Historical Notes by Toni ‘Intraviaia, Spring Issue 2011

From the Sacred Dance Guild Newsletter Volume 7, Fall 1962

A Time for Sacred Dance by Ruth Rayton: “Dance, the response of man to life-meanings, is one of the most basic expressions of the total person. Paul Tillich has said, ‘Religion is man’s total response to his creator. The sacred dance choir is one way of interpreting this responTonise in worship. Sacred dance is worship through symbolic movement. A symbol is a reality that has meaning beyond its own existence. Symbolic movements may express adoration, joy, prayer, penitence, anger, despair, or any other mood. A sacred dance choir is concerned with the exploration of movement as an interpretation of religious responses, ideas, moods, and experiences of worship. The dance choir member uses the human body as the instrument of communication, as a language of movement…”

From the Sacred Dance Guild Newsletter Volume 7, Winter, 1963 Emphasis of Israelite Dances by Doug Adams: “This paper has been researched and written to guide others as well as the author in efforts to use dance in the modern world to solve some contemporary problems. That we should turn to dance practices in the Old Testament tradition for guidance in those efforts is because Jews used dance in solving what are now some of society’s chief problems. An emphasis in Israelite dance to divine union was that coming to God included coming together with fellow men.

This emphasis revealed in the fact that one did not dance alone but rather danced in a band or circle with others…”

From the Sacred Dance Guild Journal, Volume 25, Winter, 1983

Fifty Years of Sacred Dance by Margaret Fisk Taylor: “In this year of 1983 we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sacred Dance Guild. Also in 1983 I will celebrate 50 continuous years of my involvement in Sacred Dance plus 75 years of living… A fascinating happening was the bursting forth of isolated sacred dancers across our country! William Norman Guthrie, Rector of St. Marks in the Bowerie, N.Y. sponsored Vesper Services with Sacred Dance (1925-38)…Erika Thimey presented sacred dance choirs for services largely in Unitarian Churches in Chicago (1932), Boston and New York…In 1943 when I was living in Hanover, N.H., I heard of Rev. Robert Storer, pastor of a Unitarian Church in Massachusetts arranged to meet him…Mary Jane Wolbers, trained in Denishawn dance in high school, danced in her Community Church connected with the University of New Hampshire in 1942. Evelyn Broadbent, in Chicago Theological Seminary in1943 wrote her Masters thesis on ‘Dance in Religious Education’… Toni’Intravaia at the University of Michigan choreographed sacred dance in 1943…The time to dance in churches must have arrived and we all answered that call individually and with dedication…”


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

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