A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Collective

Costa Rica Seed Group Intensives

Jason Cohen

Jason Cohen, the founder of Forestdance, has experienced numerous healing and expressive arts rituals around the world.
His knowledge, experience, sensitivity and training as a ritual facilitator and his life long pursuit of exploring passion and subtlety in music, has led him in service to offering this, the 32nd Forestdance Gathering.

These gatherings have taken place in 7 US states and has happened 10 times in Costa Rica. These are powerful transformational ritual gatherings designed to bring
people into their full power through the process of burning off symptomatic energies, coming fulling present, and balancing heart, mind, body and spirit inside and out of the sacred fire circle.

Jason is also the producer of Unifier Festival, the healing and expressive arts transformational festival that occurs in New England in the US in June. This is a gorgeous gathering with ceremony at its core, and a mission that includes using the transformational festival model to cultivate energy and resources for community owned Land to be shared in perpetuity and governed by a council of elders. www.UnifierFestival.com

When not facilitating one of these gatherings, Jason often is composing and performing with his musical projects Incus and Sacred Side Project, or directing events for the heARTbeat Collective in Jamaica Plain, MA. Jason is a community organizer deeply committed to creating spaces where people can become empowered and inspired.

Jason has held ceremonial space and studied with many blessed teachers, including Suzanne Rancourt (Abenaki Bear Clan), Mandaza Kandemwa (Shona), and Malidoma Some (Dagara), and takes much of his inspiration from his humble and direct connections to nature and his ancestors.

Percussion, Music and Service Around the Fire: Bright Hawk

There are practical and magical aspects to drumming. As humans we struggle with the tools we are given and the limits of our daily existence. But the magic of the fire and the drum can release us from our earthly bonds and let us rise above our limits.

If we set ourselves on the path of music with an authentic desire to learn and grow, then we will be challenged and our hard work will be rewarded with moments of great intuition. These are gifts of spirit where we leap forward to a new place.

In this workshop we will learn some of the details of how our drums work and how to improve our playing. We will supply a framework and some concepts and ideas from which you can distill your own style and allow you the freedom to explore.

With these tools you can express yourself better and begin to communicate with other drummers and dancers more effectively around the fire.

Bright Hawk is an inspired and inspiring musician and storyteller, sharing her gifts (around the world) for more than twenty years to the delight of all. Her playful spirit and intense passion come through in her amazing djembe playing and teaching, the motivational stories she tells, and the exquisite music of the Hang PanArt drum. Bright Hawk’s recordings include Echoes of the Deep Waters with Jason Cohen, Chris Baum and Eric Freeman; as well as recording the soundtrack to Becoming an Oracle a seven CD meditation series with Nicki Sculley for Sounds True recordings. Bright Hawk lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is currently working on a story book and DVD of her work.

In Service at the Root Fire

Rev. Areeya Marie Sharpe is an artist, priestess, professional incensor and chef, based in Las Vegas, NV. Born in western Mass, amidst a large gospel family, she was motivated at an early age to learn and share in many realms of the expressive arts. She particularly resonated with the practices of spiritual ceremony, color therapy, recipe creation, song and the art of Hula. Areeya travels between many communities in various locales, sharing the sacred arts and ceremonies of her lineages in goddess culture, alchemical fire circle technology, elemental alchemy and plant based nutrition. An ordained minister, Areeya has served as a priestess and facilitator for the Desert Moon Circle and Vegas Vortex Fire Family for 15yrs. A devotee of Sekhmet, she also enjoys sharing journeys to the Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet in Cactus Spring, NV. In the Moapa Valley of Fire she was blessed to be called to the Root Fire in her heart, 6yrs ago. Areeya dedicated to the Root, the Forestdance community in the lands of her birth, carrying a deep reverence for the land, her sacred waters and the many “arts of sanctuary” shared in creating sustainable new culture for the good of All… here and now, honoring our mother earth, our ancestors, our communities and the next generations…Carrying the path of the Mothers and Grandmothers in her heart, you can find Areeya studying and teaching around the US in the sacred arts of ritual, altar building, raw food prep, chakra art painting and sacred scent workshops in thanksgiving to spirit, life and her teachers: Katlyn Breene, Bob Gratrix ,The DMC Council, Jeff McBride, Abigail McBride, Nikki Scully, Oberon Zell, Jason Cohan, Dashi Steven Baugh and Lama Jigme.

