Dance Our Way Home Facilitators

alex-collas

Alexandra Collas, Toronto and Peru
Born in Lima, Peru, Alexandra’s dancing way took her to Canada. She found DOWH three years ago and has been moved to dance with Erica ever since. She graduated as a DOWH facilitator in December 2010 and has recently started facilitating DOWH this summer. Her dancing path is intrinsically related to women’s wellbeing and personal growth. A NIA instructor, an expressive dancer and yoga lover, Alexandra uses her creativity to inspire expression and uniqueness. She likes to think of herself as an eclectic facilitator or a “weaver of stories”, having the pleasure to co-create dance spaces with the amazing personalities she encounters in each of her dancing spaces. Alexandra’s next steps take her to South America where she plans to facilitate DOWH, Nia and Yoga classes for women and children. For more information about Alexandra, please go to: www.peruflownow.com www.alexandracollas.com

beverly-swanson

Beverly Swanson, Winnipeg
Beverly is a Holistic Life & Wellness Coach, trained with an accredited institution of the International Coach Federation and owner of Conscious Life Coaching Services. With a background in theological studies and over 10 years in the counseling field, her niche is holistic wellness – Mind/Body/Spirit consciousness. In September of 2012, Bev followed her heart’s call and made a temporary move to Toronto, Ontario from rural Manitoba to embark on this creative “Dance Our Way Home” journey.” “At times, it seems, my spirit goes before me. This was one of those times. The name itself (Dance Our Way Home) spoke to me immediately and resonated with my own sense of truth.” As part of the healing and expressive arts, DOWH has become another tool that fits in well with Bev’s passion to create “Sacred Spaces” for the evolution of the soul … empowering others to awaken to the truth of who they are, so they may live from that “inspired” place, as we are designed to do. She does this through one on one coaching services by phone and Skype, in-person group coaching, wellness workshops, the alternative health care system of Bodytalk and, delightfully, through her certification as a Dance Our Way Home facilitator. As the only DOWH facilitator in the province of Manitoba, Bev feels privileged to have “danced her way back home” to bring this opportunity for opening to the Sacred and Self to women of the Prairies. Because she feels it is an honour to share this “moving medicine,” Bev is also willing to travel to offer this healing sacred dance practice for those who may wish to experience Dance Our Way Home. www.ConsciousLifeCoaching.com

cate

Cate Laurier, Toronto
Cate is a free spirited dancer and creative being who loves diving deep and exploring inner landscapes. She was thrilled to graduate as a Dance Our Way Home (DOWH) facilitator in December 2010. DOWH has been a key part of Cate’s personal journey, offering a profound way to connect with bodily wisdom and intuition, the divine feminine, and other kindred spirits travelling a similar path. She was immediately drawn to the way DOWH creates such a safe, welcoming and celebratory space to express all of who we are, including the parts we’ve been shy or ashamed of. All expressions are welcome – tentative, tender, sad or roaringly outrageous and ecstatic. One of the things Cate loves most about DOWH is the way it invites each of us to see our own and each other’s light and beauty and encourages us to shine these in the world. Cate believes passionately in creating environments that support and empower each of us to find our own unique path and authentic voice and that allow us the freedom to be ourselves. “Out beyond notions of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” (Rumi). freespirit7000@gmail.com

christina-grey

Christina Gray, Mississauga
Christina was born to dance! Named after her mother’s favourite ballet teacher she took her first dance class in England at the age of 2 when her older sister’s ballet teacher saw her following along and invited her to join. Since that time dance in some form has been her place of refuge as well as a vehicle of healing, creativity and inspiration. Christina is a nurse with a strong belief in community, holistic care and alternative healing modalities. She is a reiki practitioner and meditation facilitator and she has spent the last 15 years working with marginalized women and children who have experienced trauma and adverse life events. Having herself experienced all that DOWH has to offer Christina is excited to take it out into the world and to offer it to new and diverse communities. creative.souls@outlook.com

