What can I expect to experience at a dance?
We dance in a circle, sometimes with partners, sometimes without.
The movements are simple, folk-dance movements that help move the
energy into a more heart-centered and spiritually grounded place.
We sing while dancing, using simple phrases from various spiritual
traditions. Instructions are given for each dance, as well as a brief
explanation or contextual commentary which helps to deepen the experience.
Is this free-form dancing?
No. Each dance has specific movements which will be taught before
doing the dance. Some dances do have phases of free-form movement.
Do I need to come with a partner?
No. Once we are in a circle, dancers partner up with others in the
circle. You will participate in dances with a number of different
people throughout the evening as well as some dances that do not
require a partner.
Do I need to know the chants or dances?
No, you don't. Both the words and the movements for each dance are
taught each time the dance is led.
Is the music recorded?
No. On most evenings a minimum of a guitar and drum will be used,
in addition to our own voices, to create the music. The live music
creates an uplifting atmosphere and a sense of unity and community
among the participants.
Will I be the only new person?
No. On any given evening there is usually a mix of new people, occasional
dancers and long-term dancers.
How long does the evening last?
We start at 7:30 pm and will end somewhere around 9:45. There is
a refreshment break and an opportunity to mingle with other dancers
When did these dances start?
The Dances were founded in the late 1960's in San Francisco by Samuel
L. Lewis, with the purpose of promoting peace worldwide.
Can we bring children?
Yes. Children who are old enough to understand the dance instruction
are welcome to participate in the dances. Also, parents will sometimes
dance holding an infant. Some dances are more difficult and the
parent may choose to sit out the dance.
Can people watch?
Watching is not encouraged. We prefer that people join the dance
since the dances are meant to be a participatory experience.
What should I wear?
Loose, comfortable clothing is best for easy movement.
What about shoes?
Some participants dance in bare feet, others wear socks, moccasins,
slippers, etc. Street shoes are not recommended.