The drums' rhythm vibrated like a heartbeat over the rushing waters of Boulder Creek. Eight women wrapped in exotic cloth and jewelry stood in the focal point of the small stone amphitheater as spectators and passers-by watched their dance begin to unfold.

"We call to the waters," they sang, "within and without, flowing and growing, clean and free."

As the dancers entered the stream they picked up vessels of water, dumping and refilling their contents. From behind the crowd a "goddess" with fabrics resembling a butterfly approached the water, entering the ritual. She dipped her head beneath the surface, cleansed, and returned from where she had come.

Across the world Saturday, over 100 Global Water Dances like this were held on the shores of oceans, lakes and rivers to raise awareness for the importance of water.

The Boulder event, held steps away from the Boulder Public Library, attracted supporters and confused onlookers over the duration of its performance. While the worldwide event is celebratory and, in many ways, spiritual for its participants, the local gathering was also somewhat political.

"Fracking is a problem," said Ixeeya Beacher, who choreographed and organized the Boulder water dance. "It steals water out of the ecosystem and returns it to the earth contaminated and radioactive."

Beacher said that while this event is meant to be a celebration of water, advocating for the resource is an important act. "We love the water and you protect the things you love," she said.

For organizers, the beauty of the global event is that it rallies people from all parts of the world to support the universally important resource of water, while each local community can address water issues in the way they are affected.

"We wear the fabrics of different cultures to symbolize inclusiveness," said Beacher. While the dance was open to all, Beacher admitted that only women tend to sign up.

Explaining the choice of dance for the global event, as well as the female-dominated turnout, Beacher said that dance and artistic expression are just one way for people to plant the seeds of meaningful conversation.

Russell Mendell, an organizer for Frack Free Colorado, was at the event to hand out fliers urging citizens to show up to the Boulder County Courthouse Tuesday when commissioners vote on whether to extend a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the county.

That temporary ban is favored by advocates calling for more time to study the full effects of fracking on humans and the environment. Mendell said that even the EPA has said there is not enough data to understand the extent of damages that activity causes.

Mendell said Colorado doesn't have the water to support fracking -- and that even if it did, the human and the environmental costs are still far too high.

"There is a 66 percent higher cancer rate within a half-mile of fracking sites," Mendell asserted. "We need more time and more studies to see if we can do this without affecting health."

Beacher also said that the state's natural gas reserves will only last 100 years, "and then we have to switch to renewable energy anyway."

For now, Beacher and her dancing companions will continue to gather when the spirit moves them in Boulder Creek and chant the Global Water Dance mantra, "Clean water, for everyone, everywhere."