Historic Notes by Toní Intravaia

ToniFrom the Sacred Dance Guild Newsletter, Volume I, Fall 1958

I Demand of the Dance by Jean Miller: “I demand of the Dance—more than any of the other arts—that it reveals the God in man. Not merely the scientific and beautiful forms that his body can be made to assume, but the very divine self…”

From the Sacred Dance Guild Journal, Volume 15, Winter 1973

Dance in Religion by Elizabeth R. Hayes: “The twentieth century has also brought a
resurgence of interest in the use of dance in religion…At first, however, congregations
were reluctant to accept this form of religious expression…Sacred-dance activities have
two basic objectives: the spiritual and artistic development of the individual participant
and the communication of spiritual experiences…”

From the Sacred Dance Guild Journal, Volume 21, Spring 1979

Sacred Dance Keeping in Step by Karen Miller: “Sacred Dance Choirs do not perform;
‘they give a presentation in worship’…The very first form of communication was the rough
gestures of the cave man. Those gestures became refined over the ages, and worshipping
with movement and gesture is part of both the Jewish and Christian traditions. What we
consider traditional worship—sitting stone-faced in a pew—is not traditional worship.
It was the congregation moving, walking, joining hands and circling to hymns, and
processing in and out of the sanctuary together…”

From the Sacred Dance Guild Journal, Volume 30, Fall 1987

Liturgy as Dance by Sylvia B. Bryant: “’Praise him with trumpet sound; Praise him with lute
and harp! Praise him with timbrel and dance;…Let everything that breathes praise the
Lord!’ (Psalm 150) The psalmist makes it clear that the worship and praise of God is not
limited to a specific expression or medium, but involves the totality of one’s experience
and being. God responds to both the physical and spiritual offerings of people to the creator.
Thus, worship of God can take place through many and varied expressions…Dance,
the oldest of the art forms, provides an excellent entrance into the worship experience.
The tremendous symbolism and the fusion of body and spirit evoke a meaningful worship
experience…A careful analysis of primitive religions indicates that man’s first act of worship
was not a spoken word or the sound of a musical instrument, but a symbolic gesture
expressing a mood of joy or thanksgiving to God…”


Wife, mother of three, grandmother of three. Web developer, amateur photographer, kayaker, dancer.

Posted in Art, Body Prayer, Dance, Historic Notes, Liturgical dance, Religious dance, Sacred Dance

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