What is Circle Dance?
As the title suggests we dance in a circle. All the
dances share similar steps but beyond the steps is the
experience of dancing in a circle. This creates a sense
of community of belonging, a place where we meet as equals.
Circle Dance start?
Circle dance as we dance it today originated from a fusion
between the work of Bernhard Wosien, a classically trained
ballet dancer, and the Findhorn community.
When Bernhard started collecting the folk dances of Eastern
Europe after the Second World War, he realized that they held
more than just the steps. In his youth he had thought of
becoming a pastor and he had also worked with Laban, an
innovative modern dance teacher in the 1920s and 1930s who
often choreographed large groups of people into what he called
movement choirs so Bernhard was already aware of what could be
said to be the deeper meaning of these dances.
He met one of the cofounders of Findhorn (Peter Caddy) at a
conference who invited him to bring his work to the then
burgeoning community which was exploring new ways of living
communally. It was fertile ground. Their interaction resulted
in the form of dance we call circle dance or sacred circle
These days it spans traditional folk dances to choreographies
in which the patterns the group as a whole makes is important
and everything in between.
Who can join
All are welcome – no
previous experience is required and you don't need a partner.
It really doesn't matter if you never danced before.
Newcomers are very welcome as circle dance is an inclusive,
all-embracing activity. It's non-judgemental and
non-competitive and the dance groups offer a friendly welcome.
Are the dances difficult?
Circle dances are informal dances as a whole with certain
formalities in some dances. You may not know the steps
to begin with, but all of us have been there and understand
what it feels like. Each dance is always walked through
and talked through until everyone has a feel for it.
This applies for those who have never danced before and those
who have been dancing for years! There are only six
varieties of steps - it is how these are woven together that
creates the dances. Anyway Circle dancing involves
holding hands which means if you follow the person beside you,
you'll be dancing
Where do the
dances come from? Our Somerset
groups enjoy the traditional dances that come from Eastern
Europe, Israel, Russia and South America. These dances
all have deep roots in the countries from which they come, the
sources of which might be ploughing, sowing, reaping and
harvesting; spinning weaving and knitting; marriage, birth,
baptism, death; sun, moon stars, solstices, equinoxes.
Reference to the source, the country, the region is all part
of the dance teaching – more so in a whole day dance than in
our weekly dances.
However there are also modern choreographies to a variety of
music - both classical and otherwise. These dances work
with moving holistically, both as an individual and as a
All Day dances
often include live music.
What are Dances of Meditation?
We now offer Dances of Meditation led by Roz Mudaliar and
Frances Fawkes. These dances are mainly contemporary
choreographies which invite us to go within, to listen to our
inner selves, to feel centred and uplifted. Click here to see our
leaflet for further details.
Who leads the dancing? All Day Dances are
led by experienced dance leaders from across the UK and
Our weekly dance
groups are led by Frances Fawkes or Jeannette Whitford.
For further details the group leaders' details are on our contact