November 08, 2017
When it comes to factors that prematurely kill Americans, studies show that loneliness is more dangerous than obesity. Social isolation may contribute to increased depression and anxiety, which can lead to a host of serious health issues, and impede brain development in children.
As social creatures who experience reality through our bodies, our well-being is dependent upon interaction with others. There is no substitution for the soothing bodily resonance created through face-to-face contact as our nervous systems are designed to interact and engage. When our communications are mitigated by technology we miss all kinds of non-verbal, precognitive cues, which account for the vast majority of information exchanged. (It is interesting to note that 10 times more information goes from the gut -where we tend to locate intuitive perceptions and “gut feelings”- to the brain than the brain to the body.) Social intelligence and empathy can suffer when we isolate ourselves for a prolonged period from embodied, flesh-and-blood human contact.
We are literally made for one another. When faced with a potentially overwhelming situation our first instinct, if we have healthy attachment bonds, is to reach out for social contact. This regulates our nervous system, thus reducing the chance a stressful situation will develop into trauma. When faced with a challenge it may indeed be helpful to reach out to friends on Facebook for words of support, but as far as your nervous system goes there is no substitute for the nourishment of embodied interaction.
Our ancestors understood this need for connection in a way that we seem to have lost sight of. Far from being a mere diversion or entertainment, music-making, singing, and dancing together served a healing role for the community and the created resiliency. In some tribal societies even today it is expected that every member of the community participates in music and dance together as a way to maintain social cohesion and reduce conflict. Traditional and tribal cultures may feel confining to modern people who place so much emphasis on independence, yet the instinctual, tribal layer of our humanity is still fundamental and must be tended. We still need one another. Despite the materialism and technology that comprise the distractions of our modern world, we are still motivated by love.
FREE GUIDED JOURNEY
I first saw Hannah dance Persian style at a party and was immediately in awe of her self-possessed beauty that comes through her style of dance. I wanted to learn that! I had gone through a tough 18 months of sorrow and grief after loosing my partner of 15 years and mom within six months of each other. Hannah choreographed a Persian dance specifically for me that would help open my heart. And she helped mend my heart and soul through private lessons and learning her dance. I would recommend h…
The potency of sacred women’s spaces was made evident to me during this beautiful two day healing dance ritual. That experience of learning, of playing, and of connecting to our feminine power through community and the container held so humbly and graciously by Hannah will stay with me forever, and has become fuel for a new passion in my life to explore Sufi and Berber traditional, meditative dance. My deepest gratitude goes to all women of the dance, now, and throughout all of time.
A week later and still relishing in the magical afterglow! Seriously, much to my surprise I am still reaping the benefits and riding the waves of such a weekend. Personally it was an end of an era, and what better way to initiate a new beginning, than to breathe in new life with ritual, spinning, baddass women, wonderful food, perfect location and gorgeous weather. Outstanding!
I just spent two days with Hannah and a diverse group of spirited women on the Spin, Shake, Sway workshop exploring whirling and the Moroccan Guedra, and the experience made me reconnect with dancing at a very deep and intense level. I felt so alive and free in the space where your body and your soul intersect, and beauty and healing naturally happen. The location was magical and the perfect setting for our group.
Hannah’s workshop was exhilarating, joyful, and educational. I felt uplifted afterwards, and emerged with a positive feeling of lightness.
For the past three years Hannah’s performance and teaching has been a highlight of my annual women’s weekend. She is a gifted, creative, expert dancer who engages and amazes the audience with her style and skill. It’s beautiful to watch her flow, bend, glide, and shimmy. Dancing with her is a blast! All my women friends loved it.
Hannah loves transmitting her knowledge of world dance to kids and they feel it. She engages them in both the movements and the understanding of the traditions of the dances. The kids learn to appreciate the pure joy of moving, the history of the dances and choreographing their own pieces. It’s great to see the kids enjoying the discipline of the different traditions while having a lot of fun.
Hannah radiates an inner joy, a celebration of the divine, that glows and grows inside her audience. Dancing with Hannah, one is finds herself channeled into the timeless essence of feminine grace, connecting to all women past and present, freeing us to express our true innate beauty