Sacred Circle Dance

The Roots of The Dance

What has become known as Sacred Circle Dance
(a collection of traditional and not so traditional dances)
is a grass roots phenomenon which is spreading rather rapidly.
It has becoem especially interesting for facilitators of dance therapy,
of womens circles, of mens circles
and for people
who enjoy cultivating the energy of community and of the earth relationships.
There is no certification to become a facilitator of Sacred Circle  Dance.
(Though there is permission needed to facilitate the LongDance,
which requires special skills of the facilitator)
Each facilitator has their own flavor and approach.
Some teachers lead circles emphasizing the joy and play of the Dance.
Others use the dance in men's' or women's' circles to enhance the experience beyond the merely mental.
Still others will stir the Dance as a way of gelling the sense of community.
Many have asked of the HISTORY of Sacred Circle Dance.
There is no simple answer.
While some trace the quickly spreading phenomena to the seeds of Bernard Wosien,
a modern and ballet dancer in europe in the middle of this century,
others trace it to Findhorn, one of the communities to which Bernard brought the dances.

Others (Shaker included in this lot)
will trace the dance through the gnostic and mystic ways,
through sufism and teachers like Rumi,
back into time.
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Shaker (that's me) often will trace the dance back into the temples of the neolithic.
Though there is debate afurious on the subject of the Mother Goddess cultures of the neolithic.
The temples of the era were not centralized.
They varied greatly. But there was a thread
As in any but the most dark of eras, there was mercantile activity.
Robert Graves in The White Goddess
portrays a mercantilism that was mining tin and gold
in the Isles of the Tuatha de Danaan (the Celtic Isles)
and moving this material to as distant a land as India.
In each era there are those human spirits
who seek beyond the superstitious fundamentalism of their local clan.
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And so too in the time of the ancient temples
(where the crones guided)
there were free hearts who were in communication with one another across distant lands.
At this time there were numerous village temples as well as some quite large temples.
The larger temples were vast "land holdings", if the word can be used.
They were the centers of learning in an era when art, religion and science were one.
From here is where Pythagoras inherited his mathematics.
From here the ancient Elussinian and Dionysian rites were born.
Here was the birth of herbology, medicine, metallurgy, modern agriculture.
.
And here the Dance was kept.
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There were temples we know of in which The Dance did not cease for years.
In some The Dance went on for decades.
There are some in which we suspect The Dance did not cease for centuries.
This was one of the primary ways in which the ancient ones
'Kept the Sacred Time'
.
Much of this, of course, is open to conjecture.
A few resource materials
of value to begin the study the ancient history
Would be Robert Graves' 'The White Goddess',
Barbara Walker's 'The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets'
and, of course,
Any of the work presented by Maria Gimbutas.
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Touchstone,
under the directorship of Anja and Shaker,
has become a regional center of The Dance.
We host a data bank of the people interested in the dance
and attempt to keep abreast of of the teachers who are facilitating the dance throughout The US and Canada.
We also maintain a databank of the dances.
Though incomplete (as any grass roots information flow would be),
we attempt to register the origins of the dance,
the choreography (traditional or modern),
and where to find the music.
It is this information which we are currently placing upon this web page.

We also have a full music recording studio on the Farm,
and we are continually in the studio recording new circle dance, LongDance and meditation music.
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We also will frequently teach prospective teachers
to teach the dances
and help them deepen in the facilitation of a circle.
Anja and Shaker, when not farming,
will also be found traveling the continent to different areas
where the people either wish to deepen their circle in the Dance,
to start a new circle
or to have him help facilitate a special gathering such as a men's circle or a retreat weekend.
At Touchstone we host weekly circles on Saturday and Friday  Evenings
when we use the medium of Dance and TalkStory
to attune to the peace, dignity, folly and wisdom within us.
We cultivate the union of Sacred time and Sacred Space.
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Currently there are over five hundred dances in the Sacred Circle Dance vocabulary.
During this season a we are constructing a list of the dances
with an accompanying graphic of the choreography of each dance,
as well as historic and mythic content.
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To access this just begun and evolving project
come to the dance page.
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If you wish to contact Anja or Shaker
about learning the dances or of the ways of the facilitation of the dance,
or to inquire into who may be available your area for a special circle or event---
or if you wish to find if there is a circle already in your area,
click here to contact us



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