(*Our 2022 line up will be released July 2022)



SUBTERRANEAN (Fri 9:30am - 12:30pm)

A 3 hour exploration into the visceral depths of the pelvis. This gentle, clothed movement exploration will offer the opportunity to delve into the terrain of the pelvis and explore the edges of our own ancestral, culture and gendered movement patterns and our capacity to submerge into our own deep earthy base. This workshop is open to all genders.

Claire Eccleston is a mother, an experienced midwife, a Spinning Babies® Approved Trainer and a Biodynamic Cranio-sacral therapist working with movement and physiology to support comfort in pregnaacy and ease in birth. Claire works intimately with the pelvis using scar tissue remediation and internal work. Claire is a dynamic facilitator offering national, international and online workshops and speaking at conferences and events around the globe. Claire has a deep reverence for our bodies, the rhythms of our earthly intelligence. She has worked for 20 years supporting people to connect with the power, wildness and intelligence of their own bodies. She has offered workshops for people to connect with their pelvis through movement from New Zealand to Brazil. Claire is also a wild dancer.

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TO ALL MY RELATIONS (Fri 9:30am - 12:30pm)

Exploring the movements of a Great Wheel Turning, from Industrial Growth to a Self Sustaining Society. In this workshop we will explore aspects of Joanna Macey's "Work that Reconnects' using Open Floor movement inquiries. We will dance to celebrate 'All Our Relations' as they dance to bring forth a thriving community of Inter-being. 


Jaime Howell offers dance, meditation and wilderness rites of passages. He thrives to turn difficulties into fuel for the hot and messy art of living well. “I dream to create vehicles where brave/caring conversations happen about community, nature, wisdom and love.”

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THE REBELLIOUS BODY (Fri 9:30am - 12:30pm)

We spend so much of our time doing what we think we ‘should’ be doing: being good, fitting in, and doing the ‘right’ things. In this Open Floor movement and writing workshop, we will playfully explore the energy of rebellion. What happens when we allow ourselves to move and write in ways that are strange, extraordinary and wayward? Perhaps the world needs our rebellious spirits?

No need for movement or writing experience. Come just as you are.  

Rata Gordon, MAAT (Hons) is a writer, embodiment teacher, and registered arts therapist. She teaches Open Floor dance regularly in Raglan, and also teaches online ‘Writing from the Body’ sessions. Rata holds a supportive space for creative risk-taking and tending to your inner world.



UNCIVILIZE ME (Fri 3 - 5pm)

We were born to move, sense, feel deeply. Over time we censor and refine, limiting our movements and responses to conform to our expected roles. We invest a lot of energy in suppressing our shadow selves.

In this workshop, Butoh and inspiration from Body Mind Centering open us up to sensing truthfully and deeply into the liminal space, the space beyond words, logic and conformity.We’re invited to be moved by the full spectrum of life’s experience, embracing the grit alongside the divine.

We are giving our bodies permission to move without censorship, and beyond habit into the liberated space of "no mind."


Damara Sylvester is a director, teacher and performer of movement, voice and movement-based theatre. She has trained and performed in Canada, New York, Japan, Ghana, NZ and Australia over the past 24 years. She is the director of InsideOut Circus and Physical Theatre based in the Moutere Valley, supporting adults and children to embrace challenges, open to play and nurture a deep sense of empowerment through movement.

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WATER-WAYS (Friday 3pm - 5pm)

You are a body of water, a water body, 70% fluid, yet we often loose touch with how fluid we really are and the goodness of our own nourishing flow.


In this session we'll play with our liquid being, and find the channels that connect us with the waters of our world. Remembering streams, rivers, lakes and oceans – how does our own flow inspire us to act for the precious waters of our world?

Sacha has been loving teaching 5Rhythms Dance since 2008 and Open Floor since 2016. She has also been a Holistic massage therapist for 20 years and is an occasional yoga teacher.

She is endlessly inspired by the simple joy of embodiment, the depth of experience that movement / dance offers, and how these practices can be such a profoundly supportive resource in our lives.

She holds a heartfelt, fun, compassionate and welcoming space in which to explore life-themes through your dance.

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“In a duet, [we] cast our vote with every millisecond, with every decision [we] make.” 

Steve Paxton, dancer and choreographer who developed CI as a dance form in the early 70s


In order to truly engage in authentic relationships and meaningful dialogue within a contemporary democratic society, we need to be able to simultaneously listen deeply to ourselves and the other, and then co-construct action upon that awareness.  Contact Improvisation provides a playground to explore how we engage in relationship and decision-making.


The actual experience of dancing is a very embodied sense of constant choice-making. Exploring power dynamics, play, and enthusiastic participation, we will search for this nourishing balance between different bodies, and how we can translate this to our greater lives. Based on the work of Contact Improvisation, Clowning, and Theater of the Oppressed.

Jen Hyde is passionate about contact improvisation as a modality for social change and personal liberation. Jen has trained in movement modalities all over the world, including Contact Improvisation, Acroyoga, Aerial Silks, Clowning, Capoeira, and Theater of the Oppressed.



QI GONG: DANCE WITH NATURE (Fri 6:25 - 7:30pm)

The focus of this workshop will be on gently gathering energy from nature and bringing it deeply inside our own energy fields to uplift, nourish, calm and heal. Qi is what sustains us. Qi is a bridge between our body and our spirit/consciousness. Qigong involves opening and closing, flow and transformation. It helps us to open up to and marinate in the pure universal energy field that supports us and surrounds us, enabling a deeper connection with our natural state. Our natural state is one of calm, relaxation, wisdom and realisation, deep peace, inner Joy and authenticity. When we are in this state we easily become more creative and inspired.


To work with the principles of the weekend we will practice Qigong movements to music and then explore the possibilities of Qi dancing.  The session will close with a guided meditation to deeply nourish our energy centres - so we can emerge recharged and ready to dance.

Rachel has been working in the healing arts for many years. It was over 30 years ago, in the UK that she made a switch from Intensive Care Nursing to Acupuncture and she hasn’t looked back.   Fully embracing energy medicine, she also has over 10 years experience as a Qigong Teacher, facilitating classes, workshops and retreats.  She loves to explore and support creative expression through music, poetry and dance.

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RHYTHM & PRANA FLOW (Fri 7:40 - 9:10pm)

Rhythm and Prana Flow® is the evolution of Yoga Trance Dance. It is an exploration of the power of rhythm within movement meditation to embody the natural flow. Rhythm and Prana Flow is the experience of the rhythm of the pulse of life as initiating pathways of prana flow.


This will be a 90 minute exploration of sacred Yoga gestures, spontaneous movement flow, cleansing movements, creative dance, and integration with meditation and relaxation. Also includes mantra and live music. 


Jeanette Ida... Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Householder Yogini, Certified Organic Farmer, Physiotherapist, Mother.

I remember finding Yoga as a teen, in Canada. Even then, with no understanding of what Yoga really was, I experienced the healing effects, and the undeniable sense of well being. Over the years, Yoga has given me a tangible way to find connection, peace, clarity and strength. Fascinated and in awe of the body’s capacity led me and still leads me on a quest to continue learning and sharing Yoga and other healing modalities. I am passionate about sharing the gifts of this practice - making it accessible and relevant. Yoga for health and well being in today’s world.



Workshop TBC (Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm)

Workshop details to be confirmed.



THIS IS HOW WE PRAY (Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm)

Throughout history, people have danced their most profound needs and struggles as a means of reaffirming harmony with themselves, with each other and with the natural world” - Anna Halprin.

The gift of being witnessed in the process of art making can be profoundly healing. In this workshop you are invited to journey with this process, sharing what arises if you feel called.

The workshop will ask you to get clear on what you stand for, on what is important to you and on what you need to say. It asks of you to be vulnerable, courageous and trusting. From this process a unique offering may arise. These will be unrepeatable moments in time, a personal shout-out from your soul to the universe……. Because, this my dearest one, is how we pray.


*Those who sign up for this will be invited to attend online workshops with Jessica, throughout November, in the lead up to CDA. These meetings will include workshops, idea generation, dance and art making and inform the birthing of a work each person will be invited to share (if they choose too) at the Saturday evening showing at CDA. 

