Pennsylvania

Drum Dance

KNAUERTOWN, PA. 19465

FRIDAY June 23 TO SUNDAY June 25, 2017.

DANCE CHIEF TOM BISSINGER

It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the nineteenth annual Drum Dance to be held at Birdsong Peace Chamber in Knauertown, Pennsylvania. The Drum Dance came to Beautiful Painted Arrow, Joseph Rael, in a vision in 1987: "The earth is a giant drum and we are its drumsticks, drumming our way home." The Drum Dance is a dance for world peace, for personal transformation, and for one’s own quest into the world of Spirit. If you are called to the beat of the drum, to push yourself beyond what you thought possible, experiencing the joy and the pain and yes, humor! of life itself, then the Drum Dance is for you. The Drum Dance becomes your Teacher.

DATES: TBA  THE DANCE STARTS LATE AFTERNOON ON FRIDAY AND CONCLUDES SUNDAY MORNING WITH A FEAST. THE DANCE IS ACCOMPANIED BY DRUMMERS AND SONGS; THE DANCERS ARE IN SILENT RETREAT, AND FOLLOW A FOOD AND WATER FAST.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CALL TOM AT 610-469-9029 OR E-MAIL: tomasbiss@gmail.com TUITION FOR THE DANCE IS $350.00. SOME PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE.

Work is Worship

Another way to look at The Drum Dance is to see that we are gifting. In this consumer driven society, we need beautiful rituals in which we give back to the Holy with our effort, with our tears, our joy, our grief. Instead of waging war, we make a sacrifice. We offer ourselves and our dance to all the Holy Things that live for we truly are those things; two-leggeds, four-leggeds, the crawlers, the flyers, the swimmers, the trees, stones, fire, and our Mother Earth and Father Sky.

We gift to the people for it is our obligation, not only to others but to our own souls. We are gifting our Love.

We gift to the Ancestors, our personal lineage. Our dance is for them, to heal the ancient wounds, to celebrate our long and difficult road from oppressor and oppression. They come to ceremony and rapturously await our effort.

We are seeds, asking to be sprouted through our beautiful dance. When our Sky Father begins his trek each morning, we arise and sing with Him because what we give, we give freely, in the realization of the great, good fortune to be able to have these few days of mutual indebtedness to bring alive the Holy.

We are the Mother, this land, this Pennsylvania woodlands, and we gratefully dance the energy of this land which has given so much to all who came before, including the hundreds and hundreds of dancers whose footprints still reverberate on the dance field. Through our gift of dance, we release spiritual energy to embrace all life. Our songs, our drumming, our steps vibrate the chords of Peace.

Dancers will gather at 9:00 AM on the Friday  for preparations of the dance field and setting of sleeping area. In the afternoon there will be a teaching gathering and a sweat lodge. At dusk the ceremony will begin, with the sacred songs and drums of the Drum Dance. Over the weekend, which will be a complete food and water fast, you will dance and rest. The Water Ceremony completes the dance on Sunday and sharing and a Feast follows.

REGISTRATION: The weekend tuition is $350, with a $100 non-refundable deposit. To pre-register, please send your deposit to Tom Bissinger, 601 County Park Rd, Pottstown, PA 19465. (610-469-9029). The tuition pays for all the expenses in putting on the dance. There is no charge for the ceremony itself. If you have difficulty paying the full amount at this time but feel called to the Dance, scholarships are available. Please call Tom.

Registration at the site is 9AM Friday. There will be orientation and discussion and time to set up for the dance. There is a sweat lodge that afternoon for all the dancers and drummers. It is important that every dancer takes part in the lodge and be here for the beginning of the dance.

Lastly, a message to those who may have completed their six year commitment. In traditional societies, when a dancer no longer dances, it is his or her obligation to find someone to replace him/her. This is how the dance lives. Therefore, I ask those of you who know someone who may be called by this dance to enroll them. It may change their life; it will surely keep the heart blood of the Drum Dance flowing through Mother Earth.

For those of you who have been coming to sweat lodges and chanting in Birdsong Peace Chamber, I hope this Dance will be your next step.

Blessings

Tom Bissinger

DRUM DANCE INFORMATION

ITEMS TO BRING: Sleeping bag and pad, blanket, tarps to put under sleeping bag or tent, and one tarp to cover bag when resting by dance field. (In case of rain) Clothes for both hot and cool weather. Swimming suit or sweat dress, towels, flashlight, rainwear, sturdy shoes, hat. Appropriate clothing should be worn for the Drum Dance itself. No shorts, tank tops or jogging outfits to be worn during the dance. Ceremonial skirts are recommended for both men and women. Men will find that if they make a simple skirt that hangs to mid-calf it will be more comfortable than dancing in trousers.

MATERIALS: Please bring fifty prayer ties. Bring two gifts to exchange at the end of the dance.

RESPONSIBILITY: You are responsible for your own well-being and for being prepared before the Dance begins. If you have medical needs, please inform the Chief before the dance begins.

ITEMS FOR CEREMONIAL ACTIVITIES: Rattles.

RULES: No pets, no alcohol, no drugs, no visitors. Bringing children is discouraged because it splits your energy and attention. If absolutely necessary to bring children, please provide your own babysitter, camping gear, and food supplies. No eating or drinking during the Dance. Dancers remain in silence during the weekend.

FOOD: You are responsible for your own food before the Drum Dance begins. You can eat and drink up to the beginning of the dance. At the conclusion of the Dance, a feast suitable for Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians will be served.

PUBLICATIONS, VIDEOS, & POSTERS by Joseph Rael will be available for sale at the site.

CAMPING: Dancers may stay in local motels before the Dance. When the Drum Dance begins, all dancers will be sleeping on the dance site. In keeping with tradition, men and women will be staying in separate areas during the night.

REQUEST: Each dancer bring two melon sized sweat lodge rocks.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, call Tom (610-469-9029) or Angie Rapalyea (215-233-0825)

HOME