della

Della Bitove, Toronto and Ireland
The first time Della danced at a DOWH session with Erica she was so moved that she immediately signed up for the facilitator training. She recently returned to Toronto from Ireland where she danced with the faeries for 12 years. Singer, songwriter, performer of ancient womens songs and stories as well as a faerie doll maker, Della weaves her love of nature and the faeries into the dance journey. She invites women to raise their voices, kick up their heels and re-discover the divine spark within them. Who couldn’t use a little faerie magick in their life? dbitove@yahoo.com

elisa

Elisa Carlass Hatton, Toronto
Elisa is the Creative Director of Turtle Toes Wellness, a Toronto-based organization where she is devoted to creating, collaborating and facilitating empowering, nourishing and inclusive spaces where individuals and groups can explore and strengthen a deeper connection to themselves, others and the global community. Her primary offerings are yoga, dance and creativity classes, workshops and private instruction and coaching. She also offers local and International Wellness retreats that that are full of fun, inspiration, transformation and deep nourishment. All gender expressions, orientations and abilities are welcome. You can look forward to being encouraged to explore, connect, rest and enjoy! Find out more about her offerings at www.turtletoesyoga.blogspot.com

emily

Emily Rose Antflick, Toronto
Emily is a facilitator of journeys through inner and outer worlds, and she is honoured to lead women along DOWH’s spiral path. In her workshops and retreats, Emily holds space for deep connection with self, others, and the environment. She is the founder of SheCoSystem: a coworking space and community hub where women can work in integrity, cultivate wellbeing and connect with a supportive ecosystem. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values co-creation and ‘showing up’ with your wild, authentic self. DOWH has been a powerful tool to help Emily and the women she works with embody these values and move out of their heads and into the embrace of the divine feminine. With an MA in Education and over ten years in classroom and experiential education in Canada and internationally, she is a versatile educator with rich perspectives on learning and community building. Emily is the Community Leader of G Day for Girls Toronto, a rite of passage for adolescent girls. Connect with Emily at info@shecosystem.ca or visit www.emilyroseantflick.com or www.SheCoSystem.ca

heryka

Heryka Miranda, Toronto
Heryka is an inclusive and integrated community worker and dance artist. She is co-founder of ReVeAL Dance Creation, providing opportunities for leadership development, recreation, social and professional networking, life skills and wellness through dance arts and performance, for people with and without disabilities. For more than 15 years, she has worked in various community worker capacities that consists of political activism and political education. Most of Heryka’s work is based at the grassroots level in some of the most vibrant and diverse communities in Toronto and Washington, DC. Her vocation to youth and social justice has led her to work with vulnerable and marginalized youth and their families in Mexico, Central America and Venezuela. She has training in Dance/Movement Therapy from the Antioch Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, completed a one-year Expressive Arts Therapy program at the International School for Interdisciplinary Studies, ISIS – Canada, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland, and is a recent awards recipient of the Access and Career Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Heryka’s artistic inspirations and teaching approaches come from seeking deeper ways to connect with others through the power, strength and wisdom of one’s very own and unique vulnerabilities. She is a proud certified DOWH (Dance Our Way Home) facilitator eager to take it out into the world!
reveal.dance.creation@gmail.com

jean-gina

Jean “Gina” Peers, Wellington, ON (Prince Edward County)
Gina is a Movement Facilitator and Expressive Arts Practitioner. She holds an Ontario postgraduate Certificate in Expressive Arts from Haliburton School of the Arts, is a Certified Dance Our Way Home Facilitator and Licensed NIA Cardio-Dance Workout Instructor. It is Gina’s absolute delight to offer various movement practices, from the guided freestyle soul movement offered as a DOWH Facilitator, to the NIA technique which is a sensory based holistic fitness routine. Passionate about her practice, Gina offers opportunities for you to engage your senses through movement, sound, visual and literary art forms. Artistic or dance skill is not required – just a curiosity to explore. Since it is her belief that it is in our innate nature – it is our birthright to move, and express ourselves in different art forms, she called her studio Birthright Expressive Arts which opened in 2011. This name resonates with this DOWH principle “Self-Expression and Self-Worth are Birth Rights: we are all precious and unique”. Gina is enthusiastic and supportive, and creates safe space for awakening our senses, self-discovery, imagination, enjoyment and relaxation. Gina currently offers DOWH sessions, NIA classes and Expressive Art Sessions in her studio or at your location. www.birthrightexpressivearts.ca, birthrightexpressivearts@gmail.com

julie

Julie Lockhart Thompson, Oshawa
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~ Vivian Greene

