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Sufi Dance Testimonials


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Mahdi Aridj Photography

Photography: Mahdi Aridj 

I am the teaching of Rana

I have been following Rana's teaching for several years, not assiduously, since I sometimes have periods of interruption but I like to come back in particular to follow her Sufi dance workshops, it's like a ritual but above all a need. Why this need?
It certainly stems from Rana's personality. Rana's demands are limitless, so there is always room for improvement in their work for everyone. If we are willing to evolve in his near research, Rana will accompany us.

The richness of Rana's teaching is due among other things to the fact that she never dissociates the practice of dance from the origin and meaning of the dances of Iran. She therefore leads her students to give meaning to their gestures, whether they are refined for the Sufi dance or more symbolic and stylized for the Persian and Afghan dances. I continue to search in dance with the work of Rana, a stripped simplicity any artifice and I still have a way ...

26th June 2020

It is said that Rumi used to tell

For this rigor in teaching.
For this power in the transmission.
For all that stirs in our heart and in our being.
For this luminous softness that we draw from it every time.
For these unique and precious encounters, these links woven in a subtle and intimate way.
For this egregore.
For those musicians who translate the divine into notes.
For this love

These smiles, this Light, these caresses on the heart.
Everything is here.

26th June 2020

Sufi dance therefore changed my view of dance

Sufi dance opened my eyes to another way of thinking about dance. I started the Sufi dance workshop in August 2015 with relatively little dance experience and until then. Dancing came down above all, in the way I pictured the act of dancing, to producing an aesthetic effect. Without realizing it, I associated dance with the realm of the profane and the appearance and, although I had already heard that Sufi dance has a more spiritual aspect, I did not know concretely how to understand it. Often, we dance to achieve beautiful movements, and often in a setting where seduction has a role to play, such as at a ball or a nightclub.

And more specifically when it comes to professional dancers who dance for an audience during a show, I told myself that the dance was above all the result of a technique and a rigorous work. However, Sufi dance allowed me to realize that dancing could also be a language, a way of expressing oneself and of exteriorizing what dwells in us. Work, technique and rigor are no less present, but they are not enough. As I felt, they are simply at the service of the dance, however what allows the Sufi dance to be what it is resides rather in an attitude of listening and openness which intervenes when one returns. in samâ. From the profane, we then pass to the sacred; of appearance, interiority and feeling. Sufi dance has therefore changed my view of dance.

However, I have also noticed, speaking of the Sufi dance around me, that many people have a misrepresentation in my opinion. The word "trance" associated with the Sufi dance, gives an image that does not correspond to what I experienced. With this word, we imagine that Sufi dance rhymes with delirium, state of possession or search for thrills. In fact the Sufi dance for me simply rhymes with the joy of dancing!

During the internship, we learned that spinning around, like a spinning top, was in fact a universal movement, which can be found in many traditions, long before Sufism appeared as such. It is also the spontaneous movement children make when asked to turn, and circle dances are also very old. Perhaps this joy of dancing while turning on itself and sometimes also in a circle is it simply explained by the spontaneity of these movements? Their presence both in old traditions and, more haphazardly, in the movements that children make, perhaps show how much these gestures are inscribed in us, how “natural” they are. And it seemed to me that the spiritual aspect of Sufi dance comes precisely from this return to the spontaneity, the naturalness and the joy of a child who begins to dance. It is not about spirituality in the sense of a hermetic esotericism, but in the sense of simplicity and joy. But this does not exclude technical work within a constant search for balance: spontaneity is not chaos and confusion, it flourishes precisely because it is based on solid foundations. Learning balance in movement therefore becomes essential to pushing the tour dance experience to the fullest.

To conclude this little testimony, I would say that the Sufi dance allowed me, thanks to a new language for me, to exteriorize a feeling that I do not always have the opportunity to put forward, all in harmony with the people and the surrounding atmosphere. And if I had to define my experience of Sufi dance in a few very short words, I would use these: listening to oneself, listening to others.

