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Work on Degrees and Credentials | Books Published so far | Circle Dance
John Bear
Circle Dance

It's a major part of our lives, so I'll devote some space to it here.

This is our circle dance site.

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What it is

Circle, or Sacred Dance is a means of experiencing and celebrating our connection to the rhythms of the earth, to each other, and to our Source. When we choose the first and simplest way of being together, we form a circle. Thus circles appear in cultures throughout the world as a form for dance, celebration, meditation, ritual, a tool for groups, and a path of awareness for the individual. There are birth dances, death dances, dances of grief, joy, fertility, anger, and the turning of the seasons.

German dance master Bernard Wosien traveled to many countries collecting, from various cultures, dances done in circles. He called them “sacred” because they are danced to celebrate all things that make us human. He found a home for these dances at the Findhorn community in Scotland. David Roberts learned them there and taught them to Colin Harrison whose Berkeley workshops in the mid 1980s brought circle dance to the west coast of America. We have danced every week since the fall, 1985.

Many dances we do are similar to those done in international folk groups, but the atmosphere is different, often more contemplative, even when we do energetic dances. There is little or no talking during the dances, and generally the energy of the dance is held after the music ends.

In addition to doing dances that would be familiar to people who have done dances from Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Scotland, Russia, and many other countries (our versions may be simpler), we also do new dances (choreographed by Bernard and others), sometimes to classical, modern or newly-composed music. In the course of an afternoon or evening, we will typically do ten to fifteen dances (slow, medium, fast; simple and a bit more complex) teaching each one before we do it.

Where it is done

We dance every Friday evening in the Berkeley area.

In Northern California, there is also regular dancing in Pacifica, Hayward, Mill Valley, Sebastopol, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, and Mendocino.

Other groups meet in Reno, Nashville, Minneapolis, Virginia, and throughout New England -- as well as in more than 100 cities worldwide. If you have possible interest, let me know, and I'll provide details. (john@ursa.net)