Leaders Guild Questions Answered


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Is becoming a mentor the usual next step for a certified leader?

Does everyone have to join the network in order to lead the Dances?






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 Guidance Council)