Friday March 11, 2022 6pm-8pm (PST) Cooking With Herbs: Wine & Dine (Online)

Herbs do more than just add flavor to your food. Join Master Chef Lisa Porfirio online from your own kitchen for a cooking class highlighting the health benefits of herbs, and how to use them properly in your favorite foods. Cook, learn new ideas, and enjoy a deliciously prepared meal while connecting with real people in real time. Upon registering, we’ll send you a list of the Chef’s hand-selected ingredients and look forward to kicking off our event with you! This workshop will be accessible via zoom.

Master Chef Lisa Porfirio: My love of good food is inextricably linked to my curious nature, passion for adventure and desire for connection. These were qualities that burgeoned in the kitchens of my youth and came into full fruition when I moved to Québec and then France to learn French and then attend cooking school. I was driven to immerse myself in both the language and culture and cooking school in French seemed the perfect path. Experiences working in both Québec and France afforded me the opportunity to blend my passions for food and language while also experiencing the immense pleasure of simple food authentically prepared. I learned how to choose great ingredients and prepare them simply in order to highlight their natural beauty and flavor. It is now my desire to share this knowledge through specifically crafted teaching methods and recipes that empower others to take pleasure in the essence of food to both nourish our bodies and connect us to one another. A la prochaine et Bon appétit!

Saturday March 12, 2022 8:30am-9:30am Divine Feminine Flow (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

This vinyasa practice is intended to invoke and embody the energy of the sacred feminine that exists in all of life. Breathe well, awaken your connection to prana, and move with grace into expansive shapes that will allow you to claim all of your power.

Dr. Arezou Ghane is a health psychologist, yogi, and coach. She weaves educational, contemplative, and embodied practices to create guided internal journeys. Her mission is to help you cultivate a deeper, more mindful and compassionate relationship with yourself and others.

Saturday March 12, 2022 9:30am-10:30am Embrace Your Power: Healing Sound Bath (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

During this 1-hour healing session we will be working together to reset and empower the feminine mind. We will elevate divine feminine energy using tools such as Kundalini yoga kriya, meditation and the sound of the crystal bowls. We will remind ourselves that a key to a woman’s power is embedded within the mantra “I am a Goddess”. This powerful mantra tears down the patriarchal structure of the go-getter mindset related to the daily competitive, hard-working and fighting approach.  Our power is our Grace. 

Inara Lemberg has been a Kundalini yoga practitioner for over 20 years. She is a Level I and II certified yoga teacher, and crystal bowl sound healer. Her classes are designed and intended to build a healthy physical body, radiant aura, and create inner balance.  She currently offers group healing sessions in Murrieta, CA.

Saturday March 12, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm Haitian Folkloric & Contemporary (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

Haitian dance captures the spirit and traditions of the African-diaspora in Ayiti. Explore the core-centered, hip-rhythmic, high energy, uplifting, and culturally rich movements of the beautiful and healing dances from this small island nation. All levels welcome.

David Durosier is a professor of dance and choreography from Ayiti (Haiti). As professor and choreographer, David has worked with the National Ballet of Ayiti and Ballet Baculou d’Ayiti. David has studied classical dance and drumming at Enarts in Port-au-Prince. Traditional and classical dance at Semi-Lycee Anacaoana in Cap-Haitian. His professional experience has provided him many opportunities to travel and share the culture of his home country, Ayiti. Working in Brazil, China, Canada, Suriname, Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Mexico. David has committed his life to learn and teach dance, drums, and songs from his country Ayiti.

Saturday March 12, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm Earth Medicine: Healing with Herbs (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

Join herbalist Naomi Stein for a special holistic workshop engaging with the soil, and planting herbs while learning about their healing properties and medicinal applications.

Saturday March 12th 2:00pm-3:00pm Osanyin: Dance of the Healer & the Alchemy of Plants (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

This dance workshop is inspired by Osanyin, Yoruba divine cosmic force known as the healer and spirit of the forest who possesses knowledge of all herbs and medicines. By sharing stories of the healer archetype from around the world, and exploring the power of plant medicine, this class affirms the connection between embodied movement and spirituality while offering many road maps to self-empowerment and self-healing.

