As a dancer who came to the Findhorn Foundation two and half years ago inspired by its traditional dance energy and the great stories of Bernhard Wosien’s arrival at the Community in 1976 and his sharing of dances with a deeper connection. I have been in awe of the talent and knowledge of many of the teachers and dancers here in the Findhorn community.
I have been patiently practising new dances every week. It is a passion which has intrigued me since I first encountered Sacred Circle dance around four years ago. I wanted to venture into these dances as something deeply touched me about the space I could find within when dancing.
My first dances were with a lovely group of people led by a teacher who was very kind and taught that dancing was for everyone to enjoy no matter what the experience.
These dances have a healing quality which I have felt first hand. For example, my confidence has increased. My voice, about which I have been self conscious, is slowly becoming louder. The movements have freed my soul and mind, balancing my being. Understanding how to embody the music has made me conscious of small movements I was never aware of at the start of my journey. I can find space when I use this awareness to let the energy flow and really feel the meditation in the dances. The freedom in Moving Meditations really does heal! Also the group connections have made my confidence levels rise and feel part of the wider group. Now I find myself sometimes leading dances on a Wednesday night with some fantastic local teachers like Kathryn Kusa, Peter Vallance, Francesca Stridgen, Katerina Kroeber, Susanne Bartholomäi and Keith Armstrong, who have all encouraged and given me space to grow.
The Findhorn Foundation has also helped my passion through their great workshops which provide the opportunity to dance with fantastic, knowledgeable teachers such as Maria Gabriele Wosien, whose father Bernhard is a great inspiration to me. She is a force of nature who provides meaningful explanations about why we move in specific ways and gives me insights which is unmissable in Sacred dance. Also Nanni Kloke with whom I danced last year was so much fun and deeply moving. Her choice of music was vibrant which let me release my body to go more within my energy, balancing myself with the music, very grounding.
To have the opportunity to experience these teachers energy is in itself a journey to explore what type of sacred dance I most resonate with. For me it has been a lot of fun!
So as I find myself looking at the teacher training course I thought to ask someone who has taken part in Peter and Judith’s course about how it was for them. My Friends Dominique and Yvonne have stepped in with some insight….
Dominique first came to Findhorn in 1990 for Experience Week and has spent the last five years living and working in the Findhorn Foundation.
“It is a very special place to learn Sacred Dance as the community is a place where you can go deeper spiritually, so when I held the Spiritual deepening workshop I knew it would help the groups if I could embody the dances I was teaching. I was attracted to sacred dance teacher training as I am aware that it is a great tool for connection and I did not feel confident about leading these special dances in the groups I was taking as a focaliser. So I felt I could help myself and others by completing the training course.
While enjoying holding of group dances and games, I realised how easy this can seem. But it is not so on many other, different levels. Upon doing the course I began to understand that it was not just about words and movement but embodying the dances, knowing them, loving and being at ease with them. And so sharing that love with the group and feeling the deeper level of the dance.
Sacred dance at the Findhorn Foundation is beyond words – the culture of humanity!
“The course was brilliant, a fun and positive experience, with Peter Vallance and Judith Bone, amazing teachers who understand it is not only about the steps but about confidence and feeling at ease. The simple enjoyment which allows us to then go deeper. I had such a magical and uplifting time. I imagine this course is ideal for a variety of people, those who simply want to teach a few basic dances through to those who would love to hold a circle locally. It has certainly helped me with group work as, I feel empowered to feel groups and lead them to a deeper connection in the dances”.
My first dance was accompanying Pachelbel. As the music is so familiar to people I see them recognise it and relax. The “Elm Dance” is by far my favourite; the story of how Joanna Macy found this dance can help people to reconnect in the face of adversity. It really touched my soul and it has really resonated with the groups I have shared it with.
I would love to lead the ‘Taste of Findhorn’ groups (which I run occasionally outside Findhorn) deeper into this activity as sacred dance is so much a part of the community’s fabric. As a Foundation Resource Person and Focaliser it has been a learning that I am grateful for. I encourage anyone who is interested in group work, meditation or creating a circle to apply.”
Yvonne was first introduced to Sacred dance in 1992 and has lived and worked in the Findhorn Foundation since 2002
“I participated in Sacred Dance Teacher Training in 2002. It had been a long time dream for me since I experienced Sacred Dance for the first time during Experience Week. Something about this particular sort of dance spoke to the deepest part of me and I wanted to be able to give others this experience.
Sacred Dance is a practice for me – a way to connect with myself – with my wildness, my tenderness, my sadness, my joie de vivre – depending on the dance; a way to build community and group energy; a way to touch the past and to connect with different cultures and to realise in another way that we are all one.
One of the things I love most about Sacred Dance is the opportunity it gives people to look into each other’s eyes and recognise our common humanity. Another reason is the sense of life force the dance brings, whatever the style or pace.
Dancing in a circle is a wonderful symbol of unity in diversity – and the world benefits enormously from this powerful, non-verbal, deeply touching, potentially healing and uplifting practice every time we dance.
“Sacred Dance Teacher Training gave me the skills to bring this wonderful tool for community building to people everywhere.
Not only have I enjoyed teaching sacred dance to many Experience Weeks and other groups here a Findhorn but it is also very handy to be able to offer a dance or two at a party, a wedding, a school or a gathering of any sort. It’s a wonderful non-verbal way to break down barriers between people and see them begin to laugh and move together, and to feel deeply connected.