Incredible! Banafsheh is a gift from God. A pure soul who brings joy to the world with her gift of love and dance. It was a magical experience.
Linda Blake, The Rowe Center, MA 2017
I know now that your path in life is far greater than what I thought it was in the beginning - you are the Love + Light for Humanity. What a Blessing to leave you here - now!
Derek Mack-Mumford, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
Dance of Oneness feels deeply resonant with my being and body. I love Banafsheh’s fluid and open teaching style and how much love, joy and presence she brings to the circle. Tony is a gem! What a sweet heart! And his musicianship...oh my goodness...I loved being taken into the dance with his music.
Mira Sophia, Vancouver Island, Canada, 2017
Banafsheh’s loving presence of the divine is INCREDIBLE and deeply inspiring. She lives the aspect of the divine Mother and I always felt held and deeply supported in the workshop.
Celia Dobroschke, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 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, Canada 2017
I have learned a new spiritual practice. Banafsheh’s preparation and instruction was so helpful and beneficial to me in so many ways. When we began to whirl I was esctatic to discover I could do it! Without getting dizzy! I feel I have been in subliminal time ever since I came - I have learned so much! About my body and moving in a spiritual way - making a spiritual connection through movement.
Jean Ando, The Rowe Center, MA 2017
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, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
My experience of this workshop was very transformative. Banafsheh has a beautiful way of instructing so that all feel welcome & able to participate in their own way. I loved Banafsheh’s beautiful voice, calm and invitational and very meditative. Banafsheh has inspired me beyond words and I feel honored to have had the pleasure of witnessing her dance and her generosity in sharing her passion for the Divine and for sacred dance. My heart has opened exponentitally from the experience. I am ever so thankful to have been in her presence. I have learned about myself & dove into the oceans of ecstatic dance and am excited to have been a part of this spiritual path. She has inspired and rekindled a love of dance and spiritual exploration that I will continue to rekindle and ignite in myself and others.
Tonya Sanai, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
I’m always amazed by Banafsheh’s great even energy and her love affair with all. ‘To heal by becoming one’, was my personal favorite sentence.
Catherine von Graffenried, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
My experience was so phenomenal it is hard to put it into words. Before attending this amazing workshop, I never really thought about my Dantian while dancing and I thought it was awesome to issue my movement through there, and seeing everyone come together and support one another.
Laara Huuskonen, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
This workshop was an incredible marriage of rigorous dancing and merciful understandings. Thank you Banafsheh for unapologetically being who you are and sharing what you uniquely share in the world - what the Divine offers through you. Thank you for so generously sharing your practices and the wisdom that brought you to these practices and the wisdom that moves through you during these practices. Thank you for embodying, listening and honoring as a way of life and for that being an implicit and explicit focus of the workshop.
Candice Salyers, The Rowe Center, MA 2017
"This dance was a piece of my life's puzzle. It helped me to remember that I want to actively Be Here. I don't want to be here to carry pain, fear, anxiety and to be confused! I want to be here for Love! I will dance this sacred, spiral dance and pray for the whole world to join in. I have experienced an internal Revolution and I can dance freely once again."
Kathryn Fleming, workshop participant, NY
With Banafsheh, very moment is in the present and every moment is dance…
Véronique Boissin, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
I felt the container Banafsheh created for us Infuse me Nourish me and Renew me. Through the days together I felt myself resting deeper and deeper in slow love. Ripe slow love. Permission to be in that slow love. And then in the moments it felt natural to meet my wildness - I could meet it. I love being in a room of people who are in touch with the Natural Wildness, the warm lover, the seeker of the Beloved with untamed expression & joy. Banafsheh embodies both the wild & the deep. It is a joy to be in that transmission and the whirling.
In that I melt, I meet
the dissolved space
that has everything
Cat Wilson, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
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.
Banafsheh’s art is that she is able to reveal our best, our talents, unique capabilities. I have studied with her for 10 years. It has been a never ending desire to come back, to return into her embrace and experience bliss, activation and aliveness all over again! I always get in touch with my best self in her presence, not speaking of what has been brought into my creative life as a result of her magical work. I have earned 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.
Banafsheh is on a mission in this world to liberate us from ‘smallness’ and to lead us to our ‘greatness’; to bring awareness to our sacredness; to give us a ground so we could ground ourselves; to give us the wings so we could FLY!
Irina Azarova, RN, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
Looking at Banafsheh in front of Mother Mary's image, she is a replica of her…she is her daughter...
Banafsheh embodies Mary's divine feminine love. I saw at the end of our sharing circle people were blossoming like flowers. So different than the first day. What a magical transmutation...
