A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Collective



Jason Cohen: Executive Rattle Shaker

Jason Cohen, the founder of Forestdance, has lived the last 20 years of his life often in service to the magic and healing of the fire circle.
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 33rd Forestdance Gathering.

These gatherings have taken place in 7 US states and has happened 11 times in Costa Rica. These are powerful transformational eclectic 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. When not facilitating one of these gatherings, Jason often is composing and performing with his musical project Incus. His latest endeavor is called Unifier Festival (add hyper link), a larger transformational healing and expressive arts festival with a mission that includes bringing people together to create a community owned Land Trust. Jason is a community organizer deeply committed to creating spaces where people can become empowered and inspired.

Jason is the Vice Chair of FDNE, LLC the organization that purchased Camp Timber Trails in Tolland, MA.  He is also the Executive Director of the 501c3 Healing and Expressive Arts organization the HeARTbeat Collective.

Jason is a proud father, and has held ceremonial space and studied with many blessed teachers, and takes much of his inspiration from his humble and direct connections to nature and his ancestors.

(photo: daniel zetterstrom)


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.

Moving in Grace with Hilary Lake

Come to Moving in Grace to find yourself in love, with yourself, with the Earth and with others in community. To allow yourself to InBody the Change that you wish to be through this love. To learn how to be deeply with yourself around others so that you can fully express yourself with others and cultivate more loving connections. Let go of trying, rest in knowing you are enough and allow this knowing to guide you towards what nourishes, nurtures and enlivens you as you bring the light of your awareness into the darkness. We will move what needs to be moved and celebrate being in the mystery of life together. There will be a guided somatic meditation into movement with improvisational musicians co-creating the pulse with us as we connect with the elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Air, Ether) through movement and sounding with ourselves and each other into nourishing, sensual, playful, expansive and celebratory expression to support the ForestDance experience we are co-creating with the land.
Hilary Lake is an expressive arts community minister who spans her ministry across diverse communities by bringing her embodied awareness and expression into relationship with the land and all who she meets. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School with an MDiv in Buddhist Ministry, has always been dancing and singing and studied many forms, from the classical to improvisational throughout her life. She has been trained and certified in Somatic Body, JourneyDance and Infinity Healing Practice. She has spent time in Thailand, India and Nepal studying the Thai Forest Tradition, Tibetan Buddhism and Charya Nritya, a Buddhist tantric dance form. Her practice of Moving in Grace is a synthesis of aspects of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, Thai Forest meditation, shamanic journeying, Authentic Movement, Body Mind Centering and improvisational dance and vocal expression. She offers InBody Guidance sessions as well as workshops and retreats in communities nationally and internationally. For more information about Hilary and Moving in Grace: www.movingingrace.com

The Flow of DrumDance: Sacred Movement with Kalpana & Manou

African dance is a diverse, vibrant, life-affirming art. The call of live drums and the movement they inspire is the context for this workshop. Unleashing the flow of sacred and innovative African-Inspired DrumDance, celebrating and evoking the creative life force and allowing spirit to rise is at the heart of this workshop experience. Come and deepen connection to joy, healing and abundance with Kalpana Devi and her husband, Manou.

Kalpana Devi is a vocalist, drummer, dancer, multi-instrumentalist, performer, educator, writer, entrepreneur and mother of 6. She has performed as a solo artist and as a member of the groups Wadada Leo Smith, Talking Drums, Juba, Susumi Dance Theater and served as assistant artistic director to master dancer Eno Washington in Power of the Drum Ballet. She has conducted workshops and given talks at colleges and universities on growing diverse cultural community in our daily lives. She has taught African Dance at the Putney School in Vermont, Williston Northampton, Suffield Academy and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School where she also served as interim director of the department of dance and founded and directed the school’s first African Dance Company. For 15 years, she has toured the U.S. and West Africa with her band, ReBelle. She is currently writing her first book and growing her platform in music performance, touring and distribution nationally and internationally.

Kalpana Devi’s experience includes teaching and facilitating dance and drum experiences for thousands in various settings in and around New England, the eastern seaboard, and West Africa. Her contributions in dance and drum education incorporate West African dance technique; also taking into account, world history of dance, dance in the community, drumming, drumming for dancers, composition, and body conditioning, all curriculums which she has taught. She founded and directed a youth –lead drum and dance company and brought them to tour in West Africa where they had opportunity to study with master dancers and drummers of the region. She also toured the company to Philadelphia where they were selected to perform at the National High School Dance Festival by a rigorous panel of international judges. Between 2000 and 2008, she produced and founded an intergenerational summer dance and drum camp, housed at Smith College. She has been invited to teach, perform and speak across New England, the United States and West Africa.
Her band ReBelle has been voted the best reggae band in the region where she resides, for 7 consecutive years by a popular poll. Their performance roster includes performing at a maximum security prison in North Carolina, sharing the stage with all the greats in reggae music, and regularly selling out the iconic performance venue in their region, the Iron Horse Music Hall.
For more information, booking or to get to know Kalpana Devi:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”- African Proverb


