I can dance alone, but I rarely do. I believe that dance is a group body act. Dance is an altering experience that puts into direct contact with our world energies. Dance changes energy. This is a lot for a single body to deal with. When beings come together in community dance and music become a hyplerlink that takes us to a bigger field of play. When we look around the world the dancing there is plenty of evidence that community dance may be a global healer. The Sufis, The Tongans, The Maoris, The Warlis, The Shakers, The Ecstatic Dancers, The Native American Dancers know so. To keep the social fabric woven together in health—dance! To support the individual, include them in the dance!
I heard a story about the leaders of a New Mexico pueblo dance who put a rattle in the hand of a man who was drunk believing that if he could dance with his people he might find his way back.
In November in the Tesuque Pueblo I witnessed a hundred dancers dressed in eagle feathers, buffalo hides, shawls, and moccasins move in step up and down the plaza while forty male voices chanted and drummers beat the drum. Rattle and bell shook the air. Earthed stomping and sonorous breath changed the atmosphere. I felt in tune.
There was a tiny old lady dancing alongside three male dancers in the center. I asked a young man, “Is she special?”
He said, “Yes. She was chosen to do this dance until she dies. She is still going strong!”
I’ll never forget her exposed and wrinkled shoulder! Turtle woman! I too am chosen to dance until I die. But in my case I must also gather dancers.
I long for danced prayer as a community act where no individual dances alone in their life, where those not dancing sit silent and attentive to those who chose to dance on behalf of everyone, where, in the homes food is prepared and offered and should the dancers fast, the witnesses eat on their behalf.
We are deeply embodied people. How do we honor this?
Long ago I realized dancing alone doesn’t happen easily. So, I made sure to be dancing in community on a weekly basis so that I can at least check in to my dancing body wisdom. Recently, I added an adult ballet class so I can move in unison in a disciplined and beautiful way!
December 12th at 7pm InterPlayers will perform a Peace Dance on behalf of Mother Earth and Her Children. Please come if you can. You can be silent and witness or join in at invited times. We will raise the pine bough and bow to the elements. We will dance on behalf of what our bodies know.