Dances of Universal Peace

Dances of Universal Peace are a form of circle dances designed to bring the experience of prayer from many world traditions into the body, voice, heart and spirit.

Here’s a miniature example of a Jewish dance I led at an event in Boulder:

Sham eten

And here are a couple links from a Summer Solstice dance in Denver:

I currently host monthly Dances of Universal Peace in Denver on the 1st Saturday of the month, and Sufi Zikr on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

Please check the Schedule of Events for details about these gatherings and sign up for my e-mail list to receive announcements.

The Dances I lead are tailored to the unique energy of each circle and designed with an awareness of the cycles and seasons of the earth, the energy and interests of the community, celebrations of different religious traditions, etc.

The Dances originated in the late 1960’s through the vision of Murshid Samuel Lewis, a Sufi master. The Dances have since been carried around the world, infused with intentions of peace and harmony.

Dances of Universal Peace are done in circles, which facilitates a communal experience of balance and mutual respect among participants.

Prayers from many world traditions are taught by a leader who offers pronunciations, translations, melodies and attunements (suggestions for understanding and connecting) to the phrases.

The movements for the Dances are designed to express the essential intentions of the prayers. Through singing sacred mantras and moving together in a circle, we integrate the prayer energy fully into our beings and we weave a holy atmosphere, a community of healing and harmony.

The mantras from different faith traditions are often interpreted through a mystical lens that allows participants to access the deeper heart of the prayers without getting hung up on dogma.

One evening of Dance may include prayers and movements from diverse world traditions including, but not limited to: Sufism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Paganism, Islam, Universalism, etc..

Dances can be playful, lively, contemplative, expansive, energizing, stimulating, heart-opening, connective, rowdy, gentle…

There is generally an acoustic guitar and/or hand drum providing the musical foundation to support the prayer phrases, which are sung by all participants.

Because the Dance leader is responsible for, and attentive to, the needs of the circle, all words, melodies and movements are taught piece by piece each and every time.

No experience is necessary.

Some Finer Points about the Dance:

  • The Dances are typically done barefoot or sock-footed (it’s safer for everyone!).
  • The Dances often include eye-contact with other participants (designed to be connective, gentle and cooperative, but can be awkward if you’re not accustomed to it)
  • Hands are held in the circle throughout the evening.
  • Dances of Universal Peace are typically welcoming for all genders and it is common for men and women to sing, dance, and pray together.
  • Some dances include a “partner” aspect, but you need not bring a partner to the dance and even if you do, you might not keep them next to you for long!
  • All Dance leaders have their own unique personality, passions, style, strengths, etc. Expect a different energy from different leaders.