10 things about sufi dance
1. What is “sufi dance”?
This dance is a spiritual practice (known as Samâ) and is related to “spiritual hearing” in sufism. This whirling or spinning style dance is sometimes referred to as the dance of the “Whirling Dervishes” but there is an important difference.
2. What is the difference between the dances?
The whirling dervishes dance is part of the Mevlevi Sufi order and is highly codified and choreographed. The essence of the Sufi Dance however is a „communion with the divine“ and not just a blind imitation of the familiar whirling and spinning movements.
The Sufi Dance creates a personal space in which the dancer is free to explore a more intimate journey experienced using the whirling and spinning technique.
3. What does Sufi dance represent?
The dancer is destined to whirl as the earth around the sun and so achieve harmony with the Universe itself. As the planets themselves rotate so the dance is performed spinning from the left side, the heart side!
4. So why does the dancer whirl and spin ?
The answer to this question is to be found in the Sama (spiritual hearing) and truly it is only the one who spins who holds the key ! Like a journey that cannot be taken without departure, the one who desires the mystery and secret of the danse must feel the will to embark upon the journey !
5. Does the movement induce nausea or dizziness?
It is quite normal to feel disorientated or „dizzy“ and indeed it is said to be an essential part of learning the dance and preparing the dancer to enter the state of ecstasy known as „mystical intoxication“ which varies in intensity from person to person. Perseverance and self discipline are the pathway to enlightenment where spirit and body fall by the wayside in the liberation of the soul.
Over time the dancer will learn how to embrace feelings of nausea and dizziness and indeed learn to ignore these sensations and give way to a feeling of fullfilment.
6. Why do the dancers wear long skirts?
The long skirt, most often white as a symbol of purity, enhances the circular motion of the dance. Naturally the long flowing skirt begins to spread and fan out as the movement increases in momentum.
The sufi dance créâtes an invisible energy, colourless, pure and transparent as light reflected from a Mirror.
The swirling skirt begins to move in endless waves and an aura envelopes the body in the same way as the sun bathes the earth in its light.
7. What kind of music accompanies the dance?
Sufi music is repetitive and often built around the Zekr (or Zikr) which is concerned with the memory and the practice which rekindles the memory. It’s powerful rhythm reminds us of the heartbeat and leads us to the mystical intoxication of the Sama.
8. Can I perform and experience the Sufi Dance?
Yes but you must be a believer!! A believer in ‘love’!!
To love yourself and to love others.
To believe in each one of us.
Through this dance I’m offering the oportunity to the one who is watching me to look at himself like a Mirror reflection…I am myself and at the same time I’m everything. It is a question of hearing and listening between myself and the other.
9. Do I have to be experienced in dance?
No, anyone of us can learn the Sufi Dance and master the whirling, spinning techniques whilst respecting ones own limitations! With time and practice the dancer will improve in power and speed and embark on the journey to mystical intoxication and the liberation of ones own soul.
10. Is there any age limit?
There is no age limit to enlightenment!
The Sufi Dance is an instructive dance, but have you noticed how children often start to spin spontaneously? See how they enjoy the sensation! Alas when we grow up we seem to lose this spontaneity and this is why it is said that the dance takes us back to the repressed sensations from our childhood.
4 good reasons to practice sufi dance :
• A way to meditation
• A body and mind liberation
• A free way to express oneself
• A physical and healthy practice for both heart and breathing