Jessica has been saved by the dance more times than she can remember. Her conscious dance, yoga and mindful movement practices nourish and support her expression as an ever evolving, always learning, whole human being. Jessica is a mum of two and owns a yoga and wellness studio in Browns Bay, Auckland. The intentions behind her commitment to personal growth, practice and lifelong learning are kindness, wholeness, authenticity and connection. She does her best to uphold these in all that she does.

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POETICS (Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm)

This guided session explores breathing and movement patterns that sensitize body, mind, and awareness to the micro movements of flesh and psyche. We will experience the undulate, human vibratory frequencies, and energy shapes. The Continuum Movement work of Emilie Conrad-D’ouad and Susan Harper and other practices are the springboard for this work. In this deepened state we BREATHE, MOVE, DREAM, BATHE.

Laya Schaetzel-Hawthorne’s career in the Arts has spanned 45 years as dancer, choreographer, and  movement facilitator, as well as in documentary film and complementary healing arts.  She studied Continuum Movement with Emilie Conrad-D’ouad and Susan Harper, Human Movement Potential with Drid Williams, and various artists in movement studies, improvisation and composition. Laya was on the staff at the Banff Center for the Arts and studied and worked with Jungian therapist Marion Woodman, a leader in the process of psychological transformation and author of “Addition to Perfection” and “the Pregnant Virgin.” Laya is delighted to be living in the Nelson region for the last 19 years.




In this workshop we will  be taking inspiration from the way trees have an important network of connection through their root systems and mycelium which spreads unseen beneath the soil. Trees activate a thriving community of support through their roots, sharing information and resources on the Wood Wide Web. From them we can learn that we need each other and are connected in ways we often cannot see. Through dance we will explore our connections as a dance community, tapping into the gift of co-regulation, sharing our life force and learning from the trees that we grow when connections are strong. By finding our roots we are reminded by the trees that connection happens on many levels, and in order to thrive we need to honour all connections on the planet.


Jan Jeans is and Open Floor teacher and Creative Arts therapist who lives in Christchurch. She discovered 5conscious dance while still living in the UK,  30 years ago and has never looked back. She has danced her way through loss, major life transitions and many of life's challenges,  For her, dance is a way to expand the heart, express the soul's journey and connect with the richness and passion of this precious journey of life.

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This workshop is an adventure into the living organism of our bodies and the living world we are enmeshed in. It invites us to move beyond habitual and conditioned notions of a separate self, to a felt experience of ecological connectedness. Moving between dance floor and outdoor, we prompt subtle sensation, primary developmental movement patterns, and tactile encounters with life outdoors – any of which can enrich our  movement vocabulary.


In this flow of somatic sensory inquiry, we dance our intrinsic biological connections within the living world, and play with how our senses and movement can deepen our attunement with it. We finish with an improv movement practice to reflect on the experiences arising and to seed some questions that will thread through the Green Stream and into the Harvest Hui.


Jacqui Chan is a certified Open Floor Teacher who has taught in Coromandel and now lives in Motueka. She approaches dance as a combination of movement plus awareness that opens up new relations with our selves, our bodies and beyond. She is deeply passionate about how dance can attune us to the living world and resource us to participate in its healing.


Rosie Walford is an ecopsychologist and coach who  has been facilitating creative thinking journeys indoors and out for twentyfive years. She weaves together the kaupapa of the Work that Reconnects, WWF’s Natural Change, regenerative leadership  and the emerging field of climate grief psychology, seasoning it all with a sprinkle of playfulness and dance. 

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Behind busy lives and endless to-do lists there waits a goddess.

Where Tantra and Western science are now closely mapped, in a non-sexual context we’ll invite the recognition, attention and intention to the female mind-body connection. A connection which is neurobiologically linked to inspiring greater confidence, creativity and will. ‘The Goddess Array’ is an invitation to nourish this connection to the often neglected feminine. Through solo and contact improvisations, we’ll explore the autonomic nervous system and how, through focused awareness and inter-relational connections, you’re invited to glimpse this delicious playful empowered potential. 


This workshop is open to all, whether you identify as masculine or feminine. 

