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The Body Now 
Summer Retreat
On behalf of all of us at Turning the Wheel, 
WELCOME to The Body Now online retreat, 
Friday, June 25th - Sunday June 27th, 2021!
Membership Page and Resource Binder


Welcome to
the Path of the Heart

We are expecting a diverse group of wonderful people from all over North America, with a good mix of returning camp veterans and fresh faces. Thank you for joining us as we continue to laugh, love, grow and play within the greater Turning the Wheel vision: building and sustaining transformative communities that are inclusive of all people, and that reach for and model unconditional love and acceptance as the norm.
Whether you are an individual seeking to unearth creative energies, enliven the body and infuse ease and joy into your life or a community leader or practitioner looking to bring sustainable practices into your group work, there are many gifts waiting for you!
We are eagerly looking forward to our opening circle the evening of Friday, June 25th. 
We will use the same link for the entire weekend, which can be found at (click to join):
The Body Now Zoom Link

A laptop or computer is strongly recommended for the weekend, rather than a tablet or phone. The larger screen will allow you to connect more fully with others and navigate more easily. 
All resources / handouts for the sessions we will share together are digital. We recommend you print the resources ahead to refer to during class if you are not comfortable with navigating digital resources on your computer while being on Zoom,
All digital resources, descriptions and sign ups for Creative Play sessions, and bios of Alana and The Body Now facilitation team can be found on THIS page! This webpage is a one stop shop for The Body Now online workshop! 
Creative Play sessions are specialized, small group sessions. You will sign up for ONE of the THREE sessions offered. These give us all an opportunity to go a little deeper into some creative ways to play. We will still touch on all these topics in the whole group workshop; so follow your heart and choose what calls you for Creative Play sessions.  
Please visit The Body Now webpage by Wednesday, June 23 and sign up for ONE of the THREE Creative Play sessions.


Find a space in your home where you will be undisturbed and where there is space to move and be on the floor or stretch out. 
Wear comfortable clothes and have water handy. 
Feel free to also have a personal journal handy for free writing or drawing during the workshops or breaks. 
Please block out your entire day even though there will be breaks. We have found that allowing yourself to use the breaks to follow your own rhythm and relax your nervous system with gentle activities like a walk in nature, journaling, creative expression, and/or enjoying a cup of tea or some food will support you most on this journey. 
And most importantly, as we move and play together, always listen to what you need and take care of yourself.

Exploring the innate healing of deep, generous unconditional listening.
Check-ins are an important tool in the Turning the Wheel system, allowing us to grow in self reflection, and to grow in listening and loving attention.  
General guidelines:
Check-ins are timed by your group facilitator so that you can take your turn focused on yourself.  
When someone is checking in, the rest of us are there in the role of listener and supporter.  In this role, we let go of our fixer and advisor.  In this way, the support we give has a different quality than interactions we often have.  We can stretch or move to support others, listen quietly, or nod and hold space.  
Things to share can include anything you would prefer.  Share an appreciation of yourself and what you focus on grows.  Often, people use their check-in to talk about how they are doing in the present moment or with their experience.   Sometimes we check in with sounds or silence or movement, rather than only words.  See if you can use the full time reserved for you to explore in whatever way you’d like.

Suggestions to consider are checking in around what is going on in your body right now, appreciating yourself, and sharing your intention for the day or the moment. 
What’s going well now? 
New ways of loving self?  
How is your body? 

Once the speaker has completed their turn, the group may pause for a moment.
Allow space and appreciation for the speaker.
Schedule of Events


Start time: 
4:00 PM Pacific
5:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Eastern
End time: 
6:00 PM Pacific
7:00 PM Mountain
8:00 PM Central
9:00 PM Eastern


Start time: 
9:00 AM Pacific
10:00 AM Mountain
11:00 AM Central
12:00 PM Eastern
End time: 
5:00 PM Pacific
6:00 PM Mountain
7:00 PM Central
8:00 PM Eastern


Start time: 
9:00 AM Pacific
10:00 AM Mountain
11:00 AM Central
12:00 PM Eastern
End time: 
6:00 PM Pacific
7:00 PM Mountain
8:00 PM Central
9:00 PM Eastern

Click here for your daily schedule:

Sea Turtle
Trees and Mountains
Wheat Field
Image by Russ Ward
Creative Play
Creative Play
Breakout Selection
Which Creative Play Breakout session would you like to participate in?

