Leaders Guild Questions Answered
QUESTION: Almost moments after Dance leader certification a highly enthusiastic (shadow: ambitious) mentee started actively recruiting others to mentor. Where I had imagined that they would spend years deepening in Dance leadership they immediately grasped for the next "rung." Thankfully, those who `signed up' stepped back a bit into their learning process.
My preference is that all candidates for certification need to be working under a certified mentor. Mentors-in-training may also be serving the development of upcoming Dance leaders but I feel they are not yet in a position to certify others; that is the job of mentors.
This feels to strengthen the sense of transmission and of linking new arrivals to the ancestral tree rather than to only an aspiring mentor, possibly stabilizing everyone's experience. Anyway, this is how I am proceeding.
ANSWER: A mentor-in-training is required to work closely with their mentor, and they are not permitted to certify mentees *until* their mentor designates them as a mentor. The new guidelines emphasize the importance of the mentor *working closely* with the mentor-in-training. If their mentees are ready to be certified before the mentor-in-training is ready to be a mentor, their mentor does the certification.
However, the growth of their own mentees is a sign of their own capacity to mentor. Generally, if a mentor-in-training has at least 2 mentees whom they have worked with for several years who are ready to be certified, then the mentor will make them a mentor---so that they themselves can do the certifying.
"Training to become a mentor is a rather long and gradual process. It is over an extended period of time that the mentor-in-training develops in the experience and process of mentoring others. At some future point, when/if there is noticeable growth in the mentor-in-training and in at least 2 of their students, the mentor will recommend that the mentor-in-training be appointed as Mentor I."
(P 18, Guidelines for Mentors-in-Training, The Mentoring Path.
Obviously the mentor and the mentor-in-training would both strive for a transmission that links to the ancestral tree. This is in fact what each mentor and mentor-in-training would be imparting over the course of training.
It is true, as it always has been, that as soon as someone is certified they can begin mentoring others (ie become mentors-in-training), but only IF they have the approval of their mentor.
We strive for ripeness: not too soon, but not blocking the door.
In the new guidelines we have attempted to mitigate the `ambition' factor by emphasizing that mentoring actually is NOT "the next rung" in dance leading; that it is NOT a step in the trajectory of dance leading; that mentoring it is NOT a way to be acknowledged for one's capacity as a dance leader.
"Dance mentoring is a different path from dance leading, not a higher recognition or distinction. Dance and Walks leaders need not feel that they should automatically become mentors even if they are excellent experienced dance leaders." (P 17, The Mentoring Path.
The depth of attunement, spiritual transmission, and skill of a dance leader does not depend on designation. The level of dance leading is known/seen/felt through direct experience by everyone in the circle as soon as the leader steps into the center.
A rose by any name is still a rose. Becoming a mentor will not mean that a dance leader is regarded more `highly".
Mentoring is a different skill set with a different motivation. It is for those who feel called to support others in their dance leading. It is more like the impulse of the mother.
"Mentoring is a path of service, self-development and mastery for the benefit of others. Through the experience of the Dances and Walking Meditations, through study and applied spiritual practice, through effacement of the ego, and through life's experiences, we grow spiritually and as dance leaders. For some it becomes a natural expression to then turn and share this growth with another."(P 17 The Mentoring Path.
"The Tao mentoring process is that particular crossroads in life where what you have to offer meets the immediate and future needs of another. Therein lies the enormous exultation that is yours—that of giving your gift of wisdom and having it graciously appreciated and received by others who then carry the gift to all those within their sphere of influence." (Chungliang Al Huang and Jerry Lynch, 1).
(P 17 The Mentoring Path.
Submitted by Darvesha (on behalf of the MTG Guidance Council)
Question: One of my friends has been leading for a number of years and was recently told by her mentor that she would need to join Peaceworks in order to (continue to) lead. She is not wanting to be a certified dance leader. We read the new guidelines but did not see anything about this. Thank you.
Response: Thank you for this question! It shines light on an important agreement that could be (and in the future will be!) more clearly referenced in the new guidelines.
At this point in time ALL mentored dance leaders are asked to support the work of the MTG and the region in which they live, regardless of whether they are seeking certification or are already certified. When someone is leading the dances, they are tapping into the lineage stream of transmission and hold all the joys and the responsibilities that go along with this. All mentored dance leaders are automatically part of the 'Leader's Guild' and thus are linked to all those who also lead the Dances and Walks. Joining one's regional network supports both International and Regional efforts to keep us connected with the transmission stream of the dances and the Mentor Teachers Guild, other Leader's Guild members, and worldwide dance circles. It also directly supports the ongoing work of the MTG to train, support, and nourish dance leaders and mentors worldwide. Whether one wants to be certified or not is a personal choice - certification is simply recognition of accomplishment along the path of dance leading. So the expectation is YES - If one is a mentored leader of the Dances and Walks, one agrees to be a supporting member of one's Regional network. The regional network sends a portion of the received membership fee to DUP International for direct support of the MTG. There are some dance leaders who live in areas without an organized region or who choose not be part of their region. These folks can contribute directly to DUP International.
Being a contributing member is currently referred to in the new guidelines in two places:
Dance Leader's Journey
Finding a Mentor (applicable to all mentored leaders), p. 3:
"Once the mentoring relationship has been formed, it is the responsibility of the mentee to keep the Agreements, stay in a working relationship with their mentor, and remain current with their membership."
Criteria for Certification, p 4:
"Traveling with one's mentor, maintaining an active spiritual practice, studying the Elements of Mastery, developing the capacity for unflinching self-witnessing, and maintaining membership currency are the prerequisites for certification."
Submitted by Halima (on behalf of the MTG Guidance Council)