About Mary Bennett

I'm a visual artist, consultant, change agent, grandma and housing coop member living in Vancouver, BC

Favorite October Dances

Which dance should we select for October’s dance? October is full of gratitude and ancestors!


Thank You for This Day

Heartfelt Thanks and Gratitude


Some of our local favorites are:

  • Swimming to the Other Side
  • Witches Song
  • Spirits in the Graveyard
  • Ancestors’ Breaths
  • Kali

This is a new idea to select a dance each month that will be danced at several lower mainland circles. If you’d like a dance added that’s not there, just let me know. circledanceucv@gmail.com

Here are more suggestions from the Bears’ list at circledancing

(Death, End Of Shedding, Without Illusion, Thinning of Veils, Rest)
Old Woman
All Soul’s Night
Between the Worlds
By a Quiet Stream
Crossing (The) (Osiyeza) – intense, pagan
Dance The Mystic Spiral
Dar Gorani
Dark Spiral
Deep Peace
Dreaming – Samhain to Spring equinox
Earth, Air, Fire, Water
Elm Dance
Embrace the Shadow
Eno Sagrado (Sacred Ground)
Enso – Japanese sign for emptiness (all possibilties)
Four Elements Dances (1)
Kangueleftos (The Gate)
Karev Yom (Giving and Receiving)
Namah Shivaya
Old Woman
Still Point
Swimming to the Other Side
Take Me to The River
The Crossing (Osiyeza)
The Shift
Weaver and the Web
Whisper, The
Who By Fire
Yianni Mou (Dark Miserlou)
You Have Loved Enough


Pilgrim’s Dance – variations on a theme

image86This was one of the 3 link-up dances for World Circle Dance Day 2019.

Scroll down to bottom left for information, steps and the video.


Choreography: Peter Vallance

Music: Cuncti Simus Concanentes 

“Let us Sing Together” from Llibre Vermell De Montserrat




Here are a couple of versions of the dance on video.

Here’s information about the Black Madonna at Montserrat: https://www.montserrat-tourist-guide.com/en/attractions/black-madonna-montserrat-spain.html

this time with scarves!

The music is from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat

specifically: Cuncti Simus Concanentes (fol. 24) (“Let us sing together”)

Lyrics here: http://www.avemariasongs.org/aves/0-anon/Vermell1.htm


“Red Book of Montserrat” is a manuscript collection of devotional texts containing, amongst others, some late medieval songs. The 14th-century manuscript was compiled in and is still located at the monastery of Montserrat outside Barcelona in Catalonia (Spain).

“Because the pilgrims wish to sing and dance while they keep their watch at night in the church of the Blessed Mary of Montserrat, and also in the light of day; and in the church no songs should be sung unless they are chaste and pious, for that reason these songs that appear here have been written. And these should be used modestly, and take care that no one who keeps watch in prayer and contemplation is disturbed.”



Oak and Ash and Thorn

Frances put the steps for Eno Sagrado to this song.

Lyrics and background info here: https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/atreesong.html

Fast or slower.  Which do you prefer?



Peter Bellamy – scratchy audio



A Tree Song

Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old Engerland to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.
Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs
(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!
Surely we sing of no little thing,
In Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oak of the Clay lived many a day,
Or ever Aeneas began;
Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,
When Brut was an outlaw man;
Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town
(From which was London born);
Witness hereby the ancientry
Of Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Yew that is old in churchyard mould,
He breedeth a mighty bow;
Alder for shoes do wise men choose,
And beech for cups also.
But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,
Your shoes are clean outworn,
Back ye must speed for all that ye need,
To Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth
Till every gust be laid,
To drop a limb on the head of him
That anyway trusts her shade:
But whether a lad be sober or sad,
Or mellow with ale from the horn,
He’ll take no wrong when he lieth along
‘Neath Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But—we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth—
Good news for cattle and corn—
Now is the Sun come up from the South,
With Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs
(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!
England shall bide till Judgement Tide,
By Oak and Ash and Thorn!

