Registration opens for the Long Dance in December
January 12-15, 2025
"In the Long Dance of life. . . every step forward awakens three opportunities for the human: one: placement in eternity,
two: purification of past forms,
and three: new opportunities for adventure; for in the instance of eternal time the new always refreshes and cleanses."
-Beautiful Painted Arrow
(Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, is a mystic, visionary, poet, and artist of Southern Ute and Picuris Pueblo decent who has taken his teaching around the world. Pursuing a vision that he experienced many years ago, Joseph inspired the development of some 60 Peace Sound Chambers all over the globe. The Long Dance is another of his many visions.)
Are you tired of fighting with what seems to be your fate? Or maybe you have a vision and would like help manifesting it. The Long Dance is a powerful ceremony for focusing your intention to create your future and then dancing into it. This dance was the vision of Native American elder Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, who chiefed this dance for many years before releasing it to new chiefs upon his retirement, assuring that his powerful gift would continue blessing the People.
The Long Dance takes place inside the Peace Sound Chamber at night, a fertile time to bring forth associations and receive guidance from the subconscious. The dancers begin by moving sunward in a circle around the chamber as the drummers drum in the sacred center, continuing to drum in one long, uninterrupted round throughout the dance. As the beat of the drum reverberates against the walls, the chamber itself becomes a drum, and the dancers feet the drumbeaters. As the dance continues into the night, the dancers go deeper and deeper into a meditative state, dancing their intentions for the future while reflecting on their past.
An integral part of the medicine of this dance is the dancers’ banners. Prior to the dance, each dancer creates a banner through prayer and meditation that reflects his or her past, present, and intentions for the future. Dancers will be given the opportunity to share their banners before the dance and then hang them around the inside walls of the chamber, where they will remain visible throughout the night. Because of the strong connection dancers feel to each other, they may throughout the dance hear the whisper of Spirit speaking in metaphors through fellow dancers’ banners as well as through their own.
After several hours comes a magic point in time when the chiefs stop the dancers in the present for a split of a split of a second before the dancers change directions. As they move moonward for the remainder of the dance, the dancers release their intentions further and further into the creative darkness of the future, allowing Spirit to grow those intentions beyond the dancers’ greatest imaginings.
As they dance their futures into being, dancers may well experience their perceptions of the past changing, as well. This balance between dancing the past and dancing the future allows the dancers to be carried beyond their initial intentions, which continue to evolve through Spirit’s grace even after the dance.
The sacred fire that continuously burns outside the chamber during the ceremony is energetically connected to the heart of each dancer. The fire not only transmutes whatever the dancers energetically discard that no longer serves them, but it also transmutes the present moment into the next moment, a split of a split of a split of a second at a time.
When the drum finally stops, the dancers prepare their spaces and sleep in the chamber until morning. This dreamtime is an important incubation period when the dancers will continue to work on manifesting their visions for the future as they sleep. In the morning, everyone shares a feast before the dance is officially ended. The feast is a time of celebration and fellowship, but it is also an important opportunity for the dancers to physically ground themselves in the medicine of the dance as they nourish their bodies after fasting all night.
Feel free to get in touch with the dance chiefs, Colby McLemore and Katy Koontz, for more information. Colby can be reached at 865-924-1455. Katy can be reached at 865-660-2775 or via e-mail at long.dance@CenterForPeace.us.
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. Please plan to arrive by then so that you will have plenty of time to register, make prayer ties, get ready for the purification ceremony, 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:
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!
The contribution for the Long Dance is $150. If you are not able to donate “green energy,” we invite you to discuss with us how you might donate your time or services to the Center as your energy exchange. No dancer is ever turned away for financial reasons.
Copyright © 2024 Center For Peace - All Rights Reserved.