Julie is the proverbial holistic junkie: a free-spirited, glitter-toting, tree-hugging dreamer who takes great pleasure skipping, laughing and dancing through life’s puddles. She came into Dance Our Way Home organically by way of becoming a Reiki Master, Holistic Health Practitioner, Hatha and Laughter Yoga Teacher and a Thai Yoga Masseuse. She firmly believes in healing the whole person: mind, body and spirit, and takes pleasure in aiding people on their spiral journey through life. Dance Our Way Home became a way for Julie to paint, draw and mold herself into a free flow of artistic movement, love and breath – to come home to her true spirit and guide others to rediscover and embrace their inner jewels! Join her and celebrate your beautiful journey! Namaste. www.InnerJewelz.ca innerjewelz@rogers.com

kersti-abawi

Kersti Abawi, Oakville
Kersti feels excited and blessed to have completed Erica’s inaugural Dance Our Way Home Training, and to now offer this beautiful dance practice in her home community of Oakville. For 20 years Kersti has practiced psychotherapy, and works at The Bear Clinic (www.bearclinic.com) in Oakville. She has always sought balance through physical activities like running, skiing, yoga, meditation and flamenco dancing. A friend introduced her to Erica, and DOWH, and she jumped at the chance to try it! She immediately felt at home and experienced a deep sense of peace and clarity after her first DOWH session. Each DOWH event enlivens and connects her to herself, and opens her to appreciate others. ‘The body never lies. It is older and wiser than the mind. Dance is rhythm and movement, it is life.’ Kersti invites every woman who craves wholeness, joy, and vitality to take the opportunity and freely express all of herself in a safe and supportive space, at Dance Our Way Home. To find out about Kersti’s next DOWH sessions, please contact her at kerstiabawi@gmail.com or 905-580-1934.

kim-keresturi

Kim Keresturi, Waterdown
Connection…flow… joy…nourishment…love.

Kim is a wellness seeker with an innate curiosity and commitment to professional growth. Her long-time massage practice has expanded over the years to include Reiki, Mayan Abdominal Massage, La Stone therapy and Lomi Lomi massage techniques. Recently she completed yoga teacher training, and after an inspiring encounter with Erica Ross in October 2013, went on to complete the DOWH facilitator training in 2014. Kim loves to incorporate music, intuition and flow into her work. One of her greatest joys comes from weaving these elements into the present moment ; whether in a Holistic Wellness Massage with a client, or an inspired Dance Our Way Home invitation that she has lovingly created for a group.

Kim is dedicated to bringing women together in supportive, sacred circles. Movement, she believes, is medicine; she encourages women to come with an open mind and heart, allowing themselves to be healed with the support of music, dance and each other. Through this sense of community, women are free to explore—to ignite that inner flame and to taste the sweet and sultry flavours within. Through following her own inner voice and body wisdom, Kim knows that a nourishing dance practice leads to self-discovery, and ultimately to a genuine love of self. Kim on FB : All’s Well Now www.kimkeresturi.com and www.circleoflightwellness.com

liz-diaz

Liz Diaz, Toronto
A trance dance experience in 2011 lead Liz to explore dance as sacred medicine. As a life coach and counselor she became fascinated with how movement could be used for self-discovery, self-empowerment and healing. DOWH’s philosophy of ‘my body is my teacher’ was a perfect fit for Liz’s own personal journey to discovery her body’s own voice. As a DOWH facilitator, she is honoured to be able to provide a sacred space for women to move, and give voice to parts of themselves that may be difficulty to express or connect to in words; a deeply transformational way to move emotions, thoughts and experiences, helping to heal and whole. Liz has a life coaching practice in Toronto and offers one-on-one coaching, workshops and retreats for women who are seeking to transform their lives and live more in their purpose. Liz created Conscious Dance Toronto, a venue for Conscious Dance parties where she brings together dance, music, yoga, raw food & conscious community. www.consciousdance.ca connect@awakenyourbliss.com

