Category Archives: Dance

I’d Rather Be Dancing Sacred Circle Dances


According to Roots to Wings:

Sacred Circle Dance is a worldwide movement originating from the work of Professor Bernhard Wosien, a German ballet instructor and Master Teacher at Munich University. He believed that our earliest and most profound impulse to replicate the creative powers that we sensed within ourselves and our world was through movement. These early “dances” enabled us to identify with the eternal round of creative force in the cosmos while acknowledging the rhythms and cycles of nature and daily life in community. He traveled extensively throughout Europe seeking to retrieve and preserve these early dance forms, specifically in the small, often oppressed villages that continued to hold the dances as sacred. He referred to his work as “Heilige Tanze” or the highest or holy form of dance.

Sacred Circle Dance offers an integrative approach to healing, relaxation and to some, a deeply moving spiritual experience. It differs from folk dance through the sacred intention that is held for each dance. In circles, lines and spirals we join hands to learn simple village dances to traditional, folk, classical and world music. Through our dancing, energy is activated. We consciously intend this energy to heal ourselves, one another, our planet earth and the people, places and situations throughout the world in need of healing grace. Each dance offers its individual blessing and we open to receive it. It is believed the impulse to dance is encoded in our DNA. When we dance in Sacred Circles the encoded message is activated, we remember. Sacred/Circle Dance is used as a healing modality to diverse populations throughout the world in many health and holistic settings.

In studying the information online about sacred circle dances, I’m finding that they are practiced among many traditions, including Asian Indian spirituality, Wicca, churches, and Jewish temples. The dances often promote meditation. Some of the dances are also done by international folk dance enthusiasts, but somewhat differently, because they’ve been adapted for sacred circles. Often an arrangement of plants, flowers, and/or candles is placed in the center of the floor to dance around.

Here are some dances practiced by sacred circle dance groups.

This Welcome Song borrows from Native American tradition:

Omonoia is a Greek song that references a square in Athens where refugees gather; it’s about the plight of Syrian refugees in Greece. The dance was choreographed by Leslie Laslett.

The song Tanulo Eno was written by Ugandan songwriter Samite Mulando. The choreography is by Stefan Freedman in the USA/British sacred circle tradition.

The music for Isolation is a Russian hymn. It was choreographed by Leslie Laslett in response to the quarantine protocol during the Covid19 pandemic. The arms-out posture refers to personal distancing.

The music for La Vida Total comes from Chile. It was choreographed by Pablo Scornik in the Inca style.

São como os meus comes to us from Brazil, choreographed by Lena Mouzinho.

Scarves aren’t mandatory for Wind on the Tor, but they’re a nice touch:

Bajo la luna del Cuervo, also known as Beneath the Raven Moon. Choreography by Pablo Scornik:

I’d Rather Be Dancing French Canadian Folk Dances


The dances of Québec are a lot of fun!

One of the Phoenix International Folk Dancers’ favorite folk dances is La Bastringue. It’s a mixer, a couples’ dance, and you get a new partner at each repetition. Sometimes your partner is very enthusiastic and you do the turns very, very fast:

When I was teaching elementary general music, one of the dances popular with the first graders was Le Salut, a French Canadian dance that requires you to listen to the music carefully and respond to the cues as the tempo changes and pauses:

Look at the fancy footwork in C’est une jeune mariée:

I found the name of this dance in a list of Québec folk dances: La Fée des Dents, “The Tooth Fairy.” It looks to me like it has a lot of Irish influence:

La Valse de Cerfs Volants (the waltz of the flying kites) is choreographed to music that was  composed in memory of a kite maker. It’s a graceful dance that requires a scarf in each hand:

Set de Fortierville is another mixer:

Le Capitaine Trompeur is a couples dance with a single dancer, the capitaine, in the center. The capitaine dances solo until a certain point when he/she is allowed to select a partner. The new partner’s former partner is now the new capitaine, and the dance continues:

I’d Rather Be Dancing Christmas Dances


These videos make me want to get up and join right in. Some were made by dance studios, some by fitness studios.

There’s still time for you to get together with your siblings and choreograph a dance like this:

Teachers dancing for their students. Funny, most of the kids aren’t nearly as impressed as I am:

We’ve lived in Arizona for 33 years, but I know when we lived in New Jersey I went to the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall at least once (though I can’t tell you what year. . .).

Want to watch more Christmas dances?

Creative Juice #319

Creative Juice #319

The Thanksgiving weekend edition. I’m thankful for all the creative artists who inspire us.

