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Dance Information for the 2014 Long Dance

Please read over this information, even if you have danced at the Center before.

Registration for the dance will be held from 11 am to noon on Saturday, December 6. Please plan to arrive by then so that you will have plenty of time to register, make prayer ties, get ready for the sweat lodge, participate in the banner sharing, and help with the preparations for the dance. (If you are unable to arrive on time, please contact the dance chiefs in advance; see contact information below.)

Dancers should plan to wear layered clothing because even though the dance is held in the chamber, the temperature can vary. We will have a fire in the wood stove, and sometimes the chamber doors may be open for ventilation.

Dancers are asked not to wear bells or bring rattles or use anything else that makes noise during the dance.

Please bring the following items:

Medicine Shield Banner
  • A 2’ x 4’ cloth banner of any color and decorated in any manner of your choice that will depict where you have come from (spiritually), where you are now, and where you would like to be (your goal for this dance).
  • Material for making prayer ties (including small squares of 100 percent cotton cloth in the colors of the directions, cotton string, and tobacco).
  • Breakfast-type food to share for the feast on Sunday morning, such as fruit, juice, yogurt, sweet rolls, bread, or any type of prepared breakfast casserole (although not anything that will take a lot of preparation by the kitchen staff). Please note that we are usually overwhelmed with bread items.
  • An item for the giveaway following the feast. This is traditionally something that has meaning for you personally, or it may be an item that is no longer useful to you but will be useful for someone else. Please do not wrap the item.
  • A 3” x 4” or 3” x 6” pillar-type unscented candle to be used to light the chamber. We will not be using oil lamps. Good quality candles are appreciated; please make sure your candle does not drip.
  • A sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and pillow for sleeping in the chamber following the dance (which will end sometime in the wee hours of the morning) and before the feast. The chamber should remain heated throughout the night by the woodstove. Please plan to stay on the Center property until the feast, sharing, and giveaway are over.
  • Clothes and towels for the sweat lodge prior to the dance, in addition to your clothes for dancing. Clothes for both the sweat lodge and the dance should be modest, covering the shoulders. Women traditionally wear skirts. Make sure the shoes you choose to dance in are comfortable. Dancing in socks is not recommended since they can easily slip on the wooden floor of the chamber.
  • Items to honor and thank the people who are supporting you, including the fire keepers, drummers, and kitchen angels. Suggestions for these gifts, which are traditional but not required, include tobacco, candles, or other small offerings of your choosing.
  • Because space will be limited in the chamber during the dance, please keep what you plan to take into the chamber at a minimum-preferably not more than will fit into a tote bag. If requested, a basic plastic chair will be provided for you, but if you want to bring your own chair, feel free to bring it as long as it doesn’t take up any more space. All bedding must be left in your car until after the dance. Food and drink will not be permitted inside the chamber. Fasting is recommended throughout the dance. If you have any special needs that would prevent you from fasting, please discuss these with the chiefs ahead of time.

    Please note that cars will be parked in the meadow prior to the dance. No cars will be parked at the chamber with the exception of the vehicle carrying the drum and vehicles for the handicapped (if any).

    In the mystical tradition, the dance chiefs request that there be no alcohol, recreational drugs, pets, visitors, or nudity at any time at the site of the dance. (If you need to take prescription medication, please alert the chiefs ahead of time.) Please do not bring children, as this will divide your energy and attention. There will be no childcare available.

    All dancers age 12 and above are welcome. Possible exceptions may be made for dancers younger than 12, depending upon the chiefs’ personal experience with the children and/or the children’s experience at the Center around ceremony. Parents must discuss this with the chiefs well ahead of time.

    Contact the dance chiefs if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at the dance!

    Colby can be reached at 865-924-1455. Katy can be reached at 865-693-9845 or via e-mail at