A Celebration of Spirit and Community
What are the Dances of Universal Peace? They are a sublimely beautiful form of sacred dance that allows us to reconnect with our own true nature. As we sing and dance to sacred phrases from the world's wisdom traditions we find that we are more easily able to connect with each other and to the ever-living essence within ourselves.
The dances trace their origins back to Sufism and India. Sufism is an ancient but living path of the heart and during the camp Sufi meditations will be offered. We will also deepen into other aspects of dance leadership such as planetary walks, breathwork, musicianship, history of the dances and more. For young people who would like to lead dances during the camp there will be many opportunities.
Campfires, sharings, voice practices, Q&A Support -- this and much more will be on offer at the Unicorn Dancing Spirit Youth Camp. As with all Unicorn camps, food is self-catering. Book now to reserve your place!
Young People and the Dances by Jilani Prescott
At the 2011 Unicorn Dancing Spirit Camp it occurred to me to wander over to the Teenage Circle and ask the young people whether they’d ever thought of leading a Dance. Their response was “We thought you’d never ask!” So I agreed to set up a Dance session for them, and give them whatever help they needed to make it happen. In the end, seven young people led a Dance each, and they played music for each other, guitars, drum and flute. The Dance Leaders were Zenzi, Isaac, Joseph, Zuleika, Yola, Anna and Tania; and Sam, Fraser, Zenzi and Tania provided the musical accompaniment.
We worked together for several sessions, as a group and individually too. I led a Dance for them in the teenage straw bale house, and we talked about what a Dance of Universal Peace is, and what it does, energetically speaking. Then we talked about which Dances they loved, and which they might feel drawn to lead. Out of this we drew together a beautiful programme of Dances. It was so exciting to feel the passion and love they felt for the Dances that had moved them, and I was so impressed by their musical skill and confidence. Zenzi had even created her own Dance, to her own music, setting words in Xhosa, the language of her Grandfather. It really struck me that there is so much talent and depth here in this wise and wonderful group of young people. It’s so easy to underestimate them based on their age and lack of experience, and yet in so many ways they are as able as many adults, and often musically more competent.
It felt important to me that they were honoured with a space on the main programme, and in one of the main marquees, and the Core Group were happy to agree to this. Given the huge enthusiasm with which their session was received, this was the right decision. The “Peppermint” Big Top had a dance circle which nearly touched the walls, but when it was suggested that people make smaller circles, no-one wanted to be in an outer circle - there was rebellion and refusal! There must have been at least 60 Dancers that afternoon, adults as well as young people supporting their peers, and the atmosphere was electric, charged with emotion, everyone moved and proud at what our young people were able to share with us.
Afterwards, the group came to me and said, “Right, next year we want to lead a session every day, with at least one evening session, and we want to do the closing ceremony!” I pointed out that it wasn’t in my power to make any promises, but I would see what I could do! They were also very keen on the idea of a Youth Dance Retreat, such as happens in Germany and America.
I am excited to announce that this is now going to happen, in February, with funding from DUPUK. I hope that in the next Newsletter you will be able to read all about it and hear from the young people involved. I think you will agree that it is simply wonderful to have tapped into this youthful energy and enthusiasm for the Dances, and the future of the Dances in this country is more assured because of it.