Programming and Facilitators

Our vision for camp is to provide a broad range of opportunities for movement, exploration and growth. 

Our offerings will focus on Community Building, Conscious Dance, and Expressive Arts, as well as Contact Improv, Inner Movement,
and Partner Dancing.



Please see below a selection of our current facilitators for 2019. 



James Schaberg James has been sharing his love for contact improvisation and co-creative partner dance with the world for thirteen years. Having studied at Northwestern Michigan College and at various dance schools in the Pacific Northwest, he now travels across the world participating in dance performances and facilitating connection-based movement workshops at festivals and retreat centers. James is also a certified Kaleidoscope Community Yoga instructor. He is thrilled to be in his sixth year teaching at Dance Camp Northwest.


Joanna Cashman Joanna’s friends call her “Our Lady of Perpetual Motion” because of her enthusiastic promotion of mindful dance-movement practices for holistic health. An elder teacher of the dancing path she has facilitated conscious dance events, across the country, for over 30 years. Her passionate commitment to investigating dance-movement studies led her to a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Arizona State University and certifications in Dancing Mindfulness and the Bill Evans Method: a Laban-Bartenieff approach to dance. Her cherished teachers include Anna Halprin, Barbara Mettler, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Nancy Stark-Smith, Jaimie Marich and many others. You Tube “Joanna Cashman Dance” Visit JoannaCashman.com



Louis Gervais MFA began dancing at five years old. He has appeared in more than 30 professional dance companies over his long career. His years with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Compagnie Marie Chouinard of Montreal among the more notable. As a solo artist, Louis has created several full evening works. His latest Shapeshifter was presented at Velocity Dance Center in 2014. Louis is the founder of the Embodied Institute, his online course ‘Moving Intimacy’ is available at Udemy.com.


Michelle (Allen) Raine As a therapist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Michelle is passionate about helping others tap into their innate ability to heal self through connection, embodied emotion and authentic movement. Michelle brings a vast tapestry of life wisdom, a powerful intuitive nature and a deep curiosity about the human experience to her work with clients and students. As a facilitator, she strives to create a safe, strong and clear container for deep authentic work. Her community involvement includes regular DJ’ing in the Seattle area, co-facilitating a dance for women, femme and non-binary folks, and creating healing circles for #metoo survivors.


Nala Walla is an integrative artist, cultural acupuncturist, and wisewoman in the woods. She weaves a holistic and commonsense approach to wellness through Ancestral Nutrition, Somatic Griefwork and Permaculture Design. Her embodied style of education and coaching helps to re-pattern deep connections to soul and to place. Deep attention is given to ritual practices which support the grief process, fostering relationship to ancestors, and a lush experience of gratitude. Group workshops aim to build community and heal the rampant cultural poverty that surrounds us. Nala has lived for almost twenty years at the BCollective off-grid homstead here on Marrowstone Island, has served on the DCNW board for the last three years running, and is happy to compost all the kitchen scraps from camp at the farmstead. | BWellNow.org

Iván Espinosa is a Latino experimental theater artist.  As a choreographer of both stage performance and installation art, Iván has presented and performed his choreography nationwide at venues such as New York University, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Seattle International Butoh Festival, Houston Fringe Festival, and the historic Judson Memorial Church.  

Iván’s choreographies are highly influenced by his fervent explorations of Japanese Butoh and Contact Improvisation dance.  Iván has trained with a wide variety of esteemed artists including: postmodern dance pioneers Anna Halprin and Deborah Hay, contact improvisation veterans Nancy Stark Smith and Karen Nelson, and Butoh masters Hiroko Tamano, Eiko Otake, Joan Laage, and SANKAI JUKU — one of the world’s longest-standing Japanese Butoh troupes.  Iván first began his artistic research in Seattle with formative teachers Sheri Brown and Bruce Carloye, who continue to serve as his generous mentors to this day.

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Iván holds a Master of Arts degree in Performance Studies from NYU’s highly acclaimed Tisch School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he founded and launched The Embodied Arts Tribe, a Butoh-based artistic workshop and performance collective.



