Join us for an evening of simple melody and movement set to sacred phrases from a number of spiritual traditions. Music is live, not recorded. Dances are held the 3rd Saturday of every month.
Come. Bring YOUR presence. We are all the better for you being part of the circle. No experience needed, all dances and chants are taught. We recommend you wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Saturday, October 15th
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Doors open at 7:15 PM
Haw Creek Commons
315 Old Haw Creek Rd, Asheville, NC, 28805
Parking is free on the left and right sides of the building.
Enter at the front door facing the street.
$10-15 suggested donation is appreciated to help cover costs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Mask wearing will be optional at this gathering, as the CDC and Buncombe county are no longer requiring masks indoors. Please know that any interaction with the general public poses a risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed while in attendance at the event. If you have been exposed to COVID in recent days, or are experiencing any COVID symptoms, please stay home and we will see you next month!
What are the Dances of Universal Peace?
The Dances of Universal Peace are a spiritual practice of Sufic origin that combines singing and dancing of sacred phrases of the world’s religions. The intention of the dances is to raise consciousness and promote peace between diverse religions. Chants are often sacred phrases put to traditional, contemporary, or occasionally improvised melodies. A wide range of languages are used in the chants, including Arabic, Aramaic, English, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit.
The chants are sung in coordination with simple dancing and a variety of movement. The dancers stand in a circle around a leader and musicians who play in the center. The Dances of Universal Peace emphasis is on participation regardless of ability–dancers of all levels are welcome to come and join. Each dance and chant is taught, explained, and led, so no prior experience is necessary.
The below video further explains the history and principles behind The Dances of Universal Peace and gives you a glimpse of what the dances look like when performed in a group.
The Format of the Dances
Walking meditation – We begin the dances with a lead walking meditation around the circle to clear the mind and connect with our body, breath, and heart.
Invocation – After the walking meditation, we join hands and recite the opening phrase of the invocation of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
“Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, the Only Being, united with all the Illuminated Souls, who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.”
Partner and individual circle dances – Each dance will be briefly taught and lead accompanied by simple melodies played on guitar, hand drums and clarinet.
Closing meditation – We close the dances with a brief meditation and singing “may all beings be well; may all beings be happy; peace, peace, peace.”
Benefits of the Dances
Dancing, chanting, and music are powerful tools for improving our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. As Murshid S.A.M. once said, “(Dance) takes us beyond ourselves, bringing an initial taste of the state of non-being, which is really a balm for the soul.” Recent research has shown other powerful ways how movement, mantra, and music can also heal the mind and body.