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Sufi Dance Class with Paola García
June 11 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT$30
Learn the ancient practice of meditative whirling known as Sufi dance or Sema (Sama in Iranian). You will learn the techniques of whirling, but Sema is not about reproducing a certain form or aesthetic. Rather, the technique serves as a vehicle for inner journeying. Sema means spiritual listening. Together we’ll create a sacred space in which we can safely listen to and share our true selves and experience oneness with the Divine.
Each class consists of some explanation of the theory and technique, exercises, practice whirling, and sharing and discussion of what you experienced and felt.
Each class is $30.
To register, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to wear comfortable clothing like yoga pants or leggings and T shirts (no tube tops or short pants/skirts, solid colors are recommended, avoiding prints and shiny material which might distract the eye while whirling) and wear socks or soft soled shoes. If you have a whirling skirt, please feel free to bring it.
Please avoid eating a large meal for two hours before class.
Whirling commonly induces dizziness or nausea. Over time, through whirling, we learn to trust ourselves to go off balance, to be dizzy, to surrender control. We empty our minds of all thoughts of the individual self as we give ourselves over to prayer and connect with a greater power, the still center within, around which we turn. Into this emptiness floods a divine fullness, which sometimes gives rise to a state known as “mystical intoxication,” a reflection of knowing and experiencing that you and I and the Divine are One.
PAOLA GARCÍA teaches Sufi dance and performs with the CRS Sufi dance community and elsewhere. She has studied extensively with Sufi dance artist Rana Gorgani in NYC and in Europe and was awarded the International Sufi Dance Certification Of Cid UNESCO by her, granting Paola authority to teach Gorgani’s method of Sufi dance training. She has performed in multiple venues including Mana Contemporary, Alwan Center for the Arts, The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, From the Horse’s Mouth, The Outlet Dance Project, Dixon Place, MODArts Dance Collective, Queens Library, and Jamaica Center for the Arts among others. Paola holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from Columbia University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is a writer, Middle Eastern Studies researcher, lawyer, translator and student of Sufism.