The Dancing Word Store

Here you will find resources you can purchase for prayer, inspiration and embodiment. All prices include tax and shipping.  🙂

Earth, Our Original Monastery – our 2020 collection!

DVD – Earth, Our Original Monastery: Dancing Our Way to the Divine

Our newest resource!

Abbey of the Arts presents our newest DVD offering 13 contemplative prayer dances for every-body and one poem video!  With Betsey as your guide, all Teaching and Dance-Along videos are filmed outdoors to invite you into the joy of encountering the Divine in nature. Through embodied prayer, celebrate Earth as our original cathedral, scriptures, saints, spiritual director, icon, sacrament and liturgy. Move with the gifts of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Pray with Saint Gobnait, Saint Francis, and walk with beauty in honor of the Diné Navajo tradition.

Click here to view Earth, Our Original Monastery Trailer

  DVD – $18.00

  BLU-RAY Disc. –  $22.00

Click here to purchase a download of the video – $12.00.  

CD – Earth, Our Original Monastery: Singing Our Way to the Sacred

A contemplative CD of 14 songs commissioned by Abbey of the Arts, produced by The Dancing Word.  Six different artist/composers offer us songs to celebrate Earth as our Original cathedral, scriptures, saints, spiritual directors, icon, sacrament and liturgy. Plus songs celebrating the four elements, St. Francis, St. Gobnait and the Dine Navajo Blessingway Prayer. This CD also accompanies the book by Christine Valters Paintner – Earth, Our Original Monastery by Christine Valters Paintner (Ave Maria Press.)Artists include Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, Trish Bruxvoort Colligan, Hans Peterson, Lorraine Bayes and Betsey Beckman.

  CD – $18.00

  Click on this Button to purchase Musical Scores for the CD – $12.00

Click here to purchase a download of the CD. 

Click here to download a free pdf of CD song lyrics.

The Soul’s Slow Ripening – our 2019 collection

DVD – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: Dancing the Sacred on a Celtic Path

This DVD was commissioned by Abbey of the Arts to SSR DVD Cover copyaccompany Christine Valters Paintner’s recent book – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: Twelve Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred.   Filmed in soulful, wild and thin places in Scotland, Ireland and the Pacific Northwest.  Dance along  with the Celtic Saints: Brendan, Brigid, Ciaran, Colman, Columcille, Dearbhla, Enda, Gobnait, Ita, Kevin, Patrick and Sourney.  12 Celtic-inspired dances for Every-body!

Click here to view the Soul’s Slow Ripening Trailer 

  DVD – $18.00

  BLU-RAY Disc. –  $22.00

Click here to purchase a download of the video – $12.00.  

CD – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: Songs for Celtic Seekers

A soulful CD of 12 songs commissioned bycd-cover-text Abbey of the Arts, produced by The Dancing Word.  This CD also accompanies the book by Christine Valters Paintner – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: Twelve Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred.  Music by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, Deirdre Ni Chinneide, Simon De Voil, Sara Thomsen, Margaret McClarty, and Margo Hennebach.

  CD – $18.00

  Click on this button to Purchase Musical Scores for the CD – $12.00

Click here to purchase a download of the CD. 

Click here to download a free pdf of CD song lyrics.


BookSSR-Book-Cover copy – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred (Ave Maria Press, Fall 2018.) 

“Christine Valters Paintner has written another excellent book for spiritual seekers desiring insight, encouragement, and inspiration on their spiritual paths. In The Soul’s Slow Ripening, she provides readers a series of practices inspired by the Irish traditions that will help readers, as she says, live into ‘new ways of being’ by pursuing such helpful practices as working with dreams, going on pilgrimages, having a soul friend, and seeking solitude. I cannot recommend enough this practical guide to soul-making.”

—Edward C. Sellner, author of The Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

Click here to purchase on Amazon.



Photo/Lyric Booklet – The Soul’s Slow Ripening: Dancing the Sacred on a Celtic Path

Here is a 20 page photo meditation booklet with dancing images from the DVD that can help you contemplate the lyrics of the songs and let your visual imagination wander in contemplative beauty!

  Photo/Lyrics Booklet – $15.00SSR Booklet 2




Monks and Mystics – our 2015 collectionDVD-binder final cropped copy

DVD – Dancing with Monks and Mystics

Twelve prayerful and playful participatory dances for every-body! With choreography and instruction by Betsey Beckman and music commissioned by Abbey of the Arts.  Enter into dances inspired by 12 monks and mystics through the ages including the Prophet Miriam, King David, Mary Mother of God, Amma Syncletica, Brigid of Kildare, Benedict of Nursia, Brendan the Navigator, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. Filmed in locations that evoke and celebrate the gift of each monk and mystic!
Add to Cart $18.00

Download the Free Dancing with Monks and Mystics PDF prayer guide.

Click here to view Dancing with Monks and Mystics Trailer. 