Founder and Creative Director of the International Women’s Day Arts+DanceXchange, Vika S. Hernandez is a dance artist from San Diego, CA. She holds a M.A. in Global & International Studies with an emphasis on Global Culture and Religion. Her unique dance classes investigate how cosmology shapes our understanding of the universe as well as our understanding of the human body. A lifelong dancer, she credits her embodied knowledge from studying Afro-Brazilian dance and Capoeira with Mestre Mariano Silva as well as her training in Bahia, Brazil where she trained capoeira with Mestre Angola, and studied Orixa sacred dances, Afro-contemporary, Samba, and Samba-Reggae at the Fundacao Cultural do Estado da Bahia and Diaspora Art Center with Mestre Nem Brito. She is a part of Bahia Magia Dance Co. and has performed professionally throughout California, Miami Florida, and Salvador Bahia Brazil. Her dance company, Sambamerica Dance Collective, integrates various genres of dance and offers an explosive and one-of-a-kind show in celebration of the human spirit.

Saturday March 12, 2022 3:00pm-4:30pm Capoeira & Open Roda (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

Move and empower your body and spirit to the exuberant cultural traditions and vibrancy of Bahia, Brazil. Capoeira is a multi-faceted, Afro-Brazilian martial art and cultural practice developed over 500 years ago by Africans brought to Brazil. It displays elements of a dance, fight, and game, while integrating music, wit, play and philosophy. Workshop leads to open roda. All levels and groups welcome.

Mestre Mariano Silva is a professional dancer, martial arts master, as well as an accomplished musician and vocalist. Born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, he has over 25 years of experience teaching Afro-Brazilian dance, Samba and Capoeira. His rhythm and soul run through his veins from his African and Brazilian ancestors and were nurtured in his home by his mother. Devoted to maintaining the roots and traditions of Afro-Brazilian culture, Mestre Mariano established the Brazilian Cultural Arts Center of Santa Barbara and Capoeira Relampue where he teaches classes for youth and adults, hosts cultural events, and engages in enhancing community health and well-being through the arts. He is a professor of dance at the University of California Santa Barbara as well as the artistic director of Bahia Magia Dance Co.

Saturday 6:00pm-8:00pm Evening Show and Dance Party (Alta Vista Botanical Gardens)

Join special guest DJ from Brazil, Indio Jackson, for a fun evening at the gardens with special performances featuring Sambamerica Dance Collective, Brazil Dance Co., BellyDance with Tanisha de la Torre, Afro-Cuban with Roxanne Rojas De Blanco, DanzArtsSD, and more!

Sunday March 13, 2022 9:00am-9:50am (PST) Despacho: Honoring the Sacred Through Ritual and Movement (Online)

Despacho from the Q’ero tradition describes the Andean ceremonial practice of making offerings to the mountains (apus), Mother Earth (Pachamama), and other spirits of nature in reciprocity, reverence, and thanksgiving. A despacho is an act of love and a reminder of the connections we share with all beings, elements, spirits, and sacred places.

Ann-Marie Campbell is a spiritual embodied movement practitioner with a background in therapeutic healing modalities. She has a long standing relationship with dances and rhythms rooted in Afro-Brazilian ancestral traditions which have served as a personal tool in aiding her own healing, self expression and sense of connectivity to all that is sacred. Following her first trip to Brazil in 2004, Ann-Marie’s encounters in Bahia and Pernambuco led to her active involvement in Carnival Arts in the UK with the Samba, Samba Reggae and Maracatu communities in London. On her third trip to Brazil Ann-Marie followed her heart and moved to Salvador da Bahia where she had the opportunity to study the “Dramaturgy of the Orixas” with her late Teacher Mestre Augusto Omolu for two years. During that time she also studied with the late Mestre King, Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos, Nem Brito, Vania Oliveira and many other inspirational teachers. Since her return to the UK, Ann-Marie has continued to deepen her cosmological enquiry of body-mind-spirit awareness through spiritual studies and exploration and performative song and dance. She is a qualified Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Counsellor and Shamanic Practitioner dedicated to anchoring heart resonance for the collective soul experience of humanity.  Ann-Marie is also an active member of Baque Luar, an all female percussive and vocal group based in the UK. All of the above form the core of her Ministry as Ann-Marie serves to bridge the inner world with the outer to facilitate a call to remembering the sacred presence in all things.  