Areeya will work with the local herbalist to prepare and offer wild crafted teas from the Land, on the root fire during the ceremony, which is part of the FD fire circle experience, as we welcome in the subtle energies of the surrounding forest.

Thai Yoga Massage with Luke Destefano

Luke DeStefano began his journey into spiritual studies at the age of 9 when he was initiated into the practice of Transcendental Meditation at the TM Institute in Providence, RI, USA. These studies quickly sparked an interest in the Healing and Martial Arts and many years of study with various teachers in and around the United States.

In 2009, Luke relocated to South East Asia to begin Intensive training in Thai Yoga Massage, Buddhist Tantra and Qi Gong, as well as other modalities of bodywork such as Cranial Sacral Therapy, Reflexology, Osteopathy, and Chi Nei Tsieng (abdominal massage). With a strong foundation in the Buddhist principals of loving-kindness and compassion, Luke’s massage practice is one that is heart-centered as well as therapeutic.

Luke continues to travel worldwide and give private sessions and workshops in the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, and Costa Rica.

Oneness of All: Passed On Through Ancestral Spirit

Zack strives to keep it all whole and healing, in a Oneness for All. This is brought forth through poetry-storytelling, open dialogue, music and dance, ritual and ceremony. We explore what greatness our ancestors processed and preserved; taught and discreetly and kept alive in spite of, through cultural chants, meditations and channeling. Zack works to combine energies of dance and spirit-fire in a very natural way and create channels into the world we thought we had forgotten.
The outcome becomes a renewed force learning how to receive again; in order to ‘give back’ and ‘give forward’. This is brought by experiencing experiences that covers our being and prepare us for greater works on this plain and planet.
Zack has used these modalities over and over and learned to combine dance and music, poetry-storytelling and indulging into our own culture respectfully; in order to bring forth the divine in us. There be a call to dwell and recognize more in Sameness and Similarities instead of differences. When placed on this high plain, it becomes a merry-go-round of play, purpose and path into Oneness with each other , our world and Mother Earth. A Healing in Supreme thought and Being.
This is all brought about through the glories of storytelling on the alter of dance and ritual and our inner selves. Allowing spirit-energy to manifest within us and move to connect, share and behold the Awe!

Elemental Yoga & The Primal Voice w/ Sophia Fairweather

Elemental yoga anchors our awareness through the fundamental forces of the elements, exploring how the properties of each can be cultivated for more vital and balanced connection to embodiment and our intuitive intelligence.

The Primal Voice

Our voice is an ancient technology, evolved as a tool of intention. The wisdom in your voice knows how to sing a message of free expression, open heartedness and radiance. Unifying our voices supports our health and symbiotic relationship to life.

Many people hold shame around the idea of sharing their voice and so shy away from exploring its potential, and importance in developing harmony in community and strong leadership. If we stay blocked to the vulnerability of the voice we also stay blocked to the profound sense of joy and liberation our voice can create. Understanding the primal roots of the voice can help to awaken a more grounded and empowered relationship to life. This will include vocal embodiment practices, yogic movement, breath work, tantric practices, toning, mantra, song and self inquiry.w/ Sophia Fairweather

Sophia grew up in the heart of Wales, close to nature and her adventurous family. Ever curious about how to deepen her relationship to life, Sophia has dedicated much of her time to exploring healing arts and music around the world. First training as a dancer at Laban Dance Conservatoire in London, then moving to Canada for her Holistic Health Practitioner Certification at Grant MacEwan University. Sophia completed her yoga TTC at Yoga Vidya Gurukul in India and later studied at Agama Yoga in Thailand and Inan Itah, Nicaragua for tantric wisdom.

Sophia studied Acupressure, Reflexology, Reiki in Canada and Thai Massage in Thailand and offers a unique blend of these healing arts in the form of Ritual Healing Massage.

