2020 South Africa Dance
General Info Letter
The Fire Dance is a 3-day Ceremonial Medicine Dance. This Dance will ignite the passion and creativity within you to live your life fully as intended by Spirit. This dance is about stepping into life fully and completely. It will burn away the thing inside that blocks you and holds you back. The energy of this Fire Dance is incredibly powerful! We dance with 5 fires within a Medicine Wheel. The Spirit Keepers of the Directions are Dancing too! Spirit is Dancing in the Fire. It is tangible.
Whether you are called to be a Fire Dancer or to serve the Dance as part of the Support crew, your life will be forever changed. This Dance will open your heart in a new way and create connections to Spirit and Community. I thank you for considering being a part of this Ceremony.
- Once you decide whether you will Dance or serve on the Crew, additional details will be sent to you via email for your preparation for Ceremony.
- There will be a Sweat Lodge on Thursday evening for those who choose to arrive early
- Dancers and Crew should arrive on Friday by noon; there is much work and preparation to be done in Community.
- All meals will be prepared and served for the Crew from Friday lunch thru Sunday lunch.
- Crew camping is available on the grounds.
- Crew rooms are limited and available by reservation
- Dancers will sleep in the Dance Arbor (bring what you need for personal comfort)
- Everyone present will participate as Crew or Dancer (no spectators in Ceremony)
Dancer Donations are on a sliding scale between ………………………… R4000-R6000
*it is up to the Dancer to know where they are in their prosperity for a donation
Crew Donations (Friday-Sunday during Dance)………………………………………..…. R1000
(Includes meals Friday lunch to Sunday feast)
Bed reservation (Friday-Sunday during Dance)……………………..……………..…….. R260
(per person/per night sharing)
Camping on the land (Friday-Sunday during Dance)………………………………..R100
(per person/per night sharing)
- Fire Keepers – Hold the energy of the Directional Fires and the container of the Arbor
- Drummers – Drum from the heart and keep the rhythm that “carries” the Dancers
- Dance Guardians – Guardians of the Dance who work quietly to ensure all needs of the Dance are met
- Kitchen Angels – Hold the Heart of the Dance and nourish and nurture the Crew
- Fire Mother – Holds the feminine space inside the Arbor and works directly with the Dancers as they process and Dance
- Fire Father – Holds the masculine space inside the Arbor and works directly with the Dancers as they process and Dance
- Elders – The Wisdom Keepers of the Dance and council to the Chief
- Chief – Leader and Keeper of the Vision, Dance, Dancers and Crew
“It is time. Time to let the spark within our hearts grow and spread into a fire. Time to dance through that fire and let it burn away everything that does not serve us. Forged in heart-fire we re-emerge into the world and step fully into ourselves, ready to share the warmth and lead the way. Let’s DANCE!”……….Trai Hill
Support Crew Information
Support Crew Information
Fire Dance Support Crew Details
Saying yes to serve the Fire Dance is a commitment. This is a calling, like any Spiritual work that we do. Spirit calls and we answer! There is power in saying yes!
There are no passive roles on the Support Crew. While some are more physical than others, all require a certain level of stamina. Most often the Chief will ask that you serve in a particular role, but it is still important to let the Chief know if you feel especially called to one position more than another.
