Simple dances to glorious music from many cultures. Lively or meditational, all are done in a spirit of worship. Simple steps allow us to give ourselves over to the spirit which builds in dancing with others to beautiful music. Dances are interspersed with time for meditation, journaling, and related queries.
My intention is to provide a week in which people can learn (or expand their capacity) to move comfortably in their bodies and experience how combining music and movement can enrich and deepen our lives; how dance allows us to bring our whole beings to our experience of prayer and worship, and how the sense of connectedness in the circle can take on a life of its own. It offers a different way of knowing.
Each day’s format will be much the same. We will begin with a dance to welcome the day; dance for 30-45 minutes and then I will offer a poem or short reading, followed by time for meditation, journaling or sketching, and then we will dance again.
Several days there will be a longer break, and we will sit with a query connected with our work. Some days there will be an overall theme such as Dancing for Healing . The final day will be an extended worship session in which we alternate between treasured readings (brought by all of us), dancing, and silence.
Here is a sample dance program designed to give you a sense of the music sources and subject matter. Some are lively and some are meditative.
Alachat A greeting dance to Israeli music, often used to weave
love and protection around the circle
Quatros Elementos A dance honoring the four elements to music from
E Maloma A dance for healing the earth to music from Hawaii
Chakra Dance A temple dance from India
Wash Your Spirit Clean A cleansing dance to Cherokee music
All Gods’ Critters A joyful childrens’ dance about the spirit of animals
Meditation for Trees A dance honoring nature to music by Brahms
Senegal Chant Music from East Africa sung by Benedectine Monks
accompanied by Muslim Drummers
Peace Mandala A chant composed of words from 6 major world religions, tumbling over one another in harmony and joy
All participants are encouraged to bring something of personal significance to place in the dance circle. And also something to read (something currently meaningful or a long time touchstone) as part of our closing day together.
About the leader :
I have had considerable experience leading interactive workshops,both sacred dance and other subjects, going back many years. They have ranged in length from an afternoon to a full week and have been with a wide variety of groups both spiritual and secular. Among the faith based places I have led dance workshops are: Quaker Center in Ben Lomond, Pacific Yearly Meeting and many monthly meetings throughout California; also for Catholic, Methodist, Unitarian and Inter-Faith groups.
Particularly satisfying other settings have been Hospice Grief Groups, Cancer Recovery Groups, Mental Hospitals, House Blessings, Day of the Dead Events, Croning Ceremonies.
And weddings. One of the greatest gifts of this work is that I always leave these workshops feeling strongly connected to all those who came. This work is one of the richest and most deeply satisfying pieces of my life.