Tanya Brakeman Tanya’s lifelong passion is to improve the quality of human interaction and relationships. She is an intimacy trainer, blogger, mother of five, and entrepreneur. She created Revel to teach Intentional Relationship skills and help people simplify and strengthen all of their communication and relationships. Drawing from her life experience, 10 years of advanced training in personal development and leadership methodologies, and education and participation in Seattle’s sex positive culture, she helps people identify and attain their true relationship wants and needs. In Tanya's workshops, participants learn to balance power with vulnerability, and rediscover Trust, Dignity, Confidence and Respect. They master a consistent process of unveiling, revealing, inviting and sharing desires, passions, and interests, and dynamics with one another, unapologetically and with honor.


Fred Sugerman Movement artist and educator, explorer of space between healing and performing arts. Founder, Medicine Dance - an inquiring mind, fierce spirit and curious body informed by mindfulness, traditional theater and dance, and a motorcycle mishap that almost cost a leg. Fred runs ongoing weekly classes, monthly workshops, movement arts aboratories, facilitator trainings, international immersions/retreats, and has a home-based private practice. He works with clients and participants from a range of occupations and life experiences and is known for creating a space of safety and permission.

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Hayley Shannon is a Seattle based dance artist integrating dance with dance/movement therapy and embodied consciousness to help people connect authentically. She teaches at Velocity Dance Center, Creative Dance Center, Spectrum Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Community Education programs and independently with a passion for making dance inclusive to people of all experiences. She is a company member of The Three Yells and creates dance work as an investigation of humanity. She has a B.A. in Communications and Dance from Michigan State University and went on to study dance/movement therapy with Dr. Danielle Fraenkel in Corfu, Greece. www.hayleyshannon.com

Karen Joy Fletcher, MPH, writer, professional adventurer and qigong instructor, loves sharing her passions of qigong, dance and wilderness training with people around the world. She is a personal student of ZY Qigong Grandmaster XuMingtang, has trained and traveled with him at Shaolin Monastery in China and worldwide. In addition, she has trained for years with Mick “the Barefoot Sensei” Dodge and offers unique qigong and Earthgym programs at schools, conferences and retreat centers, including Omega Institute in New York. Karen also leads Qigong & Wilderness trips in Western China and is passionate about inspiring others in joy cultivation and Nature connection.



Dr. Jessica Tartaro is a dancing Intimacy Therapist with nearly 20 years experience supporting individuals, couples and groups to wake up through relationship. Former Fulbright scholar, she has traveled the world conducting research on growth through trauma as well as studying with leaders in the authentic relating and circling movements. Her gift lies in embodying vulnerability as an invitation for you to find the most authentic, alive, vital and creative parts of yourself through which to connect with others. Deeply dedicated to dance as healing play, Jessica is passionate about infusing principles of healthy sexuality onto dance floors across the nation. Read more at www.DrJessicaTartaro.com.

Lo Nathamundi is the founder of the Kaleidoscope Community Yoga project. Lo has over 13 years of yoga experience, and has studied many styles, including viniyoga, bikram, ashtanga, iyengar, kundalini, yin yoga, partner yoga, and acro-yoga. Besides yoga, he also has an extensive background in other dance, movement, and healing arts. He has studied shintaido, tai chi, kung fu, bagua, aikido, qi gong, and capoeira.
He has dance experience with contact improv, square dancing, contra dancing, 5 rhythms, swing, tango, modern, ballet, and rueda de casino. He is also a devoted student of thai massage and healing dance aquatic massage.

Lo speaks English, Spanish, and Swedish, and translates poetry and literature in his spare time. He brings his love of languages to students of yoga the world over.

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Laurie Keith Laurie is dissolving the line between Massage and Movement. As a bodyworker for almost 30 years, a massage instructor at Bastyr University of Naturopathic Medicine for 10, a Tai Chi and Yoga instructor & passionate about the moving body for years, she has discovered what she calls the “Nexus of Bodywork and Movement: unleashing awakened sensations and connections to empower healing and Life!” Her work with Neuromyofascial Release, Anatomy Trains, Fascial Unwinding, Neural Fascial Release, Hanna Somatics and Contact Improv have formed the basis of her innovation in self care and movement called, “Fascial Priming”.


