Dance is the Highest Offering by Tanya Purnima LeBlanc

Dance has always been my biggest passion. My first stage was a small tree stump sitting beside the fire pit at our cottage. I would dance and serenade all the big people socializing around the fire.

As I grew, I begged my parents to enroll me in dance, but I didn’t take my first dance class until I was the sweet age of twenty. I began with Belly Dance and I loved the graceful feminine flow, but I was searching for something more. I then discovered the fiery and passionate dance of Flamenco and it felt like I found home. It was as though I had Romani blood running through my veins. I looked forward to stomping my feet each and every week for the next ten years.Offerings

Then one day, I saw the movie, Latcho Drom, and the search for my wandering soul reignited. This documentary linked both these dance forms to the Kalbelia of Rajasthan, India. Inspired, I wanted to explore and deepen my understanding of my passion for dance. I needed to find the lineage of dance within my soul. Where did this rhythm in my blood
come from?

I was soon planning another trip back to India to study yoga, but my plans evolved, taking me on a different path. In a chance Googling mishap, I discovered the beautiful Shakti School of Dance. My heart flooded with love and tears overwhelmed me. It was as if I had been transported to a past life. I soon went on a four month journey to India to study Odissi, a 2000 year-old Temple Dance tradition.

Odissi is one of the oldest dance traditions in the world and was danced and embodied by the Devadasis. ʻDevaʼ meaning God and ʻDasiʼ meaning wife, the Devadasis were the wives or servants of God who lived in service to Lord Jagganaut, the representation of God as ʻLord of the Universe.ʼ They were devotional dancers that passed on this tradition for millennia, living disciplined lives and dancing daily in temple ritual. This art form is truly the Yoga of the Goddess, and a devotional, sacred prayer and meditation.

Jagganaut AlterThe root of dance as meditation begins with the Temple Dancers of India. In the Vedic Scriptures, it says that dance is the highest offering one can give the Lord, that it transports the dancer to a higher state of consciousness and acts as a direct link to the Divine. No wonder everyone loves to dance! Music and dance makes us feel emotion and allows us to feel bliss and joy. We relieve stress, open up our chakras and feel the prana move through our heart and soul. Through devotional dance we become sacred and holy.

So I invite you to explore this beautiful practice with me. I invite you to go to the depths
of your heart through movement, mudra and devotion. Join me for a sacred workshop at
Downward Dog this summer. Reach into the past of your many lives lived and discover
Mudra Prayer Dance — A Bhakti Yoga Workshop. Your love of dance and yoga will take
on a whole new meaning. One of pure love and profound joy!

 

Tanya Purnima LeBlanc
www.tanyaleblanc.com
To learn more about the workshop
 Mudra Prayer Dance- A Bhakti Yoga Workshop Sunday June 28th and Sunday July 5th 3-5pm

$55 for one workshop, $90 for both workshops

*Subject to HST