"There were classes in dervish dancing and the Kabbalah."

Sufi dancer
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumSufi dancer - Credit: Johanna Trew
 Dervish dancing is a form of Sufi meditation consisting of a whirling dance used to reach spiritual ecstasy. The dance is performed in the Sema, the ceremony of worship. Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam which emphasises drawing closer to God within this life, without having to wait until death.

The Kabbalah is a mystical form of Judaism that seeks to explain the fundamental relationship between God, who is eternal, and the mortal universe. The Kabbalah interprets knowledge, starting with overt meaning and ending with the esoteric, hidden, inner meaning. Although Jewish mysticism is as old as the religion itself, Kabbalah recently suffered a surge of popular interest when prominent celebrities such as Madonna adopted it.