Embodifest – The 8 Day Ecstatic Dance Contact Improv Acro Yoga Immersion

about this event

 Co-created with the founder of ForMyPeople and SaturDance…

Embodifest is a somatic ceremony full-spectrum immersion 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.

The Big Island of Hawaii is the birthplace of Ecstatic dance and a sacred pilgrimage for dancers. Dive into black sand beaches, sing in natural hot pools, immerse yourself in a world created by lava in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and experience the catalyzing effects of the Ecstatic life with us.

We Love you. Welcome. And, Aloha!

—————-Dates —————-

January 18th – 25th

(Arrive no later than the 17th and depart no earlier than 26th.)

—————-Pricing —————-

Early Bird $999

– Includes daily continental breakfast, lunch, and airport transfers.

GA Ticket $1111

—————-SCHEDULE —————-

*Exact Schedule TBA**Exact Schedule TBA**Exact Schedule TBA**Exact Schedule TBA*

Wednesday8am – 9am Meet n Greet/Sign-In

9am – 10:30am Opening Circle (Annabelle)

10:30am – 11:00am Snacks/Logistics

11:15am – 1pm Dance is Life (Gabriel)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Improv for a Fearless Heart (Leela)

*Free Time*

6:30pm-9:00pm Ecstatic Dance and sound bath! @ Sundari Gardens


9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake Ecstatic

10am – 11am Opening Circle and Authentic Relating (Annabelle)

11:15am – 1pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Higher Flow (Renee Guay)

*Free Time*

6:00pm – 8:30pm Organic Ecstatic @ Kumakahi


10am – 11am Opening Circle Restorative movement and Authentic Relating (Annabelle)

11:15am – 1pm Movimiento Creativo (Mona)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Contact Improvisation (Shannon)

*Free Time*

6pm – 7pm Sound Bath @ The Hawaiian Sanctuary

7pm – 11pm Bee Dance @ The Hawaiian Sanctuary


Sunday (no lunch)

9am – 10:45am Song Circle & Cacao @ Sundari

10:45am – 2pm Ecstatic Dance! @Kalani: The birthplace of Ecstatic Dance

~Sunday Funday Flow~

2pm-4pm Drum Circle at Kahena Black Sands Beach

4pm-7pm Drum Circle, vendors, cliff walks at the Seaview lawn

7pm-9pm Natural Volcanic Hot Ponds


9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake Contact Jam

10am – 11am Opening Circle Restorative Movement and Authentic Relating (Annabelle)

11:15am – 1pm Twerkshop (Renee Guay)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Acro Yoga (Lauren)

~~~~~~~~~Spa Party~~~~~~~~~


9am – 10am Wake n’ Shake Contact Jam

10am – 11am Opening Circle and Authentic Relating (Annabelle)

11:15am – 1pm Hip Hop Party Dances, Technique, and History (Gabriel)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Divine Play – (Kai)

~~~~~~Conscious Cuddles~~~~~~


10am – 11am Opening Circle and Authentic Relating (Annabelle)

11:15am – 1pm Dance is Love (Gabriel)

