Learn more about some of the workshops featured during Inclusion Festival 2022! 

Brain Dance, Hoop Yoga and Juggling for ALL with Benjamin Berry

BrainDance for ALL: Greet the day by warming up your body AND your brain using the BrainDance method. Developed by Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Center, this series of exercises guides participants through eight fundamental developmental movement patterns. Moving through these patterns reorganizes the central nervous system, promotes mind-body connectivity, boosts energy, and reduces stress.

Hoop Dance for EVERY Body: For many, the hula hoop serves as a multigenerational source of wellness and play. In this workshop, we will learn some accessible hoop dance skills and put them together into fun group choreography! We will also experience the joy of creative expression through individual, partner, and group games/explorations. The capacities we will target are core strength, gross motor control, hand/eye coordination, and focus.

Juggling for ALL: In this workshop, we will explore juggling through a wider, more inclusive lens. Through the use of various props and accessible progressions, we aim to meet everyone where they are at and facilitate the experiencing of juggling patterns. Since these patterns cross the midline of the body, this will target the capacity of bilateral integration, in addition to grip/grasp control, focus, and self-efficacy.

DIY Circus Toy Crafting: Stop by the Movement Zone to check out our free make/take activities! On Friday participants can make their own juggling balls (very sensory friendly) and on Saturday they can decorate their own hula hoop.

Open Skill Share Circus Jams: Extra circus toys will be available to use at the Movement zone for spontaneous pop-up exploration. Benjamin and other volunteers will happily give you some ideas for play and support your creativity in a laid-back setting.

Benjamin Berry is a professional hoop dancer, circus artist, teaching artist, and performer based in Buffalo, NY who has been hosting workshops across the country since the summer of 2015. Benjamin has received training in Holistic Circus Therapy, which utilizes occupational therapy principles to build physical, cognitive, emotional, and social capacities, as well as the developmental movement-based BrainDance Method through the Creative Dance Center. Benjamin’s mission is to spread the physical, emotional, and social benefits of creative movement to people of all ages and levels of ability, helping them become more confident, empowered, and embodied.

Rocking Life Yoga and Rock Your Natural Superpowers with Taraleigh Weathers

It’s impossible to do yoga wrong. Phew! A yoga experience for anyone who defines themselves as having a body, this class will having you breathing, moving, stretching, meditating and dancing. Taraleigh’s flows are designed to get you out of your head and into your body. Leave feeling better than you did when you started while gaining all the tools you need to bring all those magical yoga feels into the rest of your day, discover what your superpowers are, and apply them to your life.

Taraleigh is a live music fan, journalist, social media influencer, and self-help guru who has dedicated her life to inspiring, entertaining, and helping others. Her popular workshops that teach other music lovers how to beat the “post-show blues” and live with intention, vulnerability, and authenticity have made her a staple of the festival scene and beyond. In 2018, Taraleigh published her first book, How To Rock Your Life: Maintain The Magic Of Live Music In Your Everyday Experience.

Grateful Drumming with Joe Ciarvella

Grateful Drumming with Joe Ciarvella is a no experience necessary, fun, engaging, how-to guide using drumming and mindfulness as a tool for wellness and brain maintenance. The only requirement is a willingness to try! In this online iteration, participants can use common household items or simply their laps to participate. 

Joe Ciarvella is a life long touring, performing and recording musician and drum circle facilitator with over 40 years of experience! Joe has performed with various members of the Grateful Dead and their extended roster of musicians including Mickey Hart! Joes life long love of drumming led him to the drum circle facilitator in 2016. Since then, Joe’s drumming has impacted countless lives. Joe’s program is endorsed by the PA department of education through the Schuylkill IU29’s ACHIEVE federal after school program.

Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful with Ryan Stanley

Please join us for Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful where Certified Professional Life and Self Leadership Coach, Ryan Stanley, takes some of the biggest concepts of personal growth and self-development, and condenses them down to a quick and easy to understand, fun but poignant self-awareness guided conversation. He provides the tools to patch up those feelings of stress, overwhelm and anxiety that we all experience, so we can heal on our own. People of all ages and backgrounds will benefit from sharing time and space with Ryan as he explores these concepts and prepares them to go out and travel through the daily adventure of life.

