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.
Accommodation & 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
With the world around us changing at an ultra-rapid, frenzied pace, we are beckoned to find stillness, let go of old patterns, really see, trust, and serve with courage if we want to survive. Explore dance as a conscious vehicle to let go of patterns that no longer serve you so you can make room for the new with the Spring season.
Immerse yourself in a fusion of rigorous yet organic dance technique with embodied spirituality set to magical Middle Eastern and World music grooves. Through a yin-yang synthesis of passionate, exuberant and explosive movement with serene, peaceful and grounded embodiment, we release the unwanted and surrender to our being’s magnificent potential.
Open to all who feel called. Please wear comfortable clothes you feel beautiful in and soft-soled dance shoes or socks.
Mixed levels. Open to All, with or without a background in dance and movement.
Banafsheh facilitates a sensuous, feminine, powerful embodiment of the soul, a spiritual path that I am dedicating myself to exploring. She holds a loving and vibrant energy for the room that enables me to go further than I could by myself.
– Susanne Bowra, PhD, workshop participant, Switzerland, 2017
At this seminal time when the veil between the two worlds is the thinnest, you are invited to dance away your restrictions even for a brief fleeting moment so as to listen and receive guidance, let go of patterns that no longer serve you so you can make room for a new story to emerge.
Immerse yourself in a fusion of rigorous yet organic dance technique with embodied spirituality set to magical Middle Eastern and World music grooves with Banafsheh, transformational master teacher of conscious embodiment. Through a yin/yang synthesis of passionate, exuberant and explosive movement with serene, peaceful and grounded embodiment, release the unnecessary and surrender to your being’s magnificent potential so you can be a true agent of positive change in the world.
Please wear comfortable clothes you feel beautiful in and soft-soled dance shoes or socks.
Mixed levels. Open to All, with or without a background in dance and movement.
Dance of Oneness® is dance as a spiritual path and science of embodiment— a joyful, loving and contemplative way to embody Spirit and live more freely, passionately and of service in the world. A fusion of the art of dance: rigorous technique and self-expression; wisdom teachings, and healing, Dance of Oneness® is based in Sufi ritual and whirling, flamenco, Persian and Modern dance, Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Mystical teachings and the poetry of Rumi, divine feminine wisdom, Chinese Medicine and the Chakra system are the theoretical groundwork.
“I have a new piece now, a new piece of the mystery, a new level of understanding myself, spirit, others.”
Jeri Preston, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
One of my dear students asked some questions in a follow up to our time in an immersive Sufi workshop about Sufi Dance and the Sama. Here are my answers:
Q: There are many Sufi orders, and among them, one of the most known is Mevlevi. Do your company’s method and philosophy take from Mevlevi?
A: Yes it does, but I have been guided to innovate the method and simplify the technique so people can learn it faster and smoother. I teach the philosophy of the Mevlevi and what I have received from my 20+ years of whirling. I also bring back the Sama of Rumi and Shams that we believe was wilder and freer than the extremely structured Mevlevi Sama developed primarily by Rumi’s son and not Rumi himself. Some say the Mevlevi Sama as seen today was established more or less 300 years after Rumi’s life.
Q: I have a question about the style of sema. At first, one bows to the place where he/she whirls, with one’s arms crossed and palms grab shoulders, then when one starts whirling, one slowly moves crossed arms to the heart center, and one extends right arm to the heaven, left arm to the earth. Is this correct at the beginning?
A: At first you stand with your right arm crossed over your left, hands gently resting on your shoulders. You then go down in reverence, bowing to that which you revere most. Then you stand and begin to take your steps. When you are ready you slowly lift your arms letting them blossom like a flower. You raise your right arm up, with your palm facing up and your left arm down with your palm facing down. You receive the light from Spirit with your right palm and you give the light with your left palm to the Earth and all its creatures and all people mediated through your heart.
Q: At the end, where do you place your arms? At the heart center with palms on your shoulders?
A: Either place is fine, but try to bring them back to the position you started which is on your shoulders. You then bow down and finally go down into child’s pose, bring your forehead to the ground, kiss the Earth and touch your forehead on the ground again, giving your reverence to the Earth, to the very spot you were whirling.
Q: I would like to know the name and the supplier of the Sufi women’s dress for whirling. I can’t find it in Japan.
