Tapestry of Faith: Faithful Journeys: A Program about Pilgrimages of Faith in Action for Grades 2-3

Activity 2: Move It! Spiral Dance

Activity time: 8 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Leader Resource 2.
  • If possible, invite a pagan in your congregation to lead the spiral dance. You may wish to ask your minister or director of religious education to suggest someone who could lead the dance.
  • Obtain a variety of percussion instruments. Or, choose simple, instrumental dance music that suggests a harvest celebration, and obtain music player.
  • Create a wide open space without chairs or other furniture, for a standing circle.

Description of Activity

Have group stand in a circle. Explain that a spiral dance is often used to raise energy during pagan rituals and festivals.

Introduce any guest(s) who will lead the spiral dance and invite them to briefly tell when, where, and why they have done this dance before.

Ask volunteers to distribute percussion instruments or to control the music player. Lead the dance.

When you have finished the spiral dance but are still holding hands gathered in the center of the circle, say something like:

Can you feel any energy? Imagine that the energy we just raised is flowing like light through our circle. We are going to take that energy and throw it into the air for peace.

Tell children you will count to three, and when you reach "three" they may raise their arms into the air (still holding hands) and imagine peace flowing like light from your circle into the world. Lead the group in chanting, "Peace, peace, peace ... " Start the chant at normal volume, get slowly louder, and then get slowly quieter, allowing the sound to fade away altogether. Close by saying, "Blessed be."

While still in a circle, briefly ask:

  • Did you feel any special energy when we were dancing or when we were chanting for peace? What did it feel like?
  • Could you imagine peace flowing into the world? What did that feel like?

End the activity by saying something like:

Many Unitarian Universalists believe that we can change the world when we send energy for good things. Pagans call this "magic."

Including All Participants

A child with limited mobility may be able to participate in the spiral dance. Make sure there is adequate floor space for wheelchair/crutches to execute the turns, and guide the entire group to dance slowly. Or, give a child who cannot participate in the dancing a role in leading the activity, such as controlling the music player.