Victoria Circle Dance Update – Barbara Herring’s July Visit/August Outdoor Dancing

BARBARA HERRING from Ontario was recently in Victoria and facilitated a day of dance on July 14 at the CorUnum yurt entitled ‘My Favourite Dances’.

Photos above from Chris McCarthy – Thanks Chris!


During August the Friends Meeting House is closed to rentals so there will be OUTDOOR dancing in AUGUST on the following dates at a park in Gordon Head, early evening time to be determined.

For detail please contact:  jotifra(at)gmail(dot)com



*For details on Victoria’s regular dance schedule (and all other BC Circle Dance locations) please see our ‘Where To Dance’ page* 

A Dance Holiday in Paros (Greece)

Marta’s June 2019 Paros, Greece Dance Experience with Stefan & Bethan Freedman

It was around 2007, at my first Mexican Dance camp in Ahuatepec, Morelos that I first heard of Stefan and Bethan’s choreography “Sailing to Paros”, and found out about their yearly dance holiday to that Aegean Island.  I loved their dance and the idea seemed so appealing, so enticing…  well, it took me twelve years but finally this past June I was able to go and be part of this year’s group, mostly from the UK, a pair from Belgium, and two of us from Canada.

The setting is perfect!  A lovely secluded hotel in Paros with all the amenities, including a dance studio, complete with mirrors and a suspended wooden floor! We had morning dance sessions, free afternoons to relax, explore, or swim; went on organized visits to nearby villages, had delicious food, and conviviality!

One of my happiest memories was an early morning dance on the beach, smelling the sea and feeling the gentle breeze on the skin!  It took “Morning Glory Sun” to a whole different level!  I highly recommend this holiday but act quickly, the holiday retreat accepts a limited number of participants and there are many dancers that return every year!

MARTa  from Victoria, BC   jotifra(at)gmail(dot)com 

*STEFAN & BETHAN will be offering an upcoming weekend of dance OCT 18-21 in CALIFORNIA (see post below) – closer than Paros, Greece or Ispwich, England (where they live)!

LAURA SHANNON – NOVEMBER 2019 DATES (Mark your calendars!)

*Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS as Laura Shannon will be facilitating 2 evenings of dance in November in BC.  In between these dates below Laura will be facilitating a reunion of the participants who were in her 2017-2019 2 year Women’s Ritual Dance Training in Nanaimo.


November 2019
With Laura Shannon from Findhorn, Scotland
sharing Greek, Balkan and Armenian dances
which embody an ancient worldview of sustainability,
community, and reverence for the earth.



*Women only, with Sacred/Circle or Folk dance experience


*Previous Sacred/Circle or Folk dance experience recommended


These dances are simple yet powerful, and rich in meaning.  Coming from cultures which have survived many periods of transition, they help us reconnect with ourselves, each other, and the cycles of life.

***REGISTRATION DETAILS IN SEPTEMBER –  Please check back for locations & more details!


LAURA SHANNON holds an honours degree in Intercultural Studies (1986) and a postgraduate diploma in Dance Movement Therapy (1990), was trained in Sacred Dance at the Findhorn Foundation in 1987 and has been a faculty member of the Sacred Dance Department there since 1998. She has been researching and teaching traditional folk dances for over thirty years throughout Europe and North America, specializing in Armenian, Greek, Balkan, and Romani (Gypsy) dances, as well as women’s dances, ritual dances and three-measure dances. Laura sees these dances as an ancient mystery school, transmitting information encoded in symbols such as the circle, spiral, zigzag, crescent, and Tree of Life, with roots in the Neolithic civilization of Old Europe which honoured the Goddess.

World Circle Dance Day (July 7) at UCV

On July 7 at the Unitarian Centre in Vancouver (UCV) there were 12 dancers who danced in honour of World (Sacred) Circle Dance Day.

We danced the 3 ‘link-up’ dances:  Pilgrim’s Dance, Tread Gently and Offering Govand (Trad. Armenian) as well as a couple of others and repeated dances to get them more in our bodies and go deeper in to the dance.  It was a beautiful afternoon of dance and knowing dancers from all around the world were dancing on the same day made it even more special!

For more info about World (Sacred) Circle Dance Day and many other Circle Dance locations throughout the world:

Circle Dance with Earth Spirit Ritual (Last Tues in Summer at UCV)

photo by Jen Boyes-Manseau


NEW: Earth Spirit ritual and Circle Dance

Mairy and Mary are offering a Summertime Circle Dance with pagan ritual on the last Tuesday of July and August


Tuesday, July 30 & Tuesday, August 27

7:00-9:00 pm

UCV (Unitarian Centre of Vancouver)

949 W 49th


For more details contact Mary at
RSVP appreciated but not required.
All dance and earth spirit events at UCV listed here:


Laura Shannon – Wonderful Evening on March 27 in Ladner

Laura Shannon facilitating our dance evening in Ladner March 27
It was a full house (make that church!) at Ladner United for a wonderful evening of dance.  Laura shared dances from Greece, the Balkans and Armenia.  Most of the dances were ‘new’, even for the dancers who just completed her 2 year Women’s Ritual Dance training program in Nanaimo a few days earlier.  Of course these dances are in fact not new dances but traditional ones that carry the ancient wisdom of our dancing grandmothers.  Laura provided just enough repetition and progressions to make the evening interesting and enjoyable for all and it was clear by her amazing teaching skills why she one of the most sought after Circle Dance facilitators in the world.

*UPDATE (July 2019) Laura WILL be facilitating evening of dance this November (2019) in both LADNER & VICTORIA.  Stay tuned for more info!  

She’s scheduled to share dance in 2020 at UCV (Unitarian Church/Centre of Vancouver) Sept 25 & 26.  Mark your calendars!

Laura Shannon is one of the ‘grandmothers’ of the worldwide Sacred / Circle dance movement, with over 30 years of experience researching and teaching. Her particular focus is on the oldest traditional circle dances of Greece, the Balkans and Armenia. These dances are simple yet powerful and rich in meaning. They embody an ancient worldview of sustainability, community, and reverence for the earth, and help us reconnect with ourselves, each other, and the cycles of life. Coming from cultures which have survived many periods of transition, these dances can wisely and joyfully guide us through our own life changes.

Dance Down Memory Lane (mid 90’s with June Watts)

Recently Louise Taylor unearthed some photos from the 1st danceshop with June Watts at Corunum Yurt (just outside Victoria).  Betsy scanned them for our website and June wrote Betsy mentioning she thought they were either from 1994 or 1995.  This was before the walls were put up and June mentioned in an email to Betsy that she loved the yurt with no walls and felt ‘walled-in’ when dancing the following year!  June has been offering Circle Dance ‘dance’ shops in Western Canada since 1987!

The Experience of Meaning in Circle Dance

Below is an excerpt from an abstract published April 2016 in the Journal of Occupational Science

Sense of Security & Stability

One respondent (F32), who had been involved for 14 years, remarked how her local circle dance group represented an “anchor-point”, providing a sense of security and stability. Knowing that she could always attend the group due to its regular frequency (weekly), time and venue, allowed her to regard circle dance asa sanctuary”, a constant occupation in her life, a space she could always rely on, with her circle dance friends there to help her in any circumstance. Another participant (F14) also realized this occupation had been specifically helpful during difficult periods in her life, mentioning the relevance of preserving circle dance in her routine and having the freedom to attend or return to it whenever necessary.!po=5.38462