There is wisdom in the teaching that for your first four Sun-Moon dances you should dance in your home community or rather in the one in which you started.  It helps you to get grounded in the beauty of the dance.  When I first started dancing, no one told me about that teaching so of course I started wandering right away.  I’m not sure why, I just felt the need to experience different places and different chiefs. 

Perhaps it was because one day I would become a Sun-Moon Dance Chief.  Over the years I’ve learned so much from going to different dances and experiencing different chiefs.  I learned that the core of a Sun-Moon Dance is the same no matter where you dance but there can and are a lot of differences depending on the chief.

You get shaken out of your crystalized ideas of what is the “right” way to do a dance, and that is a good thing.  Sometimes it’s a pleasant experience and sometimes it isn’t but it’s always valuable if you give yourself the gift of time.  There are some principle ideas that I think are very very important, like the opening ceremony we do, the reverence with which we enter and leave the arbor, the way dancers are protected from any interference or distractions.  There should be the highest integrity possible from everyone who is there, from the chief to the dog soldiers.  The energy with which we approach the arbor and the dancers is surly felt by all and can deeply affect each person.

My first dance was with a chief who in most eyes would have been considered “strict” or “tough” but who suited me to a T, I wanted and needed to be pushed beyond my limits on every level and it was a totally amazing first dance.  My second one was in another country and another language and there was a lot of “love” given the dancers in the form of breaks from the heat, and concern showered on us verbally by the chief.  I thought I would lose my mind because you see……I had already formed an idea of what a dance was supposed to be like!  I still laugh about it, and in looking back am so very grateful for the lessons learned.

It’s like that every single time.  There is almost always something or someone who “bothers” us in a dance but it’s really just our own stuff that is bothering us and this is what we learn over and over in the preciousness of the dance….how to let go of that stuff and to just be in the Divine. 

When you dance only in one place, you can get comfortable in knowing what will happen – how things will go and what you can expect based on past experiences and that might not help you to grow in the way the Sun-Moon dance is intended to help us grow.  The Dance is such a divine experience and it’s a good thing to seek out the divine in other dances and other places.

Categories: Sweetwater