Woo-hoo! I’ve booked to go to a day of Dances of Universal Peace with Allaudin Ottinger!

Yesterday, I booked to go to a day of Dances of Universal Peace at Sparkford Hall, near Yeovil in Somerset. It’s not long to wait, either – Saturday, 9th January 2010.

I’ve only ever seen Allaudin on YouTube videos, and he doesn’t often travel to the UK, so it will be great to get the chance to go to a Dance Day with him. He has a very joyful approach, and the Dances of his that I’ve previously done with other dance leaders are just great.

Allaudin Ottinger, a US dance leader for the Dances of Universal Peace

Here’s a brief biography of Allaudin:

Allaudin was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A lifelong dedication to music, gathering people together and pursuit of the miraculous, led him to study Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. This in turn led him to “Sufi Dancing” in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas circa 1976. More experiences in Sufism followed, which led to a deep darshan with Murshid Moineddin in the spring of 1978. Allaudin took initiation and a short time later found himself the leader of the Kansas City Sufi Center. It was 1979, he was 22 years old and he had a burning in his soul that this was important work.

In 1980, Allaudin was made a Cherag in the Universal Worship by Murshida Fatima and has officiated at the marriage of many couples across the nation. Throughout the next decade Allaudin led hundreds of Dance and Sufi meetings in Kansas City. In 1982 Allaudin began the still continuing Ozark Sufi Camp, where thousands have learned about the path of Sufism. His career as a travelling musician was blossoming through all these years as he played drums in every kind of ensemble but especially the internationally recognized jazz and world music collective, BCR Band. In 1989 Murshid Wali Ali made Allaudin a Sheikh in the Ruhaniat. Allaudin’s work life includes the field of education, museum exhibit and design. He has published his own well loved collection of Dances, Zikrs and Tavern Songs called “In The Everywhere and Always”

Allaudin will only be in the UK for a couple of weeks, leading a Retreat over the New Year at Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury, then doing three dance day events – the Sparkford Hall full dance day, a Zikr evening in Glastonbury on Thursday 7th January and an afternoon of Dances at Richmond and Putney Unitarian Church, London, on Sunday 10th January.

Here are the contact details, if you’d like to go, too:

(The Hazel Hill Wood Retreat, near Salisbury, Wiltshire is already fully booked, apparently)

Glastonbury Zikr – Chris at CThorpe@educ.somerset.gov.uk

Sparkford Hall, near Yeovil, Somerset –  Patricia at patriciamettica@yahoo.co.uk

Richmond & Putney Unitarian Church – Lindsay at lindsayastevens@blueyonder.co.uk

Places need to be booked in advance, and some of them have discounts if you pay sooner rather than later!

Other events, which take place all over the UK, can be found on the Dances of Universal Peace website.

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