Sunday, August 6

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
— Martha Graham, dancer

Today’s Excerpt:

Dance plays a role in spiritual traditions around the world.

Here are two examples, with more to follow in the coming days.


Watch “Classical Indian Dance: Shiva Shambho” (4-min video) to see a dance in honor of Shiva, the deity of destruction that makes way for the new. Classical dances, such as this one, evolved as a way to celebrate the mythological and spiritual elements of Hinduism. In India, dance has been part of the cultural tradition since ancient times.


Sufism the mystical line of Islam, emphasizes direct experience of the divine through devotional practices. One such practice is the dancing of whirling dervishes, which involves continuous twirling with one hand reaching for God or the Divine, and one hand pointed down toward the earth.

Watch “The Whirling Dervishes” (2-min video) to see how whirling dervishes worship.


  • What do you notice about these dances? 
  • Why do you think dance is part of these traditions?