The artist-healer-activist Cohort is a diverse group of artist-healer-activists at the core of the DYFIT practice. The DYFIT Cohort takes and offers workshops; supports each other in pursuits related to art, activism, and healing; and dances in public regularly together.
In 2019, the Cohort is exploring how to be a Cohort of Resilience and Resistance, responding to the needs arising from the current political climate, and acting in conversation with local and national resistance efforts. We are exploring DYFIT as “pleasure activism,” (adrienne maree brown’s term)─seeking a type of activism that can move lives with joy, not only anger and fear, and make social justice work irresistible.
Meet our 2019 Cohort below.
Maria Arriola is a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities pursuing an Individualized Degree in Ethnomusicology, Psychology, and Human Health and Wellness. She loves to play/create+destroy order.
Shira K Charis has been teaching yoga in the Twin Cities since 2003 and can be found most days of the week at One Yoga Nonprofit in Uptown Minneapolis.
Rae Eden’s earliest memories are of dancing around the living room as her mother played the piano. She currently works in the environmental health field, and is training to be a dance movement therapist. She can be found dancing on the street corner, meditating amongst the trees, or wandering near river banks; with nature and dance as my healers and teachers.
Tana Hargest creates art and action through four intersecting ways of working — interdisciplinary art making that focuses on issues of power, race, and class; audience and civic engagement through collective art actions and cooperative economics; work focused on effecting systemic change within the arts ecosystem; and generating joy with the Subversive Sirens, a Minnesota-based synchronized swim team committed to Black liberation, equity in swimming, body positivity in athleticism, and queer visibility.
Laura Levinson is a is a movement artist, healer, and deep believer in the power of communities to hold one another lovingly accountable through growth and change. Laura has been performing and creating work in the Twin Cities for the past 6 years with Aniccha Arts, BareBonesPuppets, and a variety of other beloved collaborators. Dance and other embodied ways of knowing excite her most as windows toward a paradigm shift.
Demetrius McClendon began dancing with street hip-hop at the age of 15; he has traveled nationally and internationally as a professional dancer sharing his passion for the arts which he uses to inspire social change. Believing wholeheARTedly in the power of love (plus politics), radical imagination, and spiritual practice, he facilitates workshops that utilize yoga and meditation and emphasize the importance of holistic self-care.
Alys Ayumi Ogura is a Twin Cities-based dancer/performer who enjoys moving between the theater and dance worlds for various projects. She has worked with a variety of talents locally and internationally. Ogura is a 2017/2018 cohort of Pangea World Theater’s Arts Organizing Institute, and she serves as a program ambassador for Patrick’s Cabaret’s sunset season.
Miré Regulus is a mover, writer and performance artist. Her work is marked by poetical prose, rich language and non-linear structure.
Marcus Young 楊墨 is an artist who makes behavioral forms. These forms are for everyone to use and make life better. They expand the repertoire of wellness and human consciousness. He is the founder of Don’t You Feel It Too? From 2006 to 2015, he was City Artist in St. Paul, MN. He is a recipient of awards from the McKnight, Bush, and Jerome Foundations.
Stayci Bell is a community gardener, actress, beginner, puppeteer, a mother, and so much more. She is an everythingist! Stayci appeared with zAmya in Home Street Home Minneapolis at the Guthrie and was recently part of Los Angeles Poverty Department’s production of What Fuels Development? at Pangea World Theater.
Zoe Cinel is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and community organizer for Florence, Italy. As an immigrant, she sees art as a platform for cross-cultural dialogue and for making community. She is currently a member of Carry On Homes Team and the Mirror Lab.
Born and raised in Chicago, Asher Edes identifies as white, hearing, and trans. Dancing reminds them that they are alive. They are interested in the intersections of performance, community, and accessibility.
Diane Hellekson is a writer, landscape architect and dancer living in St. Paul. She has practiced with Don’t You Feel It Too? since 2010 and helped lead and organize practices since 2014. Diane values DYFIT for its graceful catharsis, friendly defiance, and the way it allows her to explore and strengthen herself and her community.
