Round dances, through all ages of time and all locations of the world, display striking similarities in structure and theme. This is strong evidence that they share a common origin. These dances are usually quite religious in nature and I propose that round dances, like other widespread yet similar ritual motifs found scattered across the world, had their beginnings in one of the first sacred rites of this world given to and practiced by our first parents, namely the ancient prayer circle.
The paper on this subject has been split up into the following parts:
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Round dances from the Neolithic time period, Native American, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian cultures.
Part 3 – Round dances from the Greek, Hebrew, and Christian cultures.
Part 4 – Round dances from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and present-day traditions. Common pattern throughout all practices.
Part 5 – Round dances show connections with religions, and with ritual creation dramas throughout history, including the early Christian prayer circle.
Part 6 – Round dances show connections with worship since the beginning of time, indicating a common source. These practices are familiar to the Latter-day Saints. Conclusion.
Nice site. I got the link from David over at Mormon Mysticism, a good friend of mine. I just wanted to say keep up the good research and studies.
Thanks Kerry. I have been pleased to hear from apologists such as yourself who have given me much encouragement with the site. I’m an amateur by all means and measurements, but I have a burning testimony of the truth. I have read your blog and heard your podcasts as well, and find them very inspiring. Most recently your connections between the gospel and quantum physics was quite thought provoking.
In thinking further about your interesting paper on the genesis of the ring dance, I remembered that there is a marvelous example of a prayer circle and therefore a type of ring dance in the Book of Mormon. While teaching 2500 people at the temple of Bountiful, Christ organized them in concentric rings of righteousness and then He prayed with them. He was the center of these rings. Then came a ring of little children; next a ring of fire and angels; with the outer ring made up of righteous adults (see 3 Nephi 17:12, 15, 23-25). The message in forming these concentric rings of righteousness was in visual representation of the Savior’s imperatives found in 3 Nephi 11:37-38. To come unto Christ and become like Him we as adults must become sanctified little children. Mark Greene
Very interesting connection Mark! I had not thought of that before. Fantastic!
I have posted a web page that analyzes the structural similarities between the greek trageies, the sufi sema, the may pole dance, and the Masonic Degrees.
My Notes on the Second UK Temple Studies Group Symposium | Heavenly Ascents
[…] Rick Huchel is LDS and a long-time student of the Temple. He is an independent research historian and resides in North Logan, Utah. Was employed as a specialist in temple matters for the LDS Church translation department. It was great to have Bro. Huchel as a fine representative of the LDS Church at this conference. His presentation was one of the highlights of the program. This presentation is a much abbreviated version of a 100 page paper written on the topic. I also recommend looking at Bryce Haymond’s related post at http://www.templestudy.com.) […]
The Traditional Greek Folk Dances and their Ancient Roots » Temple Study – LDS Temples, Mormon Temples, Study Blog
[…] I originally wrote my paper on “The Genesis of the Round Dance,” I included a short section on the ancient Greek dance forms: The ancient choruses, dances, […]
Prayer Circles and the Power of Group Thinking in Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol’ » Temple Study – LDS Temples, Mormon Temples, Study Blog
[…] as part of a vigil. Such circles have existed for a very long time (see my paper “The Genesis of the Round Dance“). They are witnessed today in even the simplest act of joining hands around the dinner […]
Who were the Shepherds in the Christmas Story? » Temple Study – LDS Temples, Mormon Temples, Study Blog
[…] century art piece depicts the angels in heaven forming circular ring dances, reminiscent of the ancient temple prayer circles, with the cherubim taking each other’s hands. Dr. Jeffrey Bradshaw has described this form […]