JES Dance such a lovely time

20 of us (plus musicians and tech support) gathered and enjoyed two full hours of live music by JES last Saturday. We danced 15 songs, had fabulous snacks and just enjoyed each other immeasurably. A definite treat was that although JES have played for English country dances, they’d never seen sacred circle dancing before and loved it.

Here are some of the comments and photos from the evening. We hope to host them again some time, so let me know if you’d like an invitation. circledanceucv@gmail.com

Thanks for organizing and hosting such an inspiring evening!
This was my favourite circle dance event ever!
Having such amazingly beautiful voices to listen to was icing on the cake….
– Julie

Heart gratitude for the gift of the amazing and heavenly dance experience tonight. Thank you to both of you for making your dream a reality.
– Darlene
Thank you to Mary, Mary, Mary, Darlene, and Frances, for an enjoyable evening of dancing, music, community spirit, my first Earth Day Circle Dance and allowing me all of my excessive “variations”. I would like very much to become a part of this community of dance and fellowship and toward that end I shall try to attend as many practice groups as I can!
Sincerely from my heart,
– Sandy

Dear Mary and Mairy:
What a Treat Saturday was. When JES started playing I thought wow! this is going to be goooood!!! and it was.
Thank you So much,
Fabulous evening.
Blessings in the dance the music and you…

Latin American Circle Dances

We had a lovely evening with Wendy Anne, Jennifer and Nadia sharing dances from Mexico, Brazil and other parts of Latin America.

Here’s one I’ve always enjoyed and got motivated enough to use a rough translation program to translate the first verse to English. If you speak Spanish and have a better translation, please send to me.  circledanceucv@gmail.com

Pedacitos de sol
Spanish English
Son pedacitos de sol, They are bits of sun,
Retazos de luz, Patches of light
Poquitos de amor Little love,
Son trocitos de viento, They are bits of wind,
El agua en silencio, The water in silence,
Llovizna en flor Drizzle in bloom
Son pedacitos de sol, They are bits of sun,
Retazos de luz, Patches of light
Poquitos de amor Little love

And here’s another one. (I’m more of a word-person than a music-person so I like to find out what words I’m hearing! There’s a joke about why Unitarians are such bad singers is that we’re always reading ahead to see if we agree with the next line!)

I definitely need some help with this one. Wasn’t even confident about whether it’s Portuguese or Spanish…  but it gives me/us some idea at least.

If you can help with translation, I’ll send you the link for the google spreadsheet.

and… gracias!

Hope to dance both of these this Sunday 2-3:30pm.

