Sufi Dance of Oneness® | Workshop at Menla Retreat Center, NY

Sufi Dance of Oneness® | Workshop at Menla Retreat Center, NY

Weekend workshop

Listen…and allow this listening to lead you into movement and a dance that opens your whole being and rouses your creative fire from the depths of peace.

If you long to meditate with movement and feel drawn to truly ground your spirituality in your body and gain practical tools for living a more energized, peaceful and lucidly creative life, this workshop is for you.

Guided by the teachings of Rumi, delve into grounding and centering techniques that awaken your body, re-connect you with the Earth and your core, so you can open your central channel, your heart and align with Spirit.

Journey into ancient and contemporary ceremonies from high energy movement to stillness and silence in preparation for Sama–deep listening with the heart.

This workshop demystifies turning, offering access to Sufi whirling meditation in a few simple steps. This method allows people of all experience levels to turn for a sustained period with ease. One enters the Sama, pure listening, and ‘is danced’. An age-old practice of the legendary Sufi masters Rumi and Shams, the Sama is an inner journey and a direct path to creativity. It dissolves mental chatter into the vast ocean of presence, and we begin to simply be…unchained, free, present, and wildly inspired.

We will also explore the love poems that poured forth from Rumi as he whirled, and the symbolism and philosophy of the Sama as a complete spiritual path, one of the clearest ways to “embody the transcendent:, which H.H. the Dalai Lama calls, ‘the true meaning of life’.

Like the ground turning green in a spring wind,
Like birdsong beginning inside the egg,
Like the universe coming into existence,
The lover wakes and whirls
In a dancing joy that kneels down in praise.
— Rumi

You will learn:
– The movement meditation of Sama or whirling
– The philosophy, history, symbolism, and inner meaning of the Sama as a complete spiritual path
– Zikr or chanting
– The philosophy of the zikr

All levels welcome. Please dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat, socks or soft-soled shoes. White garments for whirling are encouraged.

This workshop is on the beautiful sacred grounds of Menla Mountain Retreat with full accommodation. You can choose to sleep at the Center or commute.

Our days are a balance between movement, chanting, wisdom teachings, ceremony, exploring the gorgeous sacred land where Menla is located and nurturing our bodies with delicious organic meals and healing body work.

Register now
Email | Call 845.688.6897

We are learning embodied connection to our Divine nature. There have been remarkable shifts into peace for me. The preparation for “whirling” and connecting to our source energy was meticulous and thorough with great attention being given to precision and detail.
Jyoti Louise Bruun, Hollyhock 2017

This practice of oneness, through Dance, with the Beloved that is so alive in the being of you, Banafsheh, has been a total joy! A truly transformational & healing journey deeper into the love within, into the Beloved. Thank you, for the gentleness & humbleness with which you teach. Thank you for touching my heart with such deep beauty and for the reminder that the love comes from within.
Niomi Starspires, Hollyhock 2017

Dance Your Passion! | Workshop at Hollyhock, B.C., Canada

Dance Your Passion! | Workshop at Hollyhock, B.C., Canada

5-day workshop

Dance is love made manifest.

 The time is NOW to connect deeply with what you truly love, to align yourself with Source energy and ignite your creative flame. In our world today, to survive and be of true service, we need to be PASSIONATELY ALIVE and PRESENT. Since “no one can truly light your flame for you and keep it alive”, says Rumi, “but yourself”, it is imperative to have a body/spirit based practice that serves as a cauldron to nourish this flame.

Dance of Oneness® is this kind of practice as it supports your living your fullest potential through loving your body and your Self, and living as a lover. It is dance as a spiritual path and a science of embodiment, integrating 3 dimensions: rigorous dance technique and free-style self expression; wisdom teachings; and healing. It is based in Tai Chi, Persian dance, whirling, flamenco and Middle Eastern tribal dances, Sufi teachings, Divine Feminine Wisdom, Christ Consciousness, Chinese Medicine and the Chakra system.

Join in a nurturing yet thrilling weave of guided and free-style dance set to world grooves, Rumi’s poetry, whirling, chanting, yoga, meditation, wisdom teachings, a sharing circle and lots of laughter.

Through peaceful groundedness, empowered embodiment and passionate engagement and service, we live our flame to the extent that even chaos can feel like home. 

Once you dance your passion, you begin to dance your life!

For women and men. All levels of experience are welcome.

Register now

Email | 800.933.6339 or 250.935.6576 outside North America

This practice of oneness, through Dance, with the Beloved that is so alive in the being of you, Banafsheh, has been a total joy! A truly transformational & healing journey deeper into the love within, into the Beloved. Thank you, for the gentleness & humbleness with which you teach. Thank you for touching my heart with such deep beauty and for the reminder that the love comes from within.
Niomi Starspires, Hollyhock 2017

Dance of Oneness®: Creative Fire~Receptive Being | Workshop at Schweibenalp, Switzerland

Dance of Oneness®: Creative Fire~Receptive Being | Workshop at Schweibenalp, Switzerland

5-day workshop

Ignite your creative flame, embody and live your dreams and create positive change in yourself and the world.

