The Connection between Aikido and Circle Dance

From the beginning of the Circle Dance Facilitator’s Training, I could see how Aikido and Circle Dances align. From the initial dances and exercises, we had a moment to reflect on the awareness and intentionality of the movements and the perception of unity. And, of course, the fundamental aspect they have in common is circularity.

The circle or any circular movement, such as turning on the axis of one’s own body, helps one to self-center and balance.

Psychologist Glaucia Rodrigues
Coordinator of the Center for Universal Studies

This is of great relevance to Aikido. We spend a lot of time repeating the basic moves that will be effective in most situations. Continuous training allows us to have a more natural response. However, it is essential to be aware of why you are doing the movement so that you can adapt it when necessary.

It is also common to perform techniques thinking of deflection, immobilization, and partner control as isolated events. Understanding the mechanics and details of each component can help, but when treated as completely independent moments they are useless and meaningless. We must treat them as inseparable.

Recently, I developed, in partnership with Isabel Rogoski, my first circle dance workshop where we journeyed from Aikido to Circle Dances. Trying to demonstrate how balance from the Aikido point of view can enrich the circle. Starting from the individual balance in our physical center of mass (Seika Tanden) with the projection of our body and life energy (ki). Going through balance when we are connected with a partner. And finally when we are in a circle with a whole group.

Recognizing our center in every situation and always having it as our reference is critical to making our movement harmonious in both Aikido and Circle Dances.

Placed in a circle, we perceive our own identity in relation to each other, while recognizing our equality – the unity that lives in the center – we also welcome the unique and irreplaceable presence of each one standing on the circumference line.

William Valle – Circle Dance Instructor & Choreographer

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