“What I have learned as Chief is that it is not up to me to place people in the positions of service. It is always up to Spirit. As we approach the time for the Dance I will sit with Spirit and allow the guidance to come through. My hope is that the people who feel called to crew will not hold any attachment to what position they serve in. I think the bigger picture is that we all serve the Dance and Mother Earth in whatever way Spirit asks. Much Gratitude!” … Robbie, Otter Woman Standing
- Fire Keepers –This role requires the Fire Keepers to hold the energy of the Directional Fires within the container of the Arbor. Each Fire Keeper will connect to their Directional Fire and carry its energy. The East is the Cleansing Fire, the South is the Soothing Fire, The West is the Call to Action Fire, the North is the Guardian Fire and the Spirit Fire is inside the Arbor. I encourage the Fire Keepers to bring and use whatever personal Medicine Tools you feel called to use. You will be moving and dancing to encourage your Fires. Drumming is a wonderful way to connect with the Fire, but it is important to be mindful that you are not Drumming for the Dancers, but for your Fire. The connection to your Fire will be incredibly powerful and you may be asked to “Dance” that energy into the Arbor from time to time. Look to the Chief for that request. The Fires are connected to the Shrines and hold the container of the Arbor energetically. Each Fire has a specific herb that is offered for connection and prayer. These herbs will be available to the Dancers during the Dance. The East is Sage, South is Cornmeal, West is Cedar, North is Tobacco and the Spirit Fire is Sweetgrass.A video message to Fire Keepers — https://vimeo.com/314309248/2d18c05695
- Drummers –Drum from the heart and hold the rhythm that “carries” the Dancers. Each drummer will have their own individual beat that may shift and change throughout the Dance. I encourage the Drummers to FEEL the energy and play from your heart. The Drum Chief is crucial to keeping the energy of the Drum contained in a way that serves the Dancers. There will be rattles, drums and other percussion instruments. I encourage all the Drummers to bring your personal Drum if you have one. There will also be many Drums available to play. The Dancers rely on your energy, your love and compassion to move them through their Dance.A video message to Drummers –https://vimeo.com/314601460/df4c80d4f8
- Dance Guardians –Guardians of the Dance who work quietly to ensure all needs of the Dance are met. In the Dance, the Dance Guardian team will ensure that all the supplies are in order and ready. You may carry wood for the Fire Keepers and repair the Arbor. You escort the Dancers when outside of the arbor for a break. You keep watch in shifts during the night so the Dancers are never alone and the Dancers feel safe and cared for. You are the quiet presence that keeps everything moving. Most importantly, when a Dancer goes into that place of surrender to Spirit and may collapse into Grace, the Dance Guardian will gently and lovingly carry that Dancer back to their space in the Arbor. The Alpha Guardian is the head of the Dance Guardian team and will hold the energy of the crew outside the Arbor.A video message to Dance Guardians –https://vimeo.com/314598568/b4cc310973
- Kitchen Angels –This team holds the Heart of the Dance. They nourish and nurture the Crew. The Kitchen Archangel will handle the planning of all meals from Friday lunch through to Sunday lunch and guide the kitchen crew in caring for the rest of the Crew. We find that all the energy from the Dance Arbor moves through the Kitchen during a Dance. This means that the Kitchen Crew not only needs to be able to prepare meals, but also to deal with this energy in a good way. You will be holding the Heart of the Dancers while you nourish the Crew. Sometimes the crew may have cravings for food that they don’t usually eat……this is because a Dancer is craving a specific food. We say the Crew actually eats for the Dancers who are fasting so the loving preparation of the food has a direct effect on the crew as well as the Dancers. A video message to Kitchen
Angels – https://vimeo.com/314308339/df0b46c8cc
- Fire Mother –The Fire Mother holds the feminine space inside the Arbor and works directly with the Dancers as they process and Dance. The Fire Mother will be inside the Arbor whenever the Dancers are moving. You will hold the container from the inside and connect energetically with each Dancer. As Dancers begin to process their emotions and clear out old experiences, you will help them and love them through the process. As a Fire Mother, you will be working directly with the Dancers, physically moving the energy of the Dancer as needed. You will need to use a Feather Fan when working with the Dancers. It is important that you are also available during the breaks if a Dancer needs attention. Sometimes the processing will happen when the Dancer stops moving. As a Fire Mother you are directly connected with each Dancer to serve their highest good in whatever way possible.A video message to Fire Mothers and Fathers – https://vimeo.com/314600523/4d343e1a6a
