Kalamos Circle Dance  


All about Circle Dancing

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.
How did 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 dance.

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 in?
Anyone!  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 group.

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 abroad. 

Our weekly dance groups are led by Frances Fawkes or Jeannette Whitford.

For further details the group leaders' details are on our contact page.
Please click here to learn about The Music
Zensko Oro (Macedonian)  

Thanks to Val Dawes and Sharon M'Quillin for the Film
and to the Musicians - Steve and Sue Leigh-Browne, Kim McGavin, Maya Buckley, Gem McSweeney, Eva Ryan, Bob Minney and Bruce.


Kalamos Circle Dance is led by Frances, Fisheries Cottage, Stolford, Somerset, TA5 1TN