mari-rossi

Mari Rossi, Toronto
Three years ago serendipity brought Mari Rossi to Dance Our Way Home, and in this practice she found a way to deepen her healing journey. She had been dancing different modalities, including ballet, jazz, modern and expressive, since she was a child in Brazil. Mari completed her training as a yoga teacher at The Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto and recently studied at Baby and Me Fitness to become a certified Pre and Post-natal fitness and yoga instructor. She is now taking a break from her studies in psychology at the University of Toronto and from ISIS’s Expressive Art Therapy program, to raise her beautiful newborn daughter. Mari’s own journey through motherhood has inspired her to bring Dance Our Way Home to pregnant women and new moms.

maria-savita

Maria “Savita” Mars, Barrie
“Anything is possible… in the presence of Divine Love.” From a place of self-doubt and limiting beliefs about what a bountiful and juicy woman can do and be, Maria discovered a long-dormant passion for dance. The Universe, in its wisdom, led Maria to Dance Our Way Home. Embracing the DOWH vision and recently certified as a facilitator, Maria “Savita” is inspired by the wholeness and transformation she experienced while dancing within a sacred circle of womyn. She let go the voice of the inner critic and found the lover, poet, artist, and muse within. “Savita”, the co-creatrix and goddess within who knows, intuits, creates and inspires, was fully birthed along the spiral journey. Maria brings her Divine, passionate and soulful self to the dance floor, with open mind, heart and arms to share both DOWH workshops and unmediated, ecstatic dance with communities north of Toronto (including York and Simcoe Regions). Offerings are enriched by Maria’s sacred relationship with nature and animals as well as training and/or living practices of meditation, visualization, mindfulness, primordial sounding, reiki, quantum touch, and divination. magick.dragon@hotmail.com

nan-keyser

Nan Keyser, Co-founder, Toronto
Nan is co-founder of Dance Our Way Home and The Move Dance Collective who has offered workshops and training in self growth and the expressive arts for over 17 years. Nan is a clinical member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists, who has trained in various approaches to body-centered modalities and psychotherapy such as bioenergetics, Emotionally Focused Couple therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, trauma therapy, movement, chanting, and yoga. In her therapy practice, she has a caring and collaborative approach to effectively help others create positive change with issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image, blocked creativity, phobias, abuse, trauma, and relationship problems. She celebrates Erica in so beautifully carryng the torch for DOWH solo since 2005. www.torontocounsellingandpsychotherapy.com nankeyser@gmail.com

nikki-singh
zora3

Nikki Singh & Zora Noronha, Scarborough
30 years ago, Nikki started her own spa business. Her daughter Zora also had an interest in being of service and decided to join her as a young teeneager. Together, they co-created Body & Soul Holistic Spa. This fabulous mother-daughter team offer a unique blend of heart-centered esthetic services combined with holistic therapies. Synchronistic events lead them to DOWH with the amazing Erica Ross. Through dance, they rediscovered the Goddess within and their lives have been transformed and enriched. Through DOWH, they received connection to self and other divine women. They received unconditional love, inspiration, a safe, sacred space to ‘be’ where walls of self-consciousness melted away. Becoming dance facilitators is the perfect compliment to the soul nourishing services they offer. They specialize in Reiki, meditation, spiritual psychotherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, aromatherapy, a full range of delicious esthetic services, DOWH’s spiral dance journey and many more juicy treats. Nikki & Zora believe strongly and embody the divine feminine and look forward to dance, heal and awaken the Goddess within you. Namaste www.bodynsoulholisticspa.com nikkisingh52@yahoo.com zoranoronha@live.com

