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A few weeks ago, in the back of Swank Coffee Shoppe in DTSP, I attended my first drum circle. And after seeing “no experience necessary” on the event listing, I decided to call the phone number provided and see if a spot was available later that evening. Spoiler alert: there was.

I wasn’t nervous or apprehensive about it, but I knew it would be something different. I didn’t know what to expect but I was excited for the prospect of having nothing too serious to do after a busy few months — and after some exposure to energy work in my past, I thought this would be a fun new endeavor to experience locally.

Bring on the Rhythm of the Night

I arrived to see lots of smiling faces. Everyone grabbed a seat in the swanky (see what I did there) shop. The energy was welcoming and peaceful. And everyone seemed friendly and open — newbies and experienced drummers alike. Cyndy Paige, founder of Rhythm of the Earth, aka Snake Dancer, led us on an experience for an hour and a half.

She gave us a brief intro to her decades-long studies with the Medicine Wheel and Shamanic Sound Healing. This, she said, was a Summer Full Moon Drum Circle, showcasing the energies of the Summer quadrant of the Medicine Wheel, the element of fire and coyote.

We Drummed, We Danced, We Centered

We each grabbed a frame drum to use for the evening. Mine was handmade by Cyndy and made of elk, an animal that she said represented stamina.

“Many don’t realize the elk travels far, and they need to be able to keep their pace,” she said. “The elk drum is right for someone doing a lot of things who needs to know their rhythm to keep going.” Relatable. I laughed and said, “I’ll keep this one right here.”

We first learned and drummed the heartbeat rhythm.

Bum bum, bum bum, bum bum, bum bum

We then moved on to a few other rhythms, dances and songs as the evening progressed. I could feel the rhythm and reverberations off the drum and felt at peace, in almost a meditative state, at times. Those brave enough (✋) tried to drum and dance. And then dance and sing around the shop. The dances included a few steps forward, to the side and back. The songs had sweet messages that sounded like prayers or chants.

You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re dancing around a coffee shop with strangers. While it wasn’t too hard to pick up, I quickly learned to laugh off the missteps and the missed beats.

BUM bum bum bum, BUM bum bum bum, BUM bum bum bum, pause

Call Me Swank Dancer

Overall, it was a night well spent, and I felt very calm and at peace by the time the event came to a close. Most of all, it felt good to take a moment to pause and experience something new. How often do we make time to do that?

Learn more about Cyndy “Snake Dancer” Paige and catch her event schedule here.

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