Chloe Loftus is a freelance dancer and Contact Improv enthusiast, touring her choreographic works across Aotearoa and internationally for the last 18 years. Through conscious movement practices Chloe re-found her call to dance. She specialises in outdoor and site-specific work, inspired to engage new audiences to dance and deepen connections on and off the dance floor.




Rhombus sing of kissing the ground, whichever way the wind blows…

This workshop follows the principles of Sit-Walk-Dance as a conscious movement meditation we can do as a private or collective practice. It honours our inner ground and the ground on which we dwell.

We follow a sequence of sitting for a few minutes, walking for a few more, and dancing for a bit longer.  We repeat this movement meditation cycle throughout the class, moving silently to music, with guidance from the teacher.  


Kerry -Ann is an OPEN FLOOR Dance Teacher and celebrant who has danced all her life for personal re-creation. Dance is her ‘Yes’ in life and she offers herself as a dance guide for you.



BACK TO THE ROOTS (Sun 9:30am - 12:30pm)

Contact improv-butou / butoh-deep ecology-taoist movement. 

Mixing modalities can give us a fusion of methods to allow our bodies to come back into deep contact with the Earth. This workshop will explore basic contact improv techniques through the Natural elements & draw us back to the basic elements that Nature has created. Strengthen your senses of touch as we dance in the local forest & let it inform our ancient intuition through nature connection and appreciation.

Andi Pitoa has been exploring various modalities of movement around the world for over two decades. In these times, Andi is currently exploring movement arts in Whakatū/Nelson such as aikido, morris, mau rakau and theatre of liberation to understand human life & consciousness.



UNITY IN DIVERSITY (Sun 9:30am - 12:30pm)

“There’s an interdependence between flowers and bees. Where there are no flowers there are no bees, and where there are no bees, there are no flowers. They really are the same organism. And so in the same way, everything in nature depends on everything else.” – Alan Watts.


This workshop explores our unique relationship with the group body.


Sometimes we move in conformity with the group body and at other times we express our individuality from it. The world pandemic, environmental destruction and many current global events challenge us to explore interdependence which is to be fully ourselves and deeply connected with others at the same time. 


In this workshop you’ll be guided to explore different relationships with the group body and how familiar or not these might feel to you. You'll then be guided through a deep embodied exploration of what it maybe like to experience interdependency, when we are both connected to others and 100% oneself.  In this exploration we will take our lead from Nature, where every living thing is unique and made more so by it’s interdependence with every other living thing. There will be time to explore what may stand in the way of our coming to embody this balance. 


My deepest self speaks through movement, dance is my native tongue.” - Hester.

Hester holds a Masters in Art Therapy and is a professional Arts Therapist. Hester has a busy private practice where she specialises in working with clients with Trauma using a wide range of embodied practices evolving from the field of Somatic Psychology. Hester is an Open Floor teacher and co-founder and director of Conscious Dance Aotearoa Festival. She facilitates regular conscious dance classes and workshops. Hester has a passion for Social Justice and an enduring interest in how group bodies facilitate or not personal liberation. Hester holds a degree in Political Science and facilitates Conscious Dance spaces that embody the liberation she longs to see in the wider world. Hester is a mother and in her spare time she likes to DJ.

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BODY WEATHER (Sun 9:30am - 12:30pm)

Rest, tune in and listen with all of your senses to wind, plants, creatures, rock, water. Resonance and movement responses that unfold from this place come freely to our bodies. Deepen your understanding, connection & reverence. Find the dance that brings you closer to the natural world. In this session we will work outdoors (rain or shine) to hone our senses to elements of the natural environment. Please dress to the weather conditions to keep yourself safe and comfortable!

Miriam Marler brings her experience in somatics, dance improvisation, butoh & performance to her conscious dance offerings. She has dedicated her life to studying dance, movement & the body, following her own ever-shifting path. She lives in Ōtepoti/Dunedin with her partner and two small children, where she facilitates contact improvisation, conscious movement and practices Somatic Thai bodywork. She holds three degrees in dance including a Master of Dance Studies from the University of Otago.

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BIRD MEDICINE (Sun 3 - 5pm)

Finding a new perspective can be both refreshing and revelatory. In many cultures shapeshifting to find new ways of seeing is common practice. Here in Aotearoa we are a land of birds so in this session we'll get curious about what birds can teach us. 


