What is Pulsamento? A Brazilian Meditation Dance


Pulsamento is a form of movement meditation that focuses on feeling and expressing your inner rhythm through dance and percussion. The practice originated in Brazil in the 1970s and has since spread around the world.

The name Pulsamento comes from the Portuguese word “pulsar” meaning to pulsate or beat. The aim is to connect with the natural pulsation or rhythm within yourself and move in harmony with it.

The History of Pulsamento

Pulsamento was developed in the 1970s by Brazilian dancer and choreographer Rosangela Silvestre. She was influenced by Afro-Brazilian dances and music as well as yoga and meditation practices.

Silvestre began exploring movement as a path to self-knowledge and inner freedom. She developed Pulsamento as a practice to get in touch with one’s inner beats and flow in harmony with them. The rhythmic movements are designed to foster a meditative state of presence.

Pulsamento started in Brazil but spread internationally as Silvestre and other teachers shared the practice. It became especially popular in Europe and North America in the 1980s and 1990s. Today it is practiced around the world as a form of movement meditation.

How Pulsamento Dance Works 

In a Pulsamento session, participants move spontaneously to percussion music. The aim is to tune into your inner rhythms and pulsate in harmony with them.

Sessions start with some warm-up stretches and shaking to loosen up the body. Then the percussion starts, often with instruments like drums, shakers, and tambourines.

Participants move fluidly, feeling the beat and expressing it through dance. There are no set sequences of steps. The idea is to free your body to move naturally in the moment.

Key principles in Pulsamento:

  • Stay connected to the rhythm within
  • Let go of thoughts and judgments
  • Feel your feet to stay grounded
  • Breathe fully to energize your movement
  • Flow intuitively with the music

The combination of rhythmic music, dance, and inner awareness creates a meditative movement experience.

Benefits of Practicing Pulsamento

Pulsamento offers many benefits:

  • Develops body awareness and releases tension
  • Improves coordination and cardiovascular fitness
  • Boosts energy levels and mood
  • Promotes mindfulness and inner calm
  • Fosters creativity and self-expression
  • Connects you with your inner rhythms
  • Provides a sense of community when done in groups

Regular practice helps develop deeper mind-body connections and a greater sense of harmony within yourself. The rhythmic movements can induce a trance-like state which clears the mind.

How Techniques and Movements Work  in Pulsamento

Pulsamento emphasizes flowing, intuitive motions but there are some basic techniques to know:


Keeping grounded through the feet, pulse through the legs, and feel the connection from feet to hips.

Shifting weight: 

Gently shift weight from side to side, front to back, and in circles.


Move different parts of the body in isolation – hips, shoulders, head etc.


Make fluid, wave-like motions through the spine and body.

Percussive moves: 

Tap rhythms with the feet or hands.

Steps can be small or expansive – there are no rules! The goal is to stay present and move in harmony with your inner rhythms.

Main Misconceptions about Pulsamento

Some common misconceptions about Pulsamento:

  • It’s unstructured dance – Actually, there is an underlying method using rhythm and awareness. But the dance emerges spontaneously.
  • You need to be a skilled dancer – Absolutely not! Pulsamento is for everyone. The movements are expressive, not technical.
  • It’s like aerobic dance – While it is energetic, the focus is more meditative than aerobic. The pace ebbs and flows.
  • You have to keep up with the beat – You dance to your own inner rhythm, which may be faster, slower, or in sync with the outer music.
  • There are set sequences to learn – The movements are different every time, guided by your inner pulsation.
  • It’s like trance dancing – While it can induce trance states, Pulsamento also utilizes awareness, breath, and grounding.

Pulsamento into Your Daily Routine

Interested in bringing more Pulsamento into your life? Here are some ideas:

  • Take a class to learn the basics and experience the communal energy
  • Do sessions at home to music with a strong beat
  • Start your day dancing to a pulsating song as you get ready
  • Take Pulsamento breaks when you need an energizing reset during the day
  • Use rhythmic music during your workouts or walks
  • Let your body sway naturally when listening to music
  • Tap or clap simple beats throughout the day
  • When stressed, pause to tune into your inner rhythm through breath or body scans

Any time you feel drawn to move freely to music and tune into your inner pulsation can incorporate the spirit of Pulsamento.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Pulsamento:

Is there an ideal tempo or beat rate?

The tempo can range from slow to fast. Most Pulsamento music is 120-140 bpm but you dance to your own rhythm.

What should I wear to a class?

Comfortable, breathable clothing that allows free movement. Loose layers, leggings, sweats, bare feet.

Can beginners do it?

Absolutely! No dance experience is needed. Pulsamento is for everybody.

How is it different from 5Rhythms or ecstatic dance?

The styles are cousins but Pulsamento has its own Brazilian roots and inner rhythm focus. Expect similarities and differences.

Where can I find classes?

Check for classes locally through studios like Awakening Movement. Teachers often offer online classes too.

Final Words

Pulsamento is a joyful movement meditation that connects you with your inner rhythms and creative spirit. By tuning into your natural pulsation and dancing freely, you can reduce stress, boost energy, and live more harmoniously. The practice is accessible for anyone drawn to move to rhythms in an intuitive, flowing way. Let the beats move you!

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