Solstice Dance of Oneness®: Rumi and the Celebration of Light
 | Workshop at Esalen, CA

Solstice Dance of Oneness®: Rumi and the Celebration of Light
 | Workshop at Esalen, CA

5-day workshop with Tony Khalife with musical guests

Join us in this magical time of the year to celebrate Rumi’s Wedding Night on December 17th—his passing into union with the Beloved, and the birth of the sun on Winter Solstice through sacred dance, Sama/whirling and live music.

“Even if the darkness of hell should swallow the sun and the moon, where is your flame, where is your light?” – Rumi

In ancient Persia, the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the year and the birth of light that 9 months later becomes the full fledged sun on Fall Equinox. It represents a speck of light appearing in the heart of darkness that expands through endurance like the yang growing from the depths of yin.

Journey into the symbolism of light emerging from the depths of darkness and give birth to the light within yourself through the poetry of Rumi and the ritual of whirling that guides us into becoming conduits of light in the dark.

Master teachers of embodiment Banafsheh and Tony will lead a nurturing weave of structured and free-style dance with vocalization, whirling, chanting, live music, meditation, wisdom teachings and lots of laughter. On the Solstice we will create a spiral of light ceremony to return to the flame shining brightly in the center of our beings that guides us into the world with lucid, grounded, loving discernment.

Workshop includes a Solstice spiral of light ceremony, performance and ecstatic dance celebration.

You will learn:

  • The movement meditation of Sama/whirling
  • Vocal techniques taught by Tony Khalife
  • The poetry of Rumi
  • Zikr or chanting
  • Grounding, releasing, centering and opening dance and movement techniques in preparation for
  • Sama/whirling
  • The symbolism and ritual connected with the Winter Solstice (Yalda in Persian) and the inner journey it represents
  • The ceremonial ritual around Rumi’s Wedding Night
  • Tools to access joy, peace and lucidity in your daily life

Mixed Levels

Suitable for women and men with little or no 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 soul through sacred movement. This workshop counts as 26 hours towards the 200/400-hr Dance of Oneness Certification Program.

Please dress comfortably in what makes you feel beautiful and bring a notebook, and soft-soled shoes or socks to dance in. One complete attire in white is recommended but not required.

Esalen Institute in Big Sur is truly a treasure as one of  most amazing places on our beloved planet Gaia. The area is considered one of the vortices of the Earth. Great organic meals mostly from the Esalen garden, natural spring hot tubs under the sky overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Esalen massage and great opportunities to hike and commune with this sacred Native American land are among the many attractions.

Register now
Call 831-667-3000 or Email

“A guide and a mystic, Banafsheh is an unexpected gift in my life. I have reconnected to the divine around and in me and feel empowered to share this loving with others.”
Kathi Coyle, workshop participant, Rowe Center, 2016

“This is deep soul healing for me. Dancing with Banafsheh and Tony is my spiritual practice. It has opened me to new truths. I love them both so much, they bring such love, joy and light into the world. I love the tenderness and the ability to flow with what is present in the moment even if it is grief. This is pure magic!”
Kira Preston, workshop participant, Esalen 2016

“I was immensely moved! It was fun, meaningful, spiritual and educational! Helped me integrate and invigorate! I feel more ALIVE and grounded in my spirituality. I feel committed and more clear about my personal path in life.”
Deborah Braun, workshop participant, Esalen 2016

Dance of Oneness®: Between Worlds | Workshop at Integral Yoga, NY

Dance of Oneness®: Between Worlds | Workshop at Integral Yoga, NY

1-day sacred dance workshop

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.

Fee: $45
Register now
More info: Email

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