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.

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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

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?

Epiphany Party

Here are the dances we did tonight at the Unitarian Church’s annual women’s gathering:

Round dance – Aline

One – Mary

Watermark – Mairy

Ancient Trees – Mairy

Here Now – Darlene

Eno Sagrado – Mary

We Are – Darlene

Shannon Lullaby – Mairy

Leben – Nan

Let it be a Dance – Mary

All My Life’s a Circle – Mary

Travelling Light – Mairy

Dark Waltz – Mairy  Click here for the lyrics and to purchase on iTunes

Candle Dances – Darlene

Blessed Be

Go in Beauty


My New Year’s Resolution – Even More Dancing

Yes, for the third or is it fifth or tenth? year in the row, my New Year’s resolutions will include: more dancing!

Some of us look at women even older than ourselves- and are amazed at their energy. Asked how they do it, the answer is: keep dancing! (Marta and Sheila B come to mind!)

This fall, I started a new circle dance group that combines earth spirituality ritual with circle dance. We’ve had three sessions and it’s a lovely gathering. For February, we’re going to also do a workshop afterwards 2-4pm on tarot card divination. If successful, that might continue as it’s been a while since anyone was prepared to offer the full Paganism 101 course.

GLAD – another combo of gathering, labyrinth, art and dance, continues on third Thursday 11am -1 pm with myself, Mairy and Darlene leading dances. We even went ahead with Dec. 21 Winter Solstice (but moved it to my co-op in view of the predicted snow).

I usually attend the two regular monthly circle dances at the Unitarian Centre but usually get to just relax and dance, focusing my volunteer efforts on nurturing these two small groups (usually 6-10 people) where I feel more confident leading dances and get to exercise my creativity at weaving the program and including art and ritual.

And of course I continue to have ideas about special events focused on or including circle dance. I love a party!

So maybe I should get SMART (specific, measurable, achievable — or is that artistic? — realistic — or is that ritualistic? – and time-based. They say announcing goals helps to achieve them, so here we go:

  • to have at least 10 dances I could lead without any preparation (I may be almost there.)
  • to have 50 I am confident to lead with a small amount of prep (and a “confidence” card reminder)
  • To spread my enthusiasm and welcome newbies to circle dance by:
  • to post regularly (at least twice a month) to this blog
  • to post at least once a month to my mailchimp reminder email list
  • to get a really nice white night outfit that I adore wearing. Oh and white shoes and socks too!Image result for tattered wedding dress skirt
  • to engage more kids in circle dance (at least maypole dancing–maybe more)

Image result for tattered wedding dress skirt

Image result for bride dresses ragsI “commit” to these knowing that at any time I can go in and amend, and you’ll never know which were the original goals. :>)

Which of these images do you like the best?

Are you ready to make resolutions?

Image result for tattered wedding dress skirt