I’d Rather Be Dancing at the 33rd Annual Phoenix International Folk Dance Festival


The title of the festival is a little misleading, in that the 32nd Festival happened in 2019, so the 33rd Annual Festival should have happened in March of 2020, but, you know, Covid.

Now we’re operating as though we’re almost back to normal (even though in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, 1500 people are still testing positive for Covid every day, and 34 people died of Covid last week). Masks were optional at the festival, which finally took place last Saturday, November 12, 2022.

Nevertheless, it was the first time I’d gathered with our large group since before the pandemic, and it was great to see many old friends. People came down from Prescott and Flagstaff and up from Tucson and Oro Valley. One former member came all the way from Florida. A group of hosts brought a van-load of foreign exchange students from their temporary homes in Sierra Vista. There may have been others who traveled great distances.

At our festival, anyone who wants to dance is encouraged to do so. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been dancing all your life. You see many skills levels, and it’s beautiful.

The festival ran for four hours. I didn’t think I’d have the stamina for that long, but I stayed three and a half hours. I sat out some of the more vigorous dances and filmed them instead, so I have some videos to share.

From Romania, Sirba din Cimpoi:

From Bulgaria, Varnenski Kjuček:

From Bulgaria, Vlasko Horo:

A Greek/Roma dance, Chikulata Chikita:

From Israel, Adir Adiram:

A dance from the Roma people, Cine Are Noroc Are:

From Bulgaria, Vrapceto. The exchange students wanted to join in as well, but they got hung up on the basket weave handhold until some of the dancers noticed and helped out.

From Turkey, Kirmizi Biber:

Three quarters through the program, community dancing took a break as several members of the Tucson International Folk Dancers entertained us with American dances going back as far as the 1920s.

It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got that Swing:

Lambeth Walk:

Maple Leaf Rag:

Tennessee Wig Walk:

And everyone was up again and dancing together for one more American dance, Louisianna Saturday Night:

For the rest of the afternoon until my early departure, there were a string of dances I really wanted to dance, so I don’t have any more videos to share.

We all had a wonderful time. I hope I see you there next year. And if you wish you could do folk dances like these, google “international folk dancing near me.” There are dance groups all across the country. We often have visitors at our Tuesday night dances who just happen to be passing through Phoenix and were looking for someplace to dance.

You might have noticed that a lot of our dancers are senior citizens. Some are well over 80 years old. Dancing keeps you young. It’s good exercise for the body and the brain, and it’s fun.

Video of the Week: A Non-Ballerina Learns About Pointe and Pointe Shoes


When she gave her “final performance,” I got teary-eyed.

What to see what a professional ballerina’s feet look like?

Creative Juice #317

Creative Juice #317

Lots of gorgeous photography this week.

Creative Juice #316

Creative Juice #316

12 wonderful articles to mull over.

  • Quilt show!
  • Now go to South Africa for a quilt festival. Be sure to watch the video, although it may give you vertigo. She runs through the whole exhibition hall and films hundreds of quilts in a few minutes. My eyes (and her camera) don’t focus that fast, and maddeningly, she doesn’t linger at some of the quilts I most want to get a good look at.
  • What will your legacy be?
  • Excellent destinations for a writer’s vacation. (Be sure to check out the suggestions in the comments as well.)
  • Why you should write short stories.
  • Amazing amateur photography.
  • Autumn foliage.
  • Why writers read.
  • These signs had me laughing out loud.
  • An unsolved mystery from 120 years ago.
  • Celebrating World Ballet Day.
  • The value of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I’ve been meaning to read it.

Video of the Week: Igor Moiseyev Ballet in Rehearsal


Please, let us not judge the Russian people by the actions of their dictator. Many strive to bring beauty to the world rather than misery.

I’d Rather Be Dancing Norwegian Folk Dances


Norway is known for Vikings, fjords, and long winters, but also for its beautiful dances, which often involve a lot of twirling.

I don’t know the name of this dance, but the children are performing at the Oslo Museum in a celebration on St. Han’s Day:

Gudbrandsdals Mazurka:

Hallingdans (highlights the male’s skills and is sometimes danced as a male solo):


Hans og Hånån:


Reinlender (the Norwegian equivalent of a Schottische):

Sandsvaerril (adorable; a lot of flirting potential in this dance):


Wengurka (the translation is “the Hungarian,” but the dance probably originated in Poland; this is the Norwegian version):