rachelle

Rachelle Catahan, Toronto
Rachelle is a holistic health practitioner, intuitive masseuse, and dancer of life. She discovered her love and passion for dancing when she attended a drum circle for the first time in 2010. The beat of the drums penetrated her being, allowing her soul to spill out and her body to move to the sound waves in perfect harmony and rhythm. Since then, she has made it her mission in life to find out why dance is so important to humanity. Dance has helped her heal parts of her energetic, physical and mental bodies, and has led her to be at the right place at the right time, meeting those aligned with her mission, which has led her to meeting Erica and doing the DOWH facilitation course. She is so excited and honoured to have such a format as DOWH to take what comes naturally for her, and share dance medicine with other women, so that they too can find themselves and their authentic rhythm through dance. She currently works out of her own studio in Toronto where she facilitates DOWH and other workshops. Visit her online world at www.oneloveninja.com to find out more about her mission in the Toronto healing arts community.

sandra-taylor

Sandra Taylor, Toronto
Sandra is a multi-faceted artist with a passion for creativity and exploration. Erica first mentioned DOWH to Sandra when she saw her spontaneously dancing at a musical tribute to the poet Rumi. Sandra felt a soul calling to take Erica’s divine feminine dance training and is deeply grateful for the honour of dancing together with all of the women from the training. Sandra’s background also includes yoga facilitation, west-african percussion, classical piano, and singing/songwriting. She is delighted to embrace the experience of DOWH as an influence for her performance, life, and facilitation. www.sandrataylor.bandcamp.com soundslikesandra@gmail.com

serena

Serena Oakley, Toronto
Serena is a passionate advocate for the Sacred Feminine and mind-body wellness for women. She felt instantly at home in the safe, loving, creative energy of DOWH and became a certified DOWH facilitator in fall 2010. She is the founder of Her Sacred Body- a women’s wellness space dedicated to Womb Wisdom. Through women’s circles, bellydance, movement, natural healing methods and ritual she helps women ‘come home’ to their bodies, and reconnect to Mother Earth and our cyclical nature. www.hersacredbody.com serena_stardust@hotmail.com

susan

Susan MacIver, Toronto
Through her passion for dance Susan discovered DOWH in 2009. She fell in love with this inspiring and empowering practice of freedom expression through dance. Although she has studied Flamenco Dance for the past 17 years, DOWH has brought her to a deeper level of creative expression through movement. A pilates instructor, reflexologist, writer, holistic nutritionist and now as a DOWH facilitator, Susan brings heart-felt exuberance to her work. She joyfully invites others to peel away their armour and dance into their wholeness. smaciver4@sympatico.ca

tara

Tara Abrams, Toronto
Tara was introduced to the power of music and movement over 10 years ago. Through her practice in DOWH™, the 5Rhythms® and other movement meditations including yoga, JourneyDance™ and Biodanza® she’s experienced profound transformations that have deepened her appreciation of self and humanity. Her practice continues to show her our innate power to see, restore, love and heal. The DOWH™ facilitator training provided Tara the opportunity to further explore herself and validated her sincere desire to be of service to others exploring their terrain of life through movement. Tara’s honored to support other’s express their authentic movement, creating more presence, acceptance, compassion and love in our world. taraabrams@yahoo.com

teresa

Teresa McDonald-Thuro, Keswick, ON
Dance has been a source of joy, healing and connection in Teresa’s life, from learning traditional Scottish dances from her grandmothers, to studying jazz, tap and ballet in her youth, to meeting her husband on the dance floor. Dance has carried Teresa through life’s ebb and flow and was essential to her emotional, mental and spiritual health during her journey with infertility and now into motherhood. Teresa is a Nia Green Belt instructor (www.nianow.com/teresa-mcdonald) and has been teaching weekly classes at the Georgina Healing Arts Centre (www.georginahealing.com) since 2013. In June 2015 she discovered and fell in love with Dance Our Way Home™, immediately completing the facilitator training with Erica Ross and Wendy Roman. The space DOWH offers to embrace the divine feminine and dance with sisters in circle nourishes her soul on such a deep level. Teresa continues to follow her dancer’s heart discovering new ways to embrace body wisdom, nurture self-expression and create community. Most recently, Teresa attended the Dancing for Birth™ Level 1 and 2 training and is completing the certification process. She considers the opportunity to share dance and hold space for others a sacred gift. mcdonald.tg@gmail.com

