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 we can understand traditional dances as an ancient wisdom school. Laura Shannon writes “the dances present a living inheritance of indigenous European wisdom with direct and active roots in these early European Goddess cultures.” We will explore the key qualities of wisdom traditions and the history of Wisdom in the West to give context to Laura Shannon’s framing of dance in this way.
  • 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, racial justice, decolonization and responding to the ecological crisis.

No experience needed. This workshop will include a 60 minutes presentation as well as roughly 30 minutes of dancing. 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, July 12, 2020, 3:30 – 5:00 at Crosby Farm Regional Park picnic shelter and surrounding grass. FREE.

For our health, we will practice physical distancing. Please bring your own chair and be ready for sun. RSVP for the workshop here. (If you are not on Facebook that is fine, please come anyway!)

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

The above photo gives a glimpse of how we set up the space to allow for very generous physical distancing.