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Shamanic Trance Dancing (and more) at Beltway Plaza Mall

Entrance to Shamanic Trance Dane studio in Beltway Plaza


You may not have ever heard of shamanic trace dancing – I hadn’t – but we’re hearing about it now because it’s come to Greenbelt – to Beltway Plaza Mall, no less, near the AMC theaters.

The guide and inspiration for the Shamanic Trance Dance and Empowerment Center, which opened its doors in October 2019, is Padma Wine. Her mission is to “bring self empowering tools to the community. These tools are largely based in Shamanic practices and Yogic teachings from around the world.”

Meet Padma

For Padma Wine, a lifetime of learning and then teaching healing practices led to her discovery of shamanic dance. Her own medical challenges as a teenager led her to pursue a career as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, which she expanded into the teaching and then leading of meditation. More recently she studied and became licensed as an End of Life Doula, and it was through that training that she met shamanic trance teacher Zelia Pye. Padma then studied with Zelia in Spain and became the first guide and guardian. of shamanic dance. in the U.S.

Padma Wine in her Shamanic Dance studio

Padma has worked with shamans and healers around the world to learn about these ancient practices, and I say better her than me! (The older I get, the more airport-averse I become.)

The mother of two boys, Padma grew up everywhere (thanks to a military dad) and settled in Annapolis about 12 years ago.

Padma on Video

Check out what Padma has to say about locating her center in Greenbelt and learn a little bit more about the services that she provides at her Center. Video by the City of Greenbelt.


Services at Shamanic Trance and Empowerment Center

They’re all “super-affordable,” so more people can access them.

Blogger Adventures in Shamanic Trace Dance

So what IS shamanic trance dancing? I looked it up. From one source:

Evolving from the ancient wisdom of shamanism, Shamanic Trance Dance is a powerful and profound blindfolded dance.

The Shamanic Trance Dance ritual incorporates a dynamic blend of natural and spontaneous movement, percussive rhythms, healing sounds, energizing fire breath and focused intention.

Under the cover of the darkness found when wearing the blindfold, one is able to let go fears around self-image and inhibitions. The inner space that covered eyes creates then gives permission to dance and move freely in privacy, even though there are other participants dancing in the room.

Now I’ll confess to being leery of anything involving shamans or any hint of altered states. But I DO love to dance! So when I heard Padma describe this type of dancing as helping with “grief, loss, addictions, de-stressing, healing and energizing,” I decided to give it a try.

Shamanic Trance Dance studio in Beltway Plaza
Photo by Katy Gaughan

So after registering for the class, my friend Annie Shaw and I put on some comfy clothes and attended a Sunday afternoon class. We found Padma and the Center to be calming, nurturing and lovely. After her introductory words and instruction in a breathing technique, the music began, and changed several times over the next hour.

So what was it like? Nothing like what I do at the New Deal Cafe. Dancing in darkness, with no one watching, to powerful and rhythmic music, with focused breathing – it’s freer, looser, and even a bit trance-like. I was surprised by how fast the hour of dancing went. And felt great afterwards.

Here’s Annie’s report.”I loved this experience. Prior to going, I’d worried that wearing blindfold would be scary and that I’d fall – my balance is slightly impaired. But Padma offered options like dancing in a chair, or standing and touching the wall. I did keep contact with the wall and thoroughly enjoyed the dancing. Afterwards my body felt more supple, connected, and more grounded. I am planning a return session for sure!”

Trance Dancing, Drumming and More for Black History Month at Beltway Plaza

Black History Month celebration in Beltway Plaza

Black History Month activities clockwise from upper left: Padma Wine doing Shamanic Trance Dancing; Mayor Pro Tem Emmett Jordan with Black History Month Co-Chair Lois Rosado; Chris Colvin playing a didgeridoo; and Katy Gaughan leading community drumming.

Shamanic Trace Dancing was just part of a terrific all-day event at Beltway Plaza Mall celebrating Black History Month 2020. The music and dancing were types with African roots, and I learned that trance dancing is “still practiced by the San communities in the Kalahari region, There it’s used for healing sickness in individuals and healing negative aspects of the community as a whole. ”

If by now you may be thinking, “Wait! This is happening in a shopping mall?” But Beltway Plaza supports arts and cultural events like this – or Free Art for All, a Hall of Fame for outstanding Greenbelters, table tennis contests, etc – all year long. It supports a very long list of community causes and events, including Greenbelt Online!

And all that made more sense to me when learned that the owner of the mall is Fred Wine, husband of healer and free spirit Padma. So really, no wonder.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

  1. Katy Gaughan
    | Reply

    I held my first Drumming for Wellness class at the Shamanic Trance Dance & Empowerment Center last weekend and was very happy with the space. It was beautiful and conducive to my needs for the class and also drew in new people who heard the drumming in the mall. I never thought I’d love drumming in a mall — but I do! It’s perfect! If you want to join us, contact me at info@katygaughan.com. Thank you Padma, Fred … and Susan! Hope to drum with you soon!

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