I just love Betsey’s music and dance. It’s a way of freeing the body with music and movement and getting closer to God. Thank you Betsey and colleagues — the videography was very well done.
Welcome to The Dancing Word
Do you have a sense that body and spirit are connected? Would you like to explore and celebrate this connection? Welcome to The Dancing Word. I offer resources, images, classes, prayer videos, and publications to foster connections between body and spirit, tradition and creativity, scripture, dance and life.
Each of us comes into the world by incarnating, taking on the flesh, blood, and bones of our own bodies. And yet we all know that being in a body can be one of the most challenging aspects of being human! When we embrace the mystery of humanity and Spirit folded together in us… we can open to the possibility of prayer and artistry inviting us to the joy of our embodiment.
Perhaps you’d like to see some videos and consider dancing along with them? Please scroll down to catch a glimpse of some wonderful video offerings where you can begin to tap your toes or lift your arms as you are called into the dance! Also, read more about my work with Abbey of the Arts to learn about our online global community of Dancing Monks.
Perhaps you’d like to see how dance can be part of church? I’ve been dancing in church settings for over 50 years, and so please explore how my own experience of dance ministry has unfolded and how the gift of storydances has come to birth.
Perhaps you’d like to explore some live classes, liturgies or retreats? Check out my calendar to see how we might find our ways to dance together. And click on Store to see what resources might support you in your own journey.
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May the Spirit that led you here continue to guide you on the dancing path!Calendar
Birthing the Holy Prayer~Dance~Video Release Party!
Thursday, November 30th
Come one, come all! Join us on Zoom at Abbey of the Arts for a Release Party celebrating our newest prayer dance digital collection – Birthing the Holy: Dancing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine! The dances accompany Christine Valters Paintner’s book Birthing the Holy, its companion album, and Prayer Cycle.
As the seasons turn toward the threshold of Advent, we enter the mystery of darkness as gestation time for the light within. The time is ripe for Mother Mary to lead us into the dance of prayer as a practice of birthing the holy in our lives and our world!
The Love of Thousands: Singing with Angels, Saints, and Ancestors is released!
Our newest album accompanies Christine Valters Paintner’s book The Love of Thousands: How Angels, Saints, and Ancestors Walk with Us Toward Holiness published by Ave Maria Press, 2023 and Love of Thousands prayer cycle. Songs on this album celebrate the presence of angels, call on the wisdom of saints Julian of Norwich, Clare of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Mechtild of Magdeburg, and Angela of Foligno, and honor the gifts of our wise and well ancestors.
SpiritPlay Class in Seattle!
SpiritPlay has become a staple of Seattle’s InterPlay offerings! Now in our 23rd year, we have developed a wonderful community of faith and foolishness. This monthly LIVE series is for those grounded in Christianity who so long for the spontaneity of InterPlay to help us navigate the wild and whacky, sometimes rocky, humble and holy journey of our lives. We’ll be diving into the lectionary, exploring sacred stories, dancing through the cycle of seasons, singing our souls and improvising in prayer. Calling all angels – let’s dance, play and pray!
8 Sessions meeting the second Tuesday (mostly) of every month – 9:30 – 11:45 am.
Begins October 10th!
Birthing the Holy Prayer Cycle Video Podcasts
I am delighted to announce the release of the Birthing the Holy Prayer Cycle video podcasts at AbbeyoftheArts.com! Each day you are invited to morning and evening prayer with the many names of Mary including: Queen of Angels, Virgin, Untier of Knots, Mustafia, Star of the Sea, Vessel of Grace, Our Lady of Silence, Our Lady of the Underworld, Mother of Sorrows, Greenest Branch, Theotokos, Mystical Rose, Madonna Protectress and Mirror of Justice. These prayers bring together the rich tradition of monastic prayer, the wisdom of ancient mystics, songs from our album compilations, embodied prayers to accompany each song, contemporary versions of the psalms, and poetry and blessings.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our culminating song/prayer dance on our Birthing the Holy CD/DVD features a tune composed by an indigenous Guatemalan composer, Tomás Pascual from the 17th Century. This song was adapted by our dear friend, Laura Ash with bilingual lyrics she wrote to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s a beautiful blend of ancient and new devotions! When we came to filming the dance/prayer, I found a gorgeous shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe here in the Northwest at St. Frances Cabrini Church (in Lakewood, WA.) I invited the Indigenous Dance Troupe at the parish (Los Matachines) to be featured in our video, but for various reasons, this wasn’t possible. When I put the word out to find another group of cultural dancers, those that stepped forward were the Filipino Community! I learned much about the similar threads in Mexican and Filipino cultures who were colonized by Spain simultaneously in the 1500s. Both cultures now have integrated a blend of indigenous dance and festivals with the overlay of Christian faith, and in particular, both cultures have a robust devotion to Mary! I’d like to honor Eloisa Cardona for being my spirit sister, dancer, and cultural advisor for this project! Please enjoy this dance to Our Lady of Guadalupe with a gift of the Filipino village of families dancing along!