This represent a wide diversity of dance that is hard to categorize except through their mutual association. Sacred Circle Dance is thought to have evolved from a movement begun at Findhorn by Bernard Wosien in the 1970's where the importance of the spiritual concepts behind traditional folk dances were emphasized. Pre-existing Circle dance groups were usually more recreational and differed little from folk dance groups except seen as being more about having fun rather than being precise about the folk traditions. Many of these trace their origins to the influx of refugees or through association with the establishment of International Folk dance scene during and after World War II (the established folk dance groups tended to concentrate on European set dances with partners).

The repertoire of Sacred Circle dance evolved through choreography of dances to selected tunes for particular purposes (e.g. meditative, worship, themed suites) and the incorporation of other sacred dance forms (e.g. Taize, Native American) and repertoires (e.g. Dances of Universal Peace). A major change was the move away from the authentic traditions dances to include new choreographies and the focus on dances originating from or being promoted by 'names' rather than being representative of a genre.

Circle dancers evolved variants of the folk dances to make the dances more interesting, more accessible to beginners and/or to fit a different piece of music, though variations would also arise through dances being learnt second or third hand. They would also choreograph new dances either to traditional music for which they did not know a dance for or for any piece of music that was seen as enjoyable.

The distinction between the two types has gradually become blurred as teachers and groups sought to satisfy both audiences. Organizers would often offer or make space for other activities (e.g. aromatherapy, Tai Chi, Reiki, drumming etc) effectively integrating the dance with other New Age practices, in order to attract a larger share of the available audience. The idea that Circle Dance generally was about self-exploration and development became established.

The result has been that the genre as a whole incorporates a wide variety of dance and movement without any particular stylist reason, leading to some confusion in expectations. The exact repertoire and 'feel' of workshops and groups varies widely ranging from purely recreational with a mainly folk based repertoire to spiritual with entirely modern choreographies with all shades and combinations in between. Groups with more than one teacher may vary between sessions. A teacher may offer to teach in all of the three styles – international folk, circle or sacred – as well as any number of incorporated genres and may also offer other New Age practices as well.

The common factor is perhaps an acceptance of the differences and a self-perception as being part of the Circle Dance world which being unstructured allows all possibilities to coexist. There are many circle dance communities that continue in the tradition that they first had when established. However, the purely recreational aspects of many groups have been eroded by the promotion of the spiritual side and in some the spiritual has given way to the religious. The term World Dance is now being used to designate groups emphasizing multi-cultural rather than religious leanings. Conversely, the genre used to import much of their traditional material second hand from the international folk scene but some Sacred Dance teachers actively carry out research into areas of traditional dance (e.g. women's ritual dances), often using an ethnographic approach, and subscribing to the original idea of the spiritual aspects of authentic folk culture.

