For All Members of the Leaders Guild


The Name “Dances of Universal Peace”

The Dances have been called by different names through their history; at this point they are formally identified as the Dances of Universal Peace. Other names used by Murshid SAM are Dervish Dances, Mantric Dances, Sufi Dances, Christian Dances, Angelic Dances, Mystery Dances, Spiritual Dances. He referred to the entire body of this work as the Dances of Universal Peace … “I am teaching ‘Dances of Universal Peace’.” (Samuel L. Lewis, 1)

Respect for the Dances

Mentored leaders agree to respect the integrity of the Dances and Walks created by Murshid SAM and those following this line of transmission. Dance leaders are asked to first learn Dances the way they were originated and have been transmitted by their originators, and to honor the request of originators who have specifically asked that their Dances not be changed. These requests are made in order to feel clearly the transmission of the sacred phrases as they have been brought through, even though occasionally it may be necessary to modify a Dance to suit special circumstances and populations (e.g. working with children, the elderly or those challenged in some way).

Permission to represent more advanced Dances and cycles in public may be obtained directly from their originators, or from one’s mentor if they have permission from the originator.

Being a dance leader does not give permission to lead Zikr. Zikr is a Sufi lineage practice. Permission to lead this form of sound and movement meditation is given to one by one's Sufi guide; it is not taken on one’s own initiative.   (Note, however, that Dance Leaders may include Zikr Dances as part of a Dance program or event.)

Use of the On-line Dance Resource Library

Leaders Guild members agree to download Dance Resource Library materials only for their own use.

Leaders Guild Fees

To be an active member in good standing of the Leaders Guild requires remaining current with one’s annual Leaders Guild fees. (Note: For convenience, the payment of one’s Dance Region dues in most cases includes the applicable Leaders Guild fee, which is then remitted by the Region to DUP International on the member’s behalf. Otherwise, the Leaders Guild fee can be paid directly to DUP International through the website of that organization. See Joining Your DUP Region for further information.)

In cases of financial hardship, Leaders Guild fees are partially or fully remitted from a fund established for that purpose through donations.

Logo Policy

The circle of hearts logo may be used by all members of the Leaders Guild, as well as for official business of the organization. Please review the Logo Policy before using the logo.

Ethics Policy

Ethics Guidelines

  1. We recognize that we are all affected by the less healthy parts of our individual selves and our culture around issues of power, sex and money. Out of respect for the Dances of Universal Peace, for ourselves, and for those who dance with us, we regard ourselves as responsible to act in the most ethical manner possible at all times. We are all in this together and no one is exempt from these influences of our society. We also recognize that mistakes and accidents happen. In this regard, we will continue our own process of healing and surrendering to the Only Being. We will uphold basic ethical guidelines common to the precepts of the sacred paths and religions.
  2. We will do our best to be sensitive to the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, particularly when an imbalance of power may exist or be perceived to exist. We agree not to use our roles as leaders or mentors to manipulate or indulge in favors that otherwise would not be given freely. As Dance leaders we agree to hold with integrity the whole circle’s safety, realizing that our personal connections with members of the circle are in service to the circle as a whole.
  3. The Dances are a spiritual practice that can awaken many qualities within us, including romantic and sexual feelings. As leaders and teachers we understand that even though these feelings may arise, we will not act on them. We agree not to pursue a sexual or romantic relationship with participants in the circle during a Dance event or retreat. We will not act in any way that could take advantage of any participant’s vulnerability.
  4. Mentors agree to refrain from sexual activity with their own mentees. It is requested that the mentoring relationship be mutually acknowledged as ended, and that the mentee find a new mentor before a mentor and mentee decide to explore a romantic or sexual relationship.
  5. We will be honest and straightforward in our dealings with money and do our best to be explicit about fees we charge or contributions that we expect as reasonable compensation for time, expenses and travel in relation to dance leading and mentoring.
  6. We will be honest in our communications with each other and with participants, and do our best to practice respectful, clear, and direct communication.
  7. We will not use intoxicants or be affected by them during the leading of any Dance event.
  8. When ethical issues arise, we will do our best to bring them to resolution, including among other things by self-inquiry, attentive listening, skillful speech, seeking and receiving guidance and support, and practicing effacement. We agree to consult with our mentor for guidance and objectivity whenever concerns of an ethical nature arise, whether we are the person with the concerns or the person whose behavior is the object of the concerns.
  9. We agree to handle difficulties of an ethical nature in accordance with the Ethics Policy.

