Hannah teaching at Austin Belly Dance Convention

June 09, 2018

When the Spirits Move You: An Exploration of Dance and Trance in the Islamic World


This lecture-participatory workshop examines trance and embodied healing rituals from Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, including Zar, Guedra, and Sufi mystical practices. Topics include how indigenous traditions have interwoven with the dominant religious paradigm to create the variety of spiritual expressions that characterize the Islamic world. We will explore the trance-inducing movements themselves, relating them both to somatic therapy techniques and esoteric concepts to more fully appreciate the healing and spiritual dimensions of dance and embodied ritual in the greater Middle East. Dance slippers or sticky socks are recommended for ease with turns.  MORE INFO

Your Eyes; Persian Popular Dance and Song Choreography (Performance Opportunity)


Participants will learn a Persian dance choreography to the song “Cheshmat” by Iranian-born pop artist Mehrnoosh. Movements characteristic of Persian dance include elegant and intricate arm patterns, coy facial expressions, and expressive hands.  Lyrics will be supplied and taught as time allows, giving dancers the opportunity to sing along and learn some Persian vocabulary.  This darling dance and song are accessible to all levels and can be a sweet piece to pull out at Persian parties or use as a class cool-down.