​In 2012, She toured with NuMundo, through Central America, helping to implement permaculture and community building projects.

In Peru, she studied as a shamanic apprentice of Paching Hoe Lambaiho. Sophia completed her Permaculture Design Certification and Earth Activist Training at O.U.R Ecovillage with StarHawk and Charles Williams and, following this, she co-founded The Blooming Biodiversity Permaculture Tour which traveled along the West Coast of North America. In recent years Sophia has been developing the collaboration, Shanandar, with Dan Lambert, which aims to weave lush melodic tapestries with timeless keys and soulful vocals (shanandar.bandcamp.com).

​Sophia is now based in Edmonton offering regular yoga classes, cacao ceremonies, ritual healing massage, workshops and music.

Earth Journey Workshop & Surrendering Limiting Beliefs w/ Bryan Arturo

Bryan is a community organizer focused on creating a support network for changemakers in Southern California and bridging the permaculture movement to the mainstream. He’s a highly adaptable facilitator who has produced retreats & socially impactful gatherings from California to Costa Rica to Chile. Bryan co-founded Earth Journeys, The Annual Sustainable Living Tour and supported NuMundo‘s global impact-center database since it’s inception. Bryan loves tending to the land and his bursting love and laughter is no joke.


Additional Staff

Hollis Taylor

Hollis Taylor is a Divinely Lead Androgyne that celebrates great joy when they can experience an open minded and diverse community. Hollis lives the embodiment of both male & female in one body/mind/soul and works as a gender activist, constantly. Publisher of DiversiTree.org and Creator of the program used for LetsDanceActivities.com Hollis guides us to the light with inspiration and guidance. Hollis supports a full expression of our deepest and complete selves through counseling and example. Hollis is honored to experience 20+ years experience in leading groups of children and families in a variety of settings including Scouting For All, such as Spiral Scouts. Hollis holds a professional education for psychology and child development as well as a lifetime of experience with their own child and now grandchild. Hollis has also completed a variety of spiritual training, leadership intensives, and has over 10 years experience with children & families around the magic fire circle. Hollis helps ForestDance experience a full children’s program alongside the traditional magic fire circle in a way that inspires the natural spiritual magic that children hold.



Kathy Davidson

I discovered Forest Dance Costa Rica in 2014. I decided that it was the perfect gathering for me after having found a flyer in a café on a rainy September day in Corvallis, Oregon. I had never attended such an event, never traveled outside the country alone, and didn’t know anyone else who would be there, but for some reason it really called to me so I went for it.

This experiment kicked my personal evolution into high gear. It helped me establish a network of “fire family” from across the globe and opened my eyes and heart to the importance of community. Functioning as a Registered Nurse in the professional world, I had studied the concept of illness and healing from a Western/allopathic/scientific (read: “reductionist”) point of few for several years. But Forest Dance is a whole different approach to healing that brings awareness to both the cause and the symptom, on a collective and an individual level. It extended my concept of myself as a “nurse,” pushing me to contemplate the implications of working as a “healer” in a more humanistic sense.

This organic, inclusive, co-created experience speaks to me in a way no other ceremony has. I was raised in, yet estranged from, the Catholic tradition. My connections at Forest Dance have helped me to amend my spirituality and have helped me to see more clearly the intricate web of our human relationships. I come to this space to witness how synchronicity and intuition guide us along our path as evolving, expanding beings. What is it that you hope to discover here?

I am pleased to be returning to Costa Rica for my fifth Forest Dance as your registrar. I’ve also attended/staffed other Heartbeat Collective events, including Forest Dance New England and Unifier Festival. I am delighted to be of service at these gatherings, to welcome newcomers to the tribe and greet those returning to continue this journey with us!

I currently live in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, although I travel as frequently as possible, often to rendezvous with some member of my “fire family,” which now spans not only the continent but the entire globe! We are global citizens, after all. Outside of nursing, I spend my time dancing, hooping, reading, writing, making jewelry, and practicing yoga.

Check back soon for the other offerings we will be posting here