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INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ELM DANCE, as Evolved in Solidarity Among Environmental Activists

Circle up with plenty of room to move, holding hands. If the numbers are too great to form a single circle, make concentric circles with about one large step of distance between them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ELM DANCE, as Evolved in Solidarity Among Environmental Activists

It does not matter when in the music you begin the dance, except to start on a beat. The dance consists of four beats of movement, alternating with four beats of swaying in place. When swaying in place, imagine that you can feel the energy from the heart of the Earth spiraling up through the floor into your body. When the energy reaches the heart chakra, send it out for the healing of the elms and all beings. This is an act of intention. Anastasia Geng who created the dance from the Latvian song, said the purpose of the dance is for building strong intention.

The circle moves counter clock-wise (to the right). Always begin with the right foot. Start by taking four steps backward (to the right). After four beats of swaying in place, the next four steps are facing forward, still moving counter clock-wise. Then, after the next four beats of swaying in place, move four steps toward the center of the circle, raising your arms high and unlinking hands so they can wave like boughs of a tree. Remember to sway for four beats, then move four steps back from the center and continue in this fashion until the music breaks midway. In the silence before the music resumes, the leader reminds the dancers that throughout the second half of the dance they can call out by name those parts of our world – beings, places, institutions – for which they desire healing.