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Sacred dance encompasses all movement that expresses or enhances spiritual experiences. It may be a part of a worship service, a group experience or a private spiritual practice.
Some examples of sacred dance are:
- Native American Ghost Dance
- Classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Mohiniattam, and some others.
- The whirling done by Whirling Dervishes.
- The ecstatic dance of the Greek fire-walkers at the Anastenaria.
- Liturgical or worship dance occurs as part of a liturgy or worship service.
- Ritual dance is a type of sacred dance, like Gurdjieff movements.
- (Sacred) Circle dance
- Xygalatas, Dimitris, “Firewalking and the Brain: The Physiology of High-Arousal Rituals”, in: Joseph Bulbulia, Richard Sosis, Erica Harris, Russell Genet, Cheryl Genet, and Karen Wyman (eds.) Evolution of Religion: Studies, Theories, and Critiques, Santa Margarita, CA: Collins Foundation Press 2007, pp. 189-195
- Xygalatas, Dimitris, 2011. “Ethnography, Historiography, and the Making of History in the Tradition of the Anastenaria”, History and Anthropology 22 (1): 57-74
- Danforth, Loring M., Firewalking and Religious Healing: The Anastenaria of Greece and the American Firewalking Movement, Princeton University Press, (Princeton NJ, 1989)
- Gurdjieff Dominican Group: Gurdjieff Movements and Sacred Dances Retrieved 18 March 2012
- Oesterley, William Oscar Emil. The Sacred Dance: A Study in Comparative Folklore. BiblioBazaar, 2009, reprinted from 1923 first edition.
- Roth, Gabrielle. Sweat Your Prayers: Movement as Spiritual Practice. Newleaf, 1999.
- Stewart, Iris J. Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance: Awakening Spirituality Through Dance and Ritual. Inner Traditions, 1997. Review
- Watts, June. Circle Dancing: Celebrating Sacred Dance. Green Magic, 2006.
- Winton-Henry, Cynthia. Dance - The Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as a Spiritual Practice. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2009.
- Wosien, Maria-Gabriele. Sacred Dance: Encounter with the Gods. Thames and Hudson, 1974.
- Zehr, Leslie. The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer. iUniverse, 2008.