Click here to purchase the DVD for download.  $12.00


CD-coverCD – Singing with Monks and Mystics

For your contemplative listening pleasure, a CD commissioned by Abbey of the Arts with engaging songs to celebrate each of the twelve dancing monks (plus a bonus second song for St. Benedict).  Music by composers Laura and David Ash, Betsey Beckman, Carmel Boyle, and Richard Bruxvoort Colligan.

Add to Cart  $18.00

Click here to purchase a download of the CD.

Click here to download a free pdf of album song lyrics.

Sheet music for all songs is also available for purchase for use as a worship resource.  Please contact Betsey for information.



Book – Illuminating the Way: Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics

This book of poems, icons and reflections by Christine Valters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts explores all 12 of the monks and mystics from the DVD and CD, and invites you to come to know each figure as an archetypal guide your spiritual journey.

Click here to purchase from Amazon. 
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Additional DVDs

The Creation 

The Creation DVDBased on the book of Genesis, this beloved poem by African-American poet James Weldon Johnson comes to life with fresh, bold imagery through the vocal and dance interpretation of Betsey Beckman. Filmed in the northwest, the piece refreshes us with the vast beauty of nature as well as a playful and intimate celebration of God’s artistry. Designed for individuals or groups, viewers can first witness the dance of Creation and then step inside the journey through guided embodied prayer. This dynamic prayer video (with accompanying reflection questions) calls us to awaken to the wonder of our own holy birthing into God’s cosmic story.

Total run time: 55 min


  1.  The Creation – Main Feature (13 min.)
  2.  Stepping Inside the Creation (42) (Verbal Intro and Guided Movement)

Praise for The Creation: 

“Through this dance prayer you will experience the Biblical story anew and come to know your flesh, bones, and being as very good.” -Christine Valters Paintner, Abbey of the Arts

“This classic of American religious poetry literally leaps off the page with Betsey’s inspired dance proclamation and accompanying movement prayer. There is no performing artist in the country who interprets religious texts and mediates spirituality through movement better than she!” – J. Michael Sparough, S.J.

ej_add_to_cart $18 

Grace on the Margins 
Grace on the Margins

Searching for meaning as a woman in the church and confronted with the challenges of a people and planet in peril, Grace’s cries for help are answered by Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc, Sojourner Truth and Our Lady of Guadalupe, who lead her on a journey of the heart to experience grace on the margins. This original musical was written collaboratively by ten Seattle artists and created for the Northwest Women’s Convocation to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Note from Betsey: I was on the team that created this social justice musical, and I also had the honor of dancing the role of Hildegard of Bingen! This piece addresses issues of violence, human trafficking, immigration, environmental degradation and women in the church, and gives fresh inspiration for all those who are willing to open their hearts to the journey of spirit.

Besides sharing this work through DVD,  we are hoping that high schools and universities will be interested in performing this engaging full-length musical!  For performance rights, script and score, please contact the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center. or email

Click here to view Grace on the Margins Trailer

 Add to Cart$18

The Dancing Word: Woman at the Well 

“Those who have ears to hear, hear this story. Those who have eyes to see, see this scene. Anything can happen at a well!” – John Shea

Betsey Beckman, (renowned liturgical dancer and presenter) and J. Michael Sparough, S.J. (retreat master, storyteller and author) have been praying, publishing and performing together for over 30 years. Here they invite us into author John Shea’s beloved re-telling of the Woman at the Well for an emotion-filled journey of the thirst, heart-break, humor and healing.

With natural settings weaving together Biblical and 21st century images, the liberating message of the Gospel comes to life with refreshing water for our times.

Total run time : 22 min

Praise for The Dancing Word: Woman at the Well

“Our Women’s Retreat with your DVD was MARVELOUS! The women were overwhelmed with the story of the Woman at the Well and the discussion time following their own reflection was difficult to cut off. They were absolutely confirmed in their own faith by her story and journey! Thank you!” – Leota Roesch, Director Faith Formation – Resurrection Catholic Church, Tempe, Arizona

We prayed with the Woman at the Well DVD yesterday for our Lenten faith sharing small group. You did an incredible job! I always thought the story occurred in one place – but your dance reminded me that everything is a journey to and from. I will read and pray with the Woman at the Well in a totally new way.  Thanks for sharing your creativity in so many ways. You are truly are a gift!”    – Sr. Bea LaFramboise, SP – Seattle, WA

Note from Betsey: I am especially glad that many RCIA teams across the country have been inspired to integrate this resource into their journey with the Catechumenate. It’s also perfect for Lenten reflections and women’s retreats!

Add to Cart $18 

The Dancing Word: Mary Magdalene

This 2010 offering in the Dancing Word series offers an inspiring encounter with Mary Magdalene, whom we come to know as one of Jesus’ most courageous and intimate disciples. Filmed in the beauty of the Northwest, this scenic story offers dramatic visuals for the Gospel and gives fresh voice to the oldest truths of our faith. This DVD was chosen as a featured film in the Los Angeles Religious Education Film Showcase 2011!