Invoking bird medicine into our dance we'll explore bird's eye perspective in a fun and potent way. Now, perhaps more than ever new perspectives and listening to the ways of fellow beings on this planet is needed. So we open the space to bird medicine.

Sacha has been loving teaching 5Rhythms Dance since 2008 and Open Floor since 2016. She has also been a Holistic massage therapist for 20 years and is an occasional yoga teacher.

She is endlessly inspired by the simple joy of embodiment, the depth of experience that movement / dance offers, and how these practices can be such a profoundly supportive resource in our lives. She holds a heartfelt, fun, compassionate and welcoming space in which to explore life-themes through your dance.



Workshop TBC (Sun 3 - 5pm)

Workshop details to be confirmed.



UNDERSCORE (Sun 3 - 5pm)

The Underscore is a dance improvisation structure developed by Nancy Stark Smith. Based in Contact Improvisation, it comprises a spectrum of states, from quiet, internal activity to high-energy, interactive dancing. This is undirected; for research and play. Ben will be offering a brief 15 minute 'talk through' at the start of this session to introduce the Underscore concepts ahead of the silent held container of 90 minutes dance, before a closing circle.

Ben’s passion for CI is rooted in his endless curiosity in liberated playful and connected movement. Ben loves leaning into impermanence, and travelling the feedback loops to distant places. Melting into an underscore is an adventure and nourishment…​

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GREEN STREAM HUI (Sun 6:45 - 8:30pm)

This evening hui follows the timely 'GREEN STREAM' thread through this year's festival, workshops with a focus on how our embodiment practices can connect or nurture our relationship with the planet. Gather together to reflect and cultivate at this collective evening hui facilitated by Rosie Walford, with Jacqui Chan harvesting ideas visually, supported by Geordie Jahner.

Inquiry questions at the Hui will include...

"In what ways can embodiment practices deepen and expand our capacity for interbeing – and resource us.”

“How can we teach embodiment in a way that helps to deepen & expand our capacity to sense/know ourselves as inseparable from nature, self, others? “

“How can we use our conscious dance practices to explore a sense of inter-being – a somatic sensing of the entangled, enmeshed, interrelatedness of all living systems & us as dancers within it?"  

“Reconnecting People and Planet”



SOUND BATH (Thurs 6:45-7:30pm & Sun 8:30-10pm)

Relax and restore with a sound bath and deep asana. 

Caybin’s passion and purpose lies within awakening present moment awareness in all areas of life. Thus, igniting a passion for Nada Yoga and the realms of sound vibration as a tool for surrendering into all that is, as it is with each breath. Caybin explored methods of sound healing in Nepal and India, with a background into Kriya Yoga, movement therapy and Intuitive Nutrition. Originally from Australia, Caybin has spent the last 6 years travelling internationally sharing various forms of sound therapy and holistic living. He now continues to share sound baths and breath-work journeys throughout the Nelson region, Golden Bay and festival scene across Aotearoa.

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A MOVING CLOSING (Mon 9:30am - 12pm)

The entire CDA community gather together for one last dance. Facilitated by well loved and internationally renowned Conscious Dance pioneer Geordie Jahner, use movement to begin to integrate your experiences at CDA 2021. 

Geordie Jahner, Ph.D. (Expressive Arts Therapy) is a Founding Member of Open Floor International.  After exploring her love of dance as a contemporary dance artist and teacher in her 20’s & 30’s, Geordie began her conscious dance career as a 5Rhythms teacher and Tamalpa Life/Art practitioner – deeply influenced by her many years of study with Gabrielle Roth, Anna & Daria Halprin, Richard Strozzi Heckler, and Authentic Movement teachers (Janet Adler, Joan Chodorow, Tina Stromsted, Neala Haze) in SF Bay Area, California. 


After 30 years of teaching dance as a healing art, Geordie is most passionate about growing new conscious dance teachers, and exploring ways in which our dance and embodiment practices can help us - not only attune more deeply and mend our own lives and relationships - but also begin to artfully, wisely & soulfully respond to the pressing social issues of our time – climate change, environmental sustainability, social justice, total health & well-being.