It is the creative fire that makes us feel truly ALIVE and vital, but this fire needs to be grounded in receptivity and being to be most effective and long lasting. Explore this interplay through dance and most importantly claim your birthright to take up conscious residence in your body with ecstatic serenity.

Feel the embrace of the Beloved, learn to trust your deepest understanding and unleash your wild sweet nectar through timeless, sacred dance, whirling, free-style movement, live music, chanting, singing, Sufi poetry, meditation and lots of laughter. Gain transformative tools for living creatively in your day to day life and manifest true positive contribution to our world.

Tuition only: 600 CHF
Register now
Email or phone: +41 (0) 33 952 20 00
More info

Accommodation and full board (per person and night):
– Single room 140 CHF
– Double room 120 CHF
– Shared room 110 CHF
– Own tent 80 CHF

Open to women and men. Mixed levels. Most appropriate for people with a background in dance, yoga and other movement modalities, all artists, and those who long to live their lives artfully.

Wear comfortable clothing you feel beautiful in, bring soft-soled dance shoes or socks. Bring a veil to dance in.


I always get in touch with my best self in Banafsheh’s presence, not speaking of what has been brought into my creative life as a result of her magical work. I have gained freedom in my stage dance performances. I’ve incorporated movements from her classes into my daily exercise routines. I am mindful of my presence in my work interactions, and that I am responsible for making a difference in well being of people around me and especially of my patients.
– Irina Azarova, RN, Schweibenalp Switzerland, 2017

Geometrica: The Architecture of the Universe | Workshop in Chartres, France

Geometrica: The Architecture of the Universe | Workshop in Chartres, France

Week long workshop at the New Chartres Academy

Join Banafsheh with faculty Robert Lawlor, Jain 108, Karen Rivers, Jim Garrison, Andrew Harvey, Caroline Myss, Apela Colorado, Peggy Rubin, Calen Rayne, and Ruth Cunningham for 7 days including sacred practice, an opening session, a symposium on Sacred Geometry, immersion in the cathedral, and personal time for meditation and exploration. There will be artistic work drawing and experiencing sacred form, dream work, singing, as well as one private evening in the crypt, and another private evening in the cathedral devoted to walking the labyrinth, accompanied by Gregorian chant.

This year the sixth Liberal Art of Sacred Geometry, the structure of the architectural blueprint of the universe will be the focus of study. Euclid was the master representative of this Liberal Art, and its guiding spirit is under the aegis of Jupiter. Jupiter, carrying the principle of expansion and meaning, imbues numbers with form into a harmonic progression of Creation. Through studying geometry, participants will learn the formative principles out of which the universe is constructed and endures.

More info

Tuition: $1,150.00 USD (early bird until Jan 15th, increases to $1,400.00)
Register now

Email | 702-358-0551

There is no limit as to what can be understood through the study of Sacred Geometry, as this science explores and explains the web of energy that creates and unifies all things. —Richard Dannelly

Dance of Oneness®: Call to Love | Retreat in Yalova, Turkey

Dance of Oneness®: Call to Love | Retreat in Yalova, Turkey

7-day Dance Retreat at Mutlu Baba Cultural Center, Gokcedere, Yalova, Turkey

Call to Love is really a call to truly live! Let this call inspire you and open your being to what can live in you and through you in this time of great need and potential. With peaceful groundedness, sovereign embodiment and passionate engagement, move, dance and whirl to love’s intoxicating yet lucid power. Develop a keen awareness of your energy anatomy, heal, tone and sculpt your body while dancing the passion in your Heart. Transform sensations of fatigue, depression or anxiety into lasting exuberance, joy and serenity as you put love in action in your life! Cultivate the strength to persevere in love in these times of great turmoil and rapid change in community with like-minded and like-hearted people.

Guided by the love poetry of Rumi and other Sufi mystics, explore the foundations of Dance of Oneness® and how to develop presence in your body through a focus on the 7 Chakras with movement, stillness and teachings corresponding to each energy center.

Our setting is a Sufi/Darvish House or Dergah (Cultural Center) in the beautiful, quaint village of Gokcedere, a true tavern of love, beyond any particular religion and open to all lovers. Our days are balanced with guided and free-style dance, whirling, Sufi teachings, live music, yoga, chanting, meditation, sharing, ample breaks, soaking in the natural hot springs, and the chance to explore individually the beautiful beaches, villages and sites of Turkey’s exquisite Marmara region.

