Self-discovery through Sacred Circle Dance

Lynn Frances

When I first came across Sacred Circle Dance in 1982 I was immediately `hooked' by the feeling of well-being that it generated. I had never felt so at peace with the world and myself. Even now, after all these years, people tell me I change when I dance, and I can certainly feel it within me - I flow, I am graceful, and I am full of joy. And it is not just a `quick fix' when I am dancing: the way I dress has changed dramatically, from sombre brown and grey suits and trousers to hide behind, to brightly coloured clothes that show I am pleased to be seen!

Perhaps I should explain what these dances are. They consist of international community dances that are danced in a circle holding hands, so you do not need a partner. This sounds so simple and it is! Just joining hands in a circle with others seems to be a healing process and the beginning of a journey of self-discovery. This is enhanced by everyone moving together to beautiful music, making a kaleidoscope of patterns on the floor. Words are inadequate to describe Sacred Circle Dance - it really has to be experienced and the effect on each person will be different.

For some years now I have been exploring the use of these dances to express other aspects of life. This has included workshops to dance a folk tale, a rainbow, the life cycle, the labyrinth and magic circle references in Shakespeare's Tempest, the signs of the zodiac, masculine and feminine, and many more. So now the dances become more than just physical movement, the dance begins to live. Participants feel the energy, the emotion; concepts are no longer something intangible but a direct experience. Of course this is taking them back to their roots in one sense, because the original folk dances were used, among other things, to celebrate the agricultural cycle, to bless a newly married couple, to generate the energy required to fulfil a difficult task, and to honour nature.

This concept has now taken another step forward. I have recently been collaborating with Richard Bryant-Jefferies to develop a series of workshops which use dance to further an understanding of various esoteric principles. These have included the Seven Rays of Alice Bailey's teaching, the symbolism of the cross and the circle, the soul's journey through the zodiac (as defined in esoteric astrology), and looking at `opposites' as `complements'.

Let us look closer at the idea of dancing the Seven Rays. Anyone who has attempted to understand this concept in Alice Bailey's writing will know that it is extremely heavy going and is difficult to grasp. Yet with Richard's extensive knowledge of the Rays and my enthusiasm for Sacred Circle Dance we have devised a way by which people can actually 'feel' the energies associated with each of the Rays. Yet there is even more to it than that. Participants start to look at why they have found a particular dance moving, difficult or uplifting. The feeling generated by the dance can be investigated and a new step taken on the journey of self-discovery.

Let me give an illustration. At one of our workshops, during a period of group interaction, one person said that in a particular dance she had become really frustrated. "I couldn't put my foot down," she said, and then the light dawned - no more needed to be said and she went away with something really important to explore. This is not an isolated incident either.

Another remarkable effect is the energy that dancing generates. Some people cannot imagine being able to summon up enough stamina to dance most of the day, and yet they not only can do it but feel energised rather than depleted at the end of it.

Why not try it yourself? I am very happy to travel to conduct workshops for your group. Just contact me and we can discuss your requirements. I can also send you a programme of my own workshops.

Lynn runs regular Sacred Circle Dance groups in Guildford and Brook, Surrey. She also organises day and weekend workshops using Sacred Circle Dance to help people in their journey of self-discovery. For further information please contact Lynn.

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