Duende Retreat - Ignite Your Soul!

movement imagination embodiment healing and wellbeing retreat connection meditation dance empowerment
Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
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Enquiries to wildplaylab@gmail.com
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This autumn, you are invited to unfurl the spirit of duende; passion, charm & magnetism!  An explorative 4-day retreat to awaken your primal creative body through curious self inquiry, play and embodiment. 

What does “Duende” mean?

(n.)dwen-de in Spanish or doo-en-dey in English

The mysterious power of art to deeply move a person


Taking inspiration from children and animals, we will awaken the creative primal self – the one that is innately curious about the world. It’s our journey to rediscover these lost and forgotten parts, and to welcome them back home. The most unique and universal expressions of our humanity occur in the moments when we are in tune with our animal, childlike nature. Whether curled up in our sleep beside our lover or child, or ravaging a perfectly prepared meal, our most basic human needs show us as the animals we are. Let your wild, unpredictable animal nature come alive! The beautifully secluded venue in Dartmoor gives us the opportunity to explore and express all parts of our unapologetic selves.


“I got so much more out of it than I had imagined. It allowed me to get in touch with parts of myself that had long been in the shadows. It was funny, challenging, ecstatic, exhilarating, painful and emotional.. Truly a wild ride.” 
- Wild Play Participant 


Unfurling the Spirit of Duende



Duende is the fire in your belly, the passion in your heart and the roaring courage that sings from your soul. Through verbal, non verbal, somatic and physical embodiment practices you will tap into your body's natural urges, desires, fears and creativity to increase emotional awareness and confidence.

As your listening skills develop you will get to know yourself in new ways, and have a better understanding of who you are and what you need. There will be an opportunity to show off your duende spirit at the cabaret within a safe, warmly held and supportive environment.

“Absolutely incredible, life changing session. Dani is an amazing facilitator who really helps you to embrace your inner child, be silly and play. She transports you to another world and I will be implementing the things she taught us into my everyday life.” 


What to Expect

Throughout the retreat you will be invited to experiment through playful & tender investigation to uncover the enchanting magic of Duende. 

Together we'll create kinship & community where we feel supported to release and fully embrace who we are.

The practices we will be exploring to connect with our wild core & duende spirit are;

  • Inner listening & self-knowledge - Practicing self-awareness verbally & non verbally through the body. 
  • Sharing Circles & reflections - Creating safe containers for connection.
  • Nature Connection & Dance -  Attune to natures wisdom and your own somatic rhythm.
  • Vocal exploration - to warm up our voices so we can fully express
  • Embodied Writing - Bringing unity with mind & body through written word.
  • Embodiment & Somatics - Learning to listen to the sensations of the body and releasing emotional blocks. 
  • Play & Storytelling -  Discovering your edge! Improv games & authentic relating exercises to help us connect to our child-like selves, boost confidence & melt away inhibitions.
  • Performance Anxiety - You will learn how to soften inhibitions and soothe nervous energy.    


The Venue

The retreat will be held at the beautiful High Heathercombe Centre in the Dartmoor. For the google map location click here.  









Weekend Highlights

  • Fire Jam  - Intention setting, music & storytelling. 
  • Yummy grub! Delicious homemade food
  • Ecstatic Dance - A movement journey through the seasons. 
  • Cabaret - A chance for you to show off your creative flare, tune into your inner storyteller and support your fellow movers & shakers. (optional to perform)


Wild Play Lab @ Extinction Rebellion & Advaya 2019



Wild Play Lab @ Psychedelic Society 5th Birthday Festival 2019



Full Schedule


3pm - Arrival and welcoming 
6 - 7 - Dinner
7 - Opening circle 
8 - Free time to connect & relax


8 - 9 - Morning practice: Meditation & Movement 
9 -10 - Breakfast
10 - 1 -  Embodiment Lab & Creative Writing
1 - 3 - Lunch & free time for journaling, walking & nature bathing  
5 - 7  - Dinner 
7 - 10 - Ecstatic Dance & Somatic Soothing


9 - 10  Meditation & Yin Movement
10 - 11 Breakfast
11 - 1  Laughter Yoga & Wild Play 
1 - 3 - Lunch
3 - 6 -  Unlocking Your Duende Sprit! Performance Lab 
6 - 7  Dress Up Dinner
7 - 10  Cabaret & Camp Fire
 10 - 11 Closing circle 


9 - 10 - Breakfast
10 - 11  Free Play & Movement Jam
11 - 12 Journaling & Reflection
12 -3 Relaxing & Good byes



The retreat will be held at the beautiful High Heathercombe Centre in the Dartmoor. For the google map location click here  

The nearest train station is Newton Abbot

If you need to book a taxi from the station: Station Taxis 01626 33 44 88 or 01626 33 00 77 

Rideshare/ Train buddies

A WhatsApp group has been created to help organise travel arrangements for anyone who's getting the train or can offer a lift.  People can have an option of buddying up on the train/taxi's. It's also a great way to stay connected and share memories.

