YVONNE SHAPIRO – South Africa
Email: [email protected]
Yvonne Shapiro discovered her love of dancing at age 10, starting with Scottish Country Dancing, in which she has a teacher’s diploma; but the moment she found Circle Dancing in 1988, that was it! She has facilitated circle dancing groups, in Cape Town and then Pretoria, since 1990.
Yvonne’s partner, Gail, often co-facilitates; they have been on many circle dancing adventures together in England, the Netherlands and Greece, bringing new dances back with them and giving workshops in the four circle dancing hubs in South Africa. They have brought several overseas teachers to South Africa, and local teachers from Cape Town to Gauteng (the province where Johannesburg and Pretoria are). Yvonne is one of several South African dancers who also choreograph: Ngcwele (Holy) and Qongqothwane (the Click Song) may ring a bell. Yvonne administers the South African Circle Dance Network and its Facebook page, Circle Dancing South Africa, and edits its journal, Drumbeat.
With it being so far to travel from South Africa to circle dancing centres in other countries, the online opportunities afforded by the Covid-19 lockdowns have been a light in the darkness: meeting or reconnecting with wonderful dancers and teachers from all over the world. Also, because so many of the Pretoria dancers did not want to attend Zoom sessions, Yvonne recorded a series of 25 videos (eight of these her own choreographies) in March-April 2020, for dancers to use at home – see https://photos.app.goo.gl/kjB5S5jc7NpCmd8v6 or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUXBoB4xFA2VzPt1iKPKBSQ/.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
April has shared her love of meditation, yoga, dance and alternative healing for more than 20 years. She has danced since she could walk, beginning with ballet in her childhood. She fell in love with sacred dance in 1998 after spending a weekend with June Watts, who studied directly under Bernard Wosien of Findhorn’s Sacred Dance community. In the early 2000s, she joined the leadership of Ottawa’s sacred dance circles, and has been sharing in the dance ever since!
April’s yoga career began in the late 90s. After 2 knee surgeries, she needed to find a new form of exercise; running and karate were no longer options. Little did she know, the adventures that yoga would take her on. Studying under Richard Freeman, David Swenson and Barry Gillespie, she first explored and exclusively taught the Astanga practice. In the early 2000s, she branched out and took teacher trainings in Yin, Hatha and restorative forms of yoga. After teaching 18 years of weekly classes, April has shifted her focus to lead group workshops and provide one on one specialty sessions. These sessions provide direct and individualized feedback for specific areas of concern or growth. She has worked with dancers, weight lifters, runners, a parapalegic, children and the elderly.
She has a friendly and empathetic style of teaching that allows her to adapt in leading both beginners and experienced practitioners. Her personal practice has been strengthened following a number of serious physical injuries and illnesses. As she explores with colleagues and mentors alike, she continues to grow with an adaptability, courage and strength she attributes to her curiosity and love of learning!
April’s motto: If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing; if you can breathe, you can do yoga; and to truly learn, you must teach!
Turning to Peace
White Buffalo Woman
A native of Bulgaria, graduated in Slavic Philology and Italian Philology from the University of Sofia “Sv. Kliment Ohridski”, Mariana specialized language, literature and culture of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, concluding Master`s degree.
Since childhood she has been in close contact with muic, dance and culture of various ethnic groups in Bulgaria and the Balkans. She started learning Bulgarian traditional dance at an early age and participated in several student dance groups.
Later, at university, she deepened her studies in ethnology and folklore aria, conducting researches into sacral symbolism of the dance and its role in rituals and religious practices. She participated in various seminars in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia.
Since 1998 she has been living in Brazil where the encounter with the tribe of circle dances took her to further discoveries and studies with great Balkan dance teachers.
The work on the translation of the Paneurithmy and the practice of the same gave her a different approach to the ethnic dances, enriching her knowledge about the polyfunctionality of the circle dance as a universal tool for human spiritual growth.
In love with the rhythms of the Balkan region, their complexity and richness of expression, she disseminates the authentic dances and popular culture of the various Balkan peoples, teaching in regular classes, workshops and festivals all over Brazil and Latin America and organizing folk dance tours around the Balkans.
Since 2014 has been developing her job “Faces and Phaseses of the Feminine”, “Heritage” etc., based on traditional dances, ancestral knowledge, practices and rituals, leading regular women’s groups and workshops about the Sacred Feminine.
Founder of “Movimento Melissas” in Brazil, a Women’s Movement for self-development, ancestor knowledge, sacred dances, drums and singing.
Mariana Dance Videos:
Gwyn first encountered Circle Dance in 1987 and immediately saw its unique potential to help us move into the Ecological Age. From that moment on she has continually organized Circle Dance events and taught in many places including USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
She is a founder of New England Circle Dance Camp and Mexico Circle Dance Festival. She is a featured teacher at hundreds of workshops from Circle Dance to the healing arts, to Permaculture. She is a certified massage therapist, yoga practitioner, a teacher of Paneurhythmy and many of her choreographies are world-wide favorites.