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 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!

One by Jan Philips

This is a lovely dance to do with new dancers. It was probably the first one I was confident enough to share. Although the steps are quite simple–and go with the words perfectly, the words and the music are a little enchanting so people of all stages enjoy it.

You always go forward when the singer says “one for the…” and then backwards on the instrumental section. The music is by Jan Phillips  on her CD “All the Way to Heaven.”

Watch Jan’s videos on her YouTube Channel.

Here are the lyrics:

One with the buffalo, one with the bear
One with the meadow, one with the mare,
One with the redwood, one with the rock
One with the eagle, one with the hawk.

One with the blue sky, one with the storm
One with the winter, one with the warm
One with the thunder, one with the rain
One with the laughter, one with the pain.

One with the shadow, one with the light
One with the sunrise, one with the night
One with the sorrow, one with the joy
One with the fullness, one with the void.

One with the mystery, one with the doubt
One with the famine, one with the drought,
One with the homeless, one with the king,
One with the angel, one with the wing

One with the harvest, one with the seed
One with the marshland, one with the reed
One with the sugar, one with the cane
One with the loss and one with the pain.

One with the hero, one with the whore,
One with the rich man, one with the poor
One with the marrow, one with the bone
One with the hunger, one with the moan.

One with the sparrow, one with the song,
One with the righteous, one with the wrong,
One with the morning, one with the dew,
One with the mountain, one with the view.

One with the newborn, one with the breast
One with the outcast, one with the guest
One with the palace, one with the cell
One with the bucket, one with the well.

One with the seeker, one with the sought,
One with the teacher, one with the taught
One with the trinket, one with the jewel
One with the master, one with the fool.

One with the lover, one with the loved,
One with the vulture, one with the dove,
One with the diamond, one with the coal,
One with the beggar, one with the bowl.

One with the desert, one with the dust,
One with the iron, one with the rust,
One with the heavens, one with the earth
One with the labor, one with the birth.

One with the bridegroom, one with the bride,
One with the blind man, one with the guide
One with the vision, one with the eye,
One with the knowing, one with the why.

One with the shining, one with the star,
One with the battle, one with the scar,
One with the music, one with the flute,
One with the branches, one with the root.

One with the daughter, one with the son,
One with the convict, one with the nun
One with the mountain, one with the awe
One with the forest, one with the saw.

One with the infant, one with the crone
One with the feather, one with the bone
One with the master, one with the slave
One with the water, one with the wave.

One with the seer, one with the seen
One with the dreamer, one with the dream
One with the garden, one with the bud
One with the chalice, one with the blood.

One with the meaning, one with the word
One with the spider, one with the bird
One with the spirit, one with the soul
One with the part, one with the whole.

One with the dying, one with all life,
One with the wounded, one with the knife
One with the other, one with the ONE
One with all beings under the sun.


Image result for red knee bootsWe danced this great dance choreographed by Marina Bear when Brigitte Evering was with us last week in Vancouver. I loved how Brigitte included some cues for us visual learners, like imagining we had over the knee red boots for this one!

This is a folk song from Quebec arranged by La Bottine souriante which seems to mean “smiling boot”.

There’s even a show company called La Bottine souriante.

I agree with BO3gamer who says, “Fucking bonne chanson!”

I got curious, as I do, about the words. My high school/University French was mainly reading and writing not speaking and hearing. (And when I travelled I learned how to order beer and disposable diapers–but that’s another story.)

Here is a translation to English: (It seems La ziguezon zin aon is not translatable. Perhaps just nonsense syllables.)

Going to the fountain to catch some fish
La ziguezon zin zon
The fountain is deep
Pours me to the bottom

Ziguezon zin zon, Girl on top
Girl in bottom, girl girl girl-woman
Woman, woman, woman, also worse
Bottine-tine-tine le rigolet ha ha
His little door key is rusted, rusted
His little door key is merrily rusted
The fountain is deep
Pours me to the bottom
Passing by here
Three cavalier barons

Three cavalier barons
Three cavalier barons
Who gave to me your beauty
If I lose you


Who gave to me your beauty
If I take you to the bottom
Row, row she said
After that we shall see


Row, row she said
After that we shall see
When the beautiful one comes to shore
And runs away from the house


When the beautiful one comes to shore
And runs away from the house
To try at the window
Write a song


To try at the window
Write a Song
My small heart is given
Not for a baron


My small heart is given
Not for a baron
But for a soldier
With a beard


From reading up, it seems to have to do with a fisherman who has lost his heart to a girl who might be more interested in one of the soldiers… the one with the beard.

Here’s a video with photos of young women/girls. From a quick look I think they did this for a drama or arts class at school. It’s sweet!


And here’s a Karaoke Version.


Elm Dance Weekly

Service 18 Oct 2009 - Elm DanceI enjoyed reading about this church in Australia where people dance the Elm Dance every Sunday after the worship service is over. We will start our Autumn Equinox ritual by doing this dance in the courtyard at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver at 12:10pm (or as soon as the worship service ends) on Sunday, September 17. And–who knows?–maybe we’ll keep doing it!

Here’s what their website says.

After the service, each Sunday, some join hands and for a circle for “The Elm Dance”. They gather in the circle dance area outside the church before going up to coffee in the hall; and all are invited to share in this simple movement.

A dance of remembrance and a dance for the blessing of peace.

St Pauls’ Elm Dance

We at St Pauls join in a circle dance, to pray the prayers of our hearts but especially for peace.

I thought what a great metaphor for our Christian community the Elm Dance is.

Firstly the dance, the slow measured step where we dance together to the same tune, guided by those who know it better, helped by those who know the steps and the sequence, and supporting each other when feet stumble out of step, or wander in a different direction.