Related categories 2

Andy Bettis
UK. Findhorn Foundation co-focaliser, and teacher offers workshops. Includes articles, calendar, dance notes, image galleries, reviews and music for sale. Also computer programming CV, reviews of anime, and his musical career.
Anne Armstrong: Circle Dancer
Teacher of regular groups and day events in Kent and Sussex, UK, as well as dance holidays in France. Includes profile, information on activities and contact details.
Barbara Swetina
Findhorn musician offers song and dance workshops. Includes events, image galleries and details of books and CDs for sale with audio clips.
Central Scotland Circle Dance
Loose affiliation of dancers throughout the region. Includes directory of groups with meeting times and locations, events calendar, newsletter, and image gallery.
Circle Dance In York
UK based Karen Michaelsen offers daytime and evening classes, workshops, and residential weekends. Includes profile, schedule, articles, image gallery, reviews, and booking form.
Circle Dance Ireland
Derrie McGahon offers workshops on Bach Flower and Circle Dance in Sligo. Includes profile, information on workshops and other Irish groups, image gallery, map, and contact details.
Circle Dance Network
Circle Dance Friends Co. Ltd. aims to represent the network in the UK. Includes articles from their magazine Grapevine, information for teachers, and details of the annual teachers Easter gathering and the company organization.
Cobourg Sacred Circle Dance
Brief details of this group in Ontario, Canada, with event information.
Dance Camp North
UK community based on offering an annual event of dance, music and a variety of workshops. Includes image galleries of past events, details of the organisation, their constitution and activities.
Dance Camp Wales
Annual event to explore the nature of spirit through dance from many traditions. Includes profile, history, image galleries, and contact details.
Danzas Circulares
Leah Bella's group in Weston, Florida,USA. Includes profile, calendar, image galleries, directions and contact details. [English, Spanish] [May not work in all browsers].
Hazel Young Circle Dance Teacher
UK. Includes details of regular groups, events, articles on music sources, and a list of choreographies.
Healing Dance
International teacher of Bach Flower, meditative, and Taize dances based in Italy. [Dutch, English, Italian, Portuquese].
June Watts' Sacred Circle Dancing
International teacher and choreographer based in the UK offers workshops, teacher training courses, and books. Includes profile, events calendar, dances choreographed and flyers.
Laura Shannon
UK. International teacher and researcher offers workshops and training courses in Women's Ritual Dance. Includes profile, schedules, articles, and image galleries. [English, German].
Lesley Laslitt
Teacher and choreographer of contemporary dance based in Kent, UK. Includes profile, details of weekly class, past and future events, image gallery and reviews.
Let It Be A Dance!
Brief details of this sacred circle dance group in Vancouver, Canada.
Live Circle Dance with Brian Steere
UK. Teacher and musician offering events, monthly meetings, and a dance camp. Includes profile, camp policies and booking form, collection of lyrics and musical scores, and weblog.
Lynn Frances
UK. International teacher offers sacred circle dance classes and workshops as well as a book and touch for health, metamorphic technique and manual lymphatic drainage therapies. Includes events calendar, class schedules, and articles.
Mandy De Winter and Judy King
International teachers and music and event organisers. Includes profiles, details of the band Parampara, regular groups, workshops, events, holidays, teacher training course, CDs and books. Based in the UK.
Martine's Circle Dance Site
International teacher based in Switzerland offering regular classes and Bach flower dance workshops. Includes profile, articles, events calendar, and biography of Anastasia Geng. [English/French]
Moondancer Sacred Circle Dance
Brief details of this UK group including a directory of other West Yorkshire groups and teachers.
Neskaya Arts Movement Center
Offers dance, Tai Chi and Yoga in New Hampshire, USA. Includes schedule of classes and workshops, details of past and future events, and accommodation information.
Paul Boizot
UK Circle and folk dance teacher and musician offers classes and workshops as well as aromatherapy treatments and courses. Includes profile, details of classes and events, lyrics, articles, information on his other activities, merchandise, and contact details.
Peterborough Sacred Circle Dance
Brief details of the group in Ontario, Canada with event information and articles on notation and etiquette
Sacred Circle Dance Information
Raymond's database of music sources for over 1500 dances.
Sacred Circle Dance Knoxville, Tennessee
Offers long dance and sacred circle dance meetings. Includes style descriptions, teacher details, directions and events schedule.
Sacred Circle Dance The Inner Path
Seasonal events in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Sacred Circle Dancing in New Haven, CT
Group offering monthly meetings in Connecticut, USA. Includes history, schedule, directions, and poetry.
Sacred Dance
Choreographer and teacher Maria-Gabriele Wosien, joint founder of the genre, offers international seminars. Includes events, image gallery and merchandise.
Seventh Circle
An eJournal of Circle and World Dance. Includes articles, and contact lists.
SF Bay Area Sacred Circle Dance
Details of groups in San Francisco, USA. Includes schedule, special events, photograph gallery, newsletter and archives.
Touchstone Farm & Yoga Center
Organic farm offering garden, yoga, circle and long dance classes, and events in Massachusetts, USA. Includes details of their activities, schedules, and library of over 400 sacred circle dances.
The Universal Circle Dance
An examination of aspects of circle dance by a messianic Christian, including resources.
Web Garden of Katharina Kroeber and Mark Dammer
Findhorn based instructors offering classes and events in traditional and modern circle dance and astronomy. Includes profile, workshop information, and contact details.
World Dance
Stefan and Bethan Freedman, international teachers and choreographers, offer dance holidays as well as workshops in dance, group leadership, drumming, voice, and self-awareness. Includes course details, events calendar, articles, and testimonials.
Yahoo Group : Circle Dancing Friends
Mailing list offering support and exchange of information.
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