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of Universal Peace
At the start of every school week, all
students and their teachers come together for Dances
of Universal Peace. The idea is that we begin our week
by moving together in harmony .
These dances were introduced to the
world in the 1960s by Samuel Lewis, a scholar of Buddhism,
Judaism and Sufism, advocate of organic agriculture,
and international proponent of world peace. Lewis believed
that if people could eat, dance and pray together,
there would be peace on Earth; teaching these dances
formed part of his mission.
The dances, most of which are performed
in a circle, combine simple movements with songs and
chants from spiritual traditions from around the world.
The themes honor peace, love, the Divine, nature, and
the unity of humanity. Through the music, our students
become acquainted with foreign phrases, names and stories
from various cultures.
Rudolf Steiner died in 1925; Dances of
Universal Peace did not begin until the late 1960s. While
not formally part of the Waldorf curriculum, Dances of
Universal Peace are very much in keeping with the spirit
and purpose of Waldorf-inspired education. Waldorf education
came into being in the aftermath of World War I, when
some forward-thinking individuals felt the need for a
new type of education. They asked philosopher Rudolf
Steiner to develop a new kind of school: one that would
help children become harmonious citizens who would create
a just and peaceful society. The result was Waldorf education.
Dances of Universal Peace fully support these aims. .
Edwards suits up and shares a recently vacated honey bee hive
with the students and faculty of Hearthstone School. She took
this opportunity to show the difference between actual honey
comb and brood comb (where the queen lays
eggs). The students were excited to see, touch,
and learn about all the honey bee products created in the
hive. She also emphasized the respect we need to have for the
honey bee because they are so necessary to our survival.
in Little Washington 12/4/2011