Dancemeditation™ with Dunya Dianne McPherson

Join us for a soulful conversation with my guest Dunya McPherson! 

In the Podcast, we spoke about Dunya's journey with dance from a young age, to attending Julliard, to finding Middle Eastern dance and the Sufi path. She gave an excellent history of modern dance evolution in the USA and the politics involved in the dance world. Dunya's explained how she created Dancemeditation™ and gave us a detailed overview of what you could experience in a class.
We got into the harmful effects of negative body image and how an embodied practice can help us create a more loving relationship with our bodies. She also talked about how she used her MA as a vehicle to write her memoir, Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh, and gave us a preview into her new yet unpublished book on Dancemeditation™.

About my guest: Dunya Dianne McPherson, BFA, MA, the Founder of Dancemeditation™ and a pioneer in the field of embodied mysticism. An acclaimed authority and meditative leader coming from an extensive background in mysticism and art (Juilliard School, Sufi Foundation of America), her teaching credentials include academic faculties, artist-residencies, and academic department chairmanship (including Barnard College, Princeton University, Swarthmore College, New York University, Hunter College, Oberlin College, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia among others) as well as Featured Presenter at meditation centers & conferences (Netherlands Mystic Festival, Kripalu Center, SAT Institute, The Embodiment Conference.) She is critically acclaimed as both dancer and choreographer, and a recipient of numerous choreographic grants, including the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship. She teaches in-depth meditation trainings nationally and internationally. Her literary memoir, “Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh”, chronicles her dynamic journey in embodied mysticism.

Mariane Karou Founder of Dance Alive®

May 16th, 2021, 6 pm UTC


My guest for this month’s Episode of The Universal Dancer Podcast is Mariane Karou, Creator of Dance Alive, “Dynamic Life Movement." A pioneer in the field of movement, Marianne has been teaching full-time for 50 years.

In this episode, we will talk about the Dance Alive System, its benefits, and why it is so effective. We will look at the balance between creativity and structure. We will explore the importance of integrating movement practices into your life, combining movement, meditation, and leadership, and why integrating physical vitality, emotional intelligence, mental clarity, and integrity is essential to balanced productivity.

The show will stream live on Leslie's YouTube channel TheUniversaldancer. Please join live so that you can participate with comments and questions during the show.

May 16th, 2021, 6 pm UTC
Mariane Karou Founder of Dance Alive ®

June 13th, 2021
Jacqueline Dreessens, Ethnochoreologist


July 18th, 2021
Melissa Michaels Founder of SomaSource

September 12th, 2021
Erica Ross Founder of The Move, Dance Our Way Home, Daily Dance, Author and Artist

October 10th, 2021

Megha Nancy Buttenheim Founder of Let Your Yoga Dance

Podcast

Welcome to The Universal Dancer Podcast!

Join Leslie Zehr, author of The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer and The Al-chemia Remedies: Vibrational Essences from Egyptian Flowers and Sacred Sites, as she takes you on a journey of exploration using her own experiences as a seeker. The journey began in her childhood but increased when she moved to Egypt more than 30 years ago.

She will bring guests from diverse areas such as sacred dance, the sacred arts, ancient wisdom, academics, artist, writers, and researchers to understand our past better to move more skillfully into the future.


The interviews will stream live on Leslie's Facebook profile, The Alchemy of Dance Community on Facebook, and her YouTube channel TheUniversaldancer. Please join live to participate with comments and questions during the live-streaming.


The interview replays can be found on her YouTube channel  TheUniversaldancer and The Universal Dancer Podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

Past Episodes

Ecstatic Trance Postures with Laura Lee and Paul Robear


My guests for Episode 3 of The Universal Dancer Podcast are Laura Lee & Paul Robear, the Cuyamungue Institute's Directors. The Cuyamungue Institute (CI) was founded in 1978 by Dr. Felicitas Goodman to carry out her anthropological research on Ecstatic Trance Postures. In this episode, we explored Ecstatic Trance Postures, what they are and why they are important to us today. Laura and Paul talked about the Institute and what they are doing to carry on Dr. Goodman's work and let us in on new projects in the works. Paul explained the importance of ritual and described what is involved in an Ecstatic Trance Posture session. Laura spoke about the importance of community and debriefing as a group to share our experiences and gain deeper wisdom from each other's experiences and how sessions can often result in each person collecting a piece of a greater puzzle. We also spoke about the importance of us as humans to experience ecstatic states to bring the wisdom and knowledge of other states of consciousness into our daily lives.

About my Guests: Laura Lee & Paul Robear are the Directors of the Cuyamungue Institute. The Institute was founded in 1978 as the worldwide headquarters to carry forward anthropologist Dr. Felicitas Goodman’s work with Ecstatic Trance Postures.

