I met the Dances in 1997, dancing and playing music for the Dances until eventually I began to lead in around 2005. I was initiated into the Sufi Ruhaniat in 2006, and since then have studied with and received inspiration from my Guides and Teachers, including Muiz, Tansen, Saadi and Pir Shabda. My background and previous training was in classical music, and in various forms of spiritual healing. It was such a revelation to discover that in the Dances I could bring these strands together, weaving them with my experience as a music teacher, and my love of language, into a rich and endlessly satisfying prayer rug. I am passionate about empowering people, including young people, to be more fully themselves, and to realise their potential as dancers, musicians and dance leaders.
In service to this, I am a Mentor for the Dances, and am privileged to work with trainee dance leaders in five countries. I am also excited to be part of the team holding the Youth Dance Camps in the UK.
I have been to every PTA/SAC camp since 1998, and love this chance to live lightly on the earth in a community of open hearts, eating, dancing and praying together.
Sharing the Dances is one of the greatest joys in my life. I lead Dance days and Retreats in the UK and abroad, also combining the Dances with the powerful practice of Heart IQ. I brought the Dances to Newcastle upon Tyne where I live with my partner, Simon. My intention is to open to allow the transmission of the Dances to flow through me so I can hold a loving space for everything else to happen. I am a Dance mentor level 1 and I am delighted to be able to share the love of the Dances with others in this way. I have also enjoyed co-leading a successful 2-year Dance Leader Training programme with Jilani, which we look forward to offering again in 2020-21. I love to help others blossom, young and old, both personally and in their dance leading, and support the spread of the Dances in the world.
I never cease to wonder how deeply people are touched by the Dances, and how glorious it is to witness their coming home to themselves in this way.
Born in 1988 in Spain, he plays clarinet with great vocation for the music within the heart. He has been inspired from 2011 by several Sufi communities around the world to deepen in the language of the heart, bringing his life to be involved as a bridge between Sufi communities in South America, Europe and the Middle East. He has been initiated in the Sufi Ruhaniat by Murshida Darvesha and he is currently leading Dances of Universal Peace in Spain and in the Middle East, participating as one of the main organisers in the DUP Beyond Initiative for Turkey and Iran. Also it has also been very important in his path to know the master Dr.Oruç Güvenç and the sema gatherings organized by TUMATA every summer in Turkey. He has hosted and guided Sufi gatherings in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Iran, Spain and Turkey, opening a space to awaken the heart.
I met the dances in 2013 during a journey in Brazil. I was living in that moment in a spiritual community (Ark community) where I had reconnected in a powerful way with sacred circle dance, 4 part harmony singing and Christian tradition.
This meeting with the DUP brought together all that was so alive in my life : singing, music, dancing, community, communion.
I knew instantly I wanted to lead the dances.
When I came back to France I began to lead a circle, and joined many week-ends of DUP and trainings. I've been to almost all french camps since then (being a musician) and some of the Sacred Arts and Unicorn Camps in the UK. I took part in the Sufi and DUP caravan in Turkey in 2018, and followed the dance leader training with Jilani and Gulzar in 2017-2018.
I am also delighted to coordinate the music team at the French camp since last year. And I am involved in different areas of the French Association for the dances.
I'm honored and inspired being mentored by Jilani.
I've been certified in 2018, and just begin my path of being a mentor in training.
I lead a regular dance circle in my place in France, and some week-ends (with DUP and harmony singing)
I feel passionate about how we can work on living together, how we can improve the quality of being together. How we can learn to attune ourselves as living instruments.
Deborah has been leading Dances of Universal Peace in the UK and abroad for nearly 30 years. She has brought this beautiful gift to many situations, on camps, retreats, in schools, women’s gatherings, and with family and friends. She enjoys their power to bring people together in a loving heart centred space.
Her personal journey as a leader has brought a great richness to her life and much learning. Her approach is one of inclusivity and accessibility. She is currently in training as a mentor for other dance leaders.
Sarmad Daren Messenger is a student and teacher of the 'nature mysticism' work of Saadi Neil Douglas Klotz in a Western liberal stream of the Chistya lineage of Sufism. Daren 'Kagyu Senje' is also a personal student of Akong Rinpoche in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Daren will be guiding the early morning Sufi prayers/meditations and co leading the ecstatic dance sessions.