Thanks for submitting!

Resources: For use at camp
The Body Now
The Body Now

Drumming Our Heart Rhythm
With Perry

Our hearts are our internal drums, beating at our own unique rhythms. Blending each into each other’s to create one heartbeat together, with body rhythms we will explore the language of the drum through singing, meditative drumming, drumming in ensemble, and play. With body rhythms we will enliven the language centers of the brain. Allowing us to strengthen those pathways for better communication both internally and externally. Discover new ways to become more grounded, reduce stress, and increase well-being in your body. All levels and abilities are welcome.

Diving into the Yes: A Improvisational Theatre Exploration
With Andy, Lizzi and Stephanie

These two creative play sessions will blend what we are learning in the Body Now retreat with activities from the world of improvisational theatre and performance. We will work with our bodies, our voices, our words, our minds and our hearts to play with relationships, make up stories, weave sounds and movements, and explore the wide world of improvisational play, creation and performance. No prior experience with improvisation is required. Come as you are -- ready to say, “Yes,” to laugh, and to co-create in the moment.

Familiar Spaces in a New Light: Embodied Relationship to
Your Environment

With Suzanne, Lulu and Holly H

Tuning into the landscapes that surround us is a delicious way to activate our inner landscape.
In two sessions guided by Suzanne Palmer, Lulu Delphine and Holly Hubbard, we will activate our senses through an exploratory, moving conversation with sites that call to us from our immediate surroundings. We will witness and be witnessed in our play and improvisation. Develop new relationships with your surroundings, as you let them and your community hold and inform you, in this nourishing, heart-expanding playground.

Our model for moving into joy and self-love is a four-step mandala of healing, called The Body Now.
It is an improvisational movement-based journey to our essence that is an ongoing process of evolving with ease and love. Once you get started on the mandala, you just keep spiraling into more and more embodied joy. There is no beginning or end. You can enter at any point on the circle and have an immediate new beginning. 
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Meet Your Facilitators
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Abbey Dubois

Abbey holds a BA in dance studies from Salem College. She works as the National Program Coordinator. During her time at Salem College, Abbey explored site-specific work and how to bring the community together through dance. She is passionate about serving our community and spreading joy to all people.


During my first Summer Retreat I felt the full impact of what Turning the Wheel has to offer. Summer Retreat allows me to deepen into my own body wisdom surrounded by a loving community. I look forward to this year’s online Summer Retreat to play, move and sing in a supportive, loving environment.

Suzanne Palmer

Suzanne Palmer is a Certified Master Facilitator with Turning the Wheel, involved with the organization since its inception. She was a city project manager in Wilmington, NC for 13 years, and Cedar Rapids, IA for 7 years. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a BA in Dance. Both a performer and choreographer, Suzanne has served on the board of directors for many dance organizations and was a founding member of the Dance Cooperative in Wilmington, NC. She was the Program Director for the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, an after-school arts organization in Cedar Rapids for 8 years. She is a business owner, lifelong yoga practitioner and dancer/performer.  Working and studying with Turning the Wheel, and brining play, introspection and connection to people of all ages and abilities has transformed how I live in the world. The most impactful experiences have been the Summer Retreats. Learning to source my own power, safety, creativity and loving essence is one of the gifts I hope all who attend will receive through this experience.

Stephanie Merrick Mitchell

Stephanie attended her first Turning the Wheel workshop in February of 2000, and has been dancing her story since then. 


