Building Connection & Community In The Dance

As we step into Year Two of Dancing From Afar with no clear sign of an in-person dance anytime soon, each and every one of us misses the connection we ordinarily feel in seeing our beloved friends and family at a dance, holding hands around the Tree to speak our intentions, singing the songs of Old that draw the ancestors and Great Mystery right to us. With this deep longing, how do we make the next necessary leap?

The next step beyond Dancing From Afar is Connecting From Afar, to creatively connect with each other in meaningful ways that bridge the gaps no matter where we are. We can repurpose the technology at our fingertips to reimagine a universe as big as our hearts, to dismantle the illusion of time and space. Grandmother Spider is whispering in our ears to weave an expanded web that connects us to our existing friends and family, and she inspires us to expand our circle to other dancers and dance communities. This idea is far more than a Facebook or Instagram. We do this to expand our circle, to inspire ourselves, to energetically nourish ourselves, meet new people, witness revelatory ideas, stay strong, invoke self-empowerment, welcome in serendipity, be forever changed for the good — in short, all the reasons we go to the dance in the first place.

The new Connecting From Afar video, hosted by Clyde Hall, Joan Henry, and Rosette Royale will help explain how this could look, and how each and every one of us could benefit and proactively put the ideas into action TODAY, and as the year plays out. Thank you, NCPC, for sponsoring this new project! 


Connecting From Afar Checklist

  • Reach out to someone you may be thinking about today — email, phone, FaceTime, video greetings, Facebook, Messenger, Marco Polo, Zoom, Instagram, postcard, send cookies! — start with the dancers and elders you know.

  • Put a name or list of names on your altar or in a favorite spot — your prayers and well-wishes have resonance

  • Put up a picture — sometimes a simple glance of a beloved can change your day; sometimes we learn of someone in crisis who needs our daily prayers. NOTE: Keep in mind that in the same way that we obtain  permission to post a prayer request on someone’s behalf, it is important to be sure you have permission from the person whose picture you’d like to place on your altar.  

  • Get together with an elder for a Zoom chat in a group meeting to connect again — it enlivens them as much as you. In our community you will want to respect our tradition by making an offering in advance (by mail these days) with your request for a Zoom chat. LEARN MORE: Learning From The Elders and read the section Seeking Guidance From An Elder

  • Connect with another dance community you have never visited before — one day the inspiration might strike you to reach out. Think about it. How to make the leap?

  • How can one dance community connect with another? — How might one dance community weave together with another? —  A good topic for an upcoming local council meeting…

  • What new ideas are coming up for you as ways to be better connected with your dance family? — We all have a piece of the puzzle. Start by listening within for what might inspire us all.

  • Dig into the website to discover new ideas and to educate yourself — Learn about Dancing From Afar, Words and Songs of Wisdom, explore the many articles in the navigation bar above.

  • Join the Prayer Request List— in service since 2001, you can request to join the Prayer List here.

  • BONUS ROUND: Use what you learn here to reconnect with your biological family who you feel out of touch with —  mother, father, brother, sister, aunties and uncles. It’s so much easier to do it now before they cross over, and your ancestors will be cheering you on!

The next step beyond Dancing From Afar is Connecting From Afar, to creatively connect with each other in meaningful ways that bridge the gaps no matter where we are.


THANK YOU everyone for all your generous NCPC contributions that make it possible for us to sponsor Connecting From Afar and many other worthy projects!

Murray Edelman
Naraya Cultural Preservation Council