Leaders Guild News and Update
How we best communicate
We are always looking for the best ways for us to communicate with each other. We have been reviewing how DUP International and dance leaders communicate with each other, and how leaders and dancers talk to each other. We have settled on maintaining three methods of communication.
First, we will continue to issue this Leaders Guild e-newsletter two or three times a year as a means of keeping all members current with important updates.
Second, the InTheGarden Yahoo Group (see previous newsletter) will continue as a moderated forum for communication with each other about our development and training as dance leaders, as well as for feedback and suggestions to the DUP IN organizational team.
is where we are creating an international online community. This group functions as a salon where dancers and dance leaders may share with each other. Please do post there updates of interest to the dance community worldwide.
Mobile phones, cell phones
We want to move with the times, and would like to make more use of mobile (cell) phones in our communications with you.
We would like to be able to communicate by SMS (text), as we have learned this alternative is preferred over email by Leaders Guild members in some parts of the world. To start this process, text messages will be used to send notices about overdue LG fees to some of our dance leader family in parts of the Americas. It will also offer us a possibility for us to contact you if all other options are exhausted.
Let me encourage you to add a mobile phone number to your profile on
; or you can contact
in our Seattle office to give her this information. Please do contact
with any questions.
Thank you, Anon!
We recently received a very generous donation to DUP International funds, and we're hoping the kind donor will read this, and know how much we appreciate your support. Such a donation helps to spread the dances worldwide, and make key resources available to dance leaders in multiple languages - see below. Within USA, donations are also tax-deductible.
You too can help
As part of our ongoing outreach to leaders across all parts of our dance family, we are seeking to boost the fee support fund through donations this fall/autumn. The fee support program provides leaders who need it with extra financial support so that they can continue to have access to all our resources and play a full part in our international family.
Asking for support in this way is a very personal matter, and it would not be appropriate to give specific cases, but you can imagine that our dance leaders face varied situations: it may be in a country recovering from civil war, where dances have helped to build peace in shattered communities, but as yet jobs and prosperity are scarce; or a vibrant dance circle 20 hours by train from the capital, needing a sense of connection with the wider dance family; or people we know in our own country for whom the dances are transformative, but who are struggling to meet basic living expenses. Our generosity even at modest levels can make a real difference to those in need.
If you are moved to make a donation, with them in mind, you can find details at
Your help will be really appreciated.
The heart of our Dances and Walks is the relationship each member of the Leaders Guild has with their mentor. The members of the Guidance Council remind us that it is most important for each of us to maintain that relationship. If a dance leader loses their mentor due to death or retirement, they need to find a new mentor. Even seasoned dance leaders maintain a relationship with a mentor!
Finding a Mentor - The Mentored Leader
Although the transmission of the legacy of Murshid Samuel Lewis is the responsibility of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, training in leading the Dances of Universal Peace and Walking Concentrations is open to persons of all spiritual streams.
Like native mysticism, this tradition is communicated directly from teacher to student, thus ensuring that subtleties - such as the transmission of sacred atmosphere and attunement, which are impossible to systematize - can be effectively embodied. By linking to a mentor one connects with the power of the lineage of this body of work. Attuning to a teacher creates a direct experience of lineage transmission, which gives authenticity to presentations and representations of any particular stream of blessing. All aspiring dance leaders need to find a mentor; this will be someone who is not a spouse, partner or any other relative of the dance leader.
New leaders naturally look for a mentor to whom they feel attuned, one who has developed qualities they themselves would like to cultivate. Mentors work in different ways with their students (mentees); e.g., some mentors offer training programs or mentoring groups, and others work individually. New leaders are encouraged to inquire of mentors regarding their methods. For a current list of mentors, visit Mentors Worldwide.
Once the mentoring relationship has been formed and the mentor has communicated the details to the Community Coordinator, the mentee becomes a Mentored Leader and is admitted to the Leaders Guild. Mentored Leaders are expected to stay in a working relationship with their mentor and abide by the Leaders Guild Guidelines and Agreements. The importance of inviting and considering a mentor's advice and guidance cannot be overstated.
