Down here are two versions of Léon's bio: one more professional and the other more personal.
Léon Beckx is an artisan at heart. His art and craft centers around facilitating group processes that deepen contact, unlock hidden potential, transform, and move life forward. In his work, Léon draws from his 25 year experience of facilitating different groups - from business board rooms to prisons. The tools he uses are as diverse and stem from his studies in psychology, martial arts, Gestalt therapy, 5Rhythms dance, Contact & Dance impro, Somatics, Focusing, and Playback Theater. He is a lead facilitator in several community building methods, with the most important being the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), the Organization Workshop, and the Oasis Games. As an artisan, Léon loves to share his learned lessons and experiences. He has been educating facilitators worldwide from 2008, which he continued in 2019 with Heart of the Dance. At Heart of the Dance, Léon can use his art and craft to the fullest as it includes all of the above. For Léon dance is much more than a movement practice. It is also a way to build community, to heal wounds and a form of embodied spirituality. His teachings and writings reflect this holistic view of dance. Together with Tom and Caroline, he feels passionate about making more space for dance to move our world in a more life-sustaining and earth-honoring direction.
"I had my first taste of ecstasy as a teenager in the early 90's rave scene. Back then, raves were a new phenomenon fueled by a new electronic dance music, a new drug (XTC), and a new ethos of peace, love, unity, and respect (PLUR). Together with friends, I danced deep into the night, deep into bliss. Like Alice in Wonderland, I had stumbled into a strange, new world where the freedom of expression, community, consciousness expansion, and a universal love were the driving forces. It was so different from my day-to-day life that prepared me to become a productive individual. When the rave scene took a different turn with drugs and commerce taking over, I felt lost. I continued my study psychology. Science appealed to my intellect, but lacked heart. Luckily, I became a volunteer for a child helpline during my studies. Here again, I found a warm community and a place to develop myself while being in service for others. Throughout my career, I have sought to recreate this golden combination, whether it was working with communities (Diversity Joy) or being part of Heart of the Dance. After becoming a psychologist (MSc), I continued with studying Gestalt therapy, while working as a psychologist on a psychiatric ward. In a way, I was still exploring the edge of the ordinary. This time, however, I guided people back to the 'normal' world, instead of dancing over the edge myself. I felt really unhappy in this role and searched for a new direction. I missed moving and felt disembodied. This brought me to a seminar for body psychotherapists where I did a 5Rhythms workshop (2001). Dancing the 5Rhythms was like a lifting of amnesia. My body remembered dancing into ecstasy, and I simply knew ‘this is it’. I quit my job and changed my lifestyle so I could dedicate myself to the 5Rhythms dancing path. Seven years later, under the guidance of Gabrielle Roth, I became a 5Rhythms teacher in 2008. For the longest time, the 5Rhythms were all I could have asked for, weaving together dance, psychology, personal development, and shamanism in one beautiful package. Then, in 2009, I met Sarah Kate Gardiner while leading a community building workshop. Sarah Kate is a dancer and choreographer, and since we both shared a passion for dance and community work, we decided to collaborate. Over the period of a year, we met in a dance studio exchanging ideas and movement practices. Out of these exchanges we developed PLATFORM1660, a cross generational community dance project (2010). The project was both beautiful and deeply unsettling. In our exchanges I actually discovered that, compared to Sarah Kate, I had little to offer outside the 5Rhythms frame. I was teaching the 5Rhythms, but knew next to nothing about the wider field of dance. This unsettling discovery set me on a new decade-long dancing journey. This time studying somatics and doing contact and dance improvisation with the likes of Julyen Hamilton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Suprapto Suryodarmo (Prapto). I got to develop myself as a performer, appreciating the hightened awareness and ritualistic elements of dance and theatre. My dance adventure took a new turn when, in 2016, I became part of the Ecstatic Dance team in Amsterdam, first as a Ceremony Leader and later also as a DJ. I love that the Ecstatic dancefloor unites dancers from all kinds of dance disciplines, and not just one particular school. I also love that it is not trademarked, but open to innovation and constantly evolving. Moreover, Ecstatic Dance also gave rise to a new specialization: the Ecstatic DJ. As a movement facilitator, I did some basic DJing, but I witnessed how Ecstatic DJs raised the bar in creating musical landscapes. These DJs inspired me to expand my own DJ skills and in past years I went on a musical journey, developing myself as an Ecstatic DJ. As a Conscious Dance form, Ecstatic Dance had found the magical formula that made it both accessible and easy to copy. For me, this also had less desirable consequences. The field threatened to turn into a market place where dance businesses competed for their customer’s attention. New people also started Ecstatic Dances without any previous experience in (Conscious) dance. Consequently, the quality of Ecstatic Dance degraded in some places. Tom and Caroline shared these concerns, and together we felt moved to support and advocate the beathing heart of Ecstatic and Conscious Dance. In 2018 we founded ‘Heart of the Dance’, where we made it our mission to spread the roots, the heart, and the higher potential of Ecstatic and Conscious Dance. If you made it this far, thank you for reading my story. I hope it gives some background to who I am and why I do things. I also hope to hear your story one day."