Promoting peace through 50 years of dance

Katie Leithead | Statesman-ExaminerKatie Leithead | Statesman-ExaminerKatie Leithead | Statesman-Examiner
Katie Leithead
S-E Staff Reporter

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the Dances of Universal Peace.

The Dances of Universal Peace are part of a timeless tradition of sacred movement, song and story, which was started by Samuel Lewis, Sufi Murshid and Rinzai Zen Master in the 1960s. They promoted peace and integration within individuals and understanding and connection within groups worldwide. Their dances, which have grown past the initial 50, celebrate the sacred heart of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as the Aramaic, Native American, Native Middle Eastern, Celtic, Native African, and Goddess traditions.

The dances have no performers, no audience. They are there meant for new hands and old hands to join in a circle to sing and dance together.

Lewis believed that when people “eat, dance and pray together,” the world finds peace.

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