- Fire Father –The Fire Father holds the masculine space inside the Arbor and works directly with the Dancers as they process and Dance. The Fire Father will be inside the Arbor whenever the Dancers are moving. You will hold the container from the inside and connect in energetically with each Dancer. As Dancers begin to process their emotions and clear out old experiences, you will help them and love them through the process. As a Fire Father, you will be working directly with the Dancers, physically moving the energy of the Dancer as needed. You will need to use a Feather Fan when working with the Dancers. It is important that you are also available during the breaks if a Dancer needs attention. Sometimes the processing will happen when the Dancer stops moving. As a Fire Father you are directly connected with each Dancer to serve their highest good in whatever way possible.A video message to Fire Mothers and Fathers – https://vimeo.com/314600523/4d343e1a6a
- Wisdom Keeper/Elder –As a Wisdom keeper, you hold the wisdom and experience that few others in Ceremony have earned. Wisdom Keepers of the Dance provide council to the Chief and you may be asked to work with a specific Dancer at the Chief’s request. You will only be asked to move into the Arbor on rare occasions while the Dancers are dancing, but you may be asked to work with a Dancer who is resting. It is important that you read the energy; not only of the Dancers, but also the Crew. The position of the Wisdom Keeper is an honored position and not to be taken lightly. The wisdom and experience that you carry is crucial to the energy of the Dance and to how the Chief may make decisions. The Wisdom Keeper’s highest service is as the Council to the Chief. A video message to Elders – https://vimeo.com/314307699/719646af14
- Chief – This is the Leader and Keeper of the Vision, the Dance, Dancers and the Crew. The Chief will make decisions for all aspects of the Dance in order to allow the Dancers to receive the highest and best for their individual Spirit work. It is the role of the Chief to hold the container of the Dance in a sacred and honored way. All those who are called to the Dance put themselves in the care of the Chief. It is up to the Chief to hold the Vision of the Fire Dance and make sure that all is well. The support of the entire crew helps the Chief to maintain this Vision as we all work in Community. Creating the space for a Sacred Medicine Dance is not an easy task and never to be taken lightly. It is a true honor to be asked by Spirit to bring the Fire Dance to the People.
- Dance Coordinator –While this is an administrative role, it is only a part of the work of the Coordinator. The Coordinator will be intimately involved with making sure the details of the Dance are given to the Crew and to the Dancers. They work with the Chief to make sure the supplies are on hand and ready for the Ceremony and will be communicating with the Dancers, Crew and Chief in order to keep everyone up to date. They coordinate all of these aspects of the Ceremony as well as holding the space for all involved. The Coordinator becomes energetically connected to the Dance well before it begins and serves as advisor and council to the Chief and other Leaders. This is not always an easy task as you are dealing with the emotions and issues that may arise as we get closer to the Dance. It is important to stay well-grounded and focused on the Dance as a whole.
- Supply Coordinator –The Supply Coordinator works closely with the Dance Coordinator, Crew Leaders and the Chief to ensure that all needed supplies are present and in order. This will involve working within a budget, placing orders and shopping for botanicals, tarps, first aid supplies and other needed items for the entirety of the Dance. This means focusing on the needs of the Dancers as well as the crew to ensure that all supplies are accounted for and purchased. Although very task oriented, this is also a very energetically connected position. The welfare of the Dancer and Crew are essential when considering what will be needed for Ceremony, for comfort and any situation that may arise.
A few logistical notes:
Brandy Winn ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is the international Fire Dance Coordinator . She will be handling all the logistical details to help you plan for your Dance. If you have any questions about donations, beds, food, and timing, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you have any questions about the energy or the Medicine of the Dance and what you may be going through please reach out to me directly. I am here to help you step into your ceremony as a Crew member.
- You will be able to camp on the grounds in designated areas or reserve a bed in one of the Rooms. The beds are limited and on a first reserved basis.
- The arrival time for the Dance is Friday at noon and the Dance runs until Sunday late afternoon. You are expected to stay for the entire Ceremony. All meals are provided from lunch Friday through to the Feast on Sunday.
- Bring an item for the Giveaway Ceremony after the Dance. This is an item that has had some importance to you but is time to give to another person. (See attached)
- Bring all items needed for personal comfort and weather conditions – we dance rain or shine.
Crew Donations (Friday-Sunday during Dance)…………………………………………R1000 (Includes meals Friday lunch to Sunday feast)
Bed reservation (Friday-Sunday during Dance)……………………..……………..……..R260 (per person/per night sharing)
Camping on the land (Friday-Sunday during Dance)…………………………………..R100 (per person/per night sharing)
We will be accepting Crew payments from now onwards. Please make sure all payments are made no later than September 4, 2020. There are 2 methods of payment, you can either follow the Paypal link on www.otterdance.com or use the following banking information for an EFT within South Africa.