Roseline Koener, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
Thank you for a most interesting, intriguing and dynamic workshop in Qualicum..I feel so blessed to have received this taste of what you do, leaving me very hungry for more…
Shirley Pratten, Vancouver Island, Canada 2017
My experience was subtle and deep. The magic of the dance was the medicine, but the medicine was activated and potentized by the graceful, whole hearted presence of Banafsheh. All at once she is warmly nurturing and absolutely clear in her power and devotion to the Beloved in herself and every dancer in the room.
Melissa Nobels, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
Being in touch with my inner being is ‘Life’ giving. Banafsheh embodies her teachings - so full of joy and love, passion and humor. She is such an inspiration! The life she exudes is contageous. I love her!
Judy Malek, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
"Dance of Oneness has helped my yoga practice; opened up my listening - to what I really need inside and has helped me trust a gentle wisdom in me - that if I trust it, a strong energy rises effortlessly..."
Cat Wilson, workshop participant, Canada
I was able to fully drop into the ‘matrix’, center, breathe, love & flow…all because of Banafsheh’s ‘holding’ and guiding me back to my joy, my strength, myself. And so I become the calm & loving center of the storm. The storm is ok by me! Thank you, Banafsheh…you have saved my life by remembering me to Remember.
Deborah Koch, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
MIRACULOUS, TRANSFORMATIVE, SOULFUL!
Banafsheh’s sacred presence, every word she speaks exuded radiance of passion, love, and divinity! I entered moments of feeling myself being fully in my heart, from the radiance and ever presence of love and passion in the room, and experienced moments of dancing with abandon, with a flood of love flowing through me, supporting me, shedding my self-consciousness, melting the density of my body, re-discovering and embracing my own femininity, parts of which I had buried long ago.
Vivianne Chu, Esalen Institute, CA 2016
Banafsheh maintains a high vibration which is ennobling and uplifting. She holds participants in their highest and embodies the ideals which she teaches. She is a master leader, facilitator and dancer who creates a comfortable framework for all to experience and learn.
Brigid Donohue, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
"The spiritual and holistic intelligence of the Dance of Oneness is a sacred art that allowed me to return home to the Earth, the home of my body and devotion with the Beloved. Holy gratitude I sing to Banafsheh, the dancing Troubadour: You are Hope for the planet...I am humbled, inspired and blessed by your Soul Art."
Carrie Herbert, Musician, Teacher, Wales/Cambodia
Truly amazing and transformational- a beautiful experience of grounding and embodying Oneness.
V. Jane Fadden, Rowe Center, MA 2016
Banafsheh is the ambassador of peace, love, and oneness. She is also a healer who reconnects body and soul.
Farzaneh Aryaee, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
"Banafsheh teaches by example more than any teacher I have had. Her own embodied spirit is inspirational."
Rhonda Roselli, workshop participant, Attorney, MA
Deep reconnection to my body and my soul, like a homecoming. With every Dance of Oneness move we dance into unity and connection, healing for peace and freedom on our our planet.
Susan Wacker, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
“I love the Dance of Oneness Workshops! Banafsheh is simply AMAZING! She embodies noble qualities such as kindness, wisdom and grace. She is also a leader in the fields of the arts, dance, Sufism and other mystical traditions, and integrates them all. She is on the leading edge of the current movement of awakened consciousness and oneness of humanity.”
Leila Meshkat, workshop participant, CA
Banafsheh is a wonderful teacher in dance, spirituality, and holding space. A beautiful woman and dancer, she sets an example.
Elischewa Dreyfus, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2017
I experienced a deepening within Soma - touching the Divine, unfathomable power that encompasses all and a deep humility to have allowed it to move through me. I experienced the joy of community, the humanity and spirit present in each person I connected with. The simple joys of eye gazing, physical touch and sharing a sacred space. I felt the loving guidance and spirit of Banafsheh as she gently held a loving space for us to move toward and remember our true selves. The music and the space at Rowe also helped enormously in creating a fertile environment for growth. When I close my eyes I see trees and beautiful souls sitting in a circle in love. I take that with me.
Elena Kowalsky, The Rowe Center, MA 2017
I feel as if I’ve been re-birthed. I feel a big transformation of shedding the walls and finding my oneness (even with it’s small soft light. I honor and treasure it as it grows and ebs and flows). I cannot wait for all the locks and walls you have unlocked and taken down gently with the sounds and rythyms of movement. Loooovvee that you mixed isolations and some technical human body structures with more free dance - to bring back the child I will always wish to be and to also allow me to honor and find my power without ego.