tracey

Tracey TieF, Toronto
Tracey TieF is a Certified Natural Health Practitioner and founder of Anarres Apothecary 749 Dovercourt Road at Bloor in Toronto. She carries on a family tradition in the healing arts and has an extensive background in dance, physical therapies and botanical medicine. Facilitating Dance Our Way Home is a way for Tracey to integrate her passions for dance, spiritual and healing practices. Tracey came to Dance Our Way Home as part of her recovery from injuries from being hit by a truck door while riding her bicycle, and found the practice to be not only essential in the healing of her body, but also to her spiritual growth as a woman. She presently offers Pay What You Want 2 hour sessions for women with (or without) girls and boys under 12 at Anarres and at local festivals and gatherings. www.AnarresHealth.ca Tracey@AnarresHealth.ca

twyla

Twyla Kowalenko, Community Outreach Director, Toronto
When asked who she is, Twyla replies, without hesitation, “A Dancer.” And although she has always been a dancer, prior to her exploration with Dance Our Way Home, she would have chosen other descriptions first. The impact DOWH has had on her own life, the desire to share the power of what she has discovered through the practice and her own dancing has led Twyla to initiate a DOWH Community Outreach program that aims to offer the embodied practice to as many women as possible. Twyla’s passion for this initiative is complemented by her background in social work, where she has had the opportunity to work with many groups of women in various parts of the globe as teacher and facilitator, counsellor, case manager, advocate, fundraiser, writer, editor, program developer and evaluator and researcher. Twyla is excited to bring her many hats to her work with DOWH and is blessed to share her journey with a growing community of amazing women! twyla@yorku.ca

vanya

Vanya Laporte, Salt Spring Island, BC
Vanya is impassioned to bring balance and wellness into the lives of others by gently guiding participants on an inward journey using dance, loving presence and compassionate touch. Living on Salt Spring Island, Vanya facilitates, DJ’s and is a committee member for conscious-dance events at the weekly Dance Temple, a community space to honour movement and dance as an essential and powerful expression of self and connection to others. Along with Salt Spring, Vanya has been facilitating Dance Our Way Home workshops for women in Portland, San Francisco, Burning Man Festival, Nevada, Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie, and Toronto. Vanya has traveled the world, visiting and exploring many cultures and traditional ways of healing through body-centered practices and she brings this gathered wisdom to her practices as a Dance Our Way Home Facilitator, Holistic Practitioner of Thai Massage, Doula services and Hakomi Psychotherapy. Vanya founded DAILY DANCE with Erica, an online opportunity that inspires dance and movement as a fun daily practice. vanya@danceourwayhome.com www.vanyasforest.com

wendy

Wendy Roman, Lions Head, ON
Wendy is a movement facilitator with a passion for dance and music! She has been dancing all her life, coming to recognize the healing opportunities that arise through movement. She is a Nia black belt instructor, teaching since 2003, who believes that bringing people into an awareness of their body is a very great gift which empowers the individual. In 2013 life’s journey took Wendy to meet Erica Ross in Toronto. Feeling an immediate connection to the principles of DOWH, she then continued through the DOWH facilitator training. Wendy loves to share and integrate DOWH into her movement classes finding that it adds an exciting new element of self exploration to the dance. In 2012 Wendy opened her dance studio Rhythmwood, located on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula. This organic structure is built with timberframe and straw bale walls coated with earthen plaster and hosts many different dance classes, workshops & retreats. Many dancing souls come to Rhythmwood to dance, to heal, to discover their joy and find connection to others. It is a space that nurtures creativity and well-beginning, as Wendy inspires those who dance here to move through life in a joyful way. www.rhythmwood.ca wendy@rhythmwood.ca