New languages - next steps
We have expanded into provision of key papers in Portuguese, in response to translations offered by a team of leaders co-ordinated by Maria Aché. The website will be set up to accommodate Portuguese throughout, and the first priority has been to translate the
It is possible that we could extend into French as well, also on the basis of sustained enthusiasm and support from a group of leaders who could work with the DUP IN team. If this attracts you, please contact
The Guidance Council would like to congratulate and acknowledge all the Walks and Dance
leaders who have been certified or recognized as Mentors in Training or Mentors over the last
several months, since our last newsletter:
Malika Elena Salazar (MA, USA)
Mentor in Training
Shahodat Mamadalievna Golomuz (Russia)
Aliela Gorzaltchik (Russia)
Jamila Nur Carla Hannaford (MT, USA)
Jonas Koukl (New Zealand/Czech Republic)
Nicola Prelle (Germany)
Correction: Inayat John Tal (not Tol) (NC, USA)
Ute-Wakila Andresen (Germany)
Albert Bergmann (Germany)
Conie Borchardt (MN, USA)
Asherah Dominique Boyer (France)
Eliska Bridges (Czech Republic)
Brenda Nur Latifa Crane (CA, USA)
Sylvia Rashida Edwards (CO, USA)
Joyce Fitzgerald (IA, USA)
Terry Karima Forman (CA, USA)
Beatriz Latifa Giraldo (NM, USA)
Jules (Julia) Goodwin (England)
Safia Joanmarie Gray (MO, USA)
Jonas Koukl (Czech Republic)
- belated, from 2013
Anne McArthur (IA, USA)
Mary Neil (Australia)
Constance Olson (IA, USA)
Angela Palechor (Colombia)
Carlos Rojas (Colombia)
Citali Claudia Yasmin Tello (Colombia)
Amira Susan Webster (CA, USA)
Saleem Adam Wolter (MN, USA)
Nancy Norris - Ya Salaamo
I just heard from Sharon Abercrombie and Violetta Reiser that longtime mureed and MPM member Nancy Norris from Northern California passed away last night (Friday) [June 24] at the age of 80
writes: "Nancy had gone in for gall bladder surgery early this spring and doctors discovered pancreatic cancer. She skipped going to the spring dancing hearts quarterly this past April. Started getting Hospice care in the next few weeks. Many many people travelled to Ben Lomond during the past few days to say good bye to her, Vio reported. She was such a beautiful spirit, and much loved."
worked with me as a mureed from the mid-1980s and was a mainstay at the early Lama Dance Camps as well as the California Quarterly Dance retreats, which at one point replaced the Saturday Advanced Dance Class started by Murshid Samuel Lewis at the Mentorgarten. After I left the San Francisco Bay area in 1993, Nancy and Darvesha continued the quarterlies, with Violetta as registrar, even as the event moved around and became 'less than quarterly.' Many California Dance leaders began their practice and deepened joy and concentration through these retreats.
was a loving soul, with a huge heart, and a beautiful musician and Dance leader. She loved her grandkids, and her home in Ben Lomond, California was a haven for them and the larger community who visited her there.
Please add some heartfelt Ya Hayyo Ya Qayoom's to your practice to help her on her way, and if you are a healing ritual conductor please add her to your list once with Ya Salaamo.
May the Beloved preserve her secret!
Love and blessings,
Anna Hakima Semenyakina, long term dance leader and mureed of Wali and Ariënne van der Zwan in Moscow, died in early July. Anna's spirit, inner strength, humor and grace will be missed by her many friends on three continents. May she rest in peace. Ya Salaamo.
Memories of Nancy, Anna, and other Beloveds can be found on a beautiful memorial website for mureeds of all Inayati Orders who have passed to the other world:
You can send your memories, to add to the website, to: