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.
Sign-up for the newsletter to receive reflections, videos, and updates.
May the Spirit that led you here continue to guide you on the dancing path!Calendar
“I Will Live Until I Die” A Musical of the Life of Sr. Thea Bowman
Starring playwright ValLimar Jansen and local actors
March 1 & 2, 2024
St. Patrick Church, Seattle
I would like to introduce you to Sr. Thea Bowman! Sr. Thea was an amazingly dynamic Black Catholic nun who is now on her journey to sainthood.
In the play, we follow Thea’s journey from Canton, Mississippi, to the all-white community of La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she became a nun and eventually a world-renowned pioneer of intercultural awareness, unity and acceptance.
ValLimar plays Sr. Thea, and the musical includes 14 beloved Spirituals, four classic Gregorian Chants, with a talented cast bringing to life the story of Sr. Thea.
Birthing the Holy: Dancing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine is released!
Our newest prayer-dance-video resource is a collection of 12 prayer dances plus teaching videos created by Betsey Beckman that accompany the Birthing the Holy album and prayer cycle.These resources companion Christine Valters Paintner’s book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom of Mary and the Sacred Feminine. Dances in this collection celebrate many faces of Mary including: Queen of Angels, 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, and Madonna Protectress. Filmed at sacred spaces in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Coast, Michigan, Texas, and Uganda.
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!
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!