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.



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 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.

Continue reading

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

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

All My Life’s a Circle

This dance has become a tradition for the annual Women’s gathering. The dance choreography includes a spot where you greet another person–with a hug, handshake, do-si-do or spin – Your job is to discern what kind of greeting that person would welcome.

I like it a lot partly because I do indeed remember this song when it first “came around” in the 70s – a turbulent time in my life.

No straight lines make up my life, all my roads are bends

There’s no clear-cut beginning and so far no dead ends

I got so excited with the greetings when I looked at my new Garmin heart rate monitor, there was a spike about 8:10 pm. I thought: What was that about? and remembered that was the time of us dancing this dance.

More about Harry Chapin here on wikipedia:

Now perhaps someone will choreograph Cat’s Cradle?