of the organic garden/farm which offers a CSA program. 





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