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What Happens in a Dance Chapel?

Dancing Saints from St. Gregorry Nissa Episcipal Church

The Hidden Monastery has a secret. It runs on the restorative power of Dance Chapels.

I discovered I need a regular space to be my best me. For this, I need my home prayer languages- movement, breath, voice, listening. Unfortunately, I found it hard to find a place to pray like this with others. I could teach, write, join workshops and praise the dancing way as I do in Dance–The Sacred Art: the Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice,  but, what I really need is to pray and play with others in a ritualized holy time. It’s not enough to dance alone or on a rare occasion.When I move with two or more people, the body and soul switch turns on. 

Only then do I most gracefully touch
the depths of my soul
the truths of my body
the energetic web vibrating, near and far
and enter the sacred portal of collective imagination.

When others join I get to hear their wisdom as we engage our diverse Spirit Teams, receive guidance, transmit healing prayers to one another and benefit as others dance and pray on our behalf. Chapels feel effortlessly potent. Like our ancestors we travel and deepen wisdom by dancing with each other in ritual times.

Dance Chapel is the single most important thing I do for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Because of chapel my soul is well. Of course, I want this for others. But, my leadership style and time isn’t for everyone. So, I support additional online dance chapel times and leaders. 

I encourage everyone to find something like a dance chapel. And, if you’ve been thinking about coming, please do.

Here is the Dance Chapel link  825 748 1773 The Password is wedance https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8257481773?pwd=R0c2dmN3dDhsbnMxYUh1aEpPNkZiQT09

What happens in dance chapels?

Entering the zoom room, each person is welcome to take time to light a candle, virtual or real and share an intention out loud or in the chat box. If you aren’t feeling well you can witness or participate in a quiet way.
Next, we warm up body and soul in a simple way. I lead a non-verbal warm up where members are free to follow or to move as they desire. This is about 7 minutes. I often conclude this meditative period by inviting people to move one hand and hum or sing as we warm up voice and hear the inner song of the moment. (We are all muted for this.) We pause afterward, soak in a little silence, and then affirm and notice what is present.

Each chapel is different! There are hip hop dance chapels, art making chapels, poetry based chapels. The middle section of chapel nourishes body and soul with poetry, music, and practices. I am currently invoking the art and wisdom of Meinrad Craighead’s Litany of the Great River. I share her image and prayer, then create opportunity for reflection using movement, writing or other media.

In the third and last section of chapel each person is partnered with another participant. We briefly tell our partner something we would like a dance-prayer for. Then, one partner dances on behalf of the other partner to music. We then change roles.

Chapel concludes with a deep breath, final word and blowing out our candles.

Here is the Dance Chapel link  825 748 1773

PW wedance


Monday at 4:30 pm pst with Cynthia Winton-Henry
Tuesday 4:30 pm pst with Monisha Mittal
Wednesday 9:30 am pst with Marla Durden
4:30 pm pst Dancing Hand with Ruth Showalter
Thursday 9:30 am pst with Nancy Pfaltzgraf and Jane Siarny
More information about chapel leaders at Hidden Monastery website.

There is no cost to participate. Many regular attendees financially honor the chapel and leaders through the Hidden Monastery via paypal.me/cynthiawintonhenry, Venmo @Cynthia-Winton-Henry or check to Cynthia Winton-Henry 4025 New York Ave 317, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. 

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