Laura and Paul write books, articles, newsletters and present this work. Venues have included interviews and lectures for the general public and for university classrooms, on-site workshops around the world, a collaborative modern art exhibition showcasing Cuyamungue Institute at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and lately online Zoom gatherings.They studied with Dr. Goodman for ten years before her passing in 2005, have taught since 2000, and have guided and administered CI since 2011 with expertise born of media careers. Laura Lee hosted “The Laura Lee Show” on nationally syndicated radio while Paul ran a media company, producing and publishing books and videos.

Dance Wise with Author Stefan Freedman

My guest for the 4th Episode of The Universal Dancer Podcast was Stefan Freedman. Stefan is a Sacred Circle Dance teacher in the Findhorn tradition and author of Dance Wise. In our conversation, we spoke about many things! Stefan has a wealth of information and experience. His undeniable passion for dance, choreography, and music truly comes across when he speaks. He explained how he first got into dance in his youth as a way to overcome his extreme feelings of shyness and awkwardness. We spoke about what it means to teach dance and how it can expand the teacher's knowledge as much as the students. We touched on embodiment, the inner landscape of emotions and impressions, the secret dance, brain science, the psychology of dance, and so much more!


About my guest: Stefan Freedman, and his wife Bethan, were among the first wave of sacred circle dance teachers in the Findhorn tradition. For almost 40 years they have toured the world leading sacred dance workshops from complete beginner to advanced levels, as well as cultural trips and festivals incorporating live music. Stefan's memorable choreography is designed for participation and is celebrated worldwide. Stefan Freedman describes himself as muse-driven! A practical dreamer, shape-shifting from choreographer/dance facilitator/film-maker/songwriter/author/community-worker/festival organiser & multi-instrumentalist. In all of these roles the common thread is actualising potential. For 16 years Stefan has facilitated structured dance, creative movement and music with the Inside Out community project. This serves adults receiving mental health support. Stefan’s ground-breaking new book, DANCE WISE, is a harvest from all these years of global and local group-work. Stefan's early background in education, social science and research are evident in his writing.

The Archetype of the Universal Dancer in Tarot, and the Cosmic Dance of Co-creation.
The launch streamed live on Sunday, January 31st, 2021.


In this launch episode, Leslie Zehr, our host and author of "The Alchemy of Dance" and "The Al-chemia Remedies," introduces us to the Universal Dancer concept.
What is the Universal Dancer?
What is its relation to the tarot and alchemy?
How can we use this archetype on our spiritual path?
How is it related to ancient wisdom and practices such as the sacred arts?
What is the cosmic dance of co-creation?
How can we use it as a tool for self-empowerment?

She also speaks about why she transitioned from the Sacred Dance Summit to a monthly podcast and gave you her vision for this podcast and its relation to the Universal Dancer.


The replay available on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes

Dr. Deborah Kern, Creatrix of PranaShakti™, and Author of "Everyday Wellness for Women" and "Create the Body Your Soul Desires."
In this episode, we had a lot to discuss! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Deb and sharing ideas. We talked about the importance of using dance to move blocked energy and emotions. We explored using dance and ritual for self-care, the importance of awareness in the healing process, music, nature, women's circles, and so much more!

About my guest: Dr. Deb Kern is a health scientist, visionary teacher and guide. From the rain forest of Costa Rica to the foothills of the Himalayas to the south of India to the jungles of Bali to the shores of Maui to the interior of Mexico, Deb has traveled far and wide to study and apprentice with master teachers, shamans, yogis, herbalists and healers. Her varied studies and experiences have helped her evolve practices and tools that help women embody the divine feminine and live pleasurable, purposeful, spirit-infused lives. Dr. Deb’s decades of practice as a health educator, personal trainer, yoga teacher, Nia teacher and yoga therapist combined with her life experiences have given her insights not found in books. She has observed, time and time again, that when we take actions in our own healing and become aware of the patterns that disconnect body and mind, miracles can occur in every area of our lives—and she adores inspiring others to experience these miracles. She’s the author of “Everyday Wellness for Women” and “Create the Body Your Soul Desires”, creatrix of a healing movement practice called PranaShakti™ Dance and the mom of an amazing young man. Dr. Kern studied Nursing at Vanderbilt University and holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Ph.D. in Health Sciences from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. In addition, she is a Black Belt Nia Teacher, a certified Integral Hatha Yoga Instructor, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, and a Mindful Change Coach.

Live-streaming Dates 2021

Upcoming Episode

...the sacred dance of co-creation