Middle Eastern Percussion with Amanda Turk

This workshop is an exploration of the vibrant and exotic sounds of the dumbek, a goblet-shaped hand drum that achieves its unique sonic qualities by both the way that it is played as well as how it is constructed. This instrument is part of a rich history of Middle Eastern percussion, often characterized by intricate patterns, odd meters, and an amazing variety of tones. We will start out with basic hand technique and then move on to a few traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and how to seamlessly switch between them. If there is time and interest we can also cover some basic solo phrases to accompany the rhythms we’ll explore. All levels welcome. There will be extra dumbeks for those that need one.
Bio: Amanda grew up in a very musical family and was exposed to drumming at an early age by her father who was a kit drummer. But it wasn’t until 2006 when she met her teacher, Raquy Danziger, and discovered the dumbek that she found her true musical calling. Since then Amanda has immersed herself in Middle Eastern percussion under the guidance of contemporary percussion masters Raquy Danziger (Brooklyn/Istanbul), Bunyamin Olguncan (Istanbul) and Todd Roach (Brattleboro,VT). She has traveled to Turkey and Egypt to delve deeper into a style of drumming called the Turkish Split Hand Technique and applies these principles to a variety of drums, including frame drum, riq and handpan. She is passionate about spreading awareness of this unique flavor of music and infusing the many voices and artfulness of these instruments into different community events such as dance classes, Kirtans, and festivals. When her hands are not on a drum, Amanda nurtures her passion for bodywork with her successful, seventeen-year practice in Northampton, MA.
photo by Erica Derrickson

Empowered Vulnerability: The Yes, Knowing, and No of Power and Divine Humanity

In most realms, vulnerability is considered to be the opposite of power. Partly that’s based on a patriarchal model of power that applauds penetrative energies and actions, and condescends to receptive ones. Vulnerability is an act of courageous receptivity… and it has no demographic — not gender, ethnicity,
age, nor stage of mastery. So there’s an inherent divisiveness when we talk about the attributes of Divine “Femininity” and “Masculinity” where stoicism and “not taking things personally” is lauded, while vulnerability is deemed weakness. Shifting the languaging of our divine archetypes — OUT of polarized gender and INTO balanced power — is an effective step of bridging artificial gaps between
worlds and tribes. So let’s work this through, folks. LITERALLY. In this growthshop, I’ll share an evolving, inclusive languaging system that accelerates deeper kind of listening and healing. Individually and collectively, we’ll transmute hard truths into stable bridges of meaningful connection. As Medicine People, we create realities with our speaking — it’s why so many of us come to fires to learn fresh versions of speaking ancient truths. I choose to believe that there are many paths to a
global culture of diverse inclusion that so many of us crave. This is just ONE way… I hope to evolve it with you on this sacred land.
Yup. JUST like that. ;-D
I’m JWOW (formerly known as JulieWoodsOneWord! ;-D), The Urban Bliss ShamanTM. I come to sacred gatherings to say my prayers for living better and more fully into my mission of being spiritual-love-in-action. And while that sounds super tofu yogurty (yeah, I made up that word! ;-D), I live and teach that what happens on-mountain is a distilled version of energetic Medicines that the mainstream is beginning to CRAVE. I’ve been blessed to be and do some cool stuff: sung and recorded with Roberta Flack; performed with a bunch of Grammy winners; and had Jimmy Page say I was one of the most cyclonic performers he’s ever seen. Trained 4-star and 5-star generals with curricula I designed for the Pentagon. I’m a
24-person multiple who’s who’s autistic and is an international best-selling author because of it. AND please know this: at 2017 Forest Dance, Medicines from my growthshop landed me in Forbes Magazine 9 months later. So please release doubt that our work at these Growth Gatherings matters!
The article link is below — may it inspire you to uplevel your power to thrive, however that happens.
Forbes_ How The ‘Language Of Inclusion’ Revolutionizes Crisis PR
When you have questions, I tend to have answers. It’s what I’m FOR. Let’s talk! \☻/

Kundalini Yoga – Awaken & Experience of Self with Emmanni Martine

Duration: 75 minutes

Description: Be guided to the depth and strength which is yours and embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery. Kundalini Yoga can be done by anyone and is dynamic in its practice, vast in practical information and powerful in its experience. It incorporates the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga into one cohesive and integrated system. It has a much broader emphasis on breathing, meditation, hand positions or mudras, chanting or mantra, and spirituality. In this set, you will move to experience who you are through the breath and deliver who you are through radiance!

