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ICMTA Teachers' Gathering 2024
Boulder, Colorado - USA
4-6 October

ALCHEMY : Elder Honoring. Elder Offering

A moving journey for teachers of conscious dance!

Join this once-in-a-lifetime gathering of seasoned and spirited teachers who have been guiding transformational dance experiences for many decades each. These early forerunners in the field of consciousness and dance have each developed seminal pathways for the exploration of the body in motion.

Together, they will share a collective story of leaders co-arising. They will offer teachings about the art, heart, and science of :

    • Moving and serving the bodies and souls of humanity
    • Bushwacking new terrain for these times
    • Building and tending to one’s body of work
    • Releasing the work into the good care of all generations

They will each offer a movement experience to support everyone’s evolutionary path as practitioners.

Welcome these wise, wonderous, and wild Elders! At this time, we are delighted to include: Valerie Chafograck, Barbara Dilley, Melinda Harrison, Vincent Martinez-Grieco, and Erik Iversen. A few more epic souls are still sorting their schedules. Kierra Foster-Ba and Melissa Michaels will serve as our weavers for this gathering.

This will be deep, tender, and fun. Space will be limited as we will be gathering daily at the beloved StarHouse just outside of Boulder. There will be an evening event open to all.

What is Alchemy ?
Who is it for ?
Solidarity Fund

What is Alchemy : Elder Honoring, Elder Offering ? 

Alchemy is a 3-day intensive moving journey in the Rocky Mountains, October 4-6 2024, open to conscious movement teachers (see : who is this gathering for?).

A gathering of kindred souls who share a love of and dedication to movement as a path for awakening, transformation, connection, and liberation.  The Elders who will be guiding the daily process each have decades of evolution on the dance floor of life, actualizing inwardly, interpersonally, and professionally. They understand the science and the magic of movement for human evolution. They have been tempered and emptied in such a way that the medicine of movement moves through them in original and inspired ways. 

So often in the field of conscious dance, we orient towards what is new and shiny. This group is wrinkly and wonderous. Younger, newer teachers on the path will benefit from being taught and lovingly held by those who deeply embody what can only come with time.

We need our Elders. These individuals are pioneers, innovators, lineage crafters and carriers. Refined through their decades of dancing and working with people in the midst of change, their stories and teachings can serve as guides for all those on the teaching path. Tempered by life, they have navigated through many seasons and cycles. They have stayed the course, never giving up, yet surrendering ever more. Their bodies are weathered and wise. Their hearts ever warmer. Their sight ever clearer. They are spirited, soul centric friends of the world. 

They are listening to the Ancestors as they prepare to become ones. 

Elder blessings are treasures, polishing the jewels that we all are becoming together. 


    Who Is Invited To Participate ?

    You are invited to join us for this Teacher’s Gathering if you are actively engaged in teaching Conscious Dance.

    This edition of the ICMTA Gathering, co-created with Golden Bridge, is open to all conscious movement teachers. You can join us even if you are not a member of the ICMTA.

    If you have been teaching for decades, you are welcome. Come bring your wisdom and grace to the conversation. If you are a teacher new to the field, you are also welcome. Come bring your enthusiasm and questions.

    Teachers who are members of the ICMTA, training or trained in one of our recognized movement schools will have registration priority.

    These schools are : 5Rhythms®, BISO - Body in Soul, freedomDANCE, Middle Earth Medicine, Movement Medicine™, Open Floor, Path of Azul, SomaSource and Soul Motion.

    If you are not part of any listed schools, please feel warmly welcomed and  get in touch with us.


    Friday October 4th
    9am - 2pm Day hike in the mountains
    A time for bathing in the beauty of this place along with enjoying the company of one another in a spacious way. Reunions and first time meetings will be the dance of the day. Easy. Connecting. Optional.
    6:30 - 9pm Opening Harvest Dance
    for ALCHEMY participants and the wider local dance community.
    Saturday October 5th
    9am - 5pm Movement at the StarHouse
    6 - 8pm Evening feast at the StarHouse
    Sunday October 6th
     9 - 10:30am Panel Conversation with Elders at the Avalon Ballroom

    11am - 5pm Movement at the StarHouse, including closure

    Presenters :

    Valerie Chafograck

    I am an Afro Caribbean Black/mixed heritage, California-based embodiment, conscious dance facilitator, and politicized healer. I have been teaching since 1992 and am the founder of Movement Liberation. Blending Soul Motion™ practice, somatic and social justice perspectives, I offer classes and workshops in the USA and abroad to advance personal & collective transformation, healing, and liberation.

