Interview with Wim de Heij / NL

Interview with Wim de Heij / NL

Wim de Weij lives in the Netherlands and dances regularly in the dance group at Jeaneth de Witte’s in Enschede/NL.

What was your first encounter with Sacred Dance?

I first came into contact with Sacred Dance in 1991. Das war bei Ankh Brandt in Breda. It was a large group where, to my great relief, my clumsiness was not noticed immediately. Ankh used to say: there are no mistakes, only variations…. Nice thought, but I couldn’t just ignore that. And yet it was that in what was a hectic time for me, the music to the movement suddenly skipped my mind and immediately touched my heart. A great emotion flowed through me and all I could do was stop. I was very happy and grateful that this happened to me. That actually became the beginning.

2. What does Sacred Dance mean to you?

Sacred Dance has helped me a lot to get in touch with my feelings and my inner being. The dance is always a kind of drop that softens my being and enriches me. The contact with other dancers also contributes to this.

3. Has Sacred Dance changed something in your life?

It is difficult to say. When I look back on my life, Sacred Dance has always influenced me I also had phases where I felt it was too soft and feminine for me as a man. Apparently, my inner self then wanted other things to occupy itself with. But the funny thing is that over time I started to miss the dance and I wanted to reconnect with a group.

4.Do you have a poem, a quote or an image that particularly speaks to you that you would like to share?

Yes, a quote from Sri Aurobindo:

“I become what I see in myself. Anything that thought suggests I do, I can do; anything that thought reveals in me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakable faith in himself, for God dwells in him.”

This quote has been echoing in me like a mantra for more than 50 years.

5. Is there anything else you would like to share with people who don’t know this dance form?

If you feel it does something in you, that you find it beautiful or touching, or that the symbolism speaks to you, then see if you want to give that to yourself. Often all kinds of “yes, but” thoughts come up.

But if it touches you inside, then take the step, if only for a while.


Interview with Yolanda Hdez

Interview with Yolanda Hdez

Yolanda Hernández Diáz, Madrid, Spanien

Yoly, what was your first encounter with the meditation of dance?
My first encounter with Meditation des Tanzeswas at a 5-day retreat in London with Lorraine Pratt in July 2018. I didn’t know you could be in stillness for five days trough meditative dance. Moreover, tears suddenly flowed during a dance.

What does Meditation of dance means to you?
It means presence, unity, trust. Through the meditation of dance I connect with the sacred, with the deepest part of myself and with the present moment, without any effort. I feel and experience the certainty that we are all one.

Has the meditation of dance changed things in your life?
Yes, I have always been passionate about meditation and silence. That’s why two years ago I decided to change my career and quit my job as a computer technician to follow the call of my heart. I would like to make the meditation of dance known professionally in Spain.

I personally experience the meditation of dance as an answer to the essential question: Who am I? I had a deeply profound experience in a workshop with the theme “Labyrinth”, I entered the labyrinth with this question. In the first moment my attention was focused on my inner self, then I met the other dancers and saw myself reflected in each of them. I realised that the other people are also me.

Which dance of the meditation of dance is the most important for you?
There are many dances that touch my heart. If I may, I will name two.
„Tanz der Lichtträgerinnen“:it reminds me that we are light and that only by living from the light that I am can I shine with my own light and give it to others.
Wege zu mir, Wege zu dir“:this dance gives me the feeling that although I have to walk the path of life alone, I am not alone because I meet other people who also walk alone.

Do you have a poem, a quote, an image or perhaps a song that particularly appeals to you?
I love a poem of Vicente Simóns “Qué Feliz Soy cuando solo Soy”. (How happy I am when I am alone)

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

Interview with Verena Baldinger

Interview with Verena Baldinger

Verena Baldinger, Büdingen, Germany

Verena, you work as a management coach. How did you come to Meditation des Tanzes?

My sister Gitti is a belly dancer and I danced with her one weekend. In the evening, when our hips were glowing, she danced with us: “Can I come as I am?” by Nanni Kloke. Gitti was in Friedels first training group in Germany. With this dance, I was done for. But it took another eight years before I finally found the time to dance with Friedel because of my job, and only because someone told me that Friedel maybe wanted to stop. Deeply terrified of missing it, I signed up immediately, without any prior knowledge directly for the training.

What impulses has dancing given you?

Even if it sounds cliché, it saved me. My job as a coach and seminar leader in the business world was so scheduled that I too was only travelling staccato, in to-do lists. Meditation of dance has given me back the softness, the allowing, the flowing.

Has the meditation of dance changed anything in your life or influenced your professional activity?

In any case, a lot. The meditation of dance carried me when my daughter became seriously ill and when my marriage broke up. Despite such moments, I became much more balanced and trusting. It is impossible to write down as many thanks as I feel inside about this. Before, I did everything on my own, but in the meditation of dance I learned how well I can dance along without being able to do much, supported by the field of the other dancers and in the safety of a group. My work became easier and more spontaneous, I trusted myself and my impulses much more, according to the motto, if you don’t have everything under control, your hands are free for important things.

Is there a dance or choreography that is particularly important to you?

In 20 years of meditation with the Sufis, I got to know the dances of universal peace and was blown away by their deep symbolism. And also kind of bored with the banal steps. Mir fehlte dann doch Tanz dabei. All the MdT dances are more interesting dance-wise and many are really artistic, painting pictures and mandalas with the body.

