Registration for the Long Dance is not open at this time. It will be opened in August.
January 14 - 15, 2023
"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.
There will be an afternoon orientation, teaching, and sweat lodge on Friday. The Drum Dance and fasting begins immediately after the sweat lodge and ends sometime on Sunday.
Plan to arrive by noon on Friday. If you can arrive early, your help will be needed to prepare for the dance, including sweat lodge preparations, wood splitting, stone and pole gathering, ground preparation, etc. It is important for every dancer to be here for the beginning of the dance.
A food and water fast is recommended for the duration of the dance. Those who have special medical needs and/or who are taking medication may discuss it with the dance chief prior to the dance.
Dancers should bring pre-prepared or easily prepared food to share on the third day for a potluck feast after the dance ends. Bear in mind that the food which you bring for this feast must last for three days before it is eaten. There is limited refrigerator space at the Center for food storage.
During the Dance all dancers will sleep at the dance site, where you may pitch a tent. Silence will be observed for the duration of the dance. Basically, we will be dancing during the sunlight hours, with rest and sleep periods as directed by the dance chief. (The dance chief and the drummers will be provided with sleeping space and meals at the house, if they so desire.)
The rules are few. In the mystical tradition, the dance chief request that there be no alcohol, drugs, pets, visitors, or nudity at any time at the site of the Drum Dance. Please bring appropriate clothing for the sweat lodge (dress or skirts for women, swim trunks or shorts for men). Bringing children is not recommended as it will split your energy and attention. There will be no childcare available at the dance. Once the dance begins, for your safety, you will not be allowed to leave the Drum Dance site without permission.
Weekend Schedule for the Long Dance
Registration: 11 am until noon
Long Dance Preparations
Sharing Medicine Shield Banner
Long Dance (through the night)
Rest Time, after Dance ends
Feasting and sharing
Farewells by approximately noon
11 am to 12 pm Friday
The contribution for the Long Dance is to be determined. 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.
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Saturday, June 3rd
Fire Starts at 10
Wednesday, June 7
Saturday, June 10th
12 noon - 5 pm
Sunday June 11th