Harmony Gates I am a life-long investigator of human connection. A dancer, bodywoker, body-therapist, embodied artist, mediator, and relationship coach, my calling is to support others to connect with their aliveness, so they can enjoy greater freedom of expression and richer engagement with others and with life. I bring light-hearted energy to my classes. I love to help others relax, lose their self-consciousness, and 'shine', both on and off the dance floor. I have taught CI-influenced dance for over 20 years in the Bay Area and @ WCCIJ, NCDC Dance Camp, Harbin Hot Springs, Ecstatic Dance, & Athletic Playground.



Michael Zipkin What is training? What is leading? What is teaching? What is a successful class/dj set/induction? When the people have an experience of themselves that surprises, enlivens and draws them closer together. My background in conscious movement -- certified to teach Soul Motion in 2010, deep studies in Open Floor and 5Rhythms -- and inner awareness and expression practice -- Action Theater, Butoh, Gestalt Awareness Practice -- has prepared me to serve the people with glee and a frequent degree of clarity.

Lisa Lightner has been a student/practitioner of the modern dance form commonly referred to as Contact Improvisation for a little over 30 years. Some of those years had little "formal" study or practice, as I found my body in different states (Sick, caring for young twins as a single mom, no contact improv. community with which to practice in my town). Continuous throughout, since my first exposure to the form and not knowing at all anything about what it is and how it works -- was a recognition of a way to communicate using a kinesthetic vocabulary that felt in harmony with the way I like to play with movement in all of my life. Other bodies develop play in their bodies in other ways stored in individual cores. The jam is a swimming pool of conscious effort to be present within and without. A noble practice. Delirious Fun. Chagrined failure at other times. My approach to the form gives a great deal a weight to learning within the jam realm, my study has turned towards a curiosity in how to maximize the "Open Source" format inherent in what I feel is it's heart. Every body on the floor a teacher. Every body on the floor a student. Sometimes both at the same time. Sometimes neither. A curiously ordered Chaos.



Stu Phillips has been avidly teaching/performing contact improv dance for decades around the world, sensitively bringing applicable concepts openly to all


Arunima McNeish has been avidly exploring dance around the globe for the past nine years. She has hosted the weekly Victoria Contact Improvisation Jam for the past six years and places great value on holding a welcoming space where people can heal, learn, grow and be authentic through improvised movement.


Ari Levitt, MD is well-known for his fun, energetic, and delightful classes that can't help but inspire students with a love and passion for dance.  He has been teaching and performing nationally, and internationally for over 25 years; is the co-founder and director of “Heart Sound Fusion, ”Waltz Week in Vienna" & “Mexico Dance Retreat"; and is one of this country's leading innovators and instructors in the areas of cross-step waltz, as well as "fusion" blues, waltz, swing, & night club 2-step.   When not dancing, Ari is a physician on faculty at Singularity University's prestigious "Future Med", and is a pioneer in the burgeoning field of "Experiential Wellness Medicine" which, among other things, uses dance movement, technique, & connection as a modality for diagnosing and treating patients.   You can learn more about Ari at www.rolluptherug.com, www.heartsoundfusion.com, or www.waltzweekinvienna.com

Jess Frank, former Young People's Program Coordinator For DCNW will be returning for her fourth Dance Camp this summer. Jess is the Program Director for Yoga Behind Bars, a non-profit bringing trauma-informed, somatic-based tools into prisons and jails across Washington State. She both teaches and trains others to instruct movement informed by neuroscience that aims to deepen somatic awareness, promote emotional resilience, and build confidence. Jess can be found slowly walking into the ocean, eating food with her fingers, and striving to loosen her grip on righteousness on any given day of camp. 


Aimee Serene worked in the field of meditation and personal development and found the power of using sound to ground to be unparalleled. On her own personal quest for self-discovery she recognized that healing herself was only the first step and now develops workshops to support and guide others to begin their own personal exploration using quartz singing bowls and gongs to create a cosmic meditation experience.  Aimee is a Reiki Master, Energy Medicine Practitioner, and Vibrational Sound Therapy Certified Practitioner.


Christine Tasseff has been facilitating movement as spiritual practice, artistic resource and psychological narrative for nearly 30 years. Her work draws on a number of disciplines, and has deep roots in the 5Rhythms (tm) movement work of Gabrielle Roth, to whom she apprenticed from 1986-2012.





