Brant Bambery

The UK has now been in the Covid situation for 7 months now and it has been a mixed bag of emotions and learning. I have really enjoyed online dancing, it has great to be connected. This month we have been able to have some in person small groups social distance dance sessions which has been welcomed 🙂

From the moment I open the door and take off my shoes at the door I have a breath and present myself to the space. Once in the room I always get my kit out of my bag, this includes things like a tablet and backup sound, I always take a backup just in case. 

It came to my attention when I was asked in my online class “Why do you wear dancing shoes in your house? And what kind of dance shoes do you use?” Well I really feel that my dance life is like a ritual and so putting on the shoes and getting myself ready is part of that process. The question raised a lot of answers in my mind which got me thinking of what happens when I start to do a session. So when I take part in a Wednesday night session, usually in the Universal Hall or Cluny Ballroom, I always arrive at least half an hour early and have my little ritual which I love and do on autopilot.

At a session I love my table with the books and information for upcoming events. It is nice to look presentable! Getting the room the right temperature is always fun in Scotland depending on where we are and also checking the floor has been brushed. Then it is time to make sure the music is ready and put my shoes on… This is when I rest, breathing and enjoying the moment, it is a sacred ritual for me and the dance shoes are an important part, when I first started out in Sacred Dance I tried many brands and actually still have different styles of dance shoes for different occasions, but I always go back to the same pair as they serve a few purposes.

So in talking about dance shoes, I’ve decided to write about them as I have a few people every month who ask me what shoes to buy and who sells them.

Bloch split soles

My top shoes are as follows:

1Bloch 495 Neo-Flex Slip On Jazz Shoe – Various Colours

2BLOCH 538 Black Boost Dance Sneaker

I have talked with other teachers and it seems these also come highly recommended by female teachers:

1 – Capezio womens Pure Knit Jazz Shoe (CG31W)

2 – Capezio Womens E Series Jazz Slip On Economy Jazz Slip on

3 – Thistle Shoes Scotland GLENALMOND Scottish Highland Dance Ghillie Pumps Arch Lasted NEOENE Insole

There is a lot of choice but it is important to get the right fit for sacred dance as it can help with the flow of the dance and sometimes prevents injury. My favourite shop is in Edinburgh and it is called Dancewear it is a small shop filled to the brim with shoes and dance wear! I was surprised when the gentleman who works there just looked at my feet and got the right size within moments 🙂 such a wide choice in this shop. If you are ever in Edinburgh, it is on Rose Street in the city centre. I always feel better to go to a shop rather than online for your first pair as it makes it easier to get the right fit. There are many YouTube videos which can help you get the right kind for your body shape too. I hope this answers some of the questions I have been asked.

This month has been an interesting one with our session 9 and 10 being completed. We had a wonderful bit of poetry from Stefan Freedman and live music from Micheal McGahon with Derrie’s new dance. I adored the Lesley Laslett Isolation dance! It gave me a sense of power in isolation!

We also had a Findhorn Special with teachers teaching dance from the Findhorn repertoire, some of which are variations of known dances, which are used in the group session in the Findhorn community. It was fun to work with my friends on this and bring a special night for the 10th session.

Watch out for the next session 11 “Reaching for the Heavens” we have special guest Kathy Bullock a friend of the Findhorn community who has held workshops here and I have experienced her workshop too. Fantastic and inspirational voice, see her in the universal hall here. She will perform a song for us in place of a poetry piece. We also have many other teachers including Barbara Swetina teaching dances to reach to the heavens.

Now we are starting to use the community’s Dancing Green to dance which has been nice to enjoy with others while socially distanced. It really brings home to me what dancing with others means for me. Due to darker evenings, our Wednesday dance has moved to Saturday morning. We still get to dance so that is ok with me 🙂

Our Tuesday group has been enjoying outside dancing but due to the new restrictions has to go back to online Zoom and fortnightly in the Sunshine Room using government guidelines. Everyone has been supportive in the changing circumstances and we are taking it week by week. 

I was in Edinburgh for a few days to see family, it was so nice to see them after all the isolation!

I have been enjoying walks in Nairn and other local places, it is so essential in these times to get out and walk, breath and stretch. I feel my mind at its calmest when near the river and walking in the forest. 

I hope you are all well and healthy



PS Watch out for my live streaming of #Weewalks on Facebook

Our Findhorn Sacred Dance Group had our Equinox 2020 circle of dances out on the green! see featured picture of Katharina’s centrepiece which had many harvest fruits from local farms yummy 🙂