    Movement Liberation is a project for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) curating embodied and somatic healing workshops and retreats for people of color. Movement Liberation has the power to bring about radical healing, and guide the way into a new global and racial paradigm, not just on the dance floor but in every aspect of its operations and partnerships, including fundraising.

    I am 60 y.old and call myself a yelder. A visionary mind, the spirit of a Sage, a devotee to reclaiming the sacred. A work in progress committed to divesting from colonial tools. Integrity turns me on.I am a lover of justice with a fierce, powerful, and tender heart, who grieves for the suffering of the world and lost lives I have never known, and who feels much joy cursing through my veins when I dance to the sound of music and silence. I stand for the liberation of all oppressed people, and for creating a new path forward.

    Barbara Dilley

    Barbara Dilley,  born on the southern tip of great lake Michigan in 1938, began her dancing path with Audree Estey, founder of the Princeton Ballet Society in Princeton New Jersey.  Helen Priest Rogers, who danced with Martha Graham, was her mentor at Mt. Holyoke College (1960) and encouraged her to go to the American Dance Festival at New London Connecticut, where she met Merce Cunningham.  She was invited to join his company in 1963 and toured extensively until 1968.  She danced with Yvonne Rainer (1966-70) and was part of  the Grand Union, an iconic dance theater improvisation ensemble (1970-1976). In 1974 she was invited to teach at the first summer of Naropa University (then Institute) in Boulder, Colorado.  At the end of the summer the founder, Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, invited her to design a dance program  (1975-84).  She served as president of Naropa (1985-93) then returned to the arts faculty.  She has two children, Benjamin Lloyd and Owen Bondurant.

    In 2015, Barbara authored the book: This very moment ~ Teaching, thinking, dancing.

    Melinda West Harrison

    Melinda West Harrison is co-founder and executive director of NatureMoves, co-facilitator of the Embodied Arts Training (EAT), and principal creator and artistic director of WilderDance Retreats (WDR), now celebrating 27+ years of annual dance trips into wilderness.

    Melinda is deeply engaged in the work of Anna Halprin. She began dancing with her at age 4, performed with her in Venice, Italy at age 15, and joined her San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop Company in 1969, where she performed in the multi-racial production of “Ceremony Of Us” with an all black group from Los Angeles at the time of Watts riots.

    Trained extensively at Tamalpa Institute since 1984, she served on the Tamalpa board of directors during 1990s, and trained as facilitator of the “Planetary Dance,” “Movement Ritual” and “RSVP Cycles,” key resources of the Tamalpa work.

    Passionate about movement-based art in wilderness environments, she loves mapping dances and making “scores,” such as the site-specific dance ritual called “Journey’s Score” we perform at all EAT and WDR Retreats.

    Vincent Martínez-Grieco

    I am Vincent Martínez-Grieco (formerly known as Vinn Arjuna Martí), dancer, teacher, and designer of Soul Motion Next Steps.

    After teaching for 4 decades, I still get excited about the next class I’m teaching.

    Over the years I’ve been Influenced by modern dancing and ballet, improvisational and performance scenarios, yogic spiritual practices, 5Rhythms® (ecstatic dance), and aerobics (thank you Jane Fonda for rescuing my dancing teaching life in the 90s). My background continues to rotate to the forefront of my present curriculum.

    In the beginning of the 21st Century, I designed Soul Motion, a conscious dance practice. Soul Motion is taught throughout the USA, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

    I’ve dedicated my life to dancing and wish to dance with you all ways, alone together.

    soul motion:next steps website

    Erik Iversen

    Erik Iversen is a founding member of the 5Rhythms® worldwide community. He was in the  training with Gabrielle Roth in 1981 and became one of her first workshop producers out of Montreal in the 1980’s. Over the next 40 years, he practised and taught the 5Rhythms® as well as maintaining a one-on-one bodywork practice; over time he integrated the wisdom he gained from hands-on work with the insight from guiding thousands of dancers on the dancefloor. In 2016, he graduated from the 2-year Leadership and Transformation training at the Hendricks Institute, and is now a certified coach. In 2017, Erik co-founded Kite Parade Co, and in 2020, he designed the Somatomy™ series, a 3-part training that guides participants through an in-depth, experiential understanding of their anatomy and offers powerful tools for creating deep presence and flow through movement and conscious embodiment.

    Kierra Foster-Ba

    Kierra Foster-Ba is a 5Rhythms® and Femme! teacher based in New York. 