Stephanie is a life coach and workshop presenter, helping others find their way and their voice in many facets of life. Stephanie earned her Masters in Human Service Administration from Spertus College in Chicago, and life coaching Certification from the Coach Training Alliance.

Holly Hubbard

I have woven the Turning The Wheel philosophy into every aspect of my life over the last two decades. It has become one of my greatest teachers and friend. While partnering with Suzanne Palmer and Perry Smith in Wilmington NC as a city manager and facilitator and while traveling with TTW teams all around the country, I have had the honor of shining the variety of ways TTW bring play, kindness, active listening, movement, seeing/reflecting into all relations (with self and other). During the rich Summer Retreats, I am always brought back to myself and re-member my gifts and fine tune the ability to see the gifts that are always within the other. I look forward to "adventuring" with you during our time together.

Andy MacDonald

Andy MacDonald is a teacher and performer based in Portland, Maine. He has been affiliated with Turning The Wheel since 1998. He received his BA in French Studies from Mount Allison University, and his MA and PhD in French Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


He is particularly fond of improvisational creation and performance through movement, sound and language.

Alana Shaw

Alana Shaw, founder and executive director of Turning the Wheel, is an inspiring and empowering speaker, teacher, and guide, Alana has  facilitated joyful and healing movement events in cities in the US and Canada for over 30 years. Her dynamic and energetic presentation style is both humorous and transforming, and consistently positive and uplifting for her audiences.

She holds an MFA is Dance from the University of Colorado with a thesis on healing and reintegration through creative expression. Alana's books, "Dancing Our Way Home" and "The Body Now" catalyze her mission to inspire a new paradigm for inclusiveness, collaboration, and community engagement. Both books are available on Amazon. She is also a certified Hendricks Body/Mind Vibrance Coach.

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Jesse Manno

Jesse Manno is Music Director of the University of Colorado, Boulder Dance Program and co-founder/director of the rocky mountain region’s Balkan/Middle Eastern ensemble SHEREFE. He has created over 200 commissioned original scores for dance, theatre, circus art, film, and special events with choreographers, directors, conferences, festivals, religions, and governments both nationally and internationally. He has received three Meet The Composer grants from the N.E.A., and has performed at BAM Next Wave Festival, The World Sacred Music Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Bates Dance Festival, and The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among many others. He has been Music Director of Turning The Wheel, inc. since 1991.

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Lulu Delphine

Lulu Delphine is a lifelong educator, improvisor and learner. She believes her greatest fortune in life is that she remains that which poet Mary Oliver coined: a bride married to amazement. Her work passion is to guide diverse groups and individuals to the gifts of our body wisdom and creative flow as the impetus for personal evolution and a new paradigm for community. 

Lulu is the Assistant Director for Turning the Wheel Productions. She also holds a Master of Education, is a certified Body Now facilitator, arts integration educator, AMI Montessori teacher, licensed integrative body therapist. She is, above all, an artist that seeks to live into curiosity and appreciation of beauty in every moment. The Body Now summer workshop is an experience she loves deeply, and is honored to be playing in this field with you!

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Lizzi Juda

Lizzi founded Turning the Wheel Missoula in 2001 after discovering the national organization and its’ potent work in Boulder, CO. She is the Board President, a Master Facilitator for Turning the Wheel Missoula, and has been teaching improvisational movement classes and expressive arts groups for 25 years.

Perry Smith

"When I first began my journey with the Turning the Wheel Summer Retreats I knew right away that I had found a way of being that I wanted to live in for the rest of my life. I new that I was a nice person, and that I was capable of compromising, but I had no awareness that I often feel jealousy or envy or that I can want to try and fix people when they think differently than I do. Now I know that these things are a part of human nature, and Turning the Wheel has given me tools that are easy and ready to use that I can draw upon when I find myself ’stuck’. Each moment of each day is the now so I ask myself, 'What wants to happen now?'"

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