Ryan Stanley is a lifelong entrepreneur who is known for his impressively natural ability to connect with, understand and empower those who are willing to make significant changes in their personal and professional lives so they can end up being the best versions of themselves. Since graduating from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) in 2009 as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) Ryan has changed the lives of hundreds of clients from all walks of life. More recently, Ryan has also been working at his alma mater as both an Admissions Coach, and as their first ever Internal Coach where he coached staff from entry level to C suite on everything from daily professional growth to how they want to show up energetically in other more personal areas of their life.

In July of 2019 Ryan published his first book titled ‘Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful: A First Aid Kit for the Emotional Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises of Life‘. It can be found anywhere that books are sold and on his own website, linked below. In the Spring of 2020 Ryan took his sales and coaching expertise to new levels by co-founding Teach Me to Sell, an online Sales Training Organization focusing on working closely with Service Oriented SoloPreneurs or SOS’s (Coaches, Consultants, Direct Sales) as well as those new to any sales role in purpose driven organizations to help them push past fears and blocks around sales.

Aerial Yoga with Michele Mizeski 

Fly to your inner heights in this suspended silk workshop. A playful and low-impact way to re-center, relax, and recharge. An opportunity to hang upside down, releasing tension in the low back. And you may surprise yourself when you discover what you can do!

Michele (Padma) is the owner and founder of Earth and Sky Yoga. A yogi since 2007, and a yoga teacher since 2014. She discovered the aerial hammock in 2018 and fell in love. She started her training right away and has been teaching ever since. She loves the hammock because it offers more support than the split silk, which requires more strength. Almost everyone can do something in the hammock to feel like an acrobat!

Michele has volunteered teaching meditation and yoga at nursing homes, independent living centers, and festivals throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She also has years of experience working with children as a camp teacher, after-school program provider, and preschool teacher. She is an animal lover who enjoys yoga and meditation, traveling, singing and dancing, reading and writing, hiking and rock climbing, and spending time with her husband, dog, cat, and pet sheep!  She is grateful to teach all that she has learned. 

Family Meditation Through Storytelling with Hank Finkel

An introduction to meditation for families. We will explore the benefits of a meditative practice and look at how storytelling can be used as a vehicle to enhance a meditation practice for the entire family. Hank will read the stories he wrote and lead the group in several short interactive meditations.

Dr. Hank Finkel is a father, husband, son, brother, uncle, holistic chiropractor, ordained minister, teacher, and light worker, he has traveled and remains on the path of personal discovery. He enjoys being in nature, music, photography, and meditation.

Brain Gym with Kelsey Fox Bennett Boyd

Brain Gym is a form of Educational Kinesiology that uses simple intentional movements to reduce stress in the body and reconnect areas of the brain – but for me, it was and still is a natural part of my daily life. 

Founded by Paul and Gail Dennison, Brain Gym is comprised of 26 basic movements, various in-depth techniques and a step-by-step process to prepare the body and brain for successful comprehension, focus, organization, communication, and rewiring of emotional patterns. It draws from practices such as yoga, acupressure, touch for health, mindfulness and more, allowing all ages to feel safe as they take on new learning with ease. 

Kelsey Fox Bennett Boyd, M.Ed. is an Intuitive Healer, Educator and Coach who serves all ages of Highly Sensitive Souls. Licensed in Brain Gym and trained in Angel Card Mastery, Yoga, Mindfulness, Movement Based Learning and more, Kelsey creates a safe space for her students and clients to rewire old patterns and receive more love.

A Conversation and Book Reading with Lauren Melissa

Listen to an excerpt of Lauren’s new book, Boy at the Window, and join in on a conversation about the differences in communication and empathy that exist among autistic people so that we can bridge the gap and all learn to understand one another better.

