LAURA SHANNON holds an honours degree in Intercultural Studies (1986) and a postgraduate diploma in Dance Movement Therapy (1990), and trained in Sacred Dance at the Findhorn Foundation in 1987. She has been researching and teaching traditional folk dances for over thirty years. Laura specialises in Armenian, Greek, Balkan, and Romani dances, as well as women's dances, ritual dances and the three-measure dances which she believes are connected with the symbol of the Tree of Life.
Laura's caring, innovative approach to traditional dance bridges the authenticity of the folk dance world with the spiritual intention of the circle dance world. She sees the dances both as a nonverbal language and as a form of spiritual practice, passed down from our ancestors in the human family. In her pioneering way of working, careful attention to style, background, and symbolism gradually illuminate the meaning within the movements and the encoded wisdom still relevant to our lives today.
Traditional dances embody an ancient worldview of sustainability, community, and reverence for the earth. Laura's teaching seeks to rekindle our understanding of this worldview, to bring greater awareness, gratitude and joy into our dancing and into our lives. Coming from cultures which historically have survived many periods of change, these dances teach skills and transmit messages which can guide us lovingly through difficult times.
Laura is deeply committed to supporting traditional music and brings musicians to her workshops whenever possible. She has collaborated with Xenos on several CDs of Balkan & Gypsy dance music, and produced a CD of traditional Armenian dance music, Gorani, with Shakeh Avanessian in Armenia in 2001. Together with her partner Kostantis Kourmadias, Laura performs traditional Greek and other folk music in concerts throughout Greece and Europe.
Laura brings her inspiring leadership and passionate dancing to twenty countries, and has published articles in many languages. Her unique way of working has guided thousands of people to experience traditional dance as a means of healing and transformation for our own lives and for our planet, and has provided a map for many teachers to follow. Laura's workshops are an invitation to return to the homeland of the earth and the body, by journeying deeper into the dance.
Laura lives in Greece and in the ecological community of Findhorn in northern Scotland.
Rose of the Heart, 227 The Park, Findhorn, Forres IV36 3TZ SCOTLAND
Bouzalades, T. Th. 1075, Keratea, 19001 Attiki, GREECE