Ethics Co-Chairs or Chair

The Guidance Council (GC) and the Spiritual Guide will select from the body of mentors two Ethics Co-Chairs – or if only one is available, an Ethics Chair – (EC) designated to receive reports of abusive incidents and violations of ethical guidelines. The GC in consultation with the Spiritual Guide will annually confirm the EC appointments.

Ethics Complaint Process

1. In the interests of acknowledging and supporting the capacity of the local communities, we encourage anyone with concerns about the ethical behavior of a member of the Leaders Guild to address these concerns directly with the person involved and try to resolve the issue informally, with assistance of local resources. Should those efforts fall short of resolution to the satisfaction of all concerned, we encourage the concerned person to discuss this further with their mentor and consider a preliminary discussion of the issues involved with the EC, prior to determining whether to file a formal ethics violation complaint.

2. If a decision is made to make a formal ethics violation complaint, it is to be filed with the EC, who will inform the GC and the respective mentors.

3. The EC will ask the concerned person if they have tried to address and resolve the issue directly with the person(s) involved, and if they have sought support from their own mentor. If they have not, the EC will encourage them to do so. If requested, the EC will offer consultation and suggestions for referral for conflict resolution or mediation.

4. If the above steps do not resolve the issue, the GC Chair and the EC will consider forming an Ethics Committee.

5. The Ethics Committee will be comprised of the mentor and the spiritual guide/ teacher/ initiator (if they have one) of the person in question, the EC, the GC Chair, and another Mentors Guild member selected by the GC Chair. The Ethics Committee will address each situation with the hope of arriving at a creative solution that will be beneficial to all involved.

6. If anyone is dissatisfied at any point in the above process, they may request proceeding to the next step.

7. Neither the GC nor the Ethics Committee is a legal or quasi-legal body. We work on the basis of trust, collaboration, consent and mutual respect. If the EC or the Ethics Committee perceives that legal issues may be involved, the parties will be referred to the appropriate authorities.

8. All persons acting in any ethics complaint process will maintain the strictest confidentiality of all reports of alleged violation of ethical guidelines, with the understanding that the above-named persons (Mentors, EC, GC Chair, Spiritual Guide, et al.) will be involved and will also hold this information in confidence.

Note: Dance leaders may choose to make this Ethics Policy available at regular public meetings and other ongoing classes in the Dances of Universal Peace and Walking Concentrations.


Guiding Circles and Events

Part of being a dance leader is about leading and safeguarding the participants in their dance circles and dance events. Guiding a circle may sometimes be difficult. A purpose of the Dances, according to Murshid SAM, is to increase joy. Any behaviors, comments or attitudes in a circle or event that diminish safety and joy to the circle and the individuals in the circle are antithetical.

Dance leaders are responsible for the circle. That doesn’t mean walking a patrol; yet it does mean being attuned both to the individual participants and the circle as a whole. In order for us to expand our consciousness and free ourselves from the restrictions of personality and social conditioning, we want to be safe and free! If anyone’s behavior encroaches on that feeling of freedom and safety, that needs to be dealt with. 

Each individual, leader, circle and situation is unique. The leader simply has to be willing to be attentive, willing to inquire if there are warning signals, and willing to take necessary action if required.  Action can include outlining guidelines, commentary, and sometimes intervention.

The way dance leaders maintain this safety net is up to them, and each dance leader (or dance team) will handle delicate or difficult situations in their own way, but here are some suggestions:

1.     Dance leaders might want to let participants know that they are expected to be sensitive to each other’s boundaries, while at the same time responsible for setting and maintaining their own boundaries. 

2.     Sometimes dance leaders may feel the need to let participants know exactly what behavior is expected and accepted in the categories of sexual misconduct, drug and alcohol use, provocation, verbal aggression, and power dynamics.   

3. During DUP events, leaders might want to designate and make known to the participants a person or team that is available to those who need physical, emotional, or spiritual support. Sometimes the amount of energy generated in a dance awakens energies that are not always easy to integrate. As well there are times when someone feels challenged by something that has happened in the event.  Those who feel challenged should know that there is someone they can talk to.