The reference for any deposit should show your Name plus Crew and add the word Accom if you’re including your accommodation (eg: Tom Crew or Tom Crew Accom). Please confirm your transfer by email to email@example.com
Much gratitude to you for your courage and determination to be in Service to the Fire Dance! A Medicine Dance is not a simple thing to do. Spirit requires much of us who say YES! I am honored to have you present at the Fire Dance Arbor.
It is not always easy to be on the outside of the Dance Arbor holding the sacred space for others to do the work. Each support position is vital to the Ceremony from the Dog soldiers to the Kitchen Angels to the Chief.
Serving the Fire Dance will change your life. It will change the planet. You are a powerful FORCE!
Fire Dancer Preparation
Fire Dancer Preparation Letter
Dearest Fire Dancer,
Much gratitude to you for your courage and determination to move into your most passionate and creative life! A Medicine Dance is not a simple thing to do. Spirit requires much of us who say YES! I am honored to have you in the Fire Dance Arbor.
It is important that you prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for the Dance. Now that you have committed to the Ceremony focus your thoughts on the sacredness of the Dance. Remember that you are stepping into a sacred state of being.
There may be emotions that start to come up for you before the Dance; this is normal. Your Higher Self is already in the Dance Space and preparing your body to release the things that no longer serve you. Allow the emotions to come and know that this will pass and the Dance will burn away anything that is blocking you emotionally.
This is a fasting dance. This means you will be fasting from food and water for the duration of this ceremony. This idea may bring up some fears. Be assured that this form of fasting has been carried out for many centuries by thousands of Dancers and Visionaries. I myself have done this many times. You will be held in a sacred space while Dancing with Spirit; you are safe! To make this process somewhat easer is it suggested that you begin preparing your body the week before the dance. By removing toxins from your body during this time, it will make the fasting easier. We suggest that you taper off of sugar and caffeine and be sure to hydrate yourself during the days leading up to the dance.
Your spiritual preparations have already begun……you’ve said YES! Just remember that you are entering into the safest space – The Dance Arbor – and that you are held in the arms of the Beloved. All who are present to support the Dance also support the Dancer for the Sacred work being done.
The Fire Dance has a Sacred Fire in each of the 4 cardinal directions and a 5th Fire in the Arbor – the Spirit Fire. Each Fire holds its own energy and intention.
East Fire – The Cleansing Fire, South Fire – The Soothing Fire, West Fire – The Call to Action Fire, North Fire – The Guardian Fire
As you dance around the Arbor you will build the energy and create a vortex with the other Dancers. Once this accumulated energy is ready to be released out to the Universe, we will ignite our own flame from the Spirit Fire in order to release the energies. I will ask the Fire Keepers to create a Bridge of wood next to the Spirit Fire. Once the Bridge is crossed, the energy vortex that has been building is released which spirals upward and out to the Universe. This is a most beautiful moment in the Dance!
A few logistical notes:
Brandy Winn ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is the international Fire Dance Coordinator. She will be handling all the logistical details to help you plan for your Dance. If you have any questions about donations, beds, food and timing, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you have any questions about the energy or the Medicine of the Dance and what you may be going through please reach out to me directly. I am here to help you step into your ceremony as a Dancer.
- As a Sacred Dancer, your body is your tribute to Spirit! Your clothes (regalia) should reflect your commitment to the Dance and what you may be working through. Be creative! When I Danced, I (Robbie) painted my face, tied cloth in my hair and chose colors and clothes that honored the energy of the Fire.Prayer Ties and Regalia – https://vimeo.com/314305604/6cc0dbe816
- All Dancers will wear a skirt or sarong (including men). This is tradition and an honours the SacredCeremonial Skirts – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fClIJoIjuGU
- You will be sleeping in the Dance Arbor, please bring what you need for your comfort – a sleeping mat or pad , pillow, sleeping bag, a tarp for ground cover, Please try to keep items to a minimum so we can accommodate space for all the Dancers. Due to limited space inside the Arbor your sleeping mat or air mattress should be no larger than a single bed.