Su has been a Natural Voice teacher since 2003 and believes that singing together is a natural activity for everyone to take part in and enjoy. Her teaching style is very relaxed and informal and she quickly gets you singing in gorgeous harmony. She is on a mission to share her passion to get everyone singing.
She leads weekly singing groups and community choirs, voice workshops at summer camps and singing holidays around the world, as well as working as a community music event organiser, songwriter and performer, singing and performing with a women’s acapella group for over 20 years. She teaches a variety of songs, from her own compositions to old and new found favourites, ranging in mood from calm and contemplative to high energy numbers with luscious harmonies.
Sarah has been leading natural voice workshops since 2001, working with both small and large groups of adults. She is a member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network, she runs two singing groups in Devon, and she is co-founder (with Gilo) of Big Sing Dorset.
Her intention is always to create a safe space in which everyone can enjoy their voice and mingle it with others, to enable everyone to experience the magic of harmony singing, especially the sense of community that it can bring.
At the Camp she will be leading mostly morning sessions, teaching spiritual chants liable to move the heart to joy or peacefulness. She particularly likes to work with the Harmonic Temple, a body of harmonised chants written by Nickomo using mantras from various spiritual traditions for affirmation and healing – angelic sounds to summon up warmth and wonder.
Kate has been leading choirs and singing workshops since 2001. She also leads singing holidays annually in Morocco and mid Wales and a Scratch World Music Choir at Marlborough College Summer School. She currently has 4 weekly choirs and runs regular 'Wake-Up and Sing' day workshops combining Singing with Feldenkrais, play, movement and awareness. In 2016 Kate completed a 4 year training in The Feldenkrais Method® and this has a huge influence on how she approaches teaching singing. She is always keen to get everyone moving and feeling the music with their whole selves and is known for bringing a lot of fun and laughter to her groups.
I have been kindly asked to join the Voice team this year, to help teach bass parts and run a few harmony sessions. I have been singing for a long time, in a Barbershop choir and Prana in the seventies and eighties, at the start of the Unicorn camps, and more recently leading the Circle Dance Band and Choir at the Earthsong Camps in Ireland.
I run an eight-strong men's choir at home in West Wales, where I turn and chop wood a lot.
Qigong with Chris Shaw
Chris lives in the Lake district with his wife Ruth, daughter Grace and their cats, guineapig, hens and bees. He is a student of tai chi (the grand ultimate), a dance leader, a learner guitarist and a mureed of Tansen O'Donohoe.
Each morning at Sacred Arts Camp Chris will be leading a Qigong (Taoist Yoga) session. It begins with a set of breathing and stretching exercises to awaken the body and anchor the mind in the body's physical energy system. Utilising intention and awareness, the group is then guided through a meditation to balance and refine their internal energy.
Qigong is the perfect way to start a day at camp. It is simple to follow and open to all.
Ryan Davis (Hafiz) became interested in meditation during the late 90s. After a period of travel and trying different kinds of work, he began his first formal mindfulness training while living within a monastic community in South-East Asia, returning to England to resume his counselling training in 2003-2007. From 2006-2014, Ryan worked with secure psychiatric services and within schools as a therapist. Struggling with the stresses and demands of working within those environments, he began practicing with greater frequency. His dear friend Daren Messenger introduced him to western secular mindfulness approaches: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction & Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Ryan interned with Daren Messenger and trained at Bangor University.
Ty Lynne was first introduced to yoga by lovely Elizabeth while living in the Thai jungle in 1990s and has completed teacher trainings with Sivananda Yoga UK and Devon School of Yoga. She is inspired by the vastness of the yoga path, from the physical practices that take such wonderful nourishing care of the body to the rich philosophies and teachings that underpin it all. As well as Ty's ongoing journey with yoga, she is also inspired by the Dances, the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. She lives on Dartmoor with her family and teaches nearby. Ty is so happy to be sharing yoga at camp.
"The camp leaders and loyal campers are amazing people, they run the camp like the most nurturing home with open arms to newcomers like me. Many people came and
chatted or just smiled to me over the course of the week and by the end
of it I felt we had become part of an amazing family." - Emma