DUP International banner

November 2014

Leaders Guild News and Updatenews



New in the Dance Library: 42 English Dance write-ups added in 2014. (requires log-in)



Changes Coming: Board Adopts Planning Report
  Splash Image

At their September 16, 2014 the DUP International Board adopted the recommendations of a Planning Committee report submitted in June. Read the full report here. Recommendations in the report included:

  • A 22% reduction in our budget beginning in 2015, including a 33% reduction in the Executive Director's hours
  • A 20% increase in Leaders Guild fees to $36 annually beginning in January 2016
  • A fund drive in 2014-15 to secure $20,000 to supplement Leaders Guild fees for operations through 2017
  • Addition of one new member to the DUP International board and adoption of new committees in the area of Communications and Regions
  • Refocusing more resources toward Communications and Worldwide Networking

In summary the planning committee said, "We believe that this plan will help to consolidate the work that has been accomplished while increasing Leaders Guild fees to a level more on par with the services being rendered to the Guild. This plan moderately reduces our staff resources and support to a prudent level for the next period of development without harming core operations."


We thank the planning committee for their work and welcome your feedback and ideas. Write to our Executive Director Munir Peter Reynolds if you would like to respond.


Fee Support Report

Leaders from the following regions receive some or all of their Leaders Guild fees from our fee support fund:

Countries               # of Leaders supported
US and Canada                44

South America                 25

Russia/Eurasia                 19

United Kingdom                 1


DUP International thanks all those who have contributed funds over the years to help pay the fees of those with financial hardship.



Leader Advances

The Guidance Council would like to congratulate and acknowledge all the Walks and Dance leaders who thus far in recent months were certified and recognized as Mentors-in-Training, and as Mentors I, II, and III over the last several months through October 18, 2014. Click here to view the list of these Leaders on the In-The-Garden Yahoo Group. You will need to log in to Yahoo to view the list. 


In this 




 Leader News and Update



 Elements of Mastery: 

 by Kabir Stuart McKinnon



  by DiAnahita Kanoy







 Missed Earlier Issues of this Newsletter?

See all the back issues at

Enewsletter Home




You can post your events and event flyers on our website Calendars:





Dance Leader Training Events






Dances of Universal Peace International  

PO Box 55994,  
Seattle, WA 98155 USA
    (206) 367-0389


 Seattle Office


Director's Office


Community Coordinator 




Elements of Mastery:


Heart-to-Heart Transmission in a Digital World 

By Kabir Stuart McKinnon


The Elements of Mastery column explores the art, craft and spiritual practice of Dance leading and mentoring through the reflections and perspectives of individual mentors. Comments and discussion are welcome either on InTheGarden or on our Facebook page. Ideas for future topics are welcome, as are offers to prepare articles -- please contact the Executive Director. To revisit all the articles in this series, click here

Kabir Stuart McKinnon
Kabir Stuart McKinnon
As someone who has assisted many Dance originators in creating write-ups over the past several years, I have been observing with interest how new Dances emerge and are transmitted within our Dance community. The situation today is quite different than it was before DUP International created the on-line Resource Library for Leaders Guild members. Accurate originator-approved write-ups often become available to leaders within months of a new Dance having come through. No doubt these new write-ups have been of great benefit as reliable resources that can be accessed worldwide. Nevertheless, I have also noticed with concern some unintended effects.

Here is what I have been observing. The originator of a new Dance offers it for the first time in a Dance camp or retreat. Other Dance leaders at the camp or retreat "capture" the new Dance on their smart phone and, when they return home, start leading it on the basis of their experience dancing it with the originator. Unbeknownst to them, however, the version that they experienced is still evolving with the originator. What was experienced in the Dance camp or retreat was indeed the Dance in that particular moment, but it wasn't fully "cooked". The originator, perhaps as a result of the experience of leading the new Dance at the very camp or retreat, has received new guidance that leads them to change aspects of the Dance - sometimes quite significantly. Meanwhile, the now discarded version of the Dance is being led, perhaps in many circles depending on how many Dance leaders have "captured" it and taken it home. By the time the originator comes to rest on what has emerged as the "cooked" version of the Dance, and a write-up and audio or video recording is posted to the Resource Library, the "uncooked" version may have spread far and wide. The transmission of the Dance thus becomes fractured, and many people are also confused.