- Plan on arriving Friday by noon and staying until Sunday late afternoon. Lunch Friday is provided as well as the Feast on Sunday.
- Please bring 2 white flat sheets for donation (single bed sheets are the best)
- Please bring 2 white hand towels for donation
- Bring 1 meter (yard) pff RED fabric (cotton), cotton twine and loose tobacco – these items are for your prayer ties. (see above video and also attached information)
Dancer Donation is on a sliding scale between R4000-R6500. It is up to you to decide where you are in your energy exchange and your prosperity. We will be accepting Dancer payments from now onwards. Please make sure all payments are made no later than September 4, 2020. There are 2 methods of payment, you can either follow the Paypal link on www.otterdance.com or use the following banking information for an EFT within South Africa.
The reference for any deposit should show your Name plus Dancer (eg: Tom Dancer). Please confirm your transfer by email to email@example.com
Bring an item for the Giveaway Ceremony after the Dance. This is an item that has had some importance to you but is time to give to another person. (see attached information)
Please know that there is an entire crew to support you, your Dance and your needs. If you forget something, or need something we will be there to make sure you are taken care of.
Thank you again for saying YES! What you do in the Fire Dance will change your life. It will change the planet. You are a powerful FIRE DANCER!
Much Love and Gratitude!
Robbie, Otter Woman Standing
Fire Dance Chief
Chief Vaughan Harris
Heya, I am Vaughan Harris from South Africa.
In 2010, I attended my first dance known as the For the One Dance. Truthfully, even though parts of my soul recognised the magical essence of this Medicine Dance, my logical mind took time to process it all. At this Dance I met Robbie and subsequently we became good friends. During a visit in 2011, Robbie mentioned her Fire Dance vision which I couldn’t exactly picture due to my lack of experience. However, I knew that if she were to bring the Dance into reality that I would support it.
Robbie brought the Fire Dance to South Africa in October 2012, I immediately said “Yes” and was asked to Chief the Drums. I still couldn’t grasp why I was drawn to be there, but I knew that this work was not only good for my growth but also the growth of others. This Dance has taught me what it means to serve and this service, then teaches one the essence of humility, which is an ongoing process. With the Fire Dance as a vehicle, I have witnessed that true service to others and oneself manifests indescribable magic.
In 2016, I was called by Robbie to become a Chief of the Fire Dance in South Africa which completely surprised me. After the initial shock of the request I said “Yes”. Robbie had brought to my attention that massive changes would take place in my life, these were initially very intense yet I have never looked back. My life, my spirit journey and my character have gone through the most amazing shifts and changes, changes that are ongoing and beyond imagining.
I have had the privilege to Chief many Fire Dances in South Africa and the privilege of holding space for a community in the process, what an honour it has been. With the Fire Dance now, having a permanent presence in SA, the Dance community is expanding and because of this growth I hope that other Medicine Dances will begin to visit our part of the world.
In truth, there are no words to describe what this Medicine means to me. I have witnessed deep and profound shifts in those that attend the Fire Dance, especially when attended regularly. I’ve seen changes with regards to career, family relations and romantic relationships, but I see the most profound growth within each person’s relationship with themselves. This is open-soul surgery, which requires some level of bravery: all profound inner change requires courage, it’s not easy but it’s simple. As we grow, change and shed we start to recognise our incredible divinity. As we then walk into our world, everything we touch begins to change which emanates out into our entire planet.
If you feel the Call of the Fire Dance then don’t hesitate to make contact, stay in your heart space and know that you will be held in the warm embrace of unconditional love by this community.
Dearest Fire Dancer,
I had a Dancer ask me recently about making prayer ties. This is a Native American practice of intentional prayer and meditation. I believe that making Prayer Ties prior to your Dance will help you to focus on the Dance and your individual healing and releasing work.
