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!

Yemenite Back Step  

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.

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”!

And from the land of Scottish Country Dancing

Promenade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gqVoquGDTc

We don’t do this one much



Barbara Herring in Vancouver April 9th – Join us!

BarbaraHerringFlorida2016Barbara Herring will be here in BC from Ontario in April and will be at the Unitarian Centre on Monday, April 9th. There will also be a Tuesday April 10th event in Ladner. Check with circledanceladner@gmail.com for more information.

I, Mary, am coordinating the afternoon and potluck dinner. Corinne will be working with Barbara for the regular 2nd Monday evening.

Barbara is considered one of the “Grandmothers” of Circle Dance in Canada.  Two of her dances are on our favourites list.

  • Blessed Be
  • Go In Beauty

Other lovely choreographies of Barbara’s we have danced are

  • Crescent Moon
  • Holy Mother
  • Dancing Song
  • I Am the Land
  • Loved By a Star
  • Who By Fire

Barbara will likely share some of her favorite dances and other facilitators will share as well so she can have the pleasure (her request!) to just dance with us.

Come experience the calmness, joy and reverence that Barbara Herring brings to the dance. Barbara has been a facilitator of Sacred Circle Dance groups in Canada and the USA since 1996 and during that time has been midwife to the birth of many groups in her home province, Ontario.

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I Choose Love – Choices Dance

We’ll be dancing this on February 15, along with a whole Valentine’s week dance palette.

Shawn Gallaway

You can download the song for free, make a video and upload it. He wants you to.

June Watts who choreographed a dance for this, calls the dance “Choices”. Some of us find it challenging when the dance and the music have different names, but there you go.



Leonard Cohen – Dance Me to the End of Love

There are numerous Leonard Cohen songs that have been choreographed for circle dance.

The one we do most commonly is Dance Me to the End of Love.

Search this site for “Leonard Cohen” and you’ll find a couple of others.

If you’d like a cover, I like this one:

Other Leonard songs we dance to:

  • Who By Fire?
  • Traveling Light
  • Anthem
  • Take This Waltz

Do you have a favorite Leonard song you’d like to dance to?

Hallelujah for the Whole World

We did this very joyful dance yesterday at our Imbolc ritual/circle dance. The only word I could catch was “Hallelujah” so I went down the google rabbit hole to learn more. The words are in Finnish. And one site calls it “The Finnish Mass”.

Choreographed by Nanni Kloke  https://www.findhorn.org/people/nanni-kloke/

Music origin: The Finnish Mass

A source for the music is “Kuule Minun Aaneni – Hiljaisuunden Iauluja (Finngospel FGCD 5090) {Han ei ole enaa taala}”


Hiljaisuuden Lauluja – Hän ei ole enää täällä

In case you know a little Finnish, or would like to learn, here are the lyrics.

Miksi hiivit hänen haudalleen? Hän ei ole enää täällä Etkö aamun huomaa valjenneen?

Hän ylösnoussut on! Halleluja, tulkaa katsomaan

Hän ei ole enää täällä Halleluja, soikoon maailmaan:

Hän ylösnoussut on! Miksi jäisit vielä pimeyteen?

Hän ei ole enää täällä Anna valon päästä sydämeen

Hän ylösnoussut on! Halleluja, tulkaa katsomaan

Hän ei ole enää täällä Halleluja, soikoon maailmaan:

Hän ylösnoussut on! Miksi yhä kuljet allapäin?

Hän ei ole enää täällä Nouse, veljillesi kerro näin:

Hän ylösnoussut on!


“Han ei ole enaa taalla (arr. P. Nyman, P. Simojoki, J. Kivimaki and K. Mannila)” by Hiljaisuuden Lauluja & Field Musicians (iTunes)

It’s about Easter…

Through a rather clumsy translation tool, I’ve cobbled together these meanings. It’s about Easter, I’d say. If someone has an English translation more elegant than this, please do send to me.

Miksi hiivit hänen haudalleen?  Why visit his grave?

Hän ei ole enää täällä  He is no longer here

Etkö aamun huomaa valjenneen?  Did not you notice widened in the morning?

Hän ylösnoussut on  He is resurrected

tulkaa katsomaan come and see

soikoon maailmaan   soikoon world

Miksi jäisit Why stay in the

vielä pimeyteen  still in darkness

Anna valon päästä sydämeen  Give light to reach the heart

Nouse, veljillesi kerro näin: Arise, let your brothers saw

yhä kuljet allapäin  still traveling throughout the

Huron Carol

I found this circle dance for the Huron Carol.

Here’s some information from the youtube page.
This is one of my choreographed dances to the Huron Carol. This recording is by The Crash Test Dummies from ‘Jingle all the Way’. I play it 5% faster for the dance. Even so it demands a presence of attention.

And here’s an alternative version with words by the choreographer.

Dances Choreographed by Brian Steere – but his website livingcircle.net isn’t working.
Here’s his blog with a couple of pretty long posts about his experience with circle dance.

World Circle Dance Day 2018

What would you like to dance for World Circle Dance Day in July, 2018?

Indeed what would you like the whole world to dance?

Submit your suggestion here.

I suggested Miserlu. It’s fairly challenging and lively, so if they choose it, they’ll likely also choose a meditative and easy one.

They’ll take the suggestions and choose the three most popular ones.

Which might mean we all get 3 votes.

You can see the compilation videos from 2016 and 2017 of groups–large and tiny–around the world dancing to the same music.

World Circle Dance Day is the third Sunday in July, coinciding with the Findhorn Sacred circle dance week.

World Circle Day compilation video

Last July, circles all over the world recorded themselves dancing Namarie, one of the three dances suggested for dancing on July 17th. Now they’ve put together a video with a little clip of all the groups. My GLAD group who meet on the 3rd Thursday (11am – 1pm) at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver is at 4:19. As a friend said: we’re quite recognizable and look like we’re having a good time!

Please enjoy this wonderful work of art by Amanda! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K19JZF2ZQjs