Mixed Levels. Suitable for people with some background in movement or dance as well as trained dancers, yoga and other movement practitioners. The only pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body and spirit through movement. This retreat fulfills 30 hours towards the 400-hr Dance of Oneness® Certification Program. Dress comfortably – clothes you feel beautiful in

Please bring a yoga mat, clothing you feel beautiful and attractive in, a veil (see exact dimensions in the attached Terms & Conditions) and socks or soft-soled dance shoes. White garments for whirling are optional

You will learn:
– Luscious movements that build internal strength, vitality, flexibility and balance
– How to come in touch with and express your feminine radiance
– Elements of Persian dance as an expression of the divine feminine
– Elements of flamenco as an expression of the divine feminine
– The movement meditation of Sama (whirling)
– The philosophy and symbolism of Sama (whirling)
– Zikr or chanting
– Grounding, releasing, centering and opening dance and movement techniques in preparation for Sama (whirling), Persian dance and flamenco
– Divine feminine wisdom
– The Chakra system
– Wisdom of the Body: elements of Sacred Anatomy and Physiology
– Tools to access joy, peace and lucidity in your daily life

Tuition including lodging:
Early Bird Rate till March 1st
Dergah Communal Lodging: $800
Hotel Double Room Lodging: $1050
Hotel Single Room Lodging $1256
(the equivalent in Euro or TRY)

After March 1st:

Dergah Communal Lodging: $950
Hotel Double Room Lodging: $1260
Hotel Single Room Lodging $1456
(the equivalent in Euro or TRY)

Above fees do NOT include airfare to Turkey, visa, roundtrip transportation from the airport to Yalova and transportation from the Cultural Center (Dergah) to the Yalova Ferry. We will arrange transportation from the Yalova Ferry Station to the Cultural Center (Dergah) if you arrive in time to meet our guide and catch the 3:45pm Ferry to Yalova on June 8th. See below for details.

Lodging Options:

Nearby Limak Hotel
Amazing 5-star hotel with natural spring thermal water pools, Turkish hamam, massage, beautiful views of lush mountains and a royal feast for breakfast and dinner. 10-15 min walking distance through the quaint village of Gokcedere to the Dergah, our session space.

You can stay in the dergah in shared separate women’s and men’s communal rooms including breakfast.

Special discounted work/study rates in dergah lodging available for residents of Turkey and Iran, and others in need. Email for more info

Space is limited. Please email with your intent to register first or with your request to attend before you register.

Two steps to register:
1. Purchase the appropriate ticket by scrolling down toward the bottom of the event
2. Sign the terms of agreement and return via email to as an attached file or photo of the signed terms
Terms of Agreement

Questions regarding registration and work/study: +1 310 499-7100 | Email
Questions regarding lodging: Email

Dance of Oneness® is dance as a spiritual path and science of embodiment. A fusion of three dimensions: the art of dance explored through rigorous technique and self-expression; wisdom teachings; and healing, Dance of Oneness® is based in Sufi ritual and whirling, flamenco, Persian and modern dance, trance, Tai chi and Chi gong. Sufi teachings and the poetry of Rumi, divine feminine wisdom, Gurdjieff Work, Chinese Medicine and the Chakra system are the theoretical groundwork.

Banafsheh Sayyad, MFA, Dance; MA, Chinese Medicine, is the leading Persian sacred dancer, transformational teacher and founder of Dance of Oneness with a background in the Gurdjieff Work and the Sufi Path. She performs and teaches internationally and has devoted her life to empowering people through the creative process, inspiring them to free themselves and transform their daily lives into sacred, loving art that makes them FULLY ALIVE.

Banafsheh magically unites all participants into a circle of interconnection, love, respect and caring for each other, for Gaia and our world’s well-being. That’s why I believe that her work is greatly needed in order to heal and activate as many people in as many countries as possible to help our Mother Earth to become a place of Peace and Love.
– Irina Azarova, Schweibenalp, Switzerland, 2017

By the end of the workshop, I was present in every cell and I enjoyed being a fluid body. I have been in all sorts of classes but in no class whatsoever was there the opportunity to express oneself. To move as one is called to, as one feels like and to explore deeper and deeper one’s own body language and what it says. This workshop allows that.
– Gida Hussami, Schweibenalp, Switzerland, 2017

Planning Your Trip:

Airport: Attaturk, Istanbul
Please plan to arrive before noon on June 8th at the latest.

Transportation to Cultural Center (Dergah):
1. Take the train, bus or taxi to the Yenikapi Ferry Station
2. A guide will meet you at the Yenikapi Ferry Station in front of the entrance to area where people board the ferry to Yalova between 3-3:30pm. Our group will take the 3:45pm ferry. 
Please book your round-trip ferry ticket in advance from Yenikapi to Yalova
3. A bus at the Yalova ferry station will bring the group to the hotel and dergah.
(Exact details will be confirmed via email after you register)

Our orientation session will begin at 7:30pm on June 8th after dinner is served.

Early arrivals:
If you plan to arrive earlier or later, you can take a small bus or dolmus to the Thermal. Tell the bus driver that you’d like to go to the Multu Baba Kultur Merkezi (Cultural Center)

*Ramadan will be between May 15 – June 14. As Turkey is a very hospitable country, please know that food is readily available everywhere and you will not be penalized for not fasting.

Please book your flight no sooner than 8 pm on June 14. Our retreat ends at 12pm on June 14 followed by lunch. The earliest ferry after lunch to Istanbul (Yenikapi) leaves at 1:45 pm. The earliest you will arrive at the Ataturk airport is 5pm via taxi or public transportation. The best option is to stay one night in Istanbul and travel the next day on June 15. We will organize your trip from the Dergah to the Yalova Ferry during the workshop.

Banafsheh: Dance of Oneness reserves the right to refuse admission and service to anyone.