Que Me Entierren Con Semillas Aka Semillas Sagrada
Natalia Contesse
Que me entierren con semillas, Natalia Contesse To bury me with seeds, Natalia Contesse
lo dijo un antepasado, An ancestor said it,
semilla antigua no mueres Old seed don’t die
eres oficio sagrado. You are sacred profession.
Las semillas con sus dones The seeds with their gifts
son la llave del portento, They are the key to the powerhouse,
medicina y alimentos, Medicine and food,
sustentos y tradiciones. Livelihoods and traditions.
Cruza las generaciones, Cross generations,
la guardadora sencilla, The Simple Keeper,
su conocimiento brilla Your knowledge shines
e ilumina nuestra mesa And light up our table
con la tierra ella reza, With the earth she prays,
que me entierren con semillas. To bury me with seeds.
La vida avanza y depende Life advances and depends
de lo humano de nosotros From the human of us
nuestras manos, no de otros, Our hands, not others,
de la mente que comprende. From the mind you understand.
La semilla nos trasciende, The seed transcends us,
memoria y significado, Memory and meaning,
es la herencia en los bordados, It’s the inheritance in the embroidery,
el principio y el fin The beginning and the end
de la existencia el confin, Of existence the border,
lo dijo un antepasado. An ancestor said it.
Al que siembre con sus manos, The one who sows with his hands,
agua pura siempre tenga, Pure water always has,
sea abrazado por lengas, Be embraced by lengas,
por chañares y avellanos. For Chañares and Hazel.
Entre jóvenes y ancianos, Between Young and elderly,
entre hombres y mujeres, Between Men and women,
la semilla y sus saberes, The seed and its knowledge,
se sigan intercambiando. Keep exchanging.
Nunca seas contrabando, Never be smuggling,
semilla antigua no mueres. Old seeds don’t die.
El hombre te hiere hoy día Man hurts you today
los siglos que te conforman, The centuries that make you up,
mutando tu esencia y forma, Mutating your essence and shape,
leyes y soberanías. Laws and sovereignty.
Privatizarte sería Privatizarte would be
olvidar nuestro pasado, Forget our past,
sepultar lo trabajado Bury the work
por el noble curador, By the noble curator,
victoria pal labrador, Victoria pal Labrador,
eres oficio sagrado. You are sacred profession.
Mil semillas repartidas, A thousand seeds spread,
a los pueblos la abundancia, To peoples the abundance,
patrimonio es tu constancia Heritage is your constancy
que sostiene nuestras vidas. That holds our lives.
Nuestras almas van floridas, Our souls go flowery,
por tu entrega noble y tierna. For your noble and tender delivery.
Eres llamarada interna, You are internal flare,
tu poder es el milagro, Your power is the miracle,
con tus ciclos me consagro With your cycles I consecrate
Y MI SANGRE SE HACE ETERNA. And my blood becomes eternal..

Practice the JES tunes

Before March 30, we’ll have several chances to practice some of the JES tunes that will be part of the live music event with Jane Slemon and her trio JES.

This Sunday, (2 – 3:30 pm) we’ll do

  • Providence Ferry (Mairy Beam)
  • God Bless the Grass (Mary Bennett)
  • Red-Winged Blackbird (Mary Bennett)
  • Fields of Gold (Mairy Beam)

On the 1st Tuesday program, (March 5) as part of the regular Tuesday evening session (7-9pm) Mary will be facilitating

  • God Bless the Grass (Mary Bennett)
  • Red-Winged Blackbird (Mary Bennett)

Is this music familiar to you? I’ll post some weblinks below for you to listen. If you like this music, you’ll love JES and doing more than just tapping your toes!



Lovely lyrics…

You’ll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold
So she took her love for to gaze awhile upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down among the fields of gold
Will you stay with me, will you be my love among the fields of barley?
We’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we lie in fields of gold
See the west wind move like a lover so upon the fields of barley.
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth among the fields of gold
I never made promises lightly and there have been some that I’ve broken
But I swear in the days still left we’ll walk in fields of gold
We’ll walk in fields of gold
Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold
You’ll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold, when we walked in fields of gold
Songwriters: Gordon Sumner / Dusan Bogdanovic
Fields of Gold lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Sunday Gentle Circle Dance

On the first Sunday of each month, Mairy Beam and I facilitate four dances that we repeat three times each. We do each one twice in a row and then have a short break and come back and do all four in a row.

You get to really relax into the dances. And for new people it’s especially comfortable and a good way to practice.

Regular dancers also show up and sometimes lead a dance. It’s also a good space to practice leading as we’re a small group and a very supportive one. And you get to teach the dance three times in case you want to emphasize something the second time around.

To check on all sacred circle dance events at the Unitarian Centre go here.

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Dancing (at UCV) on Stat holidays and summer

Although when Corinne is leading dances, she usually cancels any regular evening session that falls on a stat holiday, a group of us often plan something–often a social/snacking/dancing time–family friendly. Check with circledanceucv@gmail.com if you’re not sure what’s happening.

Similarly Corinne usually takes a break for July and August but many of the regular dances continue albeit with smaller groups.

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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 circledanceladner (at) gmail.com 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
  • Gentle Circle Dance: 1st Sunday 2 – 3:30pm

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