(PDF version downloads here.)

Set-Up and Restore the Altar

The Altar is an important anchor. It acts as a grounding and focal point for the Dance, perhaps an intuitive complement to the Facilitator’s theme, a work of installation art. You are the creator, from inspiration to installation, and this is your personal expression and gift to the Dance. Many altar creations are photographed and saved in our gallery, so don’t hesitate to aim for powerful and memorable. You may also offer interactive elements or invite co-creative play.


  1. This service position earns a donation request waiver on the day of service.
  2. Please carefully follow the building rules and guidelines below.
  3. Please come at least 30 minutes before the dance starts (by 6:00 pm Thursday). If you are late, the Coordinator may replace you without notice. If you can’t make it or know you will be late, please call the Coordinator (whose name is shown next to the date in the Facilitators & Coordinators schedule on the website homepage, and whose number is on the confirmation email you will receive after sign-up) or, if at least 24 hours in advance, email coordinators@embodydancesantafe.org. If you can find a replacement who is experienced at the job, please inform the coordinator.

Setup Guidelines and Rules:

  1. Please use the table, which the Set-Up volunteer or Coordinator will set out (or you may), or a floor area no larger than the table.
  2. Please cover the table with one or more cloths, keeping the ends from trailing out on the floor.
  3. You may bring and use fabrics, ornaments and artefacts, art or sculpture, talismans, and any other elements of your own choosing, and/or use those in the EmbodyDance storage chest.
  4. Many people include elemental objects like water, fire (c andles), stones, plants.
  5. You may also create dynamic or interactive aspects such as cards to draw, objects to arrange, holy water to anoint, instruments to play, prayers to write, tokens to give, yummies to share, sky’s the limit.
  6. Touch or don’t touch? The small red heart can be placed near the front of the altar table. It means: “Don’t touch the altar items.” (For example, when a precious or fragile personal possession is used). The red heart is kept in the cashbox.
  7. Electricity and an extension cord are available if you have a plug-in item (lights, etc.)
  8. The altar should be completed five minutes before the dance session starts (6:25 pm for Thursdays).
  9. If your Altar requires any instructions or disclosures, please communicate with the Facilitator and Coordinator.
  10. Rules of the Building Owners:
    1. No tape, tacks, or marking materials on the wall.
    2. C andles must be unscented natural wax (beeswax, palm, soy, etc.), the flame enclosed in glass containers (there may be a supply in the back cabinet, but best to bring your own so as to be sure) placed well away from the table edge and anything flammable.
    3. The RPC is a fragrance-free space, so please don’t use perfumes or essential oils or such.
  11. Safety, risk, liability: please do not include any hazardous materials (bodily fluids or other biohazards) or dangerous objects, and please bring to the Coordinator’s attention anything requiring attention, special care, or exceptional procedure. EmbodyDance will not be responsible or liable for damage to or loss of your objects or offerings.
    1. If your altar includes a consumable offering (food, etc.), please prepare an ingredients list and disclose any known allergens. Such offerings must never include regulated intoxicants of any kind.

 Restoration Tasks

Please take down, pack and put away, and clear the altar table or space within 15 minutes after the closing circle. (If you used the red heart, please put it back in the cashbox or give it to the Coordinator.)

Thanks again for your service!