Children and adults joined in rhythm and dance at the first ever Dances of Universal Peace event at the Baha’i Center in Valley Stream on June 9.
The Dances of Universal Peace is a 50-year-old tradition of meditative dancing and chanting involving themes of peace and healing. The event allowed people to participate in dance movements to gain an overall sense of peace. No previous dance experience was needed to join.
“The intention is to bring heart,” said Mariam Casdin-Silver, the leader of Dances of Universal Peace. “It’s not a performance, it’s a practice.”
It was the center’s first-ever event of its kind. A large circle of about 50 people held hands, moving from walking meditation into the opening prayer. Young children were seen dancing with people in their 60s and 70s, and a spirit of celebrating the diversity of age, race, ethnicity and religion pervaded the event.
“The sum result was an exquisite unity that was reached,” said Marie McNair, a representative of the Baha’i Center. “It attracted a diversity of people and a cross-section of community.”
Collaboration and individuality combined together with people’s different abilities, from those in wheelchairs to younger children. The event was open to anyone of any age, faith or background.
“My favorite thing was experiencing the level of unity when hearts are turned to a desire of peace,” McNair said. “There was a beautiful panorama.”
The Baha’is faith is built upon the unity of humanity, peace and love. Millions of Baha’i can be found in all areas of the world, coming from different races, tribes, communities and from all ages. According to Baha’i Teachings, “The Baha’i Faith is the world’s second-most widespread religion after Christianity, spanning the globe and working to unite it.” Other sources put the number closer to 7 million members worldwide.
The Baha’i Center welcomes people of all faiths each Friday evening and hosts events throughout the year.