Monday, December 30, 2019

Meet Your Elemental Joy Retreat Leaders



We are excited to introduce the four retreat leaders for Elemental Joy. Here are their bios. We asked them to answer a few questions and their responses will be revealed over the next few weeks.

Without further ado ...



Jennifer Friedman 
Jen Friedman is a Peace Dance Leader and Mentor in training living in Longmont, Colorado (and native of Peoria, Illinois). She leads two monthly Dances in Longmont and Lafayette, Colorado and co-leads a monthly kirtan in Boulder, Colorado where she plays harmonium. Jen’s Dance mentor is Bernie Heideman and she is frequently a secondary leader at Dance Camps with Bernie and Sky Roshay in Colorado, Utah, and Mexico. Jen also leads frequently on staff with Grace Marie at her annual Northern Colorado Dance Camp in Berthoud, Colorado. Jen serves in the world as an interfaith hospital chaplain at two hospitals in Northern Colorado and she worked as Regional Administrator for DUP North America for over 5 years, where she was instrumental in bringing the Dances to the Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah (2015) and Toronto, Canada (2018). Jen also leads Dances and social justice singing at events and public actions throughout Colorado, believing in the power of the Dances to bring diverse people together towards an embodied experience of peace and unity. She discovered the Dances herself in 2007 at a music festival where she danced with Bernie and felt an immediate lightning bolt recognition that she would not only lead the Dances for the rest of her life, but be radically transformed by the practice spiritually, which has indeed come to pass and remains ever unfolding.



Saleem Adam Wolter


Saleem Adam Wolter has been swimming in the sounds and vibrations of the Dances of Universal Peace ever since his first immersion in northern California in 2010. He became a dance leader in 2016 under the wing of Radha Tereska Buko, and continues to deepen his musical and spiritual practices with his Sufi mentor, Zahir Roman Orest. An evolutionary astrologer by day, Saleem coordinates a monthly dance circle in Minneapolis, and hosts workshops in embodied, spiritually-centered astrology. Learn more about Saleem's work at Mystic Heart Astrology



Morgan Rivers
Iowa born, I live in the Des Moines area with my wife and partner of 26 years, Cindy, where, in addition to leading a Dance Circle, I have a private practice doing Acupuncture and Zero Balancing and teaching Heart Rhythm Meditation.

The Dances have been a huge part of my spiritual journey since the 90’s.  I have mentored with Allaudin Ottinger, Radha Tereska Buko and Anahata Iradah. Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz has also been hugely influential in my journey as a Dance Leader.

We are blessed with a thriving Dance community here in Des Moines, that’s been meeting monthly for over 15 years now. I feel passionate about carrying on the legacy of Samuel Lewis and the Dances and encouraging the next generation of Dance Leaders.

A favorite quote is: “Spiritual growth is an individual activity best done in groups.” Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz


Conie Borchardt
Conie Borchardt (she/her or they/them) is a listener, a vibration, and a heartist working to create a new culture of collective liberation through personal healing. The Dances of Universal Peace have played an important part in their healing
since encountering the practice early in 2009 at the invitation of Francis Gurtz and Colette Miller. In 2016, she was certified as a Dance Leader under Radha Tereska Buko and continues under her mentorship. The Dances are part of the spectrum of practices Conie offers through their freelance work at Points Of Light Music that includes Spiritual Direction, the 5 Elements Full Voice Coaching Framework™, and community song leading (and teaching new song leaders with Music that Makes Community). A church musician for over 20 years in Lutheran, Episcopal, and UCC contexts, Conie is drawn to bring the Dances into the Christian tradition and has designed worship services (Embodying the Magnificat) and a dancing Christmas Carol Festival to introduce movement. In secular spaces, Conie has offered Dances during a Public Mourning of Lost and Endangered Species gathering and held a weekly “Spirit of Peace” walking meditation at the MN State Capitol with Patricia Gmeiner in 2017. A Gen X-er born to new and old immigrant farmers from Europe and Asia on land first tended by the Dakota peoples now colonized as Minnesota, Conie is working on an autobiographical performance piece called “Biracial and Rural” that will incorporate community singing, the Dances, and somatic storytelling conversations around race, belonging, and overcoming fears.

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