What we're about

Join us for an evening of simple folk dances in a welcoming atmosphere. We do dances from lively to meditational, some traditional and some newly-choreographed. We dance in a circle, so no partners are needed. We teach each dance before we do it, so no dance experience is required. For many, this is an opportunity for relaxation, joy, growth, awareness, and healing. We dance on the second Sunday and the fourth Friday evening of every month at the beautiful Hillside Urban Sanctuary, overlooking the Bay from the El Cerrito hills.

Here are four ways that circle dancing is like folk dancing

1. Our repertoire of more than 1,000 dances includes many that are also done in international folk groups (from the Balkans, Israel, Scotland, Canada, Latin America, the U.S., and dozens of other places).

2. Most sessions are planned by the teachers, based in part on requests from dancers.

3. We use many of the same recordings of the music.

4. It’s a lot of fun; it’s healthy, and learning dances is said to be a great anti-Alzheimers activity

Here are four ways that circle dancing is different from folk dancing

1. We’re a responsive community. If someone is having a challenging or a happy time, we may choose dances to reflect this.

2. Don’t worry, be happy. We are not sticklers for getting the steps exactly right. “There are no mistakes, only variations.”

3. We’re gender neutral. We pay no attention to “male” and “female” roles, or “leaders and “followers.” Anyone can do anything.

4. We create an atmosphere. We dance around a center: fresh flowers, beeswax candles, crystals, etc. Good wooden floor; no fluorescent lights. At the end of a dance, we “hold the circle’ in silence for a few moments. And we end each evening with a meditative or ‘farewell’ dance with lowered lights.

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