Lauren Melissa, known across social media as Autienelle, is an autistic advocate and social justice influencer. She seeks to cultivate awareness and acceptance for the actually autistic community through neurodiversity activism. Even more, she actively engages in dialogue across lines of difference, highlighting the inequitable systems that oppress queer and BIPOC communities. Through Instagram, Lauren addresses everyday coping strategies for autistics by answering questions through “Autietips.” In this way, she seeks to build a society where autistics nurture autistics as we strive against ableism toward a destination of true inclusion.

Percussion Making for ALL with Dave Miller

Folks of all capabilities get to smash bottle caps, punch holes in them, and thread on wire. They then attach the wire two pieces of wood. From there they learn simple rhythms and get to take the shaker home with them.

EarthMovers Drum Collective was formed so that everyone could have fun drumming at a circle and share in the rhythm and excitement of the collective drumming experience. Founder and facilitator Dave Miller started drumming with pots and pans, but his love for the art of drumming really grew in 1997 when he held a backyard garden blessing and friends came with drums and percussion.

Dave has studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Mark Wood, Jim Donovan, Sule Greg C. Wilson, Jim Dav, Maxwell Kofi Donkor, Greg Hochman, Conrad Kubiak, Fred Goodnight, others. Dave has enthusiastically taught, performed, and grooved for RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers University, Norwescap Phillipsburg Head Start & Early Head Start, Trenton Makes-Words, Somerset County Senior Wellness Centers,, at The Starwood Festival, PermaJam, KarmaFest, previous Inclusion Festivals and more.

Linoleum Printing Art with Dave Thomas

In this workshop participants will learn about the linoleum printing process and have the opportunity to make art themselves using materials that are accessible and sensory-rich.

Dave has been making linoleum art for 5 years. He says “I just picked up the materials one day after not really delving into any artistic endeavors for many years because I admired the print work others did. In my opinion, Lino Art is one of the most primitive mediums because it involves carving much like ancient people did.”

Inclusive Travel Tips for ALL Families with Gina Taylor, OTR/L

This workshop will discuss common concerns with travel, the use of development as a key factor in planning an amazing trip, how sensory and social stories can support children during travel and planning an amazing trip for the whole family.

Gina Taylor MS, OTR/L, HPCS is a New Jersey licensed occupational therapist who believes in the power of nature to help children and their families experience a greater quality of life. Her vision inspiring Epona Therapy Services to provide home-based occupational therapy services in New Jersey and consulting services for families and clinicians around the country.

Disability Justice (is) For Everyone! with Jules Csillag 

Join this ALL AGES workshop for an interactive, engaging, and accessible workshop that will introduce the Disability Justice Principles in an easy-to-understand way, and invite participants to apply these principles during activities. Ideally, resources will be co-created, and either way, a handout/follow-up resources/ways to stay in touch will be shared afterwards (with anyone who’d like it).

Jules Csillag (“Jewels Chill-log”), she/her/hers, is a cis, white, queer, middle-class woman, immigrant, bilingual, survivor with C-PTSD & ADHD. She’s also a licensed speech-language therapist, consultant, adjunct faculty instructor, and writer (in the 3rd person, occasionally, haha). Jules is passionate about applying disability justice principles, particularly in education, and she aims to join or create various communities in which to build this liberation movement. She currently works for an autism inclusion program across dozens of New York City public schools, is an adjunct faculty member at 2 universities, and is occasionally also a writer/author/consultant on the side. Jules also enjoys being outside, talking fast, cooking, and comedy, and is starting to dabble in doodling and fan fiction. Happy to be in community with everyone here!

The Power of Foraging with Dee Slomowitz

People have been healing themselves through work with plants and mushrooms for thousands of years. Gather together to learn some of the most time-tested, gentle, and powerful plant and mushroom allies used to heal the body’s nerves and immune systems. Using the festival grounds as a classroom, participants will be guided on a walk to forage local wild edible medicinal plants and mushrooms and  learn about the properties of the items foraged.