You can work on Prayer Ties a little each day or sit quietly and do them all at once. There is no set number for you to make prior to the Dance, but please if you can, make a few. Some Dancers make thousands before a Ceremony such as this, others may make only seven. It is up to you as the Dancer to know your prayers and the work you will be doing in the Arbor.
Usually the fabric is cotton and the string is a natural fiber as well. We say the prayers in accordance with the energies of the seven sacred directions.
East – Yellow – Cleansing, new beginnings, ideas and clarity of thought, your mental body, transformation, the Butterfly is the Spirit Guardian of the East
South – Red – Soothing, childhood, emotional body, trust and unconditional love, relationships, connection to Mother Earth, the Turtle is the Spirit Guardian of the South
West – Black – Call to action, manifestation, physical healing and the physical body, placement, the Bear is the Spirit Guardian of the West
North – White – Guardian and protector, ancestors, Spiritual body, elders, the Eagle is the Spirit Guardian of the North
Up Above – Blue – Connection to the Star Nation, Father Sky, and the cosmos
Down Below – Green – Mother Earth, Animal Guides, creation
Within – Purple – Connection to the Spirit within, higher self, soul, your unique being
Creator, Great Spirit is in all Directions and colors, ever present
As you make your Prayer Ties, please be mindful that you will be bringing these prayers and intentions into the Dance Arbor with you. Put your prayer into each tie, and when you are finished please smudge each tie. It is easiest to keep a little sage or (imphepo in South Africa) burning while you are working on your ties. If you find that you have many Prayer Ties to make, you may want to wrap them around a stick of some sort to keep them from being tangled.
I have also asked that you bring red fabric and string to the Dance so you can work on additional Prayer Ties when you are resting in the Dance Arbor. Please have these precut so you will not have to worry with scissors in the Arbor (you may feel a little altered).
Click here for a PDF created by one of the Dance Elders here that shows the details of how to tie the prayers.
I am holding you all in my heart as I tie my Prayers for the Dance as well. I will be praying for each of you and setting my own intentions for the Dance. We are all connected by the Fires! Loving you all for your bravery and strength!
The Give-Away Ceremony
(from Robbie, Otter Woman Standing – Visionary of the Fire Dance)
One of the most important ceremonies in Native American teachings is the Give-Away, or Potlatch, Ceremony. In this ritual, giving away of useful or loved possessions is a form of sharing with others. It is also a sign that the giver is willing to make a sacrifice and surrender a gift to another person without attachment or regret. The Native understanding of sacrifice originally meant “to make sacred”. To make any act or any gift sacred, one has to complete that action with a joyful heart and a humble attitude. Giving is only one step of the process and allows the giver to look within so that he or she may examine the growth potential associated with the Give-Away.
In Native Tradition, no one is ever abandoned, orphaned, or left without food, dwellings, or help. The understanding among Native people is that when one shares all that one has, in order that the People may live, honor and abundance is brought to the giver. Indians have extended families that adopt many relatives and care for one another. Those who are blessed with possessions and food have always shared with those who are lacking. The Medicine Wheel may turn tomorrow and the ones who are in need today, may be blessed with abundance that they may share.
The purpose of the Give-Away is sharing. The lessons connected to this ceremony teach the people how to release possessions and to let go the ideas of importance connected with those belongings. The more prized the possession and the greater the sense of ownership, the more potent the lesson. The Give-Away Ceremony is never used to get rid of belongings that are no longer functional or badly in need of repair. Some gifts of the Give-Away may be made especially for the occasion. To give cast-off items is a disgrace to the giver and shows a lack of respect for the receiver.
If one cannot give without strings attached, there is no true release and the sacredness of giving without expectations has been destroyed. Among the Tribes of Native America, if everyone was not taken care of, the People lost face. There was never any justification for some to live in luxury while others of the same tribe starved.
The teachings of the Give-Away are basic to Native understanding. Many other lessons are learned each time one has the opportunity to share and is faced with personal feelings that arise when a decision to Give-Away is made. As we free ourselves from the need to give with strings attached or the regret that sometimes follows, we are able to release our spirits and allow them to soar beyond the limited understanding of our former Selves.
Click here to sign your waiver.
Click here to sign your waiver.