Total run time : 80min


  1. Mary Magdalene – StoryDance (22 minutes)
  2. Artist’s Introduction (7 minutes)
  3. Guided Meditation with Christine Valters Paintner, PhD (18 minutes)
  4. Guided Movement and Scriptural Reflections with Betsey Beckman (40 minutes)

Praise for The Dancing Word: Mary Magdalene:

“A fabulous resource for prayer, inspiration and participation!” – Linda Haydock, SNJM, Director of the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center

“Mary Magdalene comes to life in a new, authentic way through the expressive dance of deep emotion and artful ecstatic exuberance.”    – Kathy Coffey, author of Women of Mercy, Hidden Women of the Gospels, and The Art of Faith

“This journey deep into the words of John’s Gospel is literally poetry in motion, a visual feast for the eyes and a welcome banquet for the heart.” – Rev. J. Michael Sparough, S.J.

Note from Betsey: I’m really excited about the richness of this publication. What a powerful journey with Mary Magdalene! After viewing the story, the adjunct materials are crafted to support you in individual or communal prayer and participation. Reflect on your own relationship with Mary Magdalene through a contemplative prayer in the tradition of St. Ignatius. Following that, join in an experience of embodied prayer: in the Guided Movement section, the simple and powerful tools of InterPlay are offered as reflective practices to break open the Mary Magdalene story. With this support and encouragement, all are welcome to join in the dance! A wonderful tool for Women’s Groups, parish gatherings, RCIA, sacred dancers, or anyone who wishes to deepen his or her relationship with Mary Magalene as guide, as mentor, as saint, as friend.

  Add to Cart $18

The Dancing Word: Miriam and Mary

annunciationFilmed in 2000 as the inaugural video in The Dancing Word series, this 35 minute DVD offers two Biblical StoryDances:

  1. Miriam of the Dance (18 minutes)
  2. The Annunciation (15 minutes)

“Here is the Bible – and two of its most important women – made powerfully present with an expressive artistry to charge the imagination, soften the heart, and fire the soul with love.” – Rev. J. Michael Sparough, S.J.





Additional CDs

Treasures from the Heart: Meditations with Mary, Our Mother of Mercy / 2 CD Set – $18 

In 2011, newly re-released on CD! J. Michael Sparough, S.J. & Betsey Beckman. Music by Bobby Fisher

Through guided imagery, meditation and music, Michael Sparough, S.J., Betsey Beckman and Bobby Fisher present Mary as a healing presence who can bring life to our aching hearts. The trio encourages us through prayer and music to imagine, visualize and experience Christ‘s life-changing love through the gift of his mother. Fr. Sparough tells personal stories about his childhood devotion to Mary, his gradual lapse from Marian devotions and his reawakening to Mary in the Bethlehem cave. In the first meditation, he leads us to encounter the Christ Child, reminding us that we need to consider feelings, not just images, as we journey to inner healing. In a parallel journey, Betsey Beckman details a time when Mary was not important to her. Through dance therapy and the experience of being a mother, Ms. Beckman discovers Mary as a powerful personal presence. In the second meditation, she invites us to experience Mary, Our Mother of Mercy, holding us in our pain. Both presentations blend relaxed breathing techniques and meditative music composed by bobby Fisher.

Note from Betsey: We are excited to re-release this audio-recording originally produced in the 1980’s!

 Add to Cart $18


Additional Books

Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction

Awakening Cover

By Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman

Published by Morehouse Press as a Spiritual Directors International Imprint series.

“Beautifully and evocatively explores the relationship between spiritual direction and the arts.” – Mary Rose Bumpus, School of Theology and Ministry

“We have been far too left-brain, verbal, and linear in our attempts to transform and mature actual people–intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Here we have two women filling the tragic gap–and beautifully so! Spiritual direction is the growing edge of ministry today and this excellent book will surely direct that growth.” – Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Available for purchase from Amazon

A Retreat with Our Lady, Dominic & Ignatius: Praying with Our Bodies A retreat with

by Betsey Beckman, Nina O’Connor & J. Michael Sparough, S.J.

Your directors for this retreat, Praying With Our Bodies, are Our Lady, Dominic and Ignatius. Our Lady—Mary of Nazareth, widowed woman, survivor, sojourner, seeker of sanctuary, marginalized woman, woman pregnant with hope—teaches us how to let the Spirit pray through us in word, in silence, in stillness and in movement. Our other two mentors, Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, and Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, are well known for their steadfast devotion to Our Lady. They, too, have much to teach us about how to let the Holy Spirit pray in us through the “temples” of our bodies. Dominic taught his followers nine ways of corporal prayer, and he leads us in these practices.  Ignatius teaches us to honor and welcome the imagination in our contemplations.  Includes numerous movement-prayer exercises for use in private or communal prayer.