What is Circle Dancing?
People have been dancing in circles for thousands of years.. the circle and the spiral are to be see everywhere in nature right from the atom to the galaxies.
Perhaps originally people danced to empower themselves before a hunting expedition, then later, as a way to honour births, coming of age, marriages, deaths. Also, as a way to celebrate and give thanks for the seasons , the harvest, the sun the rain...
We can still today see Circle dances done in places like Brittany, Spain, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria , Croatia ..ect keeping their traditions alive and creating community. Many of these village dances have simple but powerful patterns rooted in natural forms, which done together create almost a "mandala" effect, not only giving the dancers a feeling of well being but also as a way of giving to the earth.
In 1976 a man called Bernard Wosien from Poland, who was a classical dancer, choreographer,teacher,graphic artist and painter, who went to the Balkan countries to learn these traditional dances, as well as creating new dances himself, went to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland . He wanted the dance to be rooted in the community, serving people in their lives, and here was the place to sow the seeds of his vision. He says " What I have realized after a lifetime with dance, is that dance is meditation in movement, a walking into silence where every movement becomes prayer. "
He then went to Findhorn every year bringing both choreographed dances with traditional dances, which reflected his profound understanding of the connection between spirit and movement.
Some dances were lively where pure joy of movement and community celebration was expressed, and some deeply meditational, to classical music.
He died in 1986 but the seeds he sowed had taken root, and those who had danced with him, took those seeds out beyond Findhorn, and from there the whole network flourished.
In this world where community is lacking, Circle Dance brings us together, and we can feel a wonderful connection with each other, as well as deeply into ourselves, and to the world through the diversity of the music ( from Bob Marley to Bach, from Eastern European, to Africa ) and the origins of many of the dances.
And for some, the dance connects us to our "higher" self or "spirit" bringing peace, wisdom, creativity, and personal transformation. We can feel our feet on the ground and also allow ourselves open up on many levels.
Many people are now creating new dances to all kinds of music, and taking the Circle Dance to many people and places ..cancer help centers, those with learning difficulties, children, elderly. Or just in your town/village/city....dance camp...church ( locally, there is dancing occasionally in York Minster, and Liverpool Cathedral)
More information on Circle Dance : www.circledancenetwork.org.uk
Testimonial from a dancer :"What you create is magic, and that's not just something that happens out of nowhere. You have a really clear teaching style that ensures that the dance makes sense, and is thoroughly learnt. You combine that with long experience of the dance that enables you to know what dances the circle needs, in the moment, to create the right atmosphere, to provide the energy to move us to the magic place that you, in my experience have never failed to create with and for us."