26th June 2020

Passion can only burn and transport us if we accept the fire of discipline

It is said that Rumi told this story:
"A chickpea tries to jump out of the saucepan where it is boiling, and protests: Why are you doing this to me?
The cook brings it back with a ladle into the boiling water.
-Do not try to escape. Do you think I'm torturing you? I am giving you taste: once mixed with rice and spices, you will be a delicious source of vitality for a human being. "
(From Women called to the path of Rumi. Shakina Reinhertz. HohmPress. 2001. p.200)

Learning Samâ with Rana is to experience this little chickpea anxious to escape suffering, seeking to jump overboard when the discomfort is too great… But the requirement, the discipline offered by Rana brings us back to the pot: we won't taste the ineffable flavor of Samâ without going just a little ... a lot ... passionately ... beyond the comfort zone.

His requirement is matched only by his generosity and his passion; so just watching her “work” with someone is already extraordinarily exciting. The ardor of his encouragement and his sustained presence, to make the dancer (the dancer) a new experience gives him to taste the multiple flavors of Samâ, and we - the other dancers / ses- motionless on the edge of the circle where the dancer turns accompanied by Rana, we also breathe the subtle scent of Samâ.

With the teaching of Rana, we integrate through experience, that passion can only burn and transport us if we accept the fire of the discipline, thus beyond a technical practice of tricks, or a practice known as "Sufi", we join the underground current of all the traditions which can make our soul live, vibrate and sing in the world. "I will not speak, I will not think anything: But infinite love will rise in my soul . »(Rimbaud. Sensation.)

26th June 2020

Samâ has now become my prayer

We never go anywhere by chance, but it is Fate that guides us all. It is thanks to this that I met Rana, first the dancer, and after Rana my Sufi dance master, this to tell my guide to the roots of the movement.

Me, I always liked to dance, it is a necessity of my body, a need that gives me freedom and joy, but one day I understood that I was looking for an explanation, in short, the essence and the origin of it all.
My love for Iran, its music and dance, for Persian poetry and its connection to spirituality and Sufism ... Destiny brought me to my first seminar, August 2015.

Crest - it means being immediately touched by two things: a crossroads and a small hill, metaphors for my state of mind at this point in my life; the need to make a choice and walk a path in order to rise.
To tell the truth, during this week, I lived experiences which are difficult to explain in words; I wanted to go beyond my dance and I found myself facing myself: a soul that seeks itself. The road is long, the difficulties and the obstacles are still there.

By living a seminar or a Sufi dance workshop the work is tiring and we know the fear, yes, the fear of vertigo, of falling, of vomiting the soul ... that's why we must trust the master . Rana has always been in my body and my mind with a look, a word, the silence that speaks; even the presence of a (very important) group helped me. Sometimes I wanted to go to the end of the hill at a run, but you have to slow down and above all have humility (A great lesson for me).

Only then do we come to understand how the physical preparation, the meditation, the closed eyes, the breaths, the beating of the heart to the sound of the daf and the ney, led me to Samâ, to the sacred dance and then it is the pleasure to shoot ("Find it, Tiziana!"), to be a magic lantern.

After my first seminar a lot of things in my life have changed, Samâ has now become my prayer and I still need my teacher who, I know, is there.
On the way, with my skirt and my daf, I am listening ...

26th June 2020

I had this need to develop the power, to dare to lose my bearings

Within the framework of Sufi dance, Rana has a very particular way of transmitting her art. And this is something very interesting for anyone who feels called to study this dance.
Rana gives and asks a lot in return, and it is precisely this requirement that will allow the overcoming of achievements, securities, habits, comforts, to always go further, beyond his own limitations. Rana never lets go ...

A great quality for a teacher. Thus, this spirit of rigor accompanies all its transmission which is expressed through: anchoring, technique, exploration, creativity… in terms of the main lines.
When I met Rana, I had this need to be more firm in my support, to anchor technique, to develop power, to dare to lose my bearings. Rana has accompanied me on this journey and today I express my gratitude to her.

26th June 2020

What I have been living every day since I came home is unspeakable

I have a burning fire in my chest after the internship.
During this cycle, I went through all the possible states, from deep fear to pure will but powerlessness but also anger as joy: the pure will when I want the skirt to turn and that it seems so heavy to me; the deep fear when faced with going in one direction; anger against this skirt which still does not want to turn and which distracts me; the joy of no longer being, of being only an Earth-Sky axis, of this freedom; abandonment in the fall.

When I leave my path or refuse it or go too far, beyond my limits, the fire has always burned me on a physical level (falls, burn out, over-infected blisters). It does me good to experience the fire in a setting where I can surrender myself completely in "safety" to go further. What joy to find a community of dancers of life and to share this Joy in dance! I feel that this will also really enrich my personal practice. It makes me want to go further in the dance path, but I don't know how and where yet.
My life has already changed.
I shoot every night in a dream.

