Dance Palette

palette_layoutYou know what a palette is to a visual artist, right? Well this is what a palette for a circle dance session can look like. All the possibilities are there on the palette (flip chart paper) and the dance facilitator (or “weaver”) picks the ones that work as the session goes on.

Some will be ones the facilitator might teach; some are ones participants have offered to teach and some are requests from participants that they’d like someone else to teach.

Dance Palette BEFORE

The Cobourg group uses a “dance palette” approach–all possible dances are put on a flip chart – way more than could possibly be danced!

Dance Palette AFTER

Then the ones that are danced are underlined and voted on. Someone stands near the flip chart at the break and end so that people less familiar with the dances can say, “I loved the one where we walked backwards” (or whatever) and they can learn what the name is. I’d love to try this at one of our circles. Maybe when Brigitte is here in Vancouver.

Recently I tried this when I was responsible for the first hour at one of our collaborative Tuesday night sessions. I had a playlist already to go, in the order I thought I’d do if we were mainly regulars. Then I had some extras at the bottom in case for whatever reason I felt some of those dances wouldn’t work. I lined up a helper to start the music so I could be free to pay attention to the group. As it happens we had three people brand new to circle dancing, and I changed things quite a lot to start with very simple dances so people could gain confidence as we went along and dropped some of the more difficult ones. I felt sure I’d like this approach, as it fits with my experience as a facilitator in other settings.

Some dances are “left on the palette” for another time. In other words they weren’t “used” this time around but might be in future.

In some circles at the break and end of the session, participants are invited to vote on which dances they’d like to do again and those “winners” are repeated in the following session.

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Brigitte Evering

Brigitte Evering is coming to Vancouver in September.

Here’s the plan for Friday September 15 at the Unitarian Centre.

Afternoon for circle dance facilitators or experienced dancers considering facilitation.

Evening – open to all

I’m looking forward to learning from her experience and passion for dance. Stay tuned for more opportunities.

Here’s more about Brigitte:

Brigitte has been sharing her love of circle dance since 1996. She and her partner Geoffrey co-facilitate a circle in Cobourg, dance in Ontario and the US, as well as being familiar faces at Great Lakes Dance Camp. Brigitte’s clear and skillful teaching allows dancers to access a wide range of traditional and choreographed dances. She has danced across North America as well as in the UK and Australia gathering dances like friends, to share with her communities. Her joyful fire invites dancers to warm themselves with dances from the simple and sweet, to faster and fancy. Come…join in the dance… let’s affirm life together!

Dance Palette BEFORE

The Cobourg group uses a “dance palette” approach–all possible dances are put on a flip chart – way more than could possibly be danced!

Dance Palette AFTER

Then the ones that are danced are underlined and voted on. Someone stands near the flip chart at the break and end so that people less familiar with the dances can say, “I loved the one where we walked backwards” (or whatever) and they can learn what the name is. I’d love to try this at one of our circles. Maybe when Brigitte is here in Vancouver.


Here’s Brigitte’s blog about her Ph.D. work at Trent University.

https://brigitteevering.wordpress.com/

Book by June Watts – Circle Dancing Mentor — available from vpl.ca

Circle Dancing

Circle Dancing

Celebrating the Sacred in Dance

Book – 2006

I just noticed that this book is available through the Vancouver Public Library. There’s one copy at the Central Branch. Here’s the call number: 793.31 W35c

It would be interesting to know what books are on either side of it. Let me know if you discover it.

I danced with June several years ago on Vancouver Island on a weekend dance retreat. The roosters got in the way of my sleep so I didn’t do it again, but admire June a lot and know many who attend her workshops whenever she’s in BC, which she tends to do once a year.

Here’s the link and description from VPL.

https://vpl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1486096038_circle_dancing

June Watts is a leading figure in The Sacred Circle Dance movement. Here she describes every aspect of this growing movement, the people, the places, the dances, the music. All over the world people are awakening to the Sacred Power of dance. This is the first book to explore the link between the modern Sacred Dance movement and its historic heritage going back to the stone age.

 

 

Mary Bennett loves combining art, labyrinth walking and dance

I am a Unitarian and a circle dance enthusiast. I don’t usually teach dances but did lead a workshop at a national conference and with help, created a repertoire entirely from the Unitarian hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition.

I was the Executive Director of the Canadian Unitarian Council from 2000 to 2008 and most of those years I made sure there was circle dancing at our annual conference.

For a year or so in 2008-2009, I helped create a monthly circle dance worship service that included poetry and stories along with dancing.

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