WHO WE ARE
Building Healthy Communities through Creative Expression
Turning the Wheel Productions is a national non profit arts and education organization dedicated to making body based creative expression and play accessible to individuals of all ages, experiences, genders, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are committed to being a contributing force in fostering vibrant, healthy communities nationwide.
We bring interactive and experiential arts programs using a unique model that builds our participants’ confidence in their own and each other’s creativity. Our programs build over a period of hours, days, weeks, semesters or a full year, so at the end of our time together, participants have joined their talents and visions to create a special performance for their peers and families.
“The workshops and residencies you have done here...have had remarkable results. Children who had never met before had fun as they successfully communicated, created and worked hard together to develop their performance pieces. They respected each others’ ideas and perspectives.”
- Elementary School Teacher, Boulder CO
Every Body Dances, Every Story Shines!
Turning the Wheel is an intergenerational dance/theater company committed to the collaborative creation of works of art that are rooted in and restorative for the communities in which we perform and teach. TTW is dedicated to making creative expression and art accessible to people of all ages, experience and cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Using a working model that is based on inclusiveness, community engagement and collaboration, Turning the Wheel seeks to reconnect youth and elders to their lives and society; to encourage a collective ethic of caring for others and ourselves and to be a contributing force in fostering healthy, creative communities.
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.
“Everything we do in Turning the Wheel is an attempt to come back into relationship with our interdependence as human beings, and with the need for love, not power, to form the basis for how we live on the earth. We are passionately committed to building and sustaining transformative communities that are
inclusive of all people, and that reach for and model unconditional love and acceptance as the norm.”
- Alana Shaw
For individual work with Alana Shaw visit www.alanashaw.com
Assistant Director and Organizational Development Curator
Lulu Delphine is a lifelong educator, improvisor and learner. She believes her greatest fortune in life is that she somehow remains that which poet Mary Oliver coined: a bride married to amazement. Her work passion is to guide diverse groups to somatics, wellness and the expressive arts as a force for personal evolution and social change. She holds a Master of Education, is a certified Body Now facilitator, arts integration educator, AMI Montessori teacher, licensed body therapist and artist.
National Program Coordinator
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.
Marlena Weiss is a lover of bringing communities together in creative, lasting, and soul feeding ways. Having come to the organization through the Missoula Branch in 2018, she now works as the National Marketing Director. She holds a BA in Anthropology and a passion for being the bridge between brands who inspire her and those they want to reach.
Wilmington Branch Director
Perry became the cofounder of the Wilmington chapter of Turning the Wheel in 1999, and facilitates and performs live music for events, workshops and trainings. He has been a core facilitator for the Turning the Wheel national organization since 2008.
Missoula Branch Director
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.
Cedar Rapids Branch Director
Suzanne is a Certified Facilitator with Turning the Wheel. 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. 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 is the Program Director for the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, an after-school arts organization in Cedar Rapids. She is a business owner, lifelong yoga teacher and dancer/performer.
Khiri is the national outreach coordinator for Turning the Wheel, assisting and collaborating in programs all over the country, most recently by co-directing and facilitating the Boulder chapter. Khiri began playing and dancing with TTW in a theater improv class offered at her high school and joined the national team while finishing her degree in Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Khiri is also a mixed media artist and street performer.
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.
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 is a natural leader in her community with her creative ideas, her abundant attitude, and her manifesting manner. She has been moving, inspiring and loving herself and others with Turning the Wheel since 2003. Holly co-directed TTWW -Wilmington with Suzanne Palmer for eight years before she moved to her moving motor home in 2011 and then moved to the triangle area of North Carolina in 2013.
Alyssa is an elementary school teacher currently bringing deep presence, play and love to many different classrooms around the Seattle area as a substitute teacher. She found her way to Turning The Wheel in 2017 and the resonance of this work has reverberated into her life in most every way. She looks forward to starting a TTW chapter in Seattle in the near future.
Sydney has been an active facilitator for the TTW Missoula branch since 2018. A woods-woman and certified life coach, she strives to deepen interrelationship with our world, create opportunities for embracing embodiment, and provide resources and experiences for re-membering our way home.
Daley joined Turning the Wheel in 2011 and has continued to grow as a city director and national facilitator. She holds a BA from Lewis and Clark College and is in her first year at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. She is passionate about creating an environment for people to be seen and met as they are and loves to weave play into every action.
Morgan was first on stage with Turning the Wheel when he was 4 years old and since then has been a performer, youth facilitator, and member of the national team. He is now a city coordinator in Los Angeles and also designed and created the TTW website.
Tanja holds a BA in theatre and has over 20 years of experience working with improvisation theatre and movement games to bring play and creative performance to people of all ages. She is passionate about serving the youth in our community by providing a safe expansive environment in which to be their fully creative joyful beings.
Xanne Sarka aka Xaxxie-K
Seattle Branch Director
Xaxxie-K is a social entrepreneur who is on a mission to ignite social change through play. In 2016, they founded the organization, Sneaky Deep Collective-in which they serve as a facilitator and teaching artist for several non-profit and community organizations. They hold a BA in Intercultural Communication from the University of Hawaii and an Associates in Event Marketing from Shoreline Community College. From an early age, they believed that “laughter and play is the best medicine!” With this lifelong motto, they are eager to spread more joy and play in their local area by taking on the role of Seattle Branch Director for Turning the Wheel.
TTW also depends on volunteers and in-kind donations from TTW friends, collaborators, artists, producers, photographers, videographers, and facilitators around the country. HELP US OUT!