What I have been experiencing every day since I came home is indescribable. Simply, everything is stronger, more alive, more intense, joy is everywhere even in the desert. I feel that I could walk for days in the desert without this fire going out. Other times I feel like a thirsty, feverish pilgrim looking for something that I have tasted and that I know there but cannot reach. Still other times, I want to share what I am going through with the whole world and that the whole world experience this joy and this love but only a few friends can hear me.

I feel that my path takes a new and still unknown but essential direction. I have a stability in me, a form of determination, a strength and solidity (which was there as a child) that I thought I would never find again. It allows me to choose where I go by refusing any choice made for others, the only choice that exists is the one that makes my sun shine, I thank you for your presence. For the first time, I experienced the presence of the master in me: I surrender myself completely to the master and his love to take the step that I could not take without him. Once this step has been taken, I am no longer to be still more. Once revealed, I turn again, with each fall I came out more confident, more thirsty, more attentive. I offered myself even more to the experience.

I also learned and felt the difference between hopping and the support of the feet which allows to find the Earth-Sky axis. Each step is hammered by the music that guides and supports me. This support allows verticality and balance. Without him, I waver. It is my axis of gravity. When I turn, this axis merges with that of the Earth. When I shoot, I am incredibly present, - even if my mind has no grip and had to fade for the vertigo to disappear - fully in tune with the body and this axis and the music. I am contained and brought together by this listening in the external space where I whirl and in my body: I ​​am then one and nothing at the same time. The gestures are still mysterious for me, I feel their differences and how they resonate with my heart. But I still don't take enough time to taste the changes in slow motion, in connection with the heart.

I turned to face the sun on Christmas Day, my feet in the damp grass; I shot at New Year during a celebration with friends dear to my heart.
Great joy to find you.

26th June 2020

My mind is more open

Rana is an extraordinary teacher. To the rhythm of the daf, she transmits her knowledge of Sufi dance with tact, endurance, dynamism and creativity. Her presence and her speaking skills allow us to be guided towards the inner spiritual discovery of ourselves and to sublimate it in daily life.

When I am taken in the tower, the thought is no more and a new energy is anchored.

Since I first encountered this intoxicating dance, my outlook on everything has changed. My mind is more open and a quest for truth and love has naturally set in. Here, I particularly recommend stays with l'Oeil Persan, the journey is all the more intense.

26th June 2020

She guides us where it is possible to surpass ourselves

Requirement, determination and rigor, nothing is left to chance by Rana. Experimenting beyond what I thought possible, going through moments of nausea, fear, fatigue, Rana does not let us go. I have confidence, Rana respects my limits and does not endanger anyone, she guides us where it is possible to surpass ourselves.

The hours pass, I turn, we turn without losing the north, without getting lost, quite the contrary, we turn on our axis in order to reconnect, to refocus. In a short time everyone evolves at their own pace. At the end of a week of training, the neophytes turn, it's impressive.

With her wide smile, refined and delicate, she welcomes us to a magical place surrounded by nature and thinks of everything, both from the point of view of place, food, and her teaching.
We are there to work accompanied by engaging music and a professional musician.

Since the summer internship, I feel that my dance has gained strength, I still have a long way to go and want to continue this learning. I needed to meet a person like Rana.
It's like a translation into a gesture of emotions, thoughts or things that have been with me now or for a long time. At the same time, everything around me influences and enriches me. It is a double discovery, interior and exterior.

During the workshops, we are never placed in a performance or competition situation. Rana invites us little by little to know ourselves more and to push our limits based on what we are able to do. Every now and then, it puts us in a more difficult position for us to progress. On the other hand, Rana speaks to us bluntly about the different symbols existing in Sufism, the links between this dance and poetry, the elements, the movement of the planets, the colors, the music, etc., of Chams, of Rûmi, of the divine, without interfering with what one thinks about God.

