Dancing is one of the most profound expressions of harmony with earth and community. Most of us have lost a connection to dancing, place, community, and culture, a loss equivalent to spiritual exile. Earth-based European dancing traditions are tools for rediscovering our joyful interconnectedness and creative power. Dancing with embodied roots is a homecoming that supports personal and collective healing.

The Wisdom Dances dance practice is based in Laura Shannon’s pioneering approach to women’s ritual dances from the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor and how these dances can be tools for healing and transformation. Her research helps us unlock the wisdom about sustainability, community, and reverence for the earth encoded in the dances. Dancing with awareness helps awaken these qualities in our lives.

In this workshop you will learn some fundamental traditional women’s dances from the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor. We will also explore:

  • How present day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey overlaps geographically with ancient egalitarian civilizations known as “Old Europe.” We will consider how folk dance has been repressed throughout history and why traditional circle dances survived in this region when it was destroyed throughout much of the rest of Europe.
  • How ancient signs and symbols, what archaeologist Marija Gimutas named the ‘language of the Goddess,’ appear in traditional dances.
  • What patterns we notice and meaning we discover by reading the intersections between dance steps, song texts, embroidered costumes, and myths, an approach pioneered by Laura Shannon.
  • How traditional circle dances bring people together and affirm our relationship with the earth.
  • How connecting with European roots through dance might not only support our own healing but also serve as a tool for healing historical trauma and responding to the ecological crisis.

No experience needed. All movements are very gentle on the body – if you can walk you can do these dances. Open to all genders.

Upcoming workshop date:

Sunday, June 30, 2019, 3:30 – 5:00 at Crosby Farm Regional Park. FREE.

You are invited to linger after the workshop for the Wisdom Dances Mid-Summer Celebration.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.