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From the creator of ForMyPeople and SaturDance…
Embodifest Ecstatic Dance Retreat is a full spectrum integration for those who are ready for a fearless and magical experience.
This retreat is an opportunity for us to play with each other and heal ourselves in one of the most beautiful and magnificent places on Earth.
Traveling to the Big Island of Hawaii is a sacred pilgrimage for many dancers. Dive into the dance floors, black sand beaches, and natural hot pools. Life in the middle of the Hawaiian jungle, on the edge of an active volcano, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has been a catalyst and inspiration for the Ecstatic Dance community around the World.
We Love you. Welcome. And, Aloha!
October 6th – 13th
(Arrive no later than the 5th and depart no earlier than October 14th.)
– Pricing: $888
– Flight to HILO, accommodation, and car rental/transportation are not included.
Once you register, a doc will be sent to you to with more info to fly, stay with, and commute with dancers!
Feel free to check out the Local Airbnb listing near Pahoa Hawaii.
– Daily lunch is included. (Breakfast and Dinner are not included)
– Please ask about the Kama’aina (locals discount)
– Payment info:
Venmo: https://Venmo.com/gabriel-francisco-2
Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/djgabrielfrancisco
*No Refunds*
**If you choose PayPal, you must select “friends and family” or there will be a $25 fee.**
Contact Gabriel with questions:
IG: @gabrielfranciscoproductions
FB:https://www.facebook.com/superherohiphop
email: mdorsai@gmail.com
——— SCHEDULE ———
Wednesday
8am Meet and Greet/Logistics
9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Dance is Life (Gabriel)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm West African Dance (Unity)
*Free Time*
6pm – 9pm Ecstatic Sundari w DJ and Sound Bath TBA
Thursday
9am – 10am Ecstatic Exploration (Annabelle) w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm Restorative Touch (Annabelle)
Friday
9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Footwork/House Dance (Gabriel)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm Experiments in Communal Play: The improv Arts (Shannon)
7pm – 11pm Bee Dance w/ DJ Gabriel Francisco & LILA
Saturday
9am – 10am Ecstatic Exploration (Annabelle) w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm West African Dance (Unity)
~ Black Sand Beach Integration Party ~
Sunday (no lunch/half day)
9am – 11am Kirtan & Cacao at Sundari
11am – 1pm Ecstatic Dance
~ Free Time for Rest and Exploration ~
Monday
9am – 10am Ecstatic Exploration (Annabelle) w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Experiments in Communal Play: The improv Arts (Shannon)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm Party Dances/Hip Hop History and Technique (Gabriel)
~ 7pm Natural Hot Pond Excursion ~
Tuesday
9am – 10am Open floor w/ DJ TBA
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm Footwork/House Dance (Gabriel)
~ Dinner in Pahoa Together ~
Wednesday
9am – 10am Ecstatic Exploration (Annabelle) w/ DJ Gabriel
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Dance is Life 2 (Gabriel)
1pm – 3pm Lunch
3pm – 4:45pm Frequency Shift (Shannon)
**Closing Circle**
6pm – 9pm Ecstatic Sundari w DJ and Sound Bath TBA
*********COVID Info*********
In order to fly to the Big Island, you need a negative test through an affiliate location 72 hours before your flight.
Read this: https://www.hawaii-guide.com/hawaii-trusted-testing-partners
*********Class Descriptions*********
Dance is Life – This class redefines dynamic zen. We will up-level our physical awareness and drop deep into our conscious movement. Forging a bridge between sound and body, music and motion, we will begin to see, hear and feel more than ever before.
Footwork/House Dance – House dance is born from a melting pot of different ethnic, cultural, and musical walks of life coming together on the dance floor and this bled into the way the dance style was created. This is a style heavily focused on footwork meaning a lot of influence is pulled from Afro, Latin, and jazz roots.
The basis of house dance consists of 3 main elements – footwork, jacking & lofting.
The Art and Technique of Contact Improvisation – CI is a martial art, awareness training, and an improvisational movement form that guides its participants to gain somatic intelligence and deep listening skills while having a shit ton of FUN!
In its most basic form, CI is a partner dance form based on the physical principles of touch, momentum, shared weight, and following a shared point of contact to investigate and develop a truthful relationship with being present and attuned.
Learn fundamental skills for navigating this potent art sport from Shannon, who has studied extensively with the original pioneers of CI.
Experiments in Communal Play: The Improv Arts – It has been scientifically proven how vital play is to our well-being.
Animals and young children are always playing which supports their nervous systems to be fluid and flexible.
Ever notice how contracted life can feel when we are taking ourselves too seriously?
Just a small dose of play per day can expand you into a state of awe of joy and aliveness.
How can we remember to play?
Let me support you!
This class is a full participation container for all of the improv arts: movement, comedy, and theater.
Frequency Shift – Your gift and your guide
Are you interested in playing the best game of life possible?
What does life on YOUR terms look and feel like for you?
What tools can we use to change our emotional set point moment by moment and change the quality of our life?
What would it take to choose to FEEL GOOD more often?
Come learn with us!
Play full out.
Participation is required
When your frequency shifts ON, you are in touch with your Gift, which will Guide the highest and the best course of your life!
African Dance – Unity Nguyen has studied and performed with masters of West and Central Africa for 28 years. Come join us to celebrate in exhilarating rhythm and dance!
Teacher Bios:
Gabriel –
As an International presenter, Gabriel Francisco has spent the last 20 years connecting, sharing, and inspiring on the highest, most professional level of dance education. From studios and workshops in Japan and Brazil to teaching choreography in Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand, Gabriel has given his entire adult life over to unlocking the movement potential in other beings.
Shannon –
Shannon Sahaja is an embodied alchemist with 2 decades of teaching and performing in the improvisational arts. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from one of the top dance conservatories in the country, Shannon went on to develop a level of mastery as a movement arts teacher that will knock your socks off.(literally) She has a unique ability to create safety for her students while spicing things up with humor and spontaneity.
As the Creative Director of Ecstatic Dance Oakland since 2015, Shannon witnessed how Ecstatic Dance brought Contact Improvisation to a massive amount of dancers new to the art form. Yet she felt frustrated that the true technique and practice of CI became watered down, and misinterpreted.
Shannon is committed to building a firm foundation for those wanting and willing to learn this martial art, dance, sport as a way of life.
Shannon studied extensively with many of the most influential practitioners of CI: Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, Karen Nelson, Ray Chung, Kristie Simpson, Scott Wells, and Kathleen Hermesdorf.
Her primary CI mentor since 1994 was Nancy Stark Smith (the matriarch of CI) Shannon spent years in deep study, training and performing with Nancy. NSS passed away in May of 2020 and Shannon is dedicating her classes and community building to Nancy.
Unity –
Unity first delved into African dances and drums in 1993 with master Biza Sompa from the French Congo, and in 1994 started the path of jembe and dundun drums and dance. She lived in Ghana 1995-1998, studying and performing with masters of Dagomba, Ashanti, Ewe and Ga people, and in the following decades made return trips to Senegal, Mali, and the Gambia to immerse in dundun/djembe and kora (21-string African harp). In San Francisco Bay Area, for 10 years she studied dance and performed kora and keyboard with world-class performers of Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, as well as studying Afro-Cuban and other traditions from the African diaspora. Also a medical doctor and acupuncturist from a lineage of healers, Unity recognizes the incredible vitality that African dance brings to us as individuals and as a community. Come join us to celebrate in exhilarating rhythm and dance!

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