Culture Days in Saanich (Sept 29)

photo by Liz Bruce

Dancers Dancing in the Art Gallery

Recently the District of Saanich had a three-day celebration of ”Culture Day’s from Sept 27-29, 2019.  How wonderful to see that Sacred Circle Dancers hosted a dance circle at the art gallery of the Cedar Hell Rec Centre on the final day, Sunday, September 29.

Nov 22 – Diane Schreiner in Ladner

A World Tour of Sacred Circle Dance

with Diane Schreiner

Dances from Brazil to Greece! We will travel the world of Sacred Circle Dance as Diane shares some of her favourite dances that she learned this year during her dance travels to Findhorn, Ireland, and Greece.

DATE:  Friday evening, November 22, 7:00-9:00 PM

RSVP:  If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to  circledanceladner(at)gmail(dot)com

LOCATION:  Delta Community Music School, McKee Heritage House, 4705 Arthur Drive, Ladner, (Access: side door at the top of the ramp on the side of the building on 47th Ave.)

GUEST FACILITATOR:  Diane Schreiner from Quebec.

Since 2014, I have been studying with internationally known circle dance teachers, most closely with June Watts and Bobbi Bailin.  In March 2019, I completed a 2 year intensive training in women’s traditional ritual dance with Laura Shannon in Victoria, BC. Afterwards I attended Laura’s traditional Greek dance seminar in Lesvos Greece. These traditional dances are an integral part of my spiritual practice and a link to my genetic lineages. 

In April and beginning of May I attended a traditional dance seminar in Lesvos, Greece taught by Laura Shannon. In May I danced with June watts in the Laurentian mountains in Québec   In July, it was a special privilege to spend time with Anna Barton at the Findhorn, Scotland Dance Festival and also to learn Brazilian dances with special guest teacher Renata Ramos. In August, I completed an intensive training with master dance teacher Friedel Kloke, who connects dance to sacred numerology and geometry.  Most recently, in September, I danced with Bobbi Bailin in Quebec.”

COST:   By donation ($15 suggested minimum)

WEAR: Comfortable clothing and comfortable, soft soled shoes.  For the comfort of fellow dancers please refrain from wearing fragrances.

BRING:  Please bring your own mug or water bottle.

CIRCLE DANCE:  In Circle Dance we use dances from around the world and from all traditions, sacred and secular, serious and lighthearted to celebrate community, the earth, each other, and the simple joy of living.  All dances are taught and easy to learn.  New dancers are always welcome, with or without any previous dance experience.  No partner is needed as we all join the circle together.

Dance is a meditation in movement, a walking into the silence, where every movement becomes prayer…” – Bernhard Wosien

Nov 2 – Day of the Dead Dance in Ladner with Marta Fraser

photo:  Google images

*NOTE: Event is full but waitlist names are accepted*

Marta Fraser invites you to come and dance to celebrate this special day, to honor and remember a deceased family member.  Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Mexico.  Its origin dates back thousands of years to the Aztec and Toltec cultures when Death was a natural phase in Life’s arc and the deceased were still part of the community returning once a year to Earth to feast with the family.  It was a month-long summer celebration overseen by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Dead.    

Nowadays, Day of the Dead is celebrated on Nov 2nd to coincide with the Christian celebration of All Souls Day.  The Mexican celebration is an ancient life affirming celebration to show love and respect for the deceased family members.  A common custom is to prepare an “ofrenda” which is an altar decorated with candles and flowers, pictures of the deceased and laden with their favorite food, as well as “sugar skulls” and “pan de muerto”, a specialty sweet bread which is decorated with dough in the form of bones.  In rural areas, the cemeteries become a gathering place to pray, eat, drink, play music and in general welcome the spirits back home with a trail of flower petals.

*If you wish, please bring a photo and/or a small memento of a dear one for our “ofrenda” and dress in a way that reminds you of your departed loved one.

Date:   Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time:   Gathering after 6:00; dancing 6:30 ~ 9:00 followed by refreshments.
Place:   Celebration Hall, Ladner United Church, 4960 48th Ave, Delta
Cost:    Minimum $25 donation
RSVP:  asap so we know interest and have time to prepare special food
Wear:   Comfortable clothing (perhaps something that reminds you of your departed loved one) and comfortable, soft soled shoes.  Please refrain from wearing fragrances.
Bring:  Please bring your own mug or water bottle and if you wish, a photo or momento of a deceased family member for the “ofrenda”.

Dance Facilitator Marta Fraser:   Marta grew up in Mexico City and still keeps her connection with her country and culture.  Marta’s love for dance continues to nourish her zest for life, guiding her on a path of travel and discovery of new places and dances.  She is currently a co-leader of the Victoria Dance Circle in BC and Circulo de Danzas in LaPaz, BCS, Mexico.

November 2019 – Laura Shannon in Victoria & Ladner


November 2019 – British Columbia, Canada

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.


VICTORIA – November 12th – 6:30-9:30pm

Introduction to Women’s Ritual Dance

  • $25 if registered and paid by October 12th, $30 thereafter
  • women only, with sacred/circle or folk dance experience
  • Friends Meeting House | 1831 Fern St | Victoria
  • victoriadancingcircle(at)gmail(dot)com for registration/information


NEAR VANCOUVER – November 20th – 7:00-9:30pm

Traditional Sacred / Circle Dance

  • by donation from $25 – women and men welcome
  • previous sacred/circle or folk dance experience recommended
  • Ladner United Church – Celebration Hall | 4960 48th Ave | Delta
  • circledanceladner(at)gmail(dot)com for registration/information


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.

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.

Marta’s Dance Holiday in Paros (Greece) June 2019 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)!

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:

Laura Shannon – March 27, 2019/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.

***MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  Laura is facilitating dance evenings in both Victoria (Nov 12) & Ladner (Nov 20).  See posting above for details.  She is also scheduled to share dance Sept 25 & 26, 2020 in Vancouver at UCV (Unitarian Church/Centre of Vancouver). *** 

For more info:

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