    Kierra is passionate about authentic movement as a path to human liberation.  She studied the 5Rhythms® with Gabrielle Roth, the founder, for 15+ years and appears in Gabrielle's Power Wave video and in the documentary "Dances of Ecstasy". She has also danced with PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) an international organization of artists devoted to using belly dance to promote peace and end suffering. 

    Kierra is also a school administrator in the NYC Department of Education.  She has been serving the students of New York City since 1989 and has been offering 5Rhythms® classes in New York City since 2008.   

    Kierra offers workshops throughout the world including Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

    Melissa Michaels

    My life is devoted to building bridges of peace across the rivers that separate us.

    This path first emerged as a child when I daily travelled across the Rio Grande River between Eagle Pass, Texas and Pedras Negras, Mexico where my father grew up. At that time, seeing the Kickapoo children living in cardboard boxes broke my little heart and stirred my soul, forever. As I woke to the inequities of this world, I dedicated my life to finding ways to create pathways for people to have access to the kinds of opportunities I have been so privileged to have. I have been traversing along life’s borders, building bridges wherever I can ever since.

    The first bridge needing to be built was to my self. I was a drug dealing, enraged, obese teen navigating along the edges of danger, seeking connection wherever I could find it. Finding a way through the violence-induced patterns of dysregulation within was my first frontier for the repair of this world. Dance became the doorway and the path for this mitigation of disconnection.

    From my own suffering to my soul and eventual service, I never stopped bushwhacking through life’s complex terrain and leading through movement. Nearly four decades later, I continue to tend to the work of Golden Bridge, the not-for-profit I birthed and cultivated from the seeds of separation and the vision of liberation.

    It will be my honor to celebrate the decades of innovative and life-saving work my colleagues in kindred schools of Conscious Dance have been offering into this world. We have much to learn from one another and share with the generations to come.

    My dream is to build bridges of connection between us all so that movement becomes an inclusive super-highway for humanity leading them home to themselves and one another in peace.

    How do I register? 

    If you are called to join us for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to be together with Elders in the field, please sign up soon on the Alchemy registration page managed by Golden Bridge.

    Tickets details :

    Registration Fee : Sliding Scale $450 – $385 USD
    Early Bird : $50 USD off registration fee by August 1st
    ICMTA Members : $100 USD off registration fee. If you are not a member yet, please check who is eligible for membership.

    Accommodation & Meals :
    Housing in lovely home rentals in the Boulder area, during our Alchemy time together):
    Sliding Scale $120 – $65/night USD

    Transportation to and from the StarHouse provided at no extra fee.

    Meals :
      Mid-day meals and the Evening Feast will be provided at the StarHouse for a fee.
    Sliding Scale
    $65 – $50 USD

    Registrations are managed by Golden Bridge,
    our partner in the organisation of this Teachers' Gathering.

    Not a member yet ?  Join the ICMTA now and get 100$ off !


    Most of our dances will take place in the The Starhouse, a beloved sacred temple for movement nested in a beautiful nature at the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO, USA. The Starhouse is a conscious intentional community of more than 33 years :"The StarHouse’s purpose is to activate and tend a sanctuary for the Sacred —weaving Earth, Stars, and Human Hearts".

    During our 3 evenings together, we will gather in cozy homes at the Foothills of Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO, USA. Most of our dances will unfold 15min outside of town at the StarHouse. 

    Opening Evening

    Our Opening Evening will unfold on October 4th 6:30-9:00pm in a large studio in downtown Boulder. This special event is a call to gather, regardless of your training and movement path. We will welcome the wider local community for a deep dance into the 5Rhythms® and kindred ways of honoring and celebrating our collective movement. Open to all, this will be a unique opportunity to dance deeply into life regardless of one’s life cycle. We will celebrate the many ages and stages gathered to assist in this ceremonial opening.

    All who love to move are welcome to register. (Registration details will be added soon)

    Hybrid Events

    Additionally, there will be 2 Hybrid Events so that those unable to attend can join in the experience from afar. Registration for these events is coming soon.

    Solidarity Fund

    In accordance with the ICMTA Diversity Policy, we would like to open this space also for those who cannot afford to pay for it.

    We therefore invite all of you who feel financially able to contribute a sum of your choice to a fund which will then be used to help those who need it. Please use the donation form here below to contribute, and put "Teachers' Gathering" in the Comment field.

    If you are on the contrary feeling the strong pull to attend this event but you just cannot afford it right now, please FILL IN THIS FORM.

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