Dance at Indian Canyon 18-21 October, 2018

Santa Cruz Dance for All People 2018

Indian Canyon, Hollister, CA
October 18–21, 2018

Dancing into Family which Lifts Us Up

Birth family, chosen family, human family, spirit family.
We dance into the family that loves us for exactly who we are–and supports us to grow into our best selves.
We dance to heal the wounds that are passed down through our families.
We dance to lean into the family bonds that lift us up and strengthen us to do our work in the world.

“The songs were here long before our fathers and our great grandmothers. They say when you sing these songs it makes the grass grow, berries grow, water run.Someone may dream that something may be wrong. They know it, that bad stuff is coming to us and we better be dancing… sending it back, sending it back. That’s the way we dance it. It isn’t just a dance.”      
Emily Hill, an elder of the Eastern Shoshone nation

The Dance For All People is drawn from an age-old tradition of the Great Basin/Plateau indigenous peoples which was practiced for the healing, restoration and renewal of Mother Earth and all her beings. This ceremony has been revitalized under the guidance and leadership of Native peoples for the challenging times we are currently living in.

The Dance is about each individual taking personal responsibility to make this mission of healing and renewal for the good of all a part of their daily lives. Through the vessel of the Dance, we focus our hearts, minds, and prayers on the transformation of our inner beings based on the premise that we become in our inner lives what we intend to create in the outer world.

After almost 30 years of diligent prayer and hard work, the original vision is being realized in new ways: the vision of racial harmony, the vision of people of all four directions in the circle of life coming together under the Tree.

Once witnessed with one’s own eyes, it is something that each and every dancer can carry in his or her heart, back home to nourish and inspire family, friends, and local community.

We are reminded that “all power lies in a circle”. In Ceremony, in community, the power and clarity of our circle is multiplied a thousand-fold. And so we call on each of you to bring your voice, your highest vision, your dreams and your prayers to the Cauldron. To encourage the process of healing at a global level, we must first change the one thing over which we have real power: ourselves. And if not now, when?

Dance Circle at Indian Canyon
Dance Circle at Indian Canyon

We are honored to Dance once again at Indian Canyon, sacred land that has never been colonized and that to this day serves as a sanctuary for coastal native peoples. This land is the only federally recognized California Indian Country in a 300-square-mile area on the California Central Coast.

Prayer Poll at Indian Canyon
Prayer Poll at Indian Canyon

Today ceremonies of indigenous traditions from around the world take place here. We are deeply grateful to Ann Marie Sayers, Mustun/Ohlone elder, for opening her home to us.

The purpose of the Dance for All People is to honor and renew our relationship with the earth, the ancestors, and all beings through creating a common ground for all. Inspired by Great Basin Plateau tribal traditions and originating in their ancestral Round Dance, the Dance for All People today incorporates singing and dancing in a simple side-step around a tree.

Smudge pot–helping keep the circle clean

The Dance for All People is a living ceremony. Few of us can claim this tradition, yet we come as welcomed guests, participating in the ceremony with humility and respect.

At this Dance we all help to create the infrastructure necessary to support our ceremony. Service is an essential aspect of our dance! For all returning dancers, please consider what you have to offer; your gatekeeper will help you discern how you would like to serve before, during, and/or after the ceremony.

If you feel called to dance with us at Indian Canyon, there are a number of steps to follow.

1) Gatekeeping

In preparation for the Dance, all dancers must contact one of the gatekeepers listed below to set up a phone conversation. The gatekeeping process is an opportunity to clarify your intentions for participating in the ceremony. Our collective intent is about healing and renewal for the Earth and all beings, and this includes your personal intention for healing. You may choose to reflect on these questions as you prepare to meet with your gatekeeper:

  • What calls me to this Dance?
  • What is the change that is most needed in my life?
  • How am I a vessel for the healing and renewal of this world?

Your gatekeeper can help answer questions you have regarding our Dance, discuss logistics to guide your preparations, and support you in discerning how you will step into service for our Dance. Please note that there are specific gatekeepers available for new dancers, Indigenous dancers, families with children, and those called to volunteer in the kitchen.

Santa Cruz Gatekeeping Team

New dancers
español y ingles

(415) 374-3736
Dawn & Willow Walking
Families with children
(831) 334-0065
(415) 786-5012‬
Jasmine Tea
New dancers
(831) 426-4824
Kitchen dancers, new dancers
(831) 818-2528
Kwai6969 on skype
Little Wolf
Native dancers & New dancers only
(831) 419-9361
Lily Moon
(917) 796-2904
Lorenzo / Monkey Bear
(615) 336-9088
Mālama ManyGifts
New & returning dancers
(530) 864-2134
(831) 435-0973
(718) 614-2774

2) The Agreements

We ask that every dancer commit to the following agreements, which strengthen our time in ceremony and demonstrate respect to the traditions of our ceremonial leaders:


  • Participate fully from your arrival on Thursday afternoon, October 12, through the end of the ceremony on Sunday, October 15.
  • Contribute your emotional, mental, and physical energies to the ceremony, to the best of your abilities.
  • Commit to safely clear your mind and body of the effects of any recreational intoxicants before arriving for the Dance and to abstain for the entirety of the ceremony.
  • Refrain from sexual activities that will dissipate your energies from your arrival until your departure.
  • Respect all people and items in the ceremony.
  • Complete registration and payment before arrival at Indian Canyon.

3) Registration

Once you have completed your gatekeeping, your gatekeeper will send you the link to our online registration form. Your registration is complete when you have submitted the form and paid registration fees via PayPal or by mailing a check. Please complete your registration promptly and pay all fees before arriving at the Dance.


Adults: $250 – $400 Youth (10-17): $50 – $150 Children (under 10): Free

There is no cost to participate in our ceremony. The fee you are asked to pay covers the expenses of food, materials used in ceremony, and elder travel. Portions of the fees are gifted to Indian Canyon and to the elders and leaders who facilitate the ceremony to show our gratitude and acknowledgement for their hard work and sacrifice.

Indigenous Dancers

While this dance is open to all people, we recognize that this Dance comes from Native American tradition. To honor that gift, we waive the requested registration fee for those who identify as First Nations, American Indian, and/or Native American. We invite Indigenous people to contact Little Wolf to gatekeep and learn more about the ceremony.


Our meals at this ceremony are lovingly prepared by a team of dedicated kitchen volunteers. We are calling out to those who would like to dance in the kitchen! This is a wonderful opportunity to be in service to community. Partial scholarships are available. If you feel called to engage in the sacred work of feeding the people, please contact Kwai for gatekeeping.

The Naraya cultural preservation council

The Santa Cruz Naraya is one of eight Dances in the United States held under the auspices of the Naraya Cultural Preservation Council (NCPC), a public non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preserving traditional Native ceremonies, protecting sacred sites, and supporting the Intermountain culture of the Great Basin Plateau. NCPC has contributed financial support for the Santa Cruz Naraya and to Indian Canyon. Whether or not you dance with us, please consider a contribution to the NCPC. You can mail a check or pay online: NCPC, PO Box 6089, Pocatello, ID 83205.

To learn more about our ceremony, visit