Sufi Dance Workshop
October 20 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT| $70 – $80
Organized by: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) invites you to join our whirling community for an intensive workshop in Sufi Dance (sema or samâ in Arabic and Farsi) led by Sufi dance artists & CRS instructors Paola García and Lâle Sayoko. Samâ means spiritual listening and its accompanying whirling dance embodies unity: unity within our own selves first, and with the outer world and “others” second. Both beginners and more experienced whirlers and people of all faiths and ages are welcome. Together, let’s experience the peace and blissfulness that come with accepting all feelings that arise during our practice, including the uncomfortable.
In this workshop, you will learn whirling technique and experience several meditation-in-motion exercises meant to facilitate connection with the deepest parts of our selves. You will also learn essential facts and some history about Sufism. This will promote an understanding of how we can benefit from the wisdom of this ancient tradition in a way that is deeply relevant and applicable to our experience as modern beings. Poetry and sacred music will be important components of this workshop. Those with prior experience will learn more advanced techniques and be led deeper into their practice.
“Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.”
– Jalal ad-Din Rumi.
Sufi whirling is called the dance of the soul because of its ability to liberate the dancer’s soul from the prison of the body. A background in dance is not necessary to benefit from the alchemy and spiritual richness of this practice, derived from Islamic mysticism. Cathartic and powerful, this practice is life-altering, exerting an irresistible pull on those who are called to it, and therefore meant to remove their veils and witness the intoxicating light of the divinity that lies at the core of our human essence.
The workshop fee is $70 until Oct 18 and $80 at the door. Registration is available online, by phone (212-677-8621), and at CRS.
Please wear solid colored comfortable clothing like yoga pants or leggings and no jewelry or strapless tops or short skirts/pants. Bring socks or flat dance slippers to dance in. If you have a whirling skirt, you may bring it. Bring a notebook and pen and water bottle.
Do not eat for at least a couple of hours before the workshop.
Learn more about Sufi dance:
About the Instructors
Paola García was awarded the International Sufi Dance Certification Of Cid UNESCO by Persian master Rana Gorgani, granting Paola the authority to teach Gorgani’s method of Sufi dance training. She holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from Columbia University. She is a writer, Middle Eastern Studies researcher, translator and student of Sufism.
Lâle Sayoko lives to embody and transmit the voice of spirit through music and dance. As CRS resident Sufi Dance instructor, choreographer, performing artist, and musical curator, she loves to welcome people into this holy practice to explore and share their own divinity. After a long professional dance career, she retired to support her young daughter through a life-threatening medical crisis. Several years later she discovered that she could whirl as a form of prayer to support her daughter and began studying Sufi Dance with Paris-based Sufi Artist Rana Gorgani. In April 2018 Gorgani awarded her the International Sufi Dance Certification Of Cid UNESCO, granting her authority to teach Gorgani’s method of Sufi Dance training. She currently teaches Sufi Dance classes at CRS every first Thursday of the month from 7 – 8:30 pm and leads the CRS Healing Circles + Whirling Prayer that take place every third Thursday of the month from 7:15 – 9 pm.