Bio: Emmanni Martine has a dynamically playful and compassionate way of being. A seeker of truth since the age of 11, she became twice certified in The Silva Method by Jose Silva to develop and trust your intuition and found her greatest ally in the breath. She discovered Kundalini yoga in 2010 and has been devoted to the Breath of Spirit. She portrays humble courage in sharing her personal truth through inner guidance with a strong personal Kundalini yoga practice. Emmanni enjoys taking part in her love of dance, drum rhythms, physical fitness, mantra flow and yoga. She is now an 800hr Kundalini yoga teacher trained under incredible teachers, Ravi Singh and Ana Brett. Diving deep within the sacred teachings and technology that is Kundalini yoga. Residing in Waterford, CT she continues to develop a true sense of self awareness and loves to support and collaborate in events that uplift community.

Understanding the Presence w/ Forest Sunshine Perrupato

Join Forest in his workshop to assist in understanding the Presence. He will offer a group healing ceremony and invite all to experience his favorite place, the Present Moment. Guided by feathers and fire, Forest facilitates the ability to see, our capability to Be, the divinity which we Are. This workshop will introduce all to the state of peace which is our existence, our infinite potential, and always accessible. His teachings help bring clarity in how to access our most peaceful presence as we step forward around the fire.

Forest Sunshine Perrupato – Mystic, Shaman
Upon being struck by lightening three different times, Forest answered his call to the healing path. Since, Forest has trained with a variety of world reknowned teachers from a multitude of traditions including don Miguel Ruiz. Yet his teachers spread vast across spiritual modalities. Currently he is a ceremonial leader, spiritual teacher, and offers private sessions of his healing practice in Glastonbury, Connecticut.



Glenn Smith- Vocal Voyagers

As we circle round the fire, there are many opportunities for spontaneous vocal creation. How can we create a rich tapestry of sound with our voices, starting with one person’s non-verbal vocal expression? The voice is the most flexible of all instruments, so it is perfect for exploring a variety of loose structures that help create diversity in our group sound. From tones to rhythms to short repetitive parts, we will create a cohesive group sound that allows soloists to step forward and cut loose.

Glenn Smith has been leading Vocal Voyagers singing circles for over 10 years, in both California and Massachusetts. He has worked with teachers such as Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon, and more. In addition to facilitating singing circles, Glenn plays music for many dance jams throughout the Northeast. More info at www.soundseeds.com.

Also, here are a couple of recordings from a few years ago (I am the first vocalist in the first 2 pieces):


“I live for creative communion involving music and movement. I’ve been playing music for over 30 years – for dance jams, performances, fire circles, etc., as well as leading community singing circles. I find the most rewarding events for me are ones where everyone is able to add to the creative fire, where the creativity is grounded in community, and where everyone is on a journey of discovery, together. Looking forward to another deep dive this Forestdance.”




Is a unique style to release stress from your body, mind, and spirit. I use
meridian stretching to enhance and align the chakras. I also incorporate
some rhythm to unfold into a self-exploration: free form, authentic, breath
driven movement to liberate one’s creative life force, and cultivate
embodied freedom.

Alison C. Da Silva,
Ma, 200-RYT, a yoga teacher, since 2011, is Certified Body Work Thai
Yoga Massage, and recently wrote a book with the title “Holistic Healer’s
She is the creator of the Yoga Dance Therapy. She holds a degree in
Arts of Psychology, Psychic/Mediumship and healer. She has been
studying Holistic Psychology, and Alternative Medicine as a pathway to
the unconscious awakening. It sweeps aside the one-dimensional
picture of standard psychology and reveals our true nature —
multidimensional, yet unitary. It brings about a theoretical and practical
integration that includes all aspects of the person: physical, mental, and
spiritual, within a physical and social context. Thus, it reorients us to the
essence of our human nature, and of our personal identity.

Music and service around the fire with Cassie Djembe Kan

Cassie Djembe Kan is from Hartford CT. She has been studying West African music (primarily djembe and bele-style dunun set drumming) for about 17 years of her life and performing for 15 years. She has been teaching for 10 years. She has worked with groups/private classes of all ages, drummed for dance class and even for Kirtan.
She has studied with master drummers from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guinea, Senegal, Canada, Congo, Cape Verde, Canada, Connecticut, New York and DC. She grew up within sacred communities and played a strong role of support inside ritual and ceremony. She has worked with Ann Sousa, ALisa Starkweather, Mz Imani, Jason Cohen, Laney Goodman, Chris Berry, Imani Mamalution, Adam Bauer and Brenda McMurrow. She has performed on stage with MC Yogi, Jai Utal and Krishna Das, among others.
The drum has made a profound impact on Cassie’s life. It brings her great joy to be able to share it with others. She is looking forward to drumming with you!!! In class and around the fire circle.
Cassie will be teaching rhythms and will help facilitate discussions about playing sacred music in service from midnight until dawn

Healing with the Chinese Five Elements and Qi Gong with Thomas Matherly

The Chinese Five Elements are a tool that we can use to interpret and understand human health and the world around us. In this workshop we will explore the Chinese Five Element Theory through interactive lecture, movement, and Qi Gong. We will learn to observe the Five Elements in our daily lives and how they can be utilized to guide us along our path.

