May 3rd, 2004
|06:04 pm - It's all about the Dance Guild. . .|
What follows will be recorded as the "conclusion" in the Dance Guild proposal. Please take a look, and comment.
Last March, Narabali and I were talking over instant messenger, and we started to discuss dance and its place in ritual. After a while, we started thinking about its place in Indo-European culture and belief, and how it has been used in many IE practices throughout time. Particularly of interest, I thought, was how ADF doesn't actually address the idea of movement or dance in ritual in any way, even though all festivals and gatherings usually have some kind of dance workshop.
Dance is also an integral part of many ADF members' religious and spiritual practices. As we accept this and attempt to help build the practice for our members, we need to remain mindful of this, or we risk alienating certain members by failing to adequately provide for their spiritual needs. Never before have we avoided attested practices in a modern context, and ADF has always been very good about providing opportunities for the outlet of skill and worship (consider, for example, the Scholar's Guild, which is primarily involved in using skill in studies and research for worship, and not inherently religious itself). Certainly, no other Guild can provide for the needs that a dancer has in ADF, and no Guild offers any training for those who wish to express themselves, not through words, but through actions. Every method of worship and spirituality needs to be considered as valid and useful to us, and our efforts to explore outlets that can bring us closer to our deities (not to mention make our rites more interesting and fun) should be explored. Simply put, the presence of dance and movement at festivals, rites, and in the broader Pagan community shows that there is a strong current toward expression of spirituality through these mediums, and from the number of persons interested, I think that this trend is carried through into ADF, and we need to recognize this.
For a non-dancer like myself, it's interesting to think about why I became involved in the formation of this Guild. Of course, there are people who will tell you that I love to dance, that they've seen me do it time and again, but while this is the case, I do not seek to learn the steps to specific dances, nor do I really care to express my worship through movement and dance. Really, what is important to me is that the people who desire this outlet, who wish to dance in order to please their deities, are able to receive training, discuss their methods, and simply enjoy themselves in worshiping as they see fit.
My hope for this Guild is that it will not only provide this outlet, but that it will help to draw people into ADF who are interested in these forms of worship. I feel that by providing quality workshops, offering training, and opening up new avenues of worship for people who may not have thought about it in this way before, we can truly grow in our religion, helping to make each other more spiritually sound. Keeping with the tradition of the other Guilds, which are designed (in part) to provide training and outlets for worship, as well as to help ADF as a whole grow and change, I think that the Dance guild is a nice fit. Everyone is welcome, for everyone can dance (even if you dance like me) in the joy that is our worship.
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: "Changing Channels", -JB
Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!! You totally rock!
Thank you! I owe my inspiration to you, my bald hottie muse!
btw, I've already made one correction (reducing redundancy, thanks to perlgirlju
I'm all about shaking my muse-ness around. ~growl~
Just send it along when it is to your liking and I shall add it in. (:
Oh baby, shake that muse-y thang! Shake it! Oh yeah!
I think I'll send a final version to the list before I go to class.
That's really good!
I've been plugging through books looking for those tantalizing glimpses of ritual dance in the past. Apparently there is even a mention of ritual or religious dance in Norse Lore... can't wait to track down that one.
Ooh! I'm very interested to see that!
And thanks! It was fun to write. :)
Yaaaay!!! I'm so happy to see this. I'm only a mediocre dancer myself (freeform-- great! step dances-- run for cover!), but had been wondering whether a dancer would be a "Bard" or an "Artisan" in the ADF sceme of things.
I figured that since you can injure yourself if you do it wrong, that would make it an "Art". Bards just inspire other people to injure them if they do a bad job. Or I suppose in the case of the satirists, if they do a good job. ;)
"mediocre" would be *such* a compliment to me. :)
The whole issue with it, and the reason we wanted to do this, is because there's no place for either dance or movement in any other Guild.
Even gesture in ritual isn't picked up *anywhere* in any of ADF's guilds, aside from a simple mention about its importance in some Liturgy Guild documents (but no training, apparently, as it's listed in the 3rd circle Knowledge set as what might be an "other useful skill").
Dance and movement are highly important to ritual, and I don't think we should be ignoring it. Even if I can't do it and would be more likely to smack someone than invoke a deity if I tried.