From this, everyone is free to interpret and express what drives them. A bit like in music where from seven notes we compose a melody, we create a dance from seven gestures. the possibilities are limitless

26th June 2020

A testimony

“I left the seminary with a heart full of love and great strength. Sufi dance makes us experience emotions that transport us, make us grow and that we all share together: we laugh, we cry, we cry… These few days spent with Rana and the other participants taught me to surpass myself , anchor to better let go. By turning we become the infinitely large, the planets which revolve around the sun, and the infinitely small, the electron which revolves around the nucleus of the atom. It is the essence of life. Thank you to Rana for accompanying us, for giving everyone time and for taking into account our differences, for teaching us new things. Thank you to the musicians who transport us to the light. Thanks for the divine cuisine. Thank you to the photographer to immortalize these moments. Thank you to all the other participants for their authenticity and beauty. Thank you. "

Marie Soraya
November 7, 2020

A revelation

It's almost 3 years since I discovered the practice of Sufi dance thanks to the teaching of Rana.Every season has its seminar and by juggling between my family life and my professional life, I manage to free myself to leave the hustle and bustle even the chaos of everyday life to gain this rejuvenating “bubble” for a few days.
Obviously, by evoking the Sufi dance, we visualize the large almost hypnotizing whirling skirts, the beauty of the movement, the astonishing physical “performance”… but, it is much more than all that.
Sufi dance, I could describe it to you as a beautiful experience of the Circle and the Point: the Point can exist without a Circle. The Circle, for its part, cannot be conceived without the existence of its Center, the Point. The Man who wants to return to his Center, to his Origin, must bridge this distance which separates him from this Point, by undertaking a spiritual journey. This is precisely what the Sufi dance and its circular movement allow: a journey from human exteriority to its Interiority.
Adopting this whirling movement so natural for children expressing their Joy, this divine flow which animates the whole Universe, helps in the quest for this Center. Some will call it Source of Life, others the Divine… Words have no it doesn't really matter; it's just a universal experience, that of Love.
Like the clay that takes shape on the potter's wheel, the Sufi dance polishes the heart, rids it of its dross and that far from any dogma. Only the Experience. And I am very grateful to Rana for her teaching of great quality. The rigor is at the rendezvous. The precision, the depth and the passion in the transmission also. Strong but correct words during the lessons, a touch of typically Persian malice, a glass of water for the one who has been tested through vertigo, a hug at the end of Samã (name of the Sufi dance)… Rana is a demanding, genuine and human teacher.
Sufi dance provides me with this necessary anchoring so as not to disperse myself in the regrets / remorse of the past or in the sometimes anxiety-provoking projections of the future. This practice fits perfectly into an awareness of the Present Moment. Also, and above all, gives me the possibility of immersing “body and soul”. The body in the swirling dynamics of movement… consciousness, for its part, motionless in the eye of the storm, in the absolute and powerful calm of Love.
A tender anecdote: to see me dance, my 3 young children have started spinning. One day, Rana may have them as students!


13th January 2021

“Set your life on fire. Look for those who fan your flames. "- Rumi

Rana Gorgani made me want to practice Sufi dance.
Before knowing her through the Sufi parties that she organizes in Paris, I was interested from afar in this practice.
I have now been teaching Rana for a few years and still am in awe of her generosity and creativity.
Each seminar, each workshop is unique.
Its rigorous transmission and the discipline it imposes teaches us to be true. And this is a privilege.

These workshops and seminars now punctuate my life. It is continuous learning. I learn to surpass myself, to become aware of the group, of the energies that surround me, to become aware of my body, my mind, my limits too.
During these moments, I feel anchored, often released.

Beyond meditation and learning to dance, teaching Rana is a path.

I also appreciate this communion with the other dancers, without words, without glances, this sharing and this proximity.

Thank you very much Rana for this passion!

IT engineer
13th January 2021


Drawn through the door of Samâ,
I saw men and women
to enter into their shadow;
in musical notes.

Black, spread your wings and go crooked,
on the partition of the world,
to your brothers and sisters, hold on.
Form the circle.
Double the rhythms.

the flow,
slows down
the silence.

mountain guide
March 26, 2021


To more presence in the so-called "mundane" of everyday life is among the most remarkable and least predictable effects of this teaching and this practice. What would it be that would be "the" spiritual? How does Rana manage to constantly adjust to each and everyone according to their own artistic creativity, according to their temperament, according to their own mastery of listening, of gestures and of speaking? How does this current qualified as "ancestral" - among others - could it become a sumptuous resource to better meet individually and collectively the challenges of this tumultuous 21st century?
To discover / re-discover for yourself in the intimate and subtle encounters offered by Rana.

April 24th