I saw an ad online a couple of months ago for a yoga-type free form dance class being held in a little over a week. It sounded a little too liberal, new-agey for my taste (I am of the Libertarian persuasion and a little skeptical of almost everything), but the class description got me thinking. It talked of primordial forces, being oneself, and eliminating barriers and other sorts of yoga-type things. I immediately thought that I'd need to do the class naked to really feel free. So, I took a shot and sent the instructor a email with some basic questions.

She and I exchanged a few emails before the workshop, and she at least seemed open to the idea of nudity, saying that no one had "gotten completely naked yet." I told her that I've been a nude model for art classes for 30 years and that the main reason I wanted to do the class was to aid in my posing. She agreed that the class would help and that I would be a perfect fit for it.

After that, I wrote her and was a little more direct. I said:

"Honestly, when I read the class description, especially the the parts about primordial forces and about releasing and removing "obstacles on deep somatic and emotional levels so that we can reclaim the gifts we have to share," I immediately thought that I needed to be able to do this without clothing to get the full benefit, especially to be able to apply it to my modeling. Being nude is to be pure, free and alive, showing the world that I am ME without the costumes that modern society dictates that I put on. And then I realized that my decades of nude modeling have made my views on nudity, especially my own, different from the mainstream, because we've all grown up in this modern society and its requirements. So, I wrote you to sound you out about it. If going au naturale is an option, if my choice of that option were accepted by everyone, and if no negative energy was created because of it, then this workshop sounds like a truly incredible and wonderful experience."

She wrote back after a couple of hours. The workshop runs Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. In that last email I had sent her, when I confided in my desire to dance nude, I told her that I could make the Friday session but my schedule for that Saturday was still up in the air. When she wrote back, she very enthusiastically wished that I could attend for the entire weekend. She did say that she didn't know how our local crowd would respond to nudity, so she wanted me to feel it out (since, she said, part of her job was to make everyone feel safe). She then said that we could feel it out together and that if people feel like they can handle it, she says to go for it. She also said that my comfortability with my body would be good medicine for everyone there.

I arrived to that Friday session early, filled with nervous anticipation. In fact, I was so nervous that I almost didn’t go into the building. But once I was there, I was warmly welcomed with a hug by the workshop leader, the one with whom I had exchanged emails about the possibility of nudity. The workshop was held in a newly opened yoga studio close to downtown. Rugs and mats were put down on the concrete floor as all the participants would be dancing barefooted. The leader invited me and the other new arrivals to warm up for several minutes until everyone had arrived.

Although thirty-something people had responded to the Facebook event, only 15 or so people were actually there. That number includes the workshop leader and the yoga studio owner, a fortyish hippie-looking lady. Of that number, only two were male: me and a younger guy who looked to be an expert yoga practitioner. He took meditation poses during warm up with seemingly perfect posture and form. The other twelve were all women of various ages, each of them attractive in some way.

I had arrived straight from work in blue jeans and a t-shirt. I had brought the bag I take with me to art classes into the workshop with me, but my shorts and slippers were missing. I did have a beach towel and some safety pins, and since I didn’t want to wear my jeans to dance, I tried to make a skirt out of the towel.

We started with some exercises. She paired us up with a partner, and we had to look the other person in the eyes while the leader talked in that soft yoga voice. We did a few more exercises like that and then got into a circle. Each person told what he or she would like to receive from the dance workshop. I talked about being a nude model for 30 years, about how pure and sacred I felt when I modeled nude, about simulating stillness for the artists to draw, and how I wanted the dance to help me better understand my body and how it moved. I said that I hoped to feel the same purity while dancing and moving that I felt when modeling in stillness. There was no explicit statement that I wanted to dance nude even though the leader and I had talked about it in our emails. I had thought she might say something about it then, but she didn’t.

Then we went into a long dance session. The dance was to each of five elements, going from one element to the next at ten to twenty minute intervals, starting with earth, then water, fire, air, and space. I struggled with my skirt/towel for most of the dance, and it was definitely distracting me from getting into that mental state that everyone was trying to achieve through this dance exercise. I started getting hot, so I took off my shirt and just went with the towel for a while. The music for the fire element was very up tempo with a strong beat, and you almost had to jump up and down while dancing to it. When that started, it became obvious to me that the towel just wasn’t going to work. My choices were to go with nothing or to put the jeans back on. While I was deciding this, the leader (who was saying words of guidance and instruction during the entire dance) told us to lose our inhibitions. That was enough for me. I decided on nothing. With adrenaline pumping and butterflies in my stomach, I closed my eyes and let the towel fall to the floor, and I kicked it over to the wall.

Dancing naked felt exhilarating, joyous, and liberating. Dancing with your eyes closed had been encouraged in the workshop, and I spent most of that time with them closed. So I really didn’t see too many reactions. But after a minute or two or three (I really don’t know how long it was), one of the women in the class came up to me and told me there was a child in the class. I said that I hadn’t seen any children, but the lady pointed out one girl and said that that girl was only eleven. She was tall and wearing loose clothing, and I had just taken her for one of the other college aged girls. “I know she doesn’t look it,” the lady said, “but could you put your towel on?”

I nodded to her, but I wasn’t putting the towel back on. I picked it up, danced my way over to my cubby hole, and got my jeans, telling the lady that the towel just wasn’t working. I put the jeans back on and finished the elemental exercise in those.

