Jilani

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.

Michel

Michel is a gardener, and loves taking care of living things, and of the earth. He met the Dances of Universal Peace in 2003, and journeyed with them for six years, before taking root in Ariege, in the South of France. There, with his beloved (Stephanie) he organises and leads monthly Dance weekends. They regularly invite and host other Dance leader friends from far and wide. He also accompanies several emerging Dance leaders as a "mentor in training".

"For me, the Dances are a medicine for the being, and a joyous path of non-duality, deep and light at the same time. They transform my life, through the acceptance of what is. I feel honoured and full of gratitude to be able to share them here and elsewhere. They nourish my enthusiastic urge to make a contribution to our human family...as well as my needs for authenticity, integrity, presence and connection."

Gulzar

Sharing the Dances is one of the greatest joys in my life. I lead Dance days and retreats mostly in and around Newcastle upon Tyne where I live with my partner (whom I met at Sacred Arts Camp) and in Sheffield (my former home town). When leading, 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 with Philip O’Donohoe as my Dance mentor and I am delighted to be able to share the love of the Dances with others in this way. I am also excited to be co-leading a 2-year Dance Leader Training programme with Jilani this year.

I have been on the Sufi path for over 12 years, and my passion, goal and challenge is to embody the path of the heart in all aspects of my life. I left my career as a lecturer and teacher trainer, and now have a practice integrating various practices (like kinesiology/inner journey work/ heart intelligence) to help others live more authentic, and fulfilled lives. Sharing the powerful practice of the Dances of Universal Peace is very much in keeping with this. 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.

Matthew

Matthew first encountered the Dances of Universal Peace at Sacred Arts Camp in 2005 and immediately felt a sense of coming home to a deep aliveness and connection with others through the dances. Since then, they have played an important part in his life; he has travelled huge distances to seek out the dances and is passionate about sharing what he has found to be deep nourishment from the Dances. "I experience the Dances as both a personal journey and a positive tool in creating true community together." Matthew lives in Stroud, south-west England, and shares dances locally, in Bristol, and further afield. Apart from leading dances, Matthew is a musician, teacher and composer, creating music inspired by the natural world and supporting others in developing creativity through music.

Click here to visit his website.

Maris

Maris has led Dances of Universal Peace since 1995. Born in Estonia, she lived in Findhorn, Scotland for 10 years, where she led spiritual journeys to Nepal, India and Tibet, co-founded a Buddhist retreat centre and gave birth to two daughters.

She initiated the Estonian Dance Camp (2001) and Dervish Days Family Sufi camp in Scotland (in 2012) and leads dances and Sufi retreats at various events across Europe. She works with young people who are struggling with anxiety and depression in schools. Maris serves on the current DUP International Board of Directors.

She is a Mentor of the Dances of Universal Peace, a Sheikha in the Sufi Ruhaniat International and a Buhhist practitioner.

Bruce

Bruce Knight has been running singing workshops since 2000. He is known for his upbeat and energetic style, and his love of songs with simple dances or movement.

Bruce runs the 100-strong Songlines Community Choir in Warwick and Leamington Spa, and is a regular teacher at the Unicorn Natural Voice Camp.

In 2003 Bruce travelled to Sierra Leone to learn Mende gospel songs. He enjoys creating his own harmony arrangements for acappella groups, and also leads a weekly circle dance group.

Bruce is a member of the Natural Voice Practitioner’s Network.

Sarah

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.

Su

Su has been singing all her life. She has been a natural voice teacher since 2003 and believes that singing together is a natural activity for everyone to take part in. She also thinks that music-making should be accessible to all so doesn’t use unnecessary musical jargon or sheet music in her teaching.  She is on a mission to share her passion to get everyone singing.

She leads Island Voices Community Choir and Sea Sound Singers in South Dorset, runs drop in workshops, regularly leads voice workshops at summer camps, sings in choirs and a women’s singing group, and writes and arranges songs for small groups and choirs. She teaches a variety of songs, from her own compositions to old favourites, ranging in mood from calm and contemplative to high energy numbers with luscious harmonies.

Judith

Judith has long-standing and deep experience of the power and potential in singing and a passion to share these with others. Her groups are open, welcoming and accepting, focusing on the simple enjoyment of learning songs and co-creating sounds, being together, celebrating and supporting, creating community.

Judith loves the combination of song and sacredness, often singing in religious and interfaith settings. She will be sharing songs and chants from her own faith – Judaism – and weaving in other pieces that highlight some of the many shared values and ideas with other traditions.

Click here to visit her website.

Habiba

1987 was the year of the Harmonic Convergence which according to astrologers brought in a great shift. This was the year I became inovolved with Dance of Universal Peace, first attended SAC style camps, and bought a cassette tape with the title Goma Bhajans.
Bhajans are repetitive sacred phrases in Sanskrit. I find the singing of bhajans very effective in stilling the mind and coming into the heart... and this they have in common, in my experience, with the Dances of Universal Peace. Peace is here.
Goma is a family who are devotees of an immortal being, Babaji of Haidakhan. Their highly participatory concerts & their recorded music are sublime and straight from the heart.

My involvement with Haidakhan Babaji grew over the following yearss and in 2002 I was given a harmonium (keyboard instrument with bellows, played sitting on the floor, used to accompany Bhajans. I remembered to thank my father for insisting I learned some piano as a child. This meant it was easy to play the harmonium, using simple chords.

Together with a friend on guitar I have enjoyed offering bhajans at camps and festivals for the last twelve years or so. The sessions offered at camp are fully accessible to all and words are provided. I often spend time in India and collect new bhajans from here and there. Indeed, I enjoy an impromptu bhajan or two anytime anywhere.

Life has blessed me with experiences including Gurdjieff, Dances of Universal Peace, Sufi practice, kundalini yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, advaita (non duality). 'Not' to mention a wonderful family of four offspring and seven grandchildren

More leaders to be announced at a later date.