What is Circle Dance?"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars. The stars form a circle and in the centre we dance." RUMI
Sylvia Williment is a sacred circle dance teacher in West Yorkshire trained by June Watts. A life long lover of dance, Sylvia was introduced to sacred circle dance by Breda Aherne in 1999. She has since been passionate about sharing its meaning and magic in a joyful and caring environment.
The roots of sacred circle dance lay in our far distant past when dancing in circles or lines was one of the earliest forms of religious expression. The circle is a very ancient universal symbol of wholeness, unity, community and the turning of the year. Throughout history people have met to express these values by dancing in circles, a living tradition that is still found in parts of Europe.
Sacred circle dance as we know it today was brought to Britain by Bernard Wosien, a German ballet master and choreographer. He was born on 19 September 1908, the son of a clergyman. From a very early age he danced folk dances with his family. As a young adult he was introduced to classical ballet and decided, after first studying theology as his father had, to become a dancer. In 1960 he turned wholly to teaching and in the holidays regularly took groups to Greece and Yugoslavia to learn the old European dances in their place of origin. He was fascinated by the sacred quality and the symbolism expressed by the ancient steps and rhythms. However, there was nowhere in Germany where Bernard could develop his ideas of dance being rooted in the community, serving ordinary people in their everyday lives.
In 1976, Bernard met Peter and Eileen Caddy, two of the founders of the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. They felt the need for dance and music at Findhorn and invited him and his family to the community, the first of many visits. He took a number of the old European dances and some of his own choreographies to Findhorn where they struck a chord as a way of building and enhancing the community. He regularly visited Findhorn in following years, combining choreographed dances with traditional folk dances, reflecting his deep understanding of the connection between spirit and movement.
From Findhorn others took the dances to other parts of Britain and the repertoire increased, drawing on traditional dances from Europe, Israel, Russia and Celtic Britain and new choreographies to all kinds of music by many talented dancers and teachers.
The Sacred Circle Dance network has now spread throughout the world. Dances can take on many forms, styles and moods. The aim is to create a sense of well-being and communion with others, inviting a sense of wholeness and sacredness into our lives, moving together in unity, beyond words to that still, silent point within ourselves.
Sacred circle dance is open to all. There are dancers of all ages, no partners are needed as we all join the circle together. New dancers are always welcome, with or without any previous dance experience.