Dee has grown up in festival and other vending scenes. She is the owner of Family Foraging, a mom who loves sharing music, art, and wisdom, and will be hosting a sensory-supportive safe space at Inclusion Festival.

Anchoring Calm with Greg Ogden

Theory and methods for evoking and anchoring a feeling of deep calm through meditation and implementing mindfulness meditation in your daily life. Come learn a skill that can benefit you for a lifetime. It all starts with the awareness of a single breath. 

Greg has been teaching mindfulness meditation techniques to children and adults for the past four years. Greg is certified in “Using Mindfulness with At-Risk Youth” through The Mind Body Awareness Project. He is also a Certified Hypnotist through Hypnosis Motivation Institute and offers non-medical hypnocounseling services for stress management, intention setting, and behavior and habit modification.

Magical Mandalas with Lindsay Jamison

Discover the magical process of drawing a mandala as a form of meditation. Mandala means circle in Sanskrit and represents wholeness, unity and is a microcosmic expression of the macrocosm. In magic, we use meditation (focused awareness) and repetition in ritual to expand states of consciousness. In this workshop, we will create a mandala in a sacred container, allowing the process to be a self-integrating activity that serves as a gateway or portal deeper into oneself. Learn how to create mandalas as a path to self realization that connects you to the sacred within and all around you. Spark your imagination with meditation, magic and art in this fun, interactive workshop.

Lindsay Jamison is a trained artist and holistic wellness coach who weaves art, mindfulness meditation, yoga, reiki, shamanism and magic together in her teachings. Lindsay specializes in uplifting the community with transformative, creative education for empowered growth. Lindsay’s craft is a magical process, she uses mandalas and sacred geometry with the intention to expand and shift consciousness.

Music is Magic with John Protopapas

We will explore sound and rhythm through concepts of improvisation and by creating music on a deep personal level. John will demonstrate playing the sitar, use a drone instrument called the tambura to explore use of voice as an instrument, and explore rhythm as it is used in different cultures with different percussion instruments, including the Indian tabla and the African djembe.

John studied classical Indian music/yoga for many years in India and has been teaching yoga for over 35 years. He also teaches a World Music course at York College in York, PA.

Grateful Yoga Jam with Lisa Molendini

Join RTY-200 Lisa Molendini for a session of movement and breath as we warm up before we dance the night away! We’ll flow our way through some classic yoga poses to the sweet summer tunes of the Grateful Dead as performed by Diamond Eye Jack. Bring your yoga mat, a beach towel, or blanket…or just feel the earth beneath you as we gear up for a night of music and community. No yoga experience necessary–beginners/all levels/abilities welcome! There’s no right or wrong, so “don’t you worry any more,” and “if you get confused, just listen to the music play!”

Lisa Molendini earned her 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification at the Mystic Power Yoga teacher training school in 2021. She was a cum laude graduate of Susquehanna University with a degree in communications (public relations emphasis), and minors in advertising and American history. In addition to her teacher training certification, she has completed continuing education hours in restorative yoga teacher training, teaching those at the very beginning of their yoga journey, and more.

Sensory Sound Journey with Jeff Nickell

The exercise of simply closing our eyes and listening helps us to become more aware of our environment. We can also practice focusing on a single peaceful sound, like a singing bowl or humming a single tone with our voice to help us relax our bodies and minds. Enjoy this sensory sound experience in conjunction with a gentle yoga workshop taught by John Protopapas.

Jeff Nickell of Svara Sound is a certified professional sound healer with over 10 years of experience in the healing art of sound meditation and sound therapy. In 2009 he found his calling with in the sounds of Himalayan singing bowls and gongs, realizing their profound effect to help heal and naturally relax both the body and mind of others. He helped open a sound healing wellness center with a team of musicians in 2010 who traveled to play numerous yoga studios, colleges, corporate events, hospitals, senior centers and music festivals through out the years. In recent years, he has begun touring with fellow musicians as Svara Sound, to help raise the vibration and bring awareness of their incredible healing nature with the world.