Sacred Dance Quotes

Persian dancer Shahrzad Khorsandi teaching at Festival 2012.
Persian dancer Shahrzad Khorsandi teaching at Festival 2012.

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

“I believe that dance is the oldest, noblest and most cogent of the arts. I believe that dance is the most perfect symbol of the activity of God and His angels. I believe that dance has the power to heal, mentally and physically. I believe that true education in the art of dance is education of the whole man.”
— Ted Shawn

“I see dance being used as communication between body and soul to express what is too deep to find words.”
— Ruth St. Denis

“Dance is meditation in movement, a walking into silence where every movement becomes prayer.”
–Bernhard Wosien

“Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does anything weird,
But the God who knows only four words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:
‘Come dance with me, come dance.’”
— Hafiz (translation by Daniel Ladinsky)

“I praise the dance, for it frees people from the heaviness of matter and binds the isolated to community. I praise the dance, which demands everything: health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul. Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people, who are in constant danger of becoming all brain, will, or feeling. Dancing demands a whole person, one who is firmly anchored in the center of his life, who is not obsessed by lust for people and things and the demon of isolation in his own ego. Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers. I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you.”
— Unknown (often falsely attributed to St. Augustine, original version by George Goetsch, later modified by an unknown author)

“The dance is strong magic. The dance is a spirit. It turns the body to liquid steel. It makes it vibrate like a guitar. The body can fly without wings. It can sing without voice. The dance is strong magic: The dance is life.”
— Pearl Primus

“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”
— Havelock Ellis

“Technique – bodily control – must be mastered only because the body must not stand in the way of the soul’s expression.   The only reason for mastering technique is to make sure the body does not prevent the soul from expressing itself.
— La Meri

“Dance is the movement of the universe concentrated in an individual.”
— Isadora Duncan

“We ought to dance with rapture that we might be alive…and part of the living, incarnate cosmos.”
— D. H. Lawrence

“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.”
— Albert Einstein

“Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.”
— Maya Angelou

Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.”
— Ted Shawn

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.   You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.   You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you.”
— Martha Graham

“Learning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self, the person you are.”
— Melissa Hayden

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.
— Hopi Indian Saying

“We dancers are able to transfer an experience to another.  The body sends a message from a giving muscle to a receiving muscle, the spirit sends a current of emotion to a receiving emotion.”
Pauline Koner

“Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people.”
— Alvin Ailey

Let this day be lost to us on which we did not dance once.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche

“Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”
— T. S. Elliot

We’re fools whether we dance or not; so we might as well dance.”
— Japanese Proverb

To Live is to Dance, To Dance is to Live
— Snoopy

“God is not the dancer but the dance itself!  God is much more a dynamic verb than a static noun.  God is constant flow.  You don’t even need to understand it intellectually or theologically to participate in the flow of God.  You are already there.  Within your heart, body, and mind is an implanted flow toward life, goodness, love, communion, and connection.  “Sin” is quite simply any resistance to that flow.”
— Richard Rohr

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