Hearing the Message
by "DiAnahita" Kanoy 

Dianahita In the Dances of Universal Peace, much of the power is in the words. As Samuel Lewis said, "What is important is the sacred phrase." Since the message often comes through ancient or foreign languages, the phrases may be challenging to "get" for anyone unfamiliar with them, and for someone with hearing loss, they may pose a frustrating struggle to understand, and detract from the unity that is ideally created, by making some people feel excluded.

At a recent dance camp, I noticed that many people were wearing hearing aids; since I have just gotten them myself, they are in the foreground of my consciousness. Looking around at the aging group, my guess is that about a quarter of the dancers either had hearing aids, or needed them. Many people do not know that the devices are incapable of correcting hearing loss completely, or even adequately, as glasses can; they are merely an aid to make sounds more accessible.

So how can a dance leader best convey the words to people with a hearing deficit (or listening in a second language) as well as to everyone in the circle?

Here are some suggestions from others that I've interviewed, along with my own:

1. Assume that there are new people or those with hearing loss in the circle - without asking, which may cause embarrassment.

2. Suggest to musicians to tune in advance and to be quiet during instructions: ambient noise can make separating sounds difficult.

3. Invite a small circle to come in close, shoulder to shoulder, for learning the phrases; in a larger circle, ask anyone close to the speaker back away or sit down so that the speaker is visible to most.

4. If there are people in the room who are not dancing, ask them to keep the sacred silence.

5. Look up at people (not at your instrument or feet) so they can add lip reading and facial expressions to hearing.

6. Say the words and meaning before expecting people to sing.

7. Join the circle yourself so that your back is to no one, or...

8. Move to different sides of the center to say the words toward all sections of the circle.

9. Project your voice to fill the space. (Attunement and sacredness don't necessarily mean soft)

10. Realize that speaking to the hearing impaired is not just about volume, but more about clarity and consciousness and connection with the listeners.

11. After articulating and enunciating clearly, have the dancers repeat foreign words or phrases with pauses in between, so that the response from the previous phrase does not drown out the following phrase.

12. Sing the song alone the first time, so everyone can hear the melody as well as the words.

13. Demonstrate, rather than talk about, the movements.

14. Dwell in the Holy Presence together, remembering your role in transmission and unifying the spirits of the Beloveds.

Disappointment at not receiving clear instructions can pervade the whole atmosphere. Instead, let's convey the sound and depth of sacred phrases so everyone can join in an uncluttered experience of divine transmission.  

Hazrat Inayat Khan may not have had exactly the meaning we have been addressing; yet, his words can apply here: "Although the tongue of God is busy speaking through all things, yet in order to speak to the deaf ears of many among us, it is necessary for Him to speak through the lips of man."

Dr. Diana Kanoy is Professor Emerita of Public Speaking at the College of Central Florida, as well as a long-time Leader and Mentor of the Dances of Universal Peace.
sufijamSufi Youth Jam 2014

by Diana Lyon

Last May forty-nine youth and young adults in the Sufi Ruhaniat and Dances of Universal Peace gathered for dance, prayer, and copious hugs as we closed out a 5 day retreat in the glorious foothills of the Rockies. The participants, from all over the United States, Germany, Latvia, Czech Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and the UK, left with a strong sense of inspiration, motivation, connection and joy. Participants explored a wide variety of practices and explorations rooted in Universal Sufism. Early mornings included meditation, chanting, hatha yoga and/or qikung. The younger leaders, guides and mentors present collaborated in sharing teachings on our lineage, the Walks, the alchemy of breath, wazifah, and small and large group sharing, with Dances woven throughout the day. Afternoons also included writing exploration and a Dance Deepening opportunity for participants to explore Dance leadership with the support of mentors. Evenings included zikr, the Aramaic Lord's prayer cycle, Dances, late night dancing and a fabulous talent night. On Saturday afternoon about 25 members of the local community joined us for a beautifully held, co-created Service of Universal Worship and evening program.