Saffire Bouchelion is a 1st Degree Black Belt Nia instructor who has been passionately practicing Nia for 18 years. He is also a professional performer and musician. His embodiment and transmission of music and rhythm stir profound transformation in his students. He has taught Drumming, Embodying Rhythm and Dance into Being workshops throughout the US, Europe, Mexico and Bali for the past 13 years.  And this past December Saffire published a children's book called The Groove Goblin which has been selling well on Amazon. So, be it through Teaching classes/Workshops, Performance, DJing, Poetry, or simply Being, Saffire's greatest joy is helping to Embody the world, one Community at a time! Lets all pulse together....back to the One!



Cyrus Khambatta founded Khambatta Dance Company while attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received his BFA studying dance and theater. His contact improvisation/partnering inspired works have been presented internationally by his own dance company and others. He has been honored with California's Damen New Choreography award, was selected for the National Dance Project Dance Development Initiative and nominated for the prestigious Albert awards. He has taught throughout Europe, Asia, Russia, Latin America and the US. He has taught CI and other improvisation techniques to all levels and received a profound joy passing on his 25+ years of experience with other lovers of dance.




Nate Summers has studied internal martial arts, Qigong, natural movement, and animal movement for over 20 years. He has been the primary Natural Animal Movement teacher at the Wilderness Awareness School for over a decade. He has also taught Tai Chi, Qigong, and Bagua at the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, the Desert Institute of Healing arts, as well as Cascadia and Imagine music festivals. He is excited to return to Dancecamp Northwest with his partner Karen Joy Fletcher and his son Orion Raven.


Lisa Wells has been teaching yoga, pilates, resistance stretching and somatic movement for 18 years and practicing for almost 30. The yoga of the body she teaches might look like traditional poses or it might look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. We practice movement with awareness and attention. The quality of our attention yields a unique practice that changes the body and brings calm to the mind and spirit. Eleanor is ½ of the Body Habitat Project, owns and manages a yoga studio, OR, makes art, dances, and plays in Corvallis, Oregon.

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Shawn McDonald and Amanda Coleman curate Intimacy and Connection workshops, where they tenderly and playfully guide humans through physical and verbal connection practices with self, with partners, and in groups. They coax people to slow down, notice body sensations and emotions and connect with others while deeply honoring their inner yes and no. Amanda's fascination with energy, neurobiology, voice and movement have taken the forms of Performing Artist, Botanist, Soma Neuromuscular Integration Practitioner and Certified Somatica Relationship Coach. Shawn also works with clients to get more out of relationships in his Somatica Intimacy, Relationship and Erotic Integration private practice. And they work together, with a team approach, to help couples and individuals thrive.

Maureen Momo Freehill, MFA is Founder/Artistic Director of Butopia Retreat Center; offering nature- based retreats, performances & intuitive somatic wellness training on Whidbey Island, WA (butopia). She's also faculty and board member of non-profit NatureMoves (naturemoves) dedicated to nurturing embodied creative intimacy between humans and the natural world.

With over 30 years experience as an improvisational performer, educator, director and coach she's recognized internationally for innovative fusing of eastern & western modalities with nature while viewing performance as a vehicle for personal, cultural & global wholeness.

Her PresentMovement and MomoButoh practices in the lineage of Kazuo Ohno are studied across the globe including regular appearances at major Dance and Music Festivals and Universities. (presentmovement)

In her private consulting and LifeArt Navigation and Embodiment practice, Momo guides groups and individuals with the exquisite systems of Gene Keys and Human Design. (embodygenius)


Laurence Cole | www.LaurenceCole.com
Singing together to nourish the soul and re-enchant the world with song. The Grief and Gratitude Lodge is place to cultivate a deepening of our capacity to grieve, and thus, to live more fully and gratefully. Our larger cultural climate of mandatory cheerfulness and open contempt for expressions of powerful emotions such as sorrow, despair, and rage ultimately deadens our ability to feel, and erodes our connections with community. Practicing the skill of grieving in the presence of our neighbors, friends and allies allows us to rekindle relationship with our own bodies, our fellow humans, our ancestors, and with the greater Earthly body. An evening of alchemy exploring the intertwining of grief & gratitude, with the heart-filled guidance of Laurence Cole and Nala Walla.