Johnnie Grebler, Hollyhock, Canada 2017
I could feel very deep this love from universe. And with your poems and movements I could ground it in my heart and in our planet. Thanks for coming so close to my place, to nourish my body and my soul.
Catherine von Graffenried, Bern, Switzerland 2017
Dance of Oneness is very inspiring particularly for women like me who need encouragement in their confidence that we all can move and dance beautifully in our own way.
Monica Levine, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
The last 9 years have involved an accident, surgeries and a heart attack. As a woman who has already loved movement, dance and hiking, but feeling my body be creaky, stiff, sore, breathless, etc, this has been a real bummer. This Dance of Oneness got my body to soften and feel exuberant. As for my spirit - this has been a much-needed and true UPLIFT!
Sandra Fisher, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
"Banafsheh is the epitome of the spectacular lightness of being personified. Simply Stunning. Her dance is one of my top 10 eternal moments that I'll relive in memory for all time!"
M. Gast, audience member, Los Angeles
Every workshop with Banafsheh brings me a step closer and deeper into my soul, while befriending, loving and adoring the Beloved. I am deeply grateful for Banafsheh’s immense wisdom and heartfelt support.
Helen BetGivargis, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
Banafsheh has the gift of holding space in deep love and integrity.
Kathy P. Benson, The Rowe Center, MA 2016
I didn't know what to expect from my impulsive decision to go to Esalen and chose Banafsheh’s workshop only because I like to dance. I was blown away by how deeply I connected with the dance of oneness. I feel more balanced, grounded and light, powerful and feminine than I think I have ever felt. A truly beautiful and inspiring week!
Carolyn Doherty, Esalen Institute, CA 2016
Banafsheh empowers each one of us – we all have our own unique gifts and mission, and “small” is just as big. Banafsheh honors each one of us and our gifts in an egoless, loving way.
Akshara Sangiorgio, Hollyhock Retreat Center, Canada, 2016
Banafsheh is spectacular. Her force, energy, expertise, and love are all present and she is able to guide an amazing experience.
Paul Todisco, Dance of Oneness, Los Angeles 2016
I saw the sun in one of your hands and the moon in the other and your body the map of the universe. Stars came out of your hair with each rotation.
Davood Roostaei, Artist, 2016
I felt that I could fully express myself, my body and any insecurities with ease and grace. I was made to feel welcomed and nurtured. The presence that Banafsheh brings to presence is a whole new level. I feel like I can say that I finally have a role model in my life that I can look up to who is from the Middle East, my region, my culture, my world. This is the greatest gift. She has inspired my to keep pushing boundaries and reaching for the stars while holding dear our ancestors and heritage.
Zena el Khalil, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2016
I can’t say it enough - the practice that Banafsheh offers is so so precious. She (Banafsheh) is a gem in this world sharing a medicine much needed. Dance of Oneness is a powerful practice of Love…
Madhurima Braaten, Hollyhock, Canada 2016
Despite having an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and considerable chronic pain, I experienced this workshop as an invigorating and joyful reconnection with my body; the program left me not only with less pain than when I began, but with a hopefulness that I can once again dance as I did as a child and young woman, once again dance fully present in the moment, both lost and found in the wonders of life, music, and love.
Sabrina Wolf, Menla Center of Happiness, NY, 2016
Banafsheh is a true inspiration as mentor and the embodiment of the divine feminine. She is truly beautiful divine human being. I came out of the workshop with powerful tools to accompany me on my path and share with others.
Ginou Choueiri, Schweibenalp, Switzerland 2016
I feel the depth, the love, the power, the unity of Banafsheh’s work and again I am struck that this is way beyond physical dance. Yes, the dance is the vehicle, the embodiment for what we need in this life and yes, she is much more than a "dance teacher." She is imparting the healing truth of our being and opening the door to longing for transformation and integrating of the whole of ourselves and God. And for that, we must meet our shadows.
Joan Englander, CA 2016
"My search, my quest for spirituality in dance was so intense that when I came to Banafsheh's workshop in LA in 2007 for the first time, I have stayed with her since then. Her teachings, her movements and philosophy of Oneness have become my blood, bones, my essence. She embodies everything that I receive in her teachings. My life has become more meaningful through Rumi’s teachings and sacred movements, which I experience in her workshops. They are like a divine source - always accessible, always with me. Her beautiful work has embraced many countries and people from all parts of the world, and I believe it’s going to be many more to join us so we all become ONE... I feel so blessed to receive his teaching through this portal – how would I access this greatness if not through Banafsheh, our Dancer of Oneness?! "
Irina Azarova, student since 2007
I've taken numerous dance, spirituality and wellbeing workshops and classes in LA, the Bay Area and in Europe and Banafsheh's coaching style is totally unique. She has a way of teaching joy. It was beautiful to dance with her and learn how to access an organic femininity within my movement, centered and natural. It brought out the best of me in my dance both as a child and a woman.