Around us is God’s beautiful sky and warming light, the fragrance of rosemary, the delighted joyful music of the birds mingling with loving music composed by His children.

Wonderful too is the ever-widening circle as more and more join, effortlessly welcomed into the dance. Existing members are strong enough in loving support to let go and welcome in; new ones are brave enough to step forward and take the offered hands.

For those on the outside looking in, there is delight in watching the pattern and wholeness of the dance.

Our prayers seek to bless those from Novozybkov, that most contaminated of cities after Chernobyl and the spoken and unspoken prayers: the homeless down the street, the patient people of Zimbabwe and those with broken relationships around us; and the dance helps us bring the answers into being.

As we are swaying – Let’s Give Peace a Dance


I’m always interested in reading about the history of the music we dance to and the words, so also enjoyed their information on the “Notes of interpretation”.

Notes on Interpretation

Latvian is a language that was only written down when German missionaries spread the Christian faith in the 1700’s, being the last place in North Western Europe to maintain a pagan animistic worship of the land, the seasons and forces of nature. Hence many words in the song multiple meanings and connotations.

If you’re interested in languages, you’ll enjoy it if you scroll down and read what they have to say.

Elm Dance Steps, Lyrics and Stories

After dancing the Elm Dance with our group recently, I searched around for more information.

I’ll start with the part most important for dancers. So far as I can see when we raise our arms like branches, we let go hands and move in the wind touching each others’ hands and arms a bit as we do. Continuing to just hold hands is clearly a popular village variation however.

The other thing I found of interest was that the original choreography has us “circling” when we sway, not just swaying back and forth. The reference I found said moving to the front when swaying to the right, and to the back when swaying left. But I could find no video showing this movement. If your group does this — share a video so we can all see. “The sways are circular and round, soft in the wind, well rooted in the earth.”

Shall we give that a try?

I started researching because none of us there knew the answer to what is the Bach Flower Remedy for “elm”. And that’s where I found this.

Elm Bach Flower Remedy

Elm …is the remedy for people suffering a temporary loss of confidence due to the overwhelming amount of responsibility they have taken on. Genuine Elm types are people who are successful and carrying out work they believe in, but at times the burden brings them down and they feel will not be able to cope.

The remedy helps to dispel these feelings so that we can resume our lives without thought of failure.

There’s a lot more about the Bach Flower Remedies and Music on this site:

Then I was curious about the music and learned that the song mentions apple trees and oak trees, but not elm trees. But as is often the case, it’s a metaphor and (perhaps, to some people) it’s actually a song about resistance.

Perhaps around December, we could try to add a Holly dance to our repertoire:

The song is Kā Man Klājas and it was a popular song at the time it was choreographed. The choreographer Anastasia Geng (1922-2002) choreographed many songs to correspond with Bach flower remedies. Joanna Macy learned this dance from Hannelore, a friend in Hamburg.

Here’s the itunes link:

The words are these: (I haven’t included the repeated lines)

Ko man dosi mamulite, par muzigu dzivo anu

What will you give to me mother dear, for eternal life

Izplaukst zelta abelite un ka rita migla skan

The little golden apple tree blooms, and rings out like morning mist

Ko tas dos tev mamulite, ka tavs delin nenomirst

What does it give to you mother dear, that your little son doesn’t die

Atbildes nav

There is no reply

Tikai veja notric ozoliu birze

Only the grove of oak trees trembles in the wind

Tikai koki savikas uz rudeni

Only the trees put on their autumn leaves

Atbildes nav

There is no reply

Ko man dosi mamulite, par muzigu dzivo anu

What will you give to me mother dear, for eternal life


Izplaukst zelta abelite un ka rita migla skan

The little golden apple tree blooms, and rings out like morning mist

Izkid visi mani joki, Visi joki gludeni

All my humour dissolves, All jokes fall flat

Tikai kajas droak savu zemi min

Only our feet all the more surely trample our earth

Tapec draugi ka man klajas

Therefore, friends, how I am feeling

Itneviens lai neuzzin

let no one know

I also found a Christian church who dance it every Sunday, St Paul’s Anglican Church Beaconsfield, near Fremantle Western Australia.

As they say, “As we are swaying.. give peace a chance.”

The Elm Dance: Story and Actual Dance Exeter New Hampshire Unitarian Universalist Church

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter (FUUSE) Minister Kendra Ford introduces Coleen O’Connell, treasured colleague of Joanna Macy’s from Lesley University, Director and founder of the Ecological Teaching and Learning Program. Coleen shares the story behind the Elm Dance, a remembrance of what was lost in many Russian villages and surrounds as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. FUUSE is celebrating “The Great Turning and the Work that Reconnects”…people concerned with and considering taking action to deal with preserving life on the earth. “The Great Turning” is a name for the essential adventure of our time: shifting from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.

And here’s a talk by Joanna Macy on the Dharmaseed website about this story of how she first shared this dance. (She starts about 8 minutes into the audio file.)

Autumn Equinox

Here are some of the dances that “the Bears” suggest for the Autumn Equinox.
Which would you like to dance in September?
Fall Equinox: (Balance, Rejoicing In The Harvest And Summer, Anticipating Winter)
An Diran
Banish Misfortune
Dimna Juda
Fields Of Gold
Harvest Moon
Hava Avar Babanot
Hora Mare
Inside Water
John Barleycorn
Many Rivers
Maze Maize
Od Lo Ahatvi Dai
Old Woman
Seasons Green And Gold
Shiva Namo
Stag Dance
Suo Gan
Swimming To The Other Side
Take Me Down To The River
Wash Your Spirit Clean
We Have Not Loved Enough
Zaken Metayel (Old Man Walking)
Zeleneye Zhito

I’ve made bold the dances that I know for sure we have danced.

Vote for which of these familiar ones you’d like to dance during September!