It had crossed my mind then to just leave the workshop early, in shame and embarrassment, but I decided to stay. I wanted to explain myself, and during the closing circle, I did that. I talked about the emails that the leader and I had exchanged about the possibility of nudity, about how I had wanted my dance to connect with my modeling, and about how that towel as a skirt just wasn’t working and that my decision on what to do about that coincided with the leader’s instruction about losing inhibitions. The girl’s mother, who oddly enough was not the one who had asked me to put the towel back on, thanked me for my perspective. The session ended on good terms, and since my son had a baseball tournament the next day, I had no intention of attending the Saturday session.

But the more I thought about that brief moment when I was free and naked in the middle of that group of people and how good it felt, the more I wanted to experience it again and for a longer duration. So, once I got home (it is an hour long drive from my house to that yoga studio even when traffic is light), I emailed the session leader. I told her how glorious that felt to be in my pure and sacred form and that I wished I could come back for Saturday’s session and explore that in more depth. She responded in the wee hours and said that she was glad I had touched that moment and that I had gone through with getting naked. She also said that she never would have predicted the outcome and that it was a life lesson. Then she said something that really sparked my desire.

"If it was in your truth to join us tomorrow that would have to be a dialogue we would have with the group. Which i would certainly encourage people to face their discomfort and dance with it. There is space for all in this practice. It takes participants to be willing to face whatever is true for them and let it go. As the guide it is my responsibility to assist in the beat way i can and also to ensure everyone’s safety. I see great opportunity for us all to share in your presence and comfort in being YOU."

She went on to say that the young girl wouldn’t be there but that a couple of other people would and that everyone would be adults. So, with that encouragement, I left my son’s baseball tournament early and returned to the workshop. I paid for my session via paypal when I arrived. It was 30 for the Friday night and 100 for the whole workshop, so I paid 70 dollars on Saturday. It was the best 70 bucks I ever spent.

The leader and I talked very briefly away from everyone else about the nudity. She and I both agreed that I would be dressed for the circle and the one-on-one activities, but that I could do whatever I needed to do during the elemental dances. When we started, we got into a circle, and I noticed that the group was smaller than on Friday. There were only ten of us in total. Me and nine women. Two of the women were new, having missed the Friday night session. We talked about what we wanted to experience and a lot of yoga type stuff. The leader then mentioned that we might have someone (me) who felt like he needed to get naked, that I was a nude model, and that I was working through things where nakedness was a benefit. She said that any minor discomfort could be addressed through dance and then asked if anyone had any major problems with it. No one did.

We then went into the dance of the elements, starting with earth. For earth, nobody moved too much and just stayed connected to the ground, either lying or sitting down with very gentle movements. Those movements increased with the music and from the instruction of the workshop leader. I stayed dressed for this earth element. When we moved into water, we were all standing and dancing with flowing movements that evoked the movement of water. I took my shirt off, leaving only my denim shorts on. Less than five minutes into the water dance, knowing that I had the explicit permission of the entire group, I took off the shorts.

Being naked always feels good. Being naked and dancing with nine attractive females dressed in form-fitting yoga clothes is like heaven. I danced naked through all the remaining elements, doing a lot of it with my eyes clothes so that my female companions could look at me without feeling self-conscious about it. During the hard beats of the fire element, I was really bouncing around. My penis was hanging very large from the freedom and the movement. I was a little paranoid about getting pre-*** and bouncing little droplets of it onto someone while I was dancing, so I discretely wiped the tip of my penis many times during the dance.

After that first dance of elements, we did some activities. I got dressed for those, but we had two or three more open dances where I got naked. The Saturday session was six hours, and each of those open elemental dances was at least an hour long. I got to spend a cumulative total of three-plus hours naked. I didn’t notice any open staring, but I did notice one physical reaction. The session leader was wearing a thin top that tied behind her neck, leaving most of her back exposed. When I was dancing naked, I saw that the nipples on her smallish breasts were rock hard and pressing against the material of her top. When she wasn’t calling out instructions, tending to music, or floating across the room spreading incense, she danced with reckless abandon, with her whole body. I tried to emulate that, moving my hips, legs, arms, shoulders, everything. It really was an amazing experience. My hand would brush against my hip and feel nothing but bare skin, reminding myself how good it felt to be naked and free.

The one yoga guy from Friday night showed up to the Saturday session when there was only an hour left. I barely noticed him though. I was floating and dancing in my own space, enjoying the company of those nine woman who had graciously allowed me to be naked in their presence. It was an amazing experience, and it all happened because I asked, I opened up to the session leader, I was respectful of the practice of the dance and of the other participants, and I was bold and courageous. I don’t know when or if I will ever get to experience anything like that again. That session leader had moved to another country a couple of years earlier and had done this workshop while visiting family back here in the States. She will soon return to her adopted country, and there aren’t any other facilitators of that particular dance discipline in the area. And if there were, I don’t know if I would find one that open and willing to explore nudity.
NakedDaniel NakedDaniel
51-55, M
2 Responses Aug 19, 2014

Very interesting story... sounds great and I would love to do that. I don't think I would ever have the courage. Congratulations.

Dance should always be done naked to display the human body. Carpe Diem!