Julia Richardson, Franklin Canyon Park, CA 2016
"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, MD, Student, Spain
A heavenly journey through my body and all that is. Many new experiences flew through my body/mind and soul. With ineffable love and passion for her calling, Banafsheh is guiding through deep aspects of dancing and Sufism. Her gift of transmitting the essential vividness of the heart is deeply touching. Thus, I am deeply touched, in-spired, enchanted and simply delighted by this workshop.
Banafsheh is the love that dances.
Today I whirled like a darvish, I was whirled, It whirled me, I was myself, a tree, Love, Earth, the Universe – all at once. Words are to limited to describe it.
Karin Zettl, Yaa Wali, Germany 2015
The fascinating dance and sounds of Persia transformed the concert hall to a landscape for the senses. Dancer and choreographer, Banafsheh translated the musical intensity and intricate nuances of ZARBANG with the language of her body. Her fluid movements were constantly dynamic, at times floating, then whirling at high speed, opening our vision to new dimensions. With complete mastery of her body, she exuded power down to the tips of her fingers.
Badische Zeitung, Germany
Banafsheh presented a decidedly contemporary innovation to Persian dance, flamenco, trance states, and improvisation. In 'Axis of Love', she took the audience on a simple journey of ascension as she slowly raised her arms, all the while spinning. It could be said it was like the earth spinning; or, like a flower opening up to reach the sky's rays. As the program states, it was "...a structured improvisation exploring the familiar within the infinite.
Monique Molino, Voice of Dance
I had a very powerful experience with this workshop. The warming and peaceful aura that Banafsheh glows with is so contagious. The poem by Rumi really resonated with me, as did the whirling. It truly is a moving meditation. I have not stopped whirling since!
Andrew Connolly, Menla Retreat Center, NY 2015
My search, my quest for spirituality in dance was so intense that when I came to Banafsheh's workshop in LA in 2007 for the first time, I have stayed with her since then. Her teachings, her movements and philosophy of Oneness have become my blood, bones, my essence. She embodies everything that I receive in her teachings. My life has become more meaningful through Rumi’s teachings and sacred movements, which I experience in her workshops. They are like a divine source - always accessible, always with me. Her beautiful work has embraced many countries and people from all parts of the world, and I believe it’s going to be many more to join us so we all become ONE... I feel so blessed to receive his teaching through this portal – how would I access this greatness if not through Banafsheh, our Dancer of Oneness?!
Irina Azarova, Student of Dance of Oneness since 2007
I am deeply grateful to Banafsheh for creating Dance of Oneness. When Banafsheh teaches, she weds Rumi's ecstatic poetry to dance and gives her students the opportunity to experience and embody sacred, mystic teachings through accessible movement. Practicing Dance of Oneness has led me to discover the lover and the beloved, both in me. Banafsheh's teachings are truly transformational when taken to heart. While sharing Dance of Oneness, Banafsheh channels divine beauty and clarity, and her presence in my life has unquestionably helped me heal and grow. Dance of Oneness has inspired me to serve life with love.
Maura Tousignant, Student of Dance of Oneness since 2009
Therapeutic, but much more FUN than therapy!
Dina Hamdy, Integral Yoga Institute, NYC 2015
"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."
Dancing with Banafsheh: DIVINE MIRROR OF US ALL
Being in the presence of Banafsheh, we feel the essence of love shining out of her, reflecting our own wholeness. We feel her goodness and melt into our own. We become well in spite of any illness. We dissolve into a pool of lovingness. Moving our bodies, we hear Rumi saying: You are designed to hold the cup of divine wine, the cup of love. You hear your own heart saying: melt yourself into the truth of who you are, supreme beauty in the eyes of the Beloved. This melting heals the stiffness, the resistance, the protective shield, the scars that carry wrong voices throughout our lives, belittling who we are meant to be, who we really are.
The meaning of dancing with Banafsheh is to bring us to our true nature. Her dance techniques increase our fluidity, balance, and flexibility. These are beautiful but would be meaningless if not combined with the Spirit she calls forth. We are invited to allow spirit to descend into our hearts, lighting a candle of peace, a dance of love.
This kind of dance is ageless, speaks to souls laden with life’s burdens. The dance calls us to move out of suffering into the light of oneness. Oneness with the great spirit of life that expands and stretches us beyond limited perceptions of ourselves and our worlds. Calls us to break out of our limits, to touch and be touched by the warm heart of the One who beckons us. We are invited to lay down our protests, disappointments, fears, doubts, and worries, and sink into the all encompassing arms of the magnificent Designer who asks us to go beyond, into the Beyond: with our feet rooted in the earth and our heads touching the heavens.