Sunday March 13, 2022 10:00am-10:50am Dancing the Elements for Self Healing and Personal Expression (Online)

This workshop will guide the participant to understanding and ‘embodying’ our personal connection to the elements. Through conscious inquiry and journaling, we will inquire about our present connection to elemental qualities and then use our physical explorations to balance our energetic relationship to earth, air, fire and water. Welcoming all movement levels!

Allison Pagano has spent the past 20 years traveling, training, and teaching in major universities, hospitals, private dance and wellness studios working with groups and individuals to find healing, enhance performance qualities and support in life transitions through the dance, movement and the healing arts. She believes that dance is a universal art form with the power to heal and transform individuals and audiences when approached with mindfulness at the core of its process. Her background in Cultural Anthropology and world travel shape her perspective that ‘all people are meant to express through dance’ Embodied Dance was born out of a desire to fill in the gaps in dance training where the mind body connection is often missing. She seeks to provide experiences using dance as a communicative tool to explore how we interpret, address and envision what it means to be human; evolving and responding to our changing times. For more information:

Sunday March 13, 2022 11:00am-11:50am (PST) Breath as Embodiment (Online)

The breath is the link between the body, mind, and spirit. With increased awareness and conscious breathing deep physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing changes occur. Prandhara Prem, International Tantric Therapist, will guide you in this powerful practice of using breath to embody movement and induce healing through various breathing techniques.

Prandhara Prem holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in the USA, and a post-graduate degree in Transpersonal Therapy in Brazil. Additionally, she holds a Certification as a Shamanic Medicine Woman, and a Certification as a Tantric Therapist and Rebirther. She is a Certified Relationship and Sexuality Coach as well as a Reiki master. In 2018, she became an Ordained Interfaith Minister and received her Doctorate of Divinity Degree through Universal Life Church. She teaches workshops and hosts retreats all over the world.

Sunday March 13, 2022 12:00pm-12:50pm (PST) Playful Hips: A Movement Meditation Experience Through Bellydance (Online)

Women’s sensuality is always a delicate subject, sometimes full of prejudices and social stigmas. This workshop intends to erase those misconceptions from the dancer’s body to allow her to move sensually without fear but with a sense of power. This class will teach you the basic movements of Bellydance and then help you explore your creativity through improvisation. Discover your natural creative force, freedom and embrace your body autonomy with the beautiful art of Raks Sharqui.

Valerick Molinary is an award winning artist known for her unique and elegant style, which flows seamlessly while having that touch of sassiness resonant of her native Puerto Rico. She has taught and performed at international festivals across four continents. For over 15 years Valerick has dedicated herself to the in-depth study of Arab dances and folklore, traveling to study at diverse Arab countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. She has a BA in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature, the influence of which can be seeing in her creative and poetic approach to choreography, dance teaching and production. Since 2015 she organizes the Lebanese Love Affair, an annual event in Miami dedicated to providing a platform for dancers to study directly from renowned and dedicated Arab dance artists, all in a big celebration of love for Raks Sharki and the countries that gave birth to it.

Sunday March 13, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm (PST) Ancestral Rhythms: Drum Class Honoring the Orixás (Online)

Join Alabé Bira Santos (head musician for Candomblé house) for this special online drumming workshop focusing on the sacred ancestral rhythms connected to the orixas Ogum, Oxumare, and Oxala in the Candomblé tradition. Bring your drums and/or instruments and learn online with a master percussionist in real time direct from Bahia. All levels and abilities welcome.

Born in Salvador Bahia Brazil, Bira Santos started his career as a musician and percussionist in 1998. As an Alabé (head musician) in a candomblé house, Bira has a mastery of candomblé — from the traditions to the rhythms. With this deep expertise, he acts as musical consultant for local and international musicians as well as for documentary filmmakers when they come to Bahia to tell the story of the region and candomblé. He is the musical director and founder of the Afro Mestiço group, as well as the musical director and percussion teacher at Diaspora Artistic and Cultural Association. He has worked with Mestres Nem Brito, Vera Passos, Rita Rodrigues, Negrizu, Leda Ornelas, Santos Carol Bastos amongst others, and has participated in cultural festivals throughout Brazil, Argentina, United States and Europe. Bira has recorded 6 CDs, along with his latest release, Sonoridades Ancestrais, which can be found on his website