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TakeMoreChancesHi, I’m Mary Bennett and I post information on this blog about circle dances around Vancouver that I’m involved. Usually I dance with all of the monthly groups at the Unitarian Centre 949 West 49th at Oak. I also often travel to Ladner to dance on the last Friday with Darlene and Frances. Contact to find out about upcoming dances.

  • Weekday Evenings: 1st Tuesday 7 – 9 pm (coordinated by Leslie) and 2nd Monday 7 – 9 pm (Corinne facilitates) in Hall
  • 3rd Thursday 11 am – 1 pm (GLAD: Gathering for Labyrinth, Art and Dance.) – Darlene, Mairy and me in Lindsey Priestley
  • Earth Spirituality Ritual and Circle Dance: Sunday near the Sabbat (Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-quarter Days) 12:30 – 1:30 pm in Sanctuary

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We Danced For Rain and The Rain Came

At the Ladner circle dance last night with a theme of Forest Gratitude, we did a rain dance! And this morning I woke up to find the sidewalks wet.

Over the past few weeks, this song has been running through my mind. Perhaps we could circle dance to it?


and the choral version. The Unitarian Chalice Choir sings this. i’ve always loved it.

And here’s one we dance to.

No Complaints Whatsoever.

Karen Drucker

Joanna from Windsor, Ontario, has choreographed several Karen Drucker songs. And… wait for it… there’s more. She’s now looking at Drucker’s latest CD… and we can expect at least one new dance coming up! One Heart At a Time is the title track.

  • Gentle With Myself

  • Song in My Soul

  • I Have Faith

  • Blessing to the World

and choreographed by some other circle dancers

  • There is Only Love – choreography by Cherrie and Margaret

  • Thank You For This Day – Margaret Grocke
  • Gifts of the Goddess – Margaret Grocke 2010

links found in the Basics posting

Circle Dance Basics – Session One – How Lovely!

We had a lovely group of beginners for our first circle dance basics tonight.

We did these dances to this music:

  • As One

  • Elm Dance

  • Thank You For This Day

At the next session, we’ll repeat the top favorites: As One and Thank You for This Day and add a couple of new dances.

Mairy Beam will facilitate session 2 on the first Tuesday in August.

Dancing the Labyrinth

Mairy and I have wanted to dance the labyrinth for a long time–and our dream was realized yesterday.

My new Blue Piston Nomad speaker on a lanyard connected by Bluetooth to my phone worked well.

We did “We are a circle” with pilgrim’s step – and miraculously would up in the centre at the end of the chant. We wished we’d thought of some symbolic act in the centre: touch the tree, circle the tree, place an object in the centre. We’ll do that next time.

Then we did “Tread Gently” and — miraculously — wound up at the end at the end of that chant.

We all felt that was a perfect dance for the labyrinth as we treaded gently along the winding pathway between flowers and herbs.

The labyrinth is a double processional style, so we were then on the opposite side. Next up: two more dances to get us back to the other side.

This was part of our June GLAD (Gathering for Labyrinth, Art and Dance). So then we all picked some flowers and herbs to make a group mandala together and then danced more indoors. The top left photo shows the posies made from the mandala at the end of the session. I’ll post other photos when I get them from those who took them.

What dances do you think are perfect for doing on the labyrinth?

We welcomed Kay and Jean from the U.K. Lovely to have summertime visitors join us. We told them about “CanCon”… and they learned Magpie!



As Mya just learned to facilitate this dance and was curious about its meaning, I googled “anandamayi brenda mcmorrow lyrics”.

Here’s some of what I found:

A song/mantra devoted to the Indian saint Anandamayi Ma, the joy-permeated, ‘the most perfect, beautiful flower Indian Soil has ever produced’ who was attributed to by her service of Precognition, healing and other miracles.

Here are the Mantra:
Om Anandamayi, Chaitanyamayi, Satyamayi, Paremeshwari
English meaning: 
the Joy-Permeated, the Consciousness and Truth filled Mother. Oh Supreme Goddess

Based on Sri Aurobindo’s mantra, the music was written by Brenda McMorrow, a Canadian song writer and singer who is dedicated to Sacred music. This song is released in her album ‘Igniting the Beauty’

And here’s Brenda McMorrow’s website:

And her youtube channel:

On facebook:


Learning New Dances from Barbara Herring

After three sessions with Barbara Herring with some but few repeats, my mind was full and my body wanted to keep going. So I was so glad I could get together with Mairy to practice a couple of them. We were pretty pleased with ourselves that we could figure out and “get” five of them. I would have been pleased with two or three.

And in view of the fact that they’re not the easiest dances, we’re looking for a chance to share them with other groups. And if you were at the sessions and want to get together informally to try them out, just let me know.

These are the ones we’ve “got”… But we’ll have to check the steps and practice again before sharing in a group. Probably some will be included in our April 29th event, either in the afternoon as we practice teaching them to others and/or in the evening when Mairy’s weaving the program of more challenging dances for experienced dancers.

  • Gentle Arms of Eden
  • River of Dreams
  • Wonderland
  • Musta Musta
  • Laughing by the Well

I think two other dancers have each taken on one of the other dances

  • Joy/Anandamayi
  • Relojes de Campagna (the opening dance with 8 steps)

So our repertoire is expanding thanks to Barbara and other visiting teachers.

Coming up Rosie Turnbull from Findhorn will be with us this coming Thursday the 19th 11am-1pm.

Basic Steps – Wish I’d had this ten years ago!

We’re planning a couple of sessions just for beginners where we’ll cover off and practice steps like:
side step; slip step; waltz.
We’ll demonstrate the steps and then have several dances that use mainly or exclusively those steps.
Contact me if you’re interested.
Here are a few of the other steps that are in patterns that sometimes confuse people at first.

 This one is really common and unless it’s really fast is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You need to pay attention though: sometimes it goes left; sometimes right. Sometimes you start with cross over, sometimes you start with a sidestep and sometimes you start with cross behind.  It’s well worth getting comfortable with this one.
In Circle dance we play with this saying that when  the step starts with the left foot we call it a lemenite and when we start with the right foot we call it a remenite.
 There is also a forward yemenite which is only confusing if you’ve always done backwards yemenites.
A mantra to say is “Change Those Feet” – that helps me!

Tcherkessia Step:

And the mystery is solved of why I could never find anything about “cherkassia” no matter how much I tried–it starts with a “T”!

I sometimes avoid the debate about where the accent is on the name and just call it: cross left over right/replace; cross right over left/replace.

And from the land of Scottish Country Dancing…


We don’t do this one much but I like it.