Banafsheh’s gentle guidance, and the soothing music of Tony Khalife creates for us a dance of meaning, as we come to know ourselves united with all of Life, the Beloved in our souls. This is not an ordinary dance class, a class of body posturing or techniques without connection to inner meaning. This dancing reunites us to peace and harmony, lifts us from our attachments to life’s challenges. We receive this peace while deeply walking the earth. With reverence, we make our time on earth, an offering of love.
A class for anyone, of any age, no experience required. To be in the presence of Banafsheh, of Love, is to know we are united to that which we seek, and this is all we ever need. We know this from our heart, not from ideas. The feminine essence blossoming in Banafsheh is transmitted to us, and is the source of a new vision for our planet: ruling with our hearts instead of our heads, with the intention to heal our planet, ourselves, and each other. We are grounded yet ecstatic, flying into the heart of the All. We grow wings. We are set free.
Joan Englander, Ojai, CA, 2011
Banafsheh's sensational performance New Year's Eve at the Marianne Williamson event was the perfect way to usher in the New Year as she danced us swirling into 2012 with a blazing explosion of energy and beauty....she has amazing talent and created an unforgettable moment for all those in attendance and watching online. She is the epitome of the spectacular lightness of being personified. Simply Stunning. I didn't want it to stop! She created one of my top 10 eternal moments that I'll relive in memory for all time!
M. Gast, Marianne Williamson New Year's Event, LA 2011
What a beautiful performance we saw tonight at the Lincoln Center! How wonderful it is to watch Banafsheh dance ... breath-taking! Dance of Oneness is a journey of spiritual awakening.
Mary Lou Grolimond Olson, Lincoln Center, NYC 2013
I just love "In the Fire Of Grace." Banafsheh is an absolutely beautiful, powerful, and amazing dancer!
President, Encinitas Friends of the Arts
Banafsheh’s dancing and ZARBANG’s music were so integrated, so perfect. Banafsheh conveyed the essence of whirling so beautifully it was breathtaking. But beyond that her dance was a language without words which wove worlds of meaning. Her body is a beautiful instrument, and in connection with the musicians such beautiful "visual music" flowed through, and the patterns of movement set up subtle vibrational harmonies. Due to our "mirror neurons" when we are watching, many people will be experiencing the same internal state and our bodies and minds are being harmonized so that we experience a shared reality beyond words. This is manifestation of the Beauty, a taste of the divine through all the senses. It was both unearthly magic and a full incarnation of what only human beings can do - to speak of the Beloved in entirely new creative ways in each moment. For me it was truly a spiritual experience provoking a palette of subtle emotions and ultimately deep rest and gratitude for our Beloved working through these human beings. I was so grateful to be there. Sharing this experience, the audience was being united and that feeling held through the intermission and afterwards. The fabrics were amazing, perfectly chosen in Banafsheh’s artistry, as part of the magic. Her bare feet were entrancing, the way they caressed this earth lightly and lovingly yet confidently expressed our capacities to move, to create, to exult in the joy of the precious, fragile process of being alive.........
Jane Garland, PhD, Vancouver
audience member, Banafsheh & ZARBANG live in concert in Vancouver, 2009
It was such a lovely honor that you were there to take part in this event to honor the Mother. We all loved your performance and the dancing of oneness.
Diana Shakti Contreras, Educator & writer, Professor, CSUN
organizer, Warrior Goddess Diva Event, CSUN, CA 2013
"You have integrated God into our human dance and it is a step in evolution. I thank God and you for it."
Joan Englander, Student, Ojai
"Banafsheh has inspired my dance soul once again. I had lost my passion for the dance when I experienced a trauma in my life, but because of her It has been restored. She is my favorite dancer of all times, as I can see that she is One with the Dancer of the Universe. I first loved Isadora Duncan, as she was the same."
Jasmine Bonk, workshop participant, Los Angeles
I’ve had the immense pleasure of experiencing Banafsheh's beauty of movement and spirit twice now at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC. Her performance the final evening of her program was nothing short of ecstatic revelry. Her fluidity and professionalism sank into our very cells and every person in the hall stood in enthusiastic response to her virtuosity. Our applause and thank you to Banafsheh for her unbridled passion-filled dance. What a true pleasure and joy it is to know her and experience her work. Brava! Brava!
Tess Wixted, Programmer, Hollyhock Center, BC Canada
Write a Testimonial