Sarah Pirtle and the Discovery Center

Circle Dance

“The original impulse to dance came from a deep desire to connect with divine mystery.”
 — Ellen Kennedy

Sarah specializes in teaching circle dances related to the cosmological story of the Universe and our role in co-creation of life.

Sarah specializes in teaching circle dances related to the cosmological story of the Universe and our role in co-creation of life.

What’s it like to Circle Dance?

We awaken joy and laughter as we hold hands together and dance simple steps connecting us to the earth and to each other. We trace steps centuries old from around the world. We also join in newly created dances that are prayers and celebrations. People new to dance feel welcome as all dances are taught in an inclusive, respectful manner.

Circle Dance is the living, moving embodiment of the old African saying: “If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance!” Bernard Wosien, a German dance master, collected the old village dances of Europe to prevent them from being lost. The Findhorn Community in Scotland welcomed him enthusiastically and helped him spread these beautiful dances. In fact, Rowan Scott from Hadley, MA was in his first group of dancers and teachers.

The wonder of circle dance is that the steps are so easy to follow; we tap into the source that inspired our ancestors. People learn at their own pace, and missteps are considered variations on the theme. A warm feeling of mutual respect, inclusion and bonding is a hallmark.

You are invited to join in circle dancing at Touchstone Farm in Easthampton, MA led by Shakuhra and Anja.

Comments about the Circle Dance Workshop led at Rowe Conference Center November 2006
by Sarah Pirtle, Ellen Kennedy, Rowan, and Lucia Wilson

“What I like about circle dancing is I don’t have to create movements. I don’t need to look cool. It is clearly structured. Many circle dances have steps so simple that I can get them quickly enough to be able to join in the dance. In many circle dances, people in the circle hold hands and even when I lose track of the steps I get pulled along in the right direction and can soon get back with it.

Sarah, on the spur of the moment, got us to do hand dancing to Hindu music. I’ve never done anything like that. I was able to do it! To have my hands and arms making graceful movements. Then she said, “Let’s mirror.” Each of us created and did a hand dance, then everyone copied it. Then we’d pass to the next person, and they’d create one.

Sarah did something similar outside too, sending us into the surrounding grounds to find some movement given us by the trees or sky or wind or plants. So I had the experience of being able to create dance, which I had not expected. What a gift!”

 — Jim Shipsky