If I have to choose a favourite dance- because there are so many beautiful ones- it’s “the path” by Saskia about the path and its curves, or all the dances by Friedel that celebrate that one moment of upliftment. So if I can only name one, I’ll go with Friedel’s Rose. The dance ends with the moment of rising and actually I want to stay on tiptoe forever. But I can’t do that physically, and besides, the dance is over..

So dancing teaches me so much about Earthiness, letting go and transience. “In the middle of life we are surrounded by death” says Wolfgang Schmidbauer and I only understood this sentence in the dance. And also how delicious life becomes through this realisation, which sounds so terrible at first.

You meet a lot of people. What is essential to you in this context that you would like to share with us, e.g. a vision, an idea, a picture, a song or a text?

What is important to me above all is the heart connection that we humans are to be able to. Sometimes I feel like a Trojan horse in business, no matter what the title of the seminar is, leadership, team, change, or whatever, it’s about reconnecting people to their heart, then they know themselves what they want to do and what is right.

I would like to share a poem by Hilde Domin here at the end that particularly touches me. Hilde Domin was a friend of my mother’s and, incidentally, the scare of my childhood. Today I adore her poems and also loves her very much.

For me, it’s “soaked to the core”. MdT involves all parts of this poem and centres me in the heart.

Wir werden eingetaucht
und mit den Wassern der Sintflut gewaschen
Wir werden durchnässt
bis auf die Herzhaut

Der Wunsch nach der Landschaft
diesseits der Tränengrenze
taugt nicht
der Wunsch den Blütenfrühling zu halten
der Wunsch verschont zu bleiben
taugt nicht

Es taugt die Bitte
dass bei Sonnenaufgang die Taube
den Zweig vom Ölbaum bringe
dass die Frucht so bunt wie die Blume sei
dass noch die Blätter der Rose am Boden
eine leuchtende Krone bilden

und dass wir aus der Flut
dass wir aus der Löwengrube und dem feurigen Ofen
immer versehrter und immer heiler
stets von neuem
zu uns selbst
entlassen werden.

Hilde Domin

Verena, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

Interview with Astrid Knipping

Interview with Astrid Knipping

Astrid Knipping, Seuzach, Switzerland

Where did you learn about the meditation of dance?

It was a big event, an afternoon of peace dancing in Wetzikon, Switzerland. I had once followed a smaller training course in liturgy and dance and got to know some of Friedel Kloke-Eibl’s dances there. And now Friedel was to come to Switzerland – an opportunity to experience her for herself, and also her daughters Saskia Kloke and Nanni Kloke.
It was very impressive for me that Friedel was able to create a spiritual intensity with around 200 people in a sports hall. I was especially moved by the dances to songs by Joanne Shenandoah. It was immediately clear to me: this is the path I want to go down, and I want to go down it intensively.

Did you then find a way to further deepen the meditation of dance?

Yes, Monday dancing at Heidi Hafen has become a constant part of my everyday life. In the way she leads and teaches dances, I breathe a great love – and a lot of know-how. And so the desire developed in me to dare to start the 3-years training. And I am lucky enough to be experiencing this with Friedel Kloke-Eibl and Saskia Kloke right now – which makes me extraordinarily happy….

Has dancing changed anything in your life?

What a question, i have to laugh! Yes, of course something has changed: I dance and dance and dance.
Oke, now serious. As a theologian, I am familiar with different ways of experiencing spirituality. Für mich ist und wird mehr und mehr die Meditation des Tanzes zu meiner ganz persönlichen Art, innere Welten immer mehr zu entdecken und gemeinsam mit anderen zu leben. For me, the meditation of dance is worship in the very best sense of the word:
Ministry on life,
Serving on peace,
serving the love of all that lives.

Is there a dance and / or choreography that is particularly important to you?

A very challenging question – because I love all the dances. By the way, I also take great pleasure in the dances of Saskia Kloke – they are a way of meditation for me in a special way. You can ask me every day – and maybe I’ll tell you a different dance every day. And yet: quite typical and very appropriate for me is a dance that expresses very much of what is a strong inner need for me, a calling perhaps. In the encounter with people who are grieving, who are experiencing terrible suffering, I want to be at their side. To bear with, to simply persevere with what has to be endured at the moment.
Come to me, your weary ones” – that is the word of Jesus. And so, for me as an emergency counsellor, the dance “Promise” is very expressive: oriented towards the centre, I look for balance, cross, introduce the leg of the heart, centre myself with the gesture, straighten up and hold out the tension that expands as I go on – the heart expands.

Is there something that is essential for you or in your life that you would like to share with us, e.g. a vision, an idea, a picture, a song or a text?

Some people hang magnets of their holiday destinations on their fridge. On my fridge you read words Jehuda Amichai:

In the place where we are right,
flowers will never grow in spring

The place where we are right,
is trampled and hard as a yard.

Doubt and love but
loosen up the world
like a mole, like a plough.
And a whisper is heard
in the place where the house stood,
that was destroyed.

This text by the German-Israeli lyricist has already guided me
for some years and is for me a word for being on the way
The path of meditation of the dance is also a path that continues – who knows, perhaps even further into other dimensions, into other worlds.
And on this path, doubt is at home – and love.

Thank you Astrid, for sharing your thoughts and experiences.