Shea Love works as an educator in the Twin Cities and is most interested in how we can bring more transparency, connection and joy into educational spaces! She also feels grateful to have stumbled into the dance community here. She is most at peace while dancing, especially breaking; either by herself in her living room (she moves all the furniture to practice, eek) or in space with others sharing music and stories.
Wendy Morris, Director of Creative Leadership Studio, dances at the intersection of systems change, leadership development, mindfulness and innovation. A consultant, trainer and coach, she collaborates with several global networks for change including the Human Systems Dynamics Institute and the Art of Hosting network.
Actor/writer/storyteller Amy Salloway is a big fan of the Venn Diagram spot where live performance, social activism and human connection overlap. Her autobiographical solo plays -- “Does This Monologue Make Me Look Fat?,” "So Kiss Me Already, Herschel Gertz!,” and “Circumference” -- have toured to and won awards at theatre festivals, colleges and communities across the US and Canada, and she’s contributed personal stories to radio programs on MPR and CBC, and the national podcast “Risk!.” Amy teaches memoir, creative writing and storytelling through Minneapolis Community Ed and The Story Studio, and hosts Story Club Minneapolis one Thursday a month at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.
Xiaolu Wang finds her natural state of being - on a train with a book in her hands or dancing in the middle of the street. She seems to be always looking for something, something tiny, somewhere deep, faraway places, magic that defies gravity, light that casts shadows, motion that slows down, a quote from a window display, a warm bowl to hold, mirrors in people’s hearts that reflect pieces of the world, and stories, always more stories....she has sought out these things for half of her life in China, and half of her life in the U.S.
Shannon Young is an exuberant and embodied teacher, artist, and dancer currently calling Minnesota home.
Conie Borchardt is a Listener, a Vibration, and a Heartist who practices weaving mindfulness, sound, movement, and color to embody her wholeness as well as hold space for others to heal. A descendent of Korean-German immigrant farmers of land previously stewarded by the Lower Sioux Dakota people, she strives to awaken connections among differences.
Julia Davidson is a dancer-scholar based in Minneapolis, MN. She has trained in a grab-bag of phyiscal disciplines including ballet, capoeira, somatics, modern, house, and DYFIT, and she is interested in how delicious academia (in the form of performance studies and critical theory) converges with the lived experience of dancing bodies.
When Elizabeth Fontaine hears a song that makes her want to move, she moves. She acknowledges the world around her, and she keeps dancing, creating a ripple of joy, dissent, disorder, silliness, and beauty.
Magi Korder is an artist and is interested in how through creativity and community-of-care we can have collective healing, a healing evolution. They are inspired and curious about this inquiry now. They hope to keep understanding themself more through movement in many forms and is sure through that practice this bio will evolve too.
Theresa Madaus is a dance-maker, performer and arts administrator. She is 1/3 of the choreographic collaboration Mad King Thomas and explores solo dance/drag work as Rock Scissors and Lip Sync Lesbian.
Mankwe Ndosi is an instrument of song and light, a wild plant woman, a re-memberer of breath and connection through bodies healing - she is patient and determined.
Heather Peebles is an interdisciplinary, community-based artist who uses art as a mediator for healing. By questioning the perpetuation of oppressive systems in current healing methodologies for victim-survivors of sexual trauma, she facilitates workshops and creates work that interrupts power dynamics, promotes agency, and critically looks at additional barriers such as race and gender identities.
Mike Thurston is an artist and activist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota studying Art for Social Change/Applied Drama at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. As an Artist Mike has found himself immersed in the world of participatory collaborations focusing on how the viewer can become as integral to the experience as the artists themselves. As an activist his goal is to bring people together in space to engage in a honest interaction that ideally leads to seeing a piece of ourselves in those we see as "other".
Claudette M. Webster arrived in the Twin Cities from the East Coast by way of Jamaica, West Indies, less than a year ago. She loves exploring and partaking of the wide range of experiences that being in the Minnesota offers, including aligning with her inner dancer and setting her free....
Nan Zosel has been dancing for nearly 58 years. She has a B.A. in dance/movement therapy. Other dancing adventures include performing with a caravan, choreography of liturgical dance for local churches, and coaching a hip hop dance team. She believes with every fiber of her being that dance can heal individuals and communities.