Author Archives: Deborah Latham

About Deborah Latham

My lifelong Journey Dances of Universal Peace have been part of my life since 1990, it was an instant love affair! I started to lead in 1991, local groups, on camps, retreats and sometimes abroad in Europe and the Baltic countries. Over the years dance leading has not been so prominent in my life due to other work commitments although the connection has sustained. More recently I have been leading in collaboration with others as part of a Sufi meditation evening, in women’s groups and together with sacred song and ritual. I became a mentor in training 2017 and have just joined the Leaders Guild guidance panel. I am finding these new roles very enjoyable and fulfilling, giving me a sense of broadening and deepening in my skills and awareness, and giving the opportunity to connect more regularly with other dance leaders. I am open to working collaboratively with others, and welcome opportunities to be creative and to deepen the practice.

Leaders Guild Retreat 2020

Our 2020 retreat was again, a very enriching and inspiring event. This time in Yorkshire at the Briery Retreat Centre Ilkley; a very nice venue with two beautiful group spaces, comfortable beds and lovely food!

The theme of the retreat was the Walks; we delved in with sessions on centres, elements, planetary, tasawwuri and wazifa. It was a precious opportunity to be reminded of and deepen in these powerful and useful practices and how they can enrich our dance leading and lives.

We also had time to dance! Everyone had the opportunity to lead and it was a beautiful, heart warming mix of our different styles and energy.

Our international participant, Ernesto from Mexico, now living and dancing in Istanbul, gave an inspiring talk about the ‘DUP Beyond Project’ an initiative to bring the dances to under-privileged countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It was very interesting to get this wider perspective.

The energy swelled as the full moon shone down on us, and there was a real sense of fullness by the end of the retreat; inspiration for our dance leading, new and deepening connections with each other, ideas for new ways to work with the dances and ways we can collaborate and support each other.  And perhaps above all, a real appreciation of being able to come together in person, hold hands, eat, dance, pray, and enjoy our loving community.

Our heartfelt appreciation and thanks were given to Guidance Panel members and Administrator who are now stepping down from these roles, Jilani, Shamsia, Shamsuddin and Stella and for their years of dedicated service to the Leaders Guild and for making this retreat possible.

An unexpected end was provided by Storm Ciara, as she swept across the country disrupting our travel plans; lifts were given, beds offered, and we all flowed beautifully with our predicament!

Some words from participants..

I enjoyed the morning practice and all the dances and I felt very safe and free

I loved spending time with everyone

I loved experiencing the depth of attunement of the leaders and dancers, feeling part of a spiritual dance community

I got a deeper sense of how the Guild can support leaders

I loved the co-creative programme- lovely balance of including us all

The full programme covered a useful range of DUP aspects.

Company, openness, awareness, connecting

Support from peers

Gaining confidence in leading,

Lovely place and facilities


Thank you all so much for all the energy and love you brought to the weekend !

Love and Peace