I discovered drum circles about 3 years ago with my friend Christine. First, Christine and I hadn’t seen each other since we were in school, probably Junior High School even, a few years ago ya know. We reconnected on Facebook and after some exchange discovered we were both interested in checking out a local drum circle. The first one we went to was at the Dandelion Communitea Cafe . I remember bringing bongos, which I purposely left in the car because I had no idea how to play them and feeling a bit unsure as to what I was getting myself into. Rich came along as well, I’m so thankful he is supportive of my (what I’m sure he thought at the time) crazy ideas! Rich and I met up with Christine and Doris (Christine’s mom) and sat on the ground or a rock or something (we didn’t bring chairs) and watched and listen to the beautiful drum circle. In this circle there were smaller hand drums, flutes, singing bowls and shakers. We found out later that because the cafe is surrounded by a neighborhood, they do a quieter drum circle. It didn’t take long when a kind soul by the name of Henry approached us and asked if we wanted to play something. He had flutes and a type of kettle sounding drum made from an LP gas tank. I’m sure there is a name for this drum, just can’t recall right now. Henry was so kind and it was our first introduction to the drum circle community. I then had the opportunity to play the singing bowls that made a huge impression on me. The vibrations of the bowls and the energy they released was amazing, I had never experienced anything like that before. I went home from my first drum circle feeling energized, feeling alive, joyful, peaceful and excited! I couldn’t wait to go to my next one and learn more. I am so very happy to have met up with Christine and Doris, life long friends with a passion for new experiences and a love for learning.
Since that time, I’ve been too many drum circles, both community and facilitated ones. I’ve met an incredible artist who made me a beautiful djembe drum with tie dyed skin, taken a few classes and spent about five weekends camping at Paralounge, drumming and dancing. I’ve bought shakers, a gong, percussion frogs, various percussion instruments, a frame drum and tambourine. I try to pick up a new instrument with every paralounge I attend. Above all, I’ve met the most warm, judgment-free and welcoming community.
What I love most is the drum circle community where people gather in a circle that offers equality, as there is no beginning and no end. It includes everyone, all ages and all ranges of talent, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, when you are in the circle it all about the rhythm. In the circle we share the rhythm, tune into each other and also within oneself. Even if you aren’t interested in playing an instrument, there are dancers in the circle, hula hooping, fire dancing and poi, it’s a beautiful experience.
If you are interested in finding a drum circle in your area, the Meet Up sites often have times and dates of circles.
Let your hands dance, let you hearts sing! I stumbled upon this website – Rick’s Gallery Drum Circles and I think he says it best. Another website to check out is Jana Broder of Drum Magic, she travels the state of Florida and holds amazing facilitated drum circles. I’ve participated in a few of her workshops and the joy is unmistakable. I can’t stop smiling during the workshop or after!
From Rick’s Gallery Drum Circles, “The most common question I get asked about Drum Circles is “Why?”
“It’s also the most difficult question to answer. After having observed drum circles from within for many years, I’m still fascinated that people are drawn to them for so many different reasons. Therein lies the magic. Ask individual people why they drum in drum circles and you’ll hear that drum circles are relaxing, invigorating, musical, spiritual, creative, social and introspective. They will tell you they come away with feelings of inner peace, connectedness, groundedness, joy, confidence and energy. For me, the beauty has always been that, as diverse as our goals may be, we travel there together.”
The pictures in this post are from the Orlando Brewing Drum Circle last night. Great circle!