Sacred Mystical Dance Worldwide
Sufi whirling, what we sometimes refer to as whirling
dervishes, is a meditation practice performed within a worship
ceremony. The aim is for the dancers to reach the source of all
perfection through focusing on God while listening to music and
spinning their bodies in repetitive circles. Dervishes are considered
instruments of God that can direct or retain the divine power that
enters them as a result of the dance.
Native American sacred dance includes a
large repertoire. The Ghost Dance, for example, celebrates the
regeneration of earth and acknowledges the spiritual reward of
the earth’s caretakers upon their death (a carefree, exalted state of
being). The Sun Dance symbolizes the eternal continuity of life and
involves fasting, praying, and personal sacrifice. The Hoop Dance
is a storytelling dance that uses up to 40 hoops combined in
Hawaiian Mele Ha’a recounts ancestral relationships
between the people, the universe, gods, and the earth. The
elements of fire, water, light, and spirit depict reliance on Source
and other humans for sustenance, healing, and guidance.
Sacred Tibetan or Cham Dance is an ancient dance
tradition of the Balinese people in Indonesia that gives moral
instruction on compassion. This dance is a form of meditation and
an offering to the gods. Buddhist festivals offer this dance with
monks playing traditional music on traditional instruments.
Sanghyang Dedari is another Balinese sacred dance. This
one is connected to a Hindu ritual. It invokes hyang spirits, which are
believed to possess the dancers (prepubescent girls), putting them
into a trance state.