April & May 2020

Welcome to my Blog and this comes at a sad time indeed for the Sacred / Circle / Traditional Dance community globally due to the Covid-19 situation. As we shift through a period of not being able to connect in person it has been a bit of a whirlwind over here in the Forres / Findhorn area trying to organise the community to allow for meetings in alternative ways. I am amazed at the resilience of peoples’ creative spirit which is making things happen as meetings and dancing online takes off.

Our Tuesday Findhorn Sacred Dance group is now meeting online in our Zoom meeting room. I am glad this has happened as we haven’t had a break and continue the circle (even if it is in a different format) 

Our other news was that our beloved Anna Barton passed away on Good Friday 10 April 2020.

I was very aware how ill Anna had become as I had been visiting her every week. I will remember her for our chats about all manner of subjects from faith to dance to how to make the best cup of tea 🙂 We chatted about art and how therapy like music can keep you alive and Anna kept her music passion alive until the end. She attended Bill Henersons “Elastic Band” with passion where and she played percussion up until last month. I’ve been attending the odd time to listen and dance or just wait for my partner who plays the tin whistle. Anna was very passionate about music and dance and told me to keep her up to date as she liked to hear what was happening on the dance circuit. Her passion for dance was still present the week before her passing when we chatted on the phone. I am so grateful to have known her as a friend, I will miss her very much. I have a fond memory of her looking at me and saying “so now we are friends”. When I first arrived in the area I was very shy as I had come to Findhorn for the dance but also to heal which I did. I got to know Anna as a friend through meeting her when she was out walking around the park then in the dance circle. I never knew what a legacy she held until the last few years. 

My first chat with her was in the Universal Hall foyer during the Winter Gathering, I was such a newbie, and this woman just started chatting to me. I knew she was special right away as she had a glint in her eye which told me so, I introduced myself as someone who came to Findhorn to dance. I didn’t realise at first that it was Anna Barton well she gave a chuckle and said “is that so”,  after that we had a long chat about coming to the community and life. She had said “come and see me”. I honestly never even knew she stayed at the park but found out when I chatted on Pineridge with her out on her walks. It took me quite a while to pluck up the courage to visit and chat as I found it difficult with most people at the time (part of my healing)

I am so glad I did as I met the most wonderful people and Anna is one of them. She was very sweet and fun, I found a down to earth person with extraordinary humour. I loved talking with her weekly and have felt a huge loss to my circle of friends. 

Other news this month is that daily isolation walks are taking place. I feel quite lucky as we have The River Findhorn nearby. Like everyone I am taking covid-19 seriously but also keeping distance from reading too much news as it can affect my mood. My family were supposed to be visiting at Easter but alas this didn’t happen, which is sad but as long as everyone is safe!

The Sacred Dance festival has been cancelled alongside my personal workshops, I am amazed! It was quite hard to let my first full Edinburgh workshop go but I will be able to reschedule in the future. We are very lucky to have the internet though as lots has been happening.

On a positive note my unexpected and successful “The Centrepiece” sessions have been a very big success and have been attended by over 250 folk at 2 of them, I was expecting 10 of us to have a dance together! This venture was put out as an experiment but has quickly gained traction. So many people want to connect from around the world and it was fun to bring it together. I hope to keep it running every two or three weeks until after the isolation period. I then hope it could become a global meeting place in the future, giving teachers a chance to share what they do in Sacred Dance. We have been lucky enough to receive financial contributions to further keep the sessions going for the next few months (hugs and gratitude to all who contributed, we could not have done it without your help) This will allow us up to 500 people per session.

So far we’ve had some great names come and connect with us, it has really inspired lots of lovely comments from you all which I always love to receive.

Big thanks to the The Centrepiece team and also all the teachers for bringing this project to life, we hope it provides enjoyment to everyone at this time.

The Centrepiece Session 3 was so exciting. This session we had Bobbi Bailin , Findhorn outreach teacher Yvonne Cuneo and Chrisnadra Harris who was going to be teaching at The Sacred Dance Festival (hopefully we will have her next year!) And last minute special guest talker Gabriele Wosien – it was wonderful to get her connected with all you dancers out there. She has expressed delight in attending and talking to you 🙂 – links to her book here.

And my other delight for all you dancers out there, we will have Renata Ramos joining us on the Centrepiece Session 4 teaching a dance, we are so happy we could connect with her. I hope that everyone will come and dance with myself and co-host Katharina Kroeber.

Join here. 

I hope everyone is well and keeping healthy.