1:15pm – 2:15pm Lunch is Served

2:45pm – 4:30pm Taking the Lead and Closing Circle

*Free Time*

6:30pm – 9pm Ecstatic Dance and Sound bath! @Sundari Gardens

~~~~~Late Night Spa Party~~~~~

*********Class Descriptions*********

Dance is Life/Love – 

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.

Contact Improvisation – 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 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.

Divine Play – 

Divine Play is an improvisational embodiment practice that cultivates authentic expression through voice and movement. Drawing from practices such as Somatic Movement, Contact Improv, Theatre, Choreography, Performance, Light Language, Qigong, Breathwork, Yoga, and Gaga, it is a living library of avenues to train our subtle awareness to attune and remember our innate intimacy with Divinity through the innocence and intelligence of PLAY. By playing, we are becoming children again, coming home to the essence of creation within us, letting go of who we think we need to be, for who we really are within our hearts. The sacred essence of JOY is a force of aliveness and vitality that fuels our will to live. We are making space in our lives to contact this foundational essence within us and rewire ourselves for an upward spiral of co-creating a beautiful life with the world around us.

The Expression Session – 

A space hosted by Gordon Xavier designed to help you practice being in the FULLNESS of your voice via musical improv aka freestyle.In the beginning of the class, you’ll be guided through a series of stretches to remove passive tension in your body that potentially impinges upon your vocal range. Then as a group, we will play some fun games to open up our freestyle flows and channel our inner radio stations! This is not a space for “looking good” or “doing it right”, but rather a safe container for you to get outside of your comfort zone and explore your voice with honesty and courage. It’s vulnerable, humbling, and enlivening to share your inner song. The openings that take place here will follow you into your day-to-day life and support you in creating beautiful art and authentic communicative connection everywhere you go.

*********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, living, and performing in the field of somatic arts. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from one of the top dance conservatories in the country, Shannon is devoted to inspiring students to experience their own essence through play, spontaneity, and nourishment. Shannon offers exquisite facilitation and participants often reflect on how incredibly safe they feel in her field. Shannon had the great honor of being the Creative Director of Ecstatic Dance Oakland Sunday from 2015 to 2020. She now lives in Hawaii and teaches weekly classes in Contact Improvisation and Improv Arts.

Kaï Sunrise –

s a divine channel for light, unconditional love, and joy. Her love for Gaia has deep roots that have led her to become a Wayshower for New Earth culture. Her devotion towards co-creating peace on Gaia is currently focused on Playshops & Ceremonies of Divine Play & Light Language, where she guides participants in remembering how to authentically express their unique essence.

Gordon Xavier –

With 10 years of experience in the space of personal development and metaphysics, Gordon is an expert at helping people to step into their true potential, communicate potently, and create richer life experiences. Having amassed close to 30,000 subscribers and 2 million channel views on YouTube, his content has helped thousands of people to transform their lives and initiate powerful spiritual awakenings. His services revolve around helping individuals transform anxiety, stagnation, and life dissatisfaction into confidence, ease, and aliveness through the power of conscious communication.

Annabelle -Dr. Annabelle C.C. Catalano is a physical therapist, dancer, and lifelong athlete. She has been studying the human mind, body, and the art of movement since 2010. Annabelle is a recipient of several awards for community involvement and service in her hometowns in the US and around the world in The Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Greece. Her passion for movement and connection flows through her offerings on the island of ecstatic dance, functional mobility, and somatic play practices she calls Embodied Connection. Annabelle curates the opening each day to flow with the rhythm of the Embodifest community throughout the 8 days we share together. Each morning, she will guide you through movement and sharing practices for physical restoration and integration as a whole and in small intimate groups. Through authentic relating and personal reflection practices, we will experience a deepening of safe conscious connection, self-awareness, care, and love.

——— Dates ———

October 19th – 26th

**Free airport shuttles will be at 11am and 6pm on the 18th and 8am and 2pm on the 27th.**

***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: 

Early Bird $999.- Includes daily continental breakfast, snacks and lunch. *Dinner are not included.

**Flight to HILO, accommodation, and car rental are not included.**-

Once you register, you will be added to an internal telegram group that will be our home base for communications.- Sundari accommodations are limited so act fast.


Step 1. Buy a ticket to register.

***No Refunds***

Tickets are fully transferable for any reason.


Step 2. Email or message Gabriel Francisco to be added to our telegram dance group and learn about accommodation options at the retreat center and on the Big Island:

-Facebook: @superherohiphop

-Email: mdorsai@gmail.com


Contact Gabriel with questions:

-IG: @gabrielfranciscoproductions

-FB: facebook.com/superherohiphop

-Email: mdorsai@gmail.com