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Sensing Bodies plans to be a biennial event. Please join the mailing list for infrequent updates.

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Photo Credit :  Jaap Kroon Fotographie  at  MAS & CO


February 28 -
March 9, 2023

A transformative cultural retreat in Gamboa, Brazil

connecting joyfully with self, community and nature through dance, rhythm and movement

Let's move and be moved together.

Come connect, expand and transform through joy-filled dancing, sensing, listening and creating.

Join us for a 10-day artistic retreat in the south of Brazil. We are gathering in Gamboa, a beautiful seaside community near Florianópolis, Brazil to explore and share dances and rhythms.


On the menu:

  • folkloric and ancestral dance lineages from Brazil, Africa and Europe

  • exploration of and co-creation with nature

  • experimenting with tools and traditions for artistic creation


Sensing Bodies is open to all who are inspired by bodies, movement, creative process, and performing arts.


This program is a festival, a creative process, a retreat, a confluence, and a magical meeting place.


This is a response to our hearts’ desires for connecting and relating in new and ancient ways.


"You all did a flawless job in making the content accessible and challenging to a wide range of people with different skills and experiences."

- participant, Sensing Bodies 2019 retreat (Canada)

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Who is this for?

Does your heart desire connection, joy, movement and community?

Do you want to move and be moved in new ways?

Are you curious about experiencing connection with ancestors, lineage, and land?

If the answer is yes, this space is for you.

We welcome people with different experiences, backgrounds, trainings, careers and passions. This program is especially for:​

  • Artists of any discipline

  • Bodyworkers

  • Healers

  • Dance enthusiasts

  • Cultural workers

  • Anyone interested in bodies, movement, creation, culture

What will you get?

  • Training with globally acclaimed faculty

  • Transformational immersive experience

  • Space to relax and recharge in nature

  • Co-creative artistic process

  • 60 hours of structured program time

  • Connection with self, others, and environment

  • Exchange of knowledge, practices, traditions, and skills

  • Meeting space for sharing various body-based artistic perspectives

  • Networking with participants from many places, experiences and backgrounds

  • Daily free time to explore the vicinity, share and discuss with others, and rest


“A gentle but deep dive into the sensorium of nature, community, dance and discourse.”

- participant, Sensing Bodies 2019 retreat (Canada)

Sample Schedule

subject to change

Daily classes offer improvisation, somatic practices, cultural exchange, and creative process. This is a time and space to connect with self, others and our natural environment.

9:00am -

9:15 am

Daily opening

9:15am - 11:15am

Class in studio

11:15am - 2:30pm

Lunch & break

2:30pm - 4:00pm

Class in nature

4:00pm - 4:15pm

Break & snack

4:15pm - 6:15pm

Co-creation session

6:15pm - 6:30pm

Daily closing

6:30pm - 

Dinner & free time

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“I really enjoyed every element of the retreat. I felt that the days progressed in an organic manner…. There was enough structure to learn new skills but some give for it to morph to the culture that was the group.”

- participant, Sensing Bodies 2019 retreat (Canada)


“I received what I needed even though I didn’t know what I needed. Space and permission to get curious and explore the gap.”

- participant, Sensing Bodies 2019 retreat (Canada)


Hello Friends!

I'm Damarise, and I love to bring people together. I love to set people in motion. I love to create spaces for people to gather, learn, share and move together. Over many years as a dancer and dance teacher, I have travelled extensively, studied with masterful teachers and shared experiences with so many wonderful people from all walks of life.


I've attended a ton of fantastic dance intensives and dance retreats in North America, Europe, Africa, and South America.


Since 2014, I've been producing workshops, events and retreats. It all began from my desire to learn from my teachers, and to create opportunities to share their work with others. I discovered that I'm good at organizing. I know how to welcome people. I know how to care for people. I know how to create a light and easy sense of community.


My mission is to spread joy through dance and movement. My desire is to connect with others, simply and with heart.


When I approached the faculty of Sensing Bodies to produce a retreat with them, I did so intuitively and with a sense that this project is alive and needs to happen now. When I get that feeling, I know it's best to honour it and follow it.


Join us! Let's gather in celebration and joy.


Damarise Ste Marie - Artistic Director & Producer

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