Preparation for the Dancers

Please note:
Should you have any questions not answered by the information below, please address them to the Steering Team. We look forward to any questions from the first-time Dancers. During the preparatory period in the south of France, first-time Dancers will have the opportunity to ask all their questions at a special meeting. They will also be supported by a mentor they can choose themselves at the Dance.

The shield
At home, paint your intentions/dreams/visions on your personal shield. During the ceremony itself, it will hang over your shelter. It will help you maintain your focus during and after the Dance. As a rule, the shield is of leather and has a diameter or 30 to 40 centimeters. It is stretched over a wooden ring or frame (usually made by yourself of willow, hazelnut or or a similar wood), or a thin metal hoop.

Ceremonial dress
During the ceremony, we aim to consciously find another rhythm. One way to express this is by wearing ceremonial clothing. We are actively celebrating life and are therefore dressed in a manner that is rather unconventional for us.  The ceremonial gown
Men and women wear an ankle-length gown with fringes.
 The fringes are there to invite the "little folk" to dance with you. Or to use another image, we remember the animated being in everything we encounter … "spirit beings love beauty." The fringes you can find in the crafts and sewing section of most department stores.  

The top
As a part of your festive apparel, it should be beautiful and practical at the same time.

The belt
You wear a ceremonial belt over your festive clothing. It should cover your navel.

Rainbow ribbons
The top is always decorated with rainbow ribbons attached to the shoulders. You either sew the ribbons (about 30 cm long an 1-3 cm wide) onto your clothing or you have a set you can attach to your shirt or blouse if need be. You wear the ribbons as a sign that you honor all spiritual paths in the light. These ribbons are in the color of the points of the compass: red, black, yellow, white, blue and green – the colors for the "above" and "below"; you can also add the rainbow colors.

Shoes
Trainers, moccasins, robust shoes and (advisable) rubber boots in case of rain. Naturally, you may dance barefoot – whatever your heart or feet desire.
You will carry your ceremonial cover (any beautiful cover of your choice) on your left shoulder when entering the Life Dance Lodge – which is what we call the completed Arbor with all your personal belongings. The cover represents your connection with your Higher Self and symbolizes protection.

Hand feathers and bone whistle
Your dancing apparel should include two down feathers The whistle was originally made of eagle bone, but since the eagle is a protected species and many people attend our Sundance, we use turkey bones.  If you need a set, please contact us ahead of time. You can also buy a set at the Dance.

Maize flour
Maize flour, known as corn paho: you will need a small supply of corn paho (corn pollen) or blue Hopi corn flour to reinforce the prayers that you take to the tree. In our culture, spelt flour is used. You can purchase paho at the Life Dance prior to the ceremony or just bring a little bag of spelt flour from home.

Medicine objects
You are free to bring your medicine pipe, a power staff or any other object of that nature. The pipe will be smoked jointly at the beginning and end of the ceremony as part of a prayer.

Storm lights and candles
At night, a storm light burns in front of every shelter. They form a mysterious circle of lights in the night. Make sure that the storm light is fully enclosed. Petrol lamps and the like are not suited for the purpose. Take enough candles for three nights.

Practical and proven things before and during the Dance
A large sheet to shield you from the sun, a canvas for covering belongings, covering for the floor, a sleeping bag, something to sit on, writing implements, sun blocker (not perfumed). We dance without sunglasses. Headgear is to protect your head, so no brim and please make sure it is neutral (no logos, no advertising slogans).

Sweat lodges
You will need enough towels for the sweat lodges (2 towels are recommended).

For more information and questions