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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
Dance of Oneness®: Living Sophia
10-day Dance Immersion
July 3 – July 12, 2015
(5-day Immersion: July 3 – July 8)
Info & Registration: +1 310 499-7100 or Email
Lodging reservations: Hande Basaran Email +90 533 816 16 13
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR RESIDENTS OF IRAN & TURKEY!*
*please note: limit one discount per registration
Location: Mutlu Baba Cultural Center, Gokcedere, Yalova, Turkey
Who is Sophia and what does she represent for you?
She is the Judeo-Christian God’s female soul and the source of his true power. As Goddess of wisdom, her faces are many: Black Goddess, Divine Feminine, Mother of God. For the Gnostic Christians, she is the Mother of Creation.
Sophia calls us to embody the highest emanation of Woman in her wholeness. Luscious, tender, kind, strong and wise, she represents the flowering of the sacred heart magnetized by our womb.
Dance to decode the mysteries of feminine wisdom teachings. Claim your birthright to take up conscious residence in your body with love, in the full radiance of a woman’s wisdom – tender and strong, receptive and discerning. Feel the full embrace of the Great Mother, learn to trust your deepest understanding and unleash your wild sweet nectar through timeless, gracious and wild sacred dance from the ancient Middle East.
Heal, tone and energize your body and being. Tune in and let yourself ‘be danced’. Learn tools to transform sensations of fatigue, rejection, depression or anxiety into grounded presence – exuberant, joyous and serene. As a messenger of love, embody your fullest luscious, loving, soft power no matter what situation presents itself.
Sufi Ritual and Sama
Mystical Persian Dance
Middle Eastern Tribal dances
Zikr or chanting the 99 Names of the Divine
Divine Feminine Wisdom Teaching
Teachings from Rumi, Gurdjieff, A Course in Miracles, Rabia and Ibn Arabi
Principles of Sama
Chinese Meridian Theory
Principles of Chinese Nutrition
Our setting is a Sufi/Dervish House or Dergah in the beautiful little village of Gokcedere, a true tavern of love, beyond religion and open to all lovers. After our orientation evening, we will meet for 6 hours a day balanced between dance, yoga, zikr (chanting), meditation, theoretical teachings, sharing and expressing our own creativity. There will be ample time to soak in the nearby natural springs with amazing healing properties, reflect, and explore individually the beautiful beaches, villages and sites of Turkey’s exquisite Marmara region.
Open to all – suitable for dance and movement teachers and students, as well as dance and movement lovers. Dance of Oneness teaches you the fundamentals of movement. It enhances and deepens all movement and dance modalities.
You can sign up for the 5-day or the entire 10-day Intensive. The 5-day Intensive qualifies for 27 hours and the 10-day Intensive, 55 hours towards the 200-hr or 400-hr Dance of Oneness Certification Program.
Fee for the 10-day Dance Immersion (July 3 – 12)
1750 USD (the equivalent in Euro or TRY) including tuition and 3 organic meals a day
. Ask about discounts for local Turkish and Iranian people
Fee for 5-day Dance Immersion (July 3 – 8)
: 900 USD (the equivalent in Euro or TRY) including tuition and 3 organic meals a day
. Ask about discounts for local Turkish and Iranian people
The above fees do not include airfare, lodging, visa (obtainable at the airport in Turkey), round-trip ground transportation between Ataturk airport and the Dergah, and entrance fees to the Hamam (thermal bath house with natural spring water which we will visit as a group a number of times) and other sites with entrance fees.
Lodging is extra to the fee for tuition and meals. To book your lodging, please email Hande Basaran or call +90 533 816 16 13.
You can pay the hotel directly when in Gokcedere with USD, Euro, TRY or credit card.
Terms of Agreement
*Please note that this form is not supported in Firefox. If this is your browser, please download the form to your computer first before filling it out and emailing it to us.
Rooms in houses and Dergahs next to our Session space: single or shared occupancy
* House directly in front of our Session space (Pink House): 10 USD / 9 Euro per person per night. Double and triple occupancy, shared bathrooms
* House (Naqshebandi Dergah within 2 min walk of our Session space: 12 USD / 10 Euro per person per night. Double and triple occupancy room, and one large, beautiful communal room for up 10 people (women only in this room). Shared bathrooms.
Within a 2-min walk to Dergah (our Session space)
* Kapri Motel: 40 Euro or 45 USD per room (single or double occupancy) / hot tub included
Within a 10-min walk, situated in the nearby village:
* Thermal Park Hotel:
Standard single: 37 USD / 32 Euro
Hot tub single: 45 USD / 40 Euro
Standard double: 54 USD / 47 Euro per room
Hot tub double: 62 USD / 54 Euro per room
Triple hot tub: 78 USD / 69 Euro per room
Within a 15-min walk, situated in the nearby village:
* Limak Thermal Hotel: Natural spring hot tubs in all rooms. Prices include breakfast and dinner.
Single occupancy: 130 USD / 116 Euro
Double occupancy: 198 USD / 178 Euro
Triple occupancy: 268 USD / 237 Euro
Planning Your Trip:
Airport: Attaturk, Istanbul
Please plan to arrive before noon on July 3rd at the latest.
The bus taking all participants to the Dergah will leave the Sultan Ahmet area of Istanbul around 4 pm. You need enough time to land, get a visa, collect your luggage and take a taxi or bus to the meeting point. Our orientation session will begin at 8:00 pm on July 3rd after dinner is served.
Details about bus transportation to the Dergah from the Sultan Ahmet area of Istanbul leaving roughly around 4 pm will be given to you upon registration. The fee for this trip is a minimum of 25 USD / 20 Euro / 50 TRY to be paid at the bus.
If you arrive earlier than July 3rd and need to take our bus to the Dergah, then please plan to spend time in Istanbul. You can stay at the beautiful and reasonably priced Turkoman Hotel in the Sultan Ahmet area of Istanbul and say you are participating in the Dance of Oneness Intensive in the Dergah in Yalova. If you know your way to the Dergah, please let us know, so we can make arrangements for you to stay in your designated housing.
* Ramadan will be between June 17 – July 17. As Turkey is a very hospitable country, please know that food is readily available everywhere and you will not be penalized for not fasting.
Our workshop ends at 7 pm on July 12, followed by dinner till 8 pm. Please schedule your departure on July 13 anytime after 10am.
This segment of the Intensive ends at 1 pm on July 8, followed by lunch till 2 pm. The earliest you can arrive at the Ataturk airport is 6pm. Please book your flight accordingly.
Since departures vary, so we will organize them for you individually or as a group once you are at the Dergah.
Your workshop in Turkey is a masterpiece! You created a genuine program where all the ingredients – music, poetry, movement, dance, meditation, sharing, chanting, whirling – everything is serving the purpose of unveiling the true self of each of us. I feel that every day of the workshop peels off the layers of the “dead skin” of my body and in return brings an increasing sense of Becoming just a “normal” human being with boundless flow of love and energy through this beautiful hollow reed flute within me, this channel of light and majestic wisdom and God’s love. Thank you for being my guide on this lifetime journey of LOVE in Turkey. I can’t imagine any better gift I could have ever given to myself than being here now and with you.
Spiral of Love, July 2010, Gokcedere, Turkey