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Embodifest – The Ecstatic/MicroFusion/Contact Dance Retreat

January 12 @ 6:00 pm - January 20 @ 3:00 am

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!
January 12th – 19th
(Arrive no later than the 11th and depart no earlier than January 20th.)
***People often end up staying longer for continued community integration and island exploration! Please give yourself extra days to flow and breathe if you can.***
– Pricing: $999
– 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
email: mdorsai@gmail.com
——— SCHEDULE ———
8:00 – 9:30am Grounding: Meet n Greet/Logistics
9:30am – 10:30am Opening Circle
10:30am – 11:00am Snacks
11:15am – 1pm Dance is Life (Gabriel)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Experiments in Communal Play: The Improv Arts (Shannon)
*Free Time*
6pm – 9pm Ecstatic Sundari w DJ Tyler Blank
9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake Ecstatic
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Urban Contact Fusion (Joe)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Playformation (Leif)
5pm – 7pm Awaken Your Breath (Igor)
9am – 10am Embodied Freedom (Rani Joy)
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Micro-Fusion (Joe)
6pm – 7pm Sound Bath
7pm – 11pm Bee Dance
8am – 9am Wake n’ Shake Ecstatic
9am – 10am Opening Circle
10:15am – 1pm The Underscore (Shannon)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Partner Yoga (Tyler)
~ 6pm – 9pm Mikey Pauker concert ~
Sunday (no lunch/half day)
9am – 10:45am Song Circle & Cacao at Sundari
10:45am – 1pm Ecstatic Dance at Garden Temple
(Please arrive before 11am to ensure entry)
~ Free Time for Rest and Exploration ~
9am – 10am Embodied Freedom (Rani Joy)
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Play it Forward (Leif)
~ Dinner in Pahoa Together ~
9am – 10am Mutual Massage (Tyler)
10am – 11am Opening Circle
11:15am – 1pm Party Dances/Hip Hop History and Technique (Gabriel)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Micro-Fusion (Joe)
~ 7pm Natural Hot Pond Excursion ~
8am – 9:30am Wake n’ Shake Ecstatic
9:30am – 10:45am Opening Circle
10:45am Snacks
11:15am – 1pm Dance is Love (Gabriel)
1:30pm Lunch is Served
3pm – 4:45pm Taking the Lead
**Closing Circle**
6pm – 9pm Ecstatic Sundari w DJ 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.
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.
Playformation: Blissfully Wordless Connection Time – Society has become so verbally bloated that it can be liberating to remember there are so many other ways to enjoy being human & connecting with people. During this non-verbal applied improvisation workshop you’ll get to experience a variety of modalities: group movement and contact improv dance, sounding, gibberish conversations, vocal jams, cuddle puddles, human sculptures, and more!
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.
Play it Forward – A crucial element that tends to be missing in many festivals & retreats is having an opportunity to honor all that has transpired. During this workshop you’ll remember, reflect on, & integrate your high points, as well as “compost” the shitty parts. Our focus will be playing forward (“actionizing”) new connections and learnings.
Sample Activities: “What If?!?” dreamstorming, a future party imagining your optimal future life, setting up “dream teams” and more!
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.
Shannon studied extensively with many of the most influential practitioners of CI, including Nancy Stark Smith (the matriarch of CI). 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.
Creative Director for Ecstatic Dance Oakland Sunday since 2017.
Joe Gray –
Joe is a movement arts professional, a dance facilitator, and a creativity explorer. He is passionate about collaborating with other artists and communities to spread the beauty and power of fusion partner dance. His unique style of movement includes influences from hip hop, contact improvisation, blues, swing, kizomba, and breaking. With over 20 years of solo and partnered dance experience, Joe has become a master at fusing these styles together in a dynamic and accessible way.
Joe’s workshops enhance your somatic interactions with other humans, enabling more intentional and mindful relations. Embody your spiritual and emotional energy and dive deeper into the dance with self, the dance of your community, and the dance of life. Feel empowered within a playful, consensual, and safe movement space.
Leif Hansen –
Evocateur of Playful Possibilities
Leif Hansen, the founder of Spark Interaction, has been an international speaker, group facilitator, team trainer, and aliveness coach for over two decades. He most enjoys working with heart-led humans and mission-minded teams, helping them to envision and play forward bold, beautiful, and globally beneficial futures. Leif’s highly interactive and “playformative” events have been experienced by tens of thousands of participants, as well as featured on national media such as NBC’s Today Show & PBS.
Tyler Blank –
Founder of Ecstatic Dance Oakland, SF, Fairfax, and the Edance.org Community, Tyler is a DJ, and Leader of Contact Improv, Chi Kung, Doubles Partner Yoga, & Mutual Massage. Learn more at www.TylerBlank.com
Rani Joy –
Rani Joy – A long-time mover, groover, Somatic Therapist, contact dancer, teacher, yogini, Bodyworker, creative spirit who values dance & movement as a true feeling, freeing, healing journey.
Mikey Pauker –
Mikey Pauker (pronounced pow-ker) is a Devotional Rock artist from Fairfax, California. Pauker has been described as one of “The 10 Stars Of The New Jewish Music via TIME Magazine. He has released multiple albums including Sim Shalom, Mikey Pauker & The JoyMachine, Extraordinary Love, The Sages EP & ASCENSION. This year Pauker released his new single “We Are Safe” produced by Jim Kaufman (AWOLNATION, Finish Ticket, Anti Flag) on Ineffable Records home to artists including: Stick Figure, Through the Roots, Tropidelic, Mike Love among others. He performed the song and was a guest on The Aubrey Marcus podcast, a motivational destination for conversations with the brightest minds in athletics, business, science, relationships and spirituality with over 35 million downloads on iTunes. His “RISE Vulnerable Rally” music video swept the world touching the hearts of over 1 million souls.


January 12 @ 6:00 pm
January 20 @ 3:00 am
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Gabriel Francisco