Dances of Universal Peace International
Board of Directors

 


Darvesha Victoria MacDonald – President (Silver City, New Mexico, USA email) has served as chair of the Guidance Council since June 2007 and on the current DUP International board of directors since January 2008. She was a member of the original DUP International board (then PeaceWorks INDUP) at the time of its inception in 1987. She has traveled extensively worldwide leading the Dances. Her major focus of the last fifteen years has been seeding the Dances in South America, particularly in Colombia, and encouraging local leadership and mentorship. A co-founder of Wilderness Dance Camp, Darvesha has spearheaded revision of the Leaders Guild Guidelines, completed in 2010. Darvesha is a Murshida in the Sufi Ruhaniat International, a Senior Mentor of the Dances of Universal Peace, a Ziraat Experienced Farmer, and a Buddhist practitioner. (Term ends April, 2023.)

 

 

 

NurAna Naomi Wilansky - Vice-President (Normal, Illinois, USA email)
Mentored into the Dances of Universal Peace by Ayesha Lauenborg in the early 1990s, NurAna has been leading dances herself since 1995. Originally from the Washington, DC suburbs, she lived for a number of years in Delaware and Philadelphia before moving to Central Illinois. Since coming to central Illinois in 1999, she has been leading a regular dance circle in her area as well as taking a leadership role in the Dances of Universal Peace Midwest Retreat. Naomi is a Gestalt trained psychotherapist and is a board-certified diplomate in clinical social work. She maintains a thriving private practice and has been deeply grateful for the experience of parenting a daughter who is now a college student. Naomi was initiated into the Sufi Ruhaniat Order by Yasmin Haut. She balances her Sufi practice with her work on the social action committee, teaching Hebrew and as a song leader in her local Jewish Temple. (Term ends April 2023.)

 

 

 

Ginny Rukmini Miller - Treasurer (New York, USA email) is a Sivananda Yoga teacher from Ithaca, New York.  She has been a disciple of Swami Venkatesananda for 40 years, and has lived and worked in yoga centres and ashrams around the world.  Rukmini is a certified leader and lover of the Dances of Universal Peace and has been leading the Dances for 35 years in the U.S., Canada and, most recently, in South Africa.  Since 2014, Rukmini has lived primarily in Cape Town, South Africa with her son and granddaughter; volunteering at Ananda Kutir Ashram and other non-profit projects.  With the help of a grant from the Oneness Project, Rukmini began an ever-expanding Dances of Universal Peace circle in Cape Town.  This circle has been invited to offer the Dances at numerous special events and venues such as a Passover celebration at the District Six Museum and a Day of Compassion hosted by the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre.  The Cape Town circle dances regularly at the beautiful Sufi Temple, Ananda Kutir Ashram and the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative’s Erin Hall. Rukmini is delighted to serve the Dances as a DUP board member. (Term ends April 2024.)

 

 

 

Arjun Jorge Calero (Atlantida Ecovillage, Colombia email) was born in Colombia in 1978. Raised in close contact with nature and spiritual seeking, he finished his Biology studies in 2001 with a special degree in ethno-ecology. He has worked for years with local native communities and environmental groups in schools. He was part of the Rainbow Peace Caravan, a nomad ecovillage, school and artistic company, that traveled throughout Latin America. In 2003 he co-founded Atlantida Ecovillage where he still resides and hosts 2 major DUP events every year. A senior dance mentor, guitarist and Ruhaniat Sheikh, Arjun works actively with the ecovillage networks (national and continental) and the revival of the ancient wisdom of the Americas. (Term ends April, 2025.)

 

 

Christian Khabir Mayer-Glauninger (Rodgau, near Frankfurt, Germany email)

Once upon a time, I encountered fairy tales and the dances of Universal Peace. Since then they have accompanied me on my path of life. As a narrator, dance leader, mentor for the dances and Cherag in the SRI I bring people closer together in different settings. So I work as a lecturer for different educational institutions, have trained fairy tale tellers, am part of the vision team of the NdL e.V. (Dance Network of German-speaking Countries) and leader of the youth team at the German Family Dance Camp and as such part of the camp management team. I accompany people in training groups for the dances and am able to accompany the Youth Council of the SRI as a "silent member".

Fairy tales, stories and dances have enriched my life and turned it into a goldmine, in the words of Rumi.

(Term ends April 2025.)

 

 

 

Munira Elizabeth Reed Ph.D. (Columbus, Ohio, USA email)

is a Sheikha in the Sufi Ruhaniat International;  Mentor in the Dances of Universal Peace; Cherag (Sufi Interfaith Minister); and Executive Director of Shalem Center and Abwoon Resource Center.  Her primary focus is outreach with Saadi's Aramaic/Sufi work which has taken her across the United States, Brazil, and various parts of Mexico. (Term ends April 2023.)

 

 

 

 


Yelena Swarana Dudarjoka (Riga, Latvia email)
Yelena met the Dances in 2006 and traveled to Sacred Arts Camp next year, which was a turning point in her life. She felt drawn to be an organizer of the local events and then the co-creator of the Dancing Hearts camps since 2009. She was deeply inspired by Shamsia Sunfire, Silje Devi and Prem Provan and started leading Dances too. Her passion is traveling and sharing the Dances in Russia, the Baltics, UK. New Zealand, Yelena has also participated in the Beyond initiative in Turkey and Israel, and traveled to Sri Lanka and Mother India to introduce the Dances. Tamil saint Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings and the holy mountain Arunachala have enriched her journey, she kept coming to Mother India every year before the pandemic.  
Otherwise Yelena works as a freelance architect. (Term ends April 2025.)

 

 

 

Executive Director, Secretary

Edmund Aziz Dixon (England, United Kingdom email)

A Certified Leader living in Lancashire, England, Aziz holds an MBA degree from the Open University and brings experience from a variety of roles in university management over 20 years. He has been on the Sufi path since 2003 and has participated actively in the local dance and Sufi community, as well as in events across Britain. He has served on the Management Committee of Dances of Universal Peace UK, including the roles of Administrator, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Aziz also served as manager of the European Ruhaniat Summer School for fourteen years.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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