Leeds U3A The University of the Third Age

The canal gardens, Roundhay

Circle Dancing Group

Dancing in a circle is an ancient tradition common to many cultures for marking special occasions, strengthening community and encouraging togetherness. The circle is probably the oldest known dance formation. It is found even today in the community dances of many cultures, including Greek, African, Eastern European, Israeli, Serbian, Irish Celtic, Breton, Catalan, South American and North American Indian. It is also used, in its more meditative form, in worship within various religious traditions, including, for example, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches and the Islamic Hadra dances.

Modern circle dance mixes traditional folk dances, mainly from European or Near-Eastern sources, with recently choreographed ones to a variety of music both ancient and modern and they draw on a rich and diverse dance tradition. There is also a growing repertoire of new dances to classical music and contemporary songs.

Circle dances can be energetic and lively or gentle and reflective. The style and mood reflects the group and the interests of the teacher. The aim always is to experience the joy of dancing with others and to create a sense of well-being and community. It was Bernhard Wosien who first brought to the Findhorn Community in Scotland the traditional circle dances that he had gathered from across Eastern Europe. He so inspired people there that teachers such as Colin Harrison and David Roberts took the dances (sometimes calling their dance 'sacred circle dance') to other parts of the UK and started regular groups particularly in the south east of England and Somerset, then across Europe, the US and elsewhere until now the network extends also to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America.

The dances we enjoy at Moor Allerton range from European folk dances such as Russian, Greek or Israeli to modern interpretations of popular or classical music.

Our circle dance group in action

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