A: There really is no supplier. I have had mine all custom made. I’m thinking of having some dresses available for people to purchase on my website, but that may take a while. I suggest you look at this website and also search further for liturgical dance dresses.
Email with any questions, and see my calendar for upcoming workshops, including Sufi Dance of Oneness® at Menla!
5-day workshop with live music by Raphael Duss and Bahri Egribas
Begin to live your dreams and create positive change in yourself and the world through sacred dance!
Open your being to the realization that you are light and here to bring light by coming in touch with your chakras and energy anatomy through luscious dance, stillness, chanting, wisdom teachings, play, lots of laughter and live music: Daf, Ney, Oud and Kamancheh on 2 days with master teacher of embodiment Banafsheh in one of the most beautiful and pristine sacred sites on our planet, high up in the alps.
Guided by Sufi teachings, explore the foundations of Dance of Oneness® and cultivate radiant presence in your body through a focus on the chakras. Tune into the wisdom of your body and begin to radiate more life force, joy and vitality. Transform the old rigidities, discomfort and disease that come from a mechanical way of being in your body.
The rigorous yet accessible technique of this 7-step process is based in Sufi ritual, Persian, Middle Eastern Tribal and contemporary dances, flamenco, Tai Chi and free-style dance—all of which awaken and nourish a different facet of being human. We will also explore the Sama or whirling as central to the embodiment of light. These modalities — all aspects of Dance of Oneness® – are designed to release blockages, ground, center, open your heart, promote flexibility, strength, exuberance and profound peace while serving as tools for being present, conscious, creative and in compassionate service. The Center has wonderful accommodations including organic food that they grow on their own sustainable grounds. You will have ample time between our sessions that are 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon on most days to soak in the beauty and inspiration of this magical site, go for hikes, a swim and participate in the Center’s regular pujas including fire ceremonies.
Dance of Oneness® is dance as a spiritual path and a science of embodiment. A fusion of the art of dance: rigorous technique and self-expression; wisdom teachings; and healing, Dance of Oneness® draws from Sufi ritual and whirling, Persian dance, flamenco, tai chi, mystical teachings and the poetry of Rumi, divine feminine wisdom, Gurdjieff Work and Chinese Medicine.
You will learn:
Ways to find ease and comfort in your body
How to access your radiance and express it in your daily life
Dance and movement techniques that bring you in touch with the 7 chakras
Tools that make you strong yet gentle and graceful
Tools you can apply in your daily life to access peace, joy and lucidity regardless of the circumstance
How to be present
Express your creativity in dance and movement
Fundamentals of grounding, centering and moving with grace
Elements of Persian dance
Elements of flamenco
Elements of Middle Eastern Tribal dances
Elements of Tai Chi
The experience of Light upon Light, central in Sufism
Mixed Levels. Open to all, men and women
Suitable for those with a background in dance and movement. The pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body, feelings and soul through sacred movement. This workshop counts as 26 hours towards the 400-hr Dance of Oneness® Certification Program.
Register below | Tuition: $600
Deposit: $200, $400 due by July 1, 2017 Registration Form Please download the form, complete it and save in order to email it as an attachment
Book accommodations directly with the center; pricing ranges from 83-145 CHF, includes 3 vegetarian meals/day and internet access
For more information call + 1 310 499 7100 in the US or + 41 77 412 82 93 in Switzerland
“I have never felt so held, so encouraged to explore my inner-most being. The gifts that I leave here with are impossible to enumerate. Banafsheh is a gift, a rare jewel who inspires and empowers all who come into contact with her. I am eternally grateful.”
Angel Caban, past workshop participant
“Banafsheh’s program is extraordinary – a complete arrangement of dance, music, meditation, focus, discipline and life experience. I’m not someone who connects with the holy that easily, but I felt holiness in Banafsheh’s art and that is what I truly revere and bow down before. After eight days, I felt an amazing level of energy, without pain anywhere and completely relaxed. Thank you for this gift, I will always guard it carefully in my heart.”
Farzaneh Aryaee, past workshop participant
"As an embodied mystic of the divine feminine, Banafsheh’s presentations are not performances but transmissions which transform your vision of dance forever. Dancer and dance become one initiatory flame of grace."