For all other travel information click here



  • Shared Accommodation: £360pp
  • Camping: £320pp


  • 3.5 days & 3 nights in a beautiful setting.
  • All homemade meals + snacks.
  • Brilliant schedule with 2 lead facilitators.
  • Access to wild nature in the beautiful Dartmoor

Does not include:

  • Transport to and from site.





  • We ask that all attendees take a lateral flow test 3 days and 1 day prior to attending the retreat.
  • In the case that someone develops symptoms during the weekend, that person will be isolated and we will adjust accordingly.
  • In the case of another lockdown in which gatherings are banned we will cancel the event and you will receive a full refund.
  • Please do not come if you develop symptoms, or come into contact with someone who has COVID, in the days before the event. Please get in touch with us ASAP if you have any concerns. 


About the Facilitators





Dani is a performer, somatic coach, activist and workshop facilitator. She has a playful and sensitive approach, combining a range of disciplines including acting, contemporary dance, CI, somatics, meditation and clowning. Dani is the founder of Wild Play Lab; curating workshops, retreats and facilitating the unfolding of play as a tool for self transformation and empowerment.

“I truly don't know how she does it so effortlessly, but every time Dani brings people together she creates a unique and precious space for connection, exploration, vulnerability and growth.” - The Body Knows Course participant 

“Dani is an iconic leader who inspires me with her charm and passion for movement , thank you ever so much for holding this magical space!” - Rewilding Our Bodies participant

Wild Play Lab has formed collaborations across the UK with Mind Over Monkey, The Psychedelic Society, Medicine Festival,  House of Togetherness, Noisily Festival, Poetry Cafe, Now Studio Bristol, Advaya, Shine Charity, Beat Charity and Bootstrap Charity.

Dani has worked as an international performer, director and workshop facilitator for over 12 years. She has worked extensively in film, theatre, radio and TV, and has toured internationally with self devised shows.

Organisations she has worked with include: The BBC, The British Youth Filming Academy, Contact Youth Actors Company at Contact Theatre (Manchester), The Royal Exchange Youth Company (Manchester), CYAC (Contact Young Actors Company) and Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company.

Education & Training:

The Somatic School -  (Accredited Somatic Coach)
Alexander Technique 1:1 with Trish Baillie Manchester (Voice & Posture)
The British Youth Filming Academy (meisner technique, somatics, CI)
Embodied Activism by Rae Johnson 
Jon Davis Clowning School
Tough Cookie Mental Resilience Training 
East 15 Acting School (BA Acting)
Teatr Pieśń Kozła / Song of the Goat Theatre Poland (Musicality of body, voice & text)





Pete is an author, comic, and spoken word poet whose work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, The World Service, and Newsnight. He has spent his life performing at festivals and protests, as well as occupied streets, power stations and coal mines. His mission is to bring carnival, wonderment and riotous love to enchant, beguile and incite. Pete is a former National Poetry Slam Champion and has taught and performed in 15 countries. While living in Europe he worked doing circle shows as a street entertainer; bringing laughter, dance and interactive silliness to large audiences accross the continent. 

Since Covid, Pete began teaching mental resilience to large organisations through Tough Cookie. This avenue has given him a new medium to deploy his gobshitery in the service of healing and the dark arts of the psyche. More recently, Pete has started doing laughter yoga in collaboration with the Psychedelics Society. The sessions are part somatic practice, part dharma talk, and part ecstatic ceremony.

Participants have described them as:  "Motivating, enriching, rewarding, energising",  and "Magical, lush and explosively silly! I enjoyed this even more than last time and came away with the same joyous, expansive feeling." 

As an author, Pete has written a critically acclaimed book about the oral tradition and the science, art and history of spoken performance - Stage Invasion: Poetry and the Spoken Word Renaissance. He conceives of poetry as an embodied, social phenomeon that passes through our bodies as a form of healing and through groups of bodies as a field of affective currency. 


REFUNDS POLICY: Please note, we do not arrange refunds or exchanges. When possible we encourage reselling on Ticketswap.

ACCESS:  We do our best to include everyone in our events, regardless of health circumstances. If you have access requirements please email the event organiser directly to discuss. Many facilitators are able to offer reduced ticket prices for those truly unable to afford the ticket price. If this applies to you, do please get in touch with the event organiser.

For PSYCHEDELIC KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES please check out the Psychedelic Society website

Our facilitators have agreed to our code of conduct. Learn about our procedure for raising concerns

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This event started over 2 years ago

Shared Accommodation £360
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Camping £320
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Concession Shared Accommodation (Low Income/Universal Credit) £300
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Supporter Shared Accommodation £400
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