Wild Edible/Medicinal Plant Walk with Thomas Matherly

Come wander in the forest! We’ll ID the edible and medicinal plants that we find and talk about their uses. we’ll do a guided meditation to open our hearts and minds to the language of plants.
Thomas Matherly (Fox Tracks Healing Arts) Is a Clinical herbalist, wild forager and teacher. His herbal education began as a seven and a half year apprenticeship with herbalist Chris Marano of Clearpath herbals. Over this time he attended Chris’ full offering of classes and gained hands on experience with cultivating, harvesting and wild harvesting herbs, making extracts and custom blending formulas for clients, managing a fully functional apothecary, plant spirit medicine and wrapping all of these skills into a bundle through (and for) clinical consultation. Since finishing his apprenticeship he has continued to practice and teach herbal medicine, wild foraging, Tai Chi and permaculture design in the pioneer valley.

Following your Flow: A Support Session for Taking the Road Less Traveled

Following Your Flow is a facilitated peer support session in which individuals interested working outside of the system can share their visions, plans, and challenges in following their passions in life. This workshop is designed for all people who desire to escape from the “rat race” to embrace a life of abundance, to find, and successfully pursue their soul’s true calling.

About Eva: Eva VanAken has been a facilitator of transformational experiences since 2005. She gained her experience as a facilitator through the Audubon Expedition Institute where she earned her MS in 2007. She later went on to be a ranger supervisor and mentor for the Massachusetts State Park System and National Park Service for nearly a decade; relaunched her college program as the “Expedition Education Institute”; and currently serves as an organizer for Unifier Festival. For the past two years Eva has been on the journey of honing her own career path and is exited to facilitate discussions about what that looks like with others.

Tending the Heart with Yoga with Diane Flanagan

Please join Diane for a gentle yoga practice focused on restoring our consciousness to the heart. In response to the deep healing nature of the fire ceremonies, our practice will be dedicated to nurturing the body with acts of self-love. Our practice could include energy clearing, breathwork, gentle postures, connecting to the divine within, and closing with a connection to the group.

Born and raised in the Unitarian Universalist congregation, Diane Flanagan was given the freedom and encouragement to seek her own spiritual path. Participation in earth-based ceremonies as a child carved the path toward a life of paganism. Orienting towards her ancestry, she walked the wheel of the year in search of wisdom and healing through ancient Irish tradition and folklore. Diane has studied from different cultures and traditions including Yoga. Her greatest teachings are from healing herself. Diane has been facilitating women’s ceremonies for the last five years. Devoted to honoring the divine through ritual, Diane loves to bring people together in sacred space. Honoring her life as ceremony she brings this devotion to her yoga classes.

Serpent’s Breath & Sound Journey with Kelli Joy, Vibrational Visionary

Embodying serpent we will take a journey through the body and energy systems, exploring with breathwork, movement, & sound, bringing together earth and air to fan the flames of our inner fire. This simple yet powerful practice can assist in healing imbalances of body, mind and spirit as well as charge the chakras and expand our energy bodies.
Kelli Joy – Vibrational Visionary

To help others heal, you must first heal yourself. So began my journey into the depths of my Being to discover the source of love and joy that was always present, yet hidden under layers of suffering and depression.

Through the use of yogic & mindfulness practices I shed the layers of depression, anxiety, and suffering that had ruled my life for many years and renewed my passion for living. I am led to work with those who seek healing on all levels to root out the source of dis-ease & redirect you back to your innate state of harmony. I hold sacred space for individual and group healings in various modalities that include massage, sound therapy, breathwork, chanting & meditation. I am a licensed massage therapist, energy worker, medicinal aromatherapist and sound meditation & breathwork practitioner, the combination can open the door to powerful transformation.

Community Drumming with Ult Mundane

Ult Mundane invites us to explore principles of drumming together, to help us bring confidence and sensitivity to our service at the sacred fire. He loves to blend the high energy of traditional African rhythms with the dynamic conversational elements of group improvisation. Together we can deepen our ability to support establishing a rhythm, use call and response to hear and be heard, and add some fireworks when the energy is on its way up. Ult has been studying traditional West African drumming for over fifteen years, playing djembe and dunduns. He has learned from world-renowned teachers such as Famoudou Konate and Mamady Keita. Since 2010 he has been studying with Namory Keita, a master drummer from Guinea. Ult currently teaches a weekly class where he lives in Southern New Hampshire.


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

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