Sarah Peller has been dancing since she was old enough to thrash around in her mom’s office, while listening to Michael Jackson on the record player. Her mom encouraged this behavior by turning the lights off and wagging a flashlight around to simulate a dance club. She truly fell in love with dance in a very serious way about 7 years ago, when moving to Port Townsend and discovering Madrona Mindbody. There, she discovered conscious dance, learning that movement is medicine. She wanted to offer this medicine to others in the hopes that it can impact their lives to the same degree that it’s impacted hers. So, a few years ago, she was trained as a Dancing Freedom facilitator, and now offers these classes in Port Townsend. One day, about 5 years ago, a teacher came to town to teach Fusion Partner Dance and it was love at first sight. The dance, not the teacher. 😉 Although, they are good friends now. Ever since, she’s been organizing and teaching Fusion Dance. She teaches and DJs these dances in the Pacific Northwest area. She is a graphic designer, a fiber artist, a visual artist, an avid cyclist and a community organizer. But everyone who knows her knows that her heart belongs to the dance. www.fusioninclusion.org

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Kurt Koegel teaches partnering and improvisation focused on listening to both self and other, and savoring the moment of experience.  After dancing in New York, Kurt lived and worked in Europe for 25 years, teaching at festivals, schools and companies throughout Europe and Asia. From 2007-2011 he designed and directed the Masters in Contemporary Dance Pedagogy program in Frankfurt, Germany.  

Since 2013 he’s been researching how enhancing human perception, embodiment and sustainable interaction can influence how we live in, and design, public space.

His current work focuses on developing self-agency in contact improvisation; cultivating an expanded range of choice in relationship; and raising awareness about how we navigate social space. He is passionate about discovering which partnering skills facilitate joyful, consensual connection.

One aspect of his work is about creating a beneficial exchange between the fields of improvisational dance and architecture and urban design. www.kurtkoegel.org

Xanne Sarka, aka Xaxxie-K, is the founder of Sneaky Deep Community Arts, whose mission is to ignite social change through the art of play. Born and raised in Hawaii, they developed a passion for multiculturalism, which led them to a path of majoring in Intercultural Communication. After dedicating the past 20 years of raising two children with special needs, they are excited to be in a position of having the time and energy to apply their passion of supporting groups of diverse backgrounds towards building authentic connection and community.

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Noam Paco Gaster has been moving and sounding for approximately 49 years. They have extensively studied intuitive improvisation with Stu Phillips, physical theater with Ruth Zaporah, and dance with a wide variety of teachers, including Karen Nelson and Nancy Stark Smith. They received a dance studies major at the University of Washington, researching intersections of disability and performance. As the artistic director of Bee Hear Now Productions, they have co-created diverse participatory adventures in multiple geographies throughout North and South America. They love co-creating spaces that accentuate access to liberating expression and authentically inclusionary connection. Everyone needs to poop-- why not let it be respectful and sacred?

Stephen Harvey AKA Wonder started his movement inquiry in 2001. Wonder continued to dedicate time to improvisational movement. After several years dancing recreationally, Wonder started performing at group events. Wonder trained hundreds of hours between 2004-2009 as a wrestler which informs his kinesthetic awareness as a dancer and movement educator. They started social dancing in 2011, which lead to building movement understanding in partnership, connection, rhythm, floor craft, social etiquette, consent based practices, and listening. In 2012 Wonder declared dance as part of their higher education program at Western Washington University, paired with Communication and leadership studies. They spent three years learning technique in Ballet, Modern, movement patterns and movement in cultures. In 2015, they enrolled in a partner class with Rick Merril. This is when partner skill was introduced, which has been a continued practice for Wonder. After experiencing Contact Improvisation (CI), they became dedicated to learning CI. Spiraling into the world that carries emphasis in being present, authentic movement, mindful practice, weight sharing, point of contact, and countless movement pathways. Wonder began teaching social dances at local fusion events in Bellingham, Seattle, Canada, and other venues. Wonder has been holding space for Contact Jams in Bellingham for over a year and a half. Wonder currently continue to improvise through life moving with the unfolding moments.