Who Should Attend? And Why Tuscany?
This retreat is for dance teachers, adult dancers and those who don’t consider themselves dancers anymore but really want to get back to living in a comfortable body. Aging bodies (meaning anything over the age of 20) often have habitual movement patterns that have been hardwired into the body, both efficiently and inefficiently.
Ask any dancer or athlete and they will tell you all about their asymmetries. More flexible on this side, better splits on this side, not great with balancing on this leg and so on and so forth. Dance, like other sports involve complicated skill sets. If those skills are learned on top of dysfunctional or less than optimal foundational movements it will impair performance and leave one vulnerable to injuries.
What if there was a way to decode what’s underneath those patterns by analyzing functional movements and exploring ways to come into balance without big alterations to your technique?
This is where looking at technique through the lens of stability and mobility comes in. We will be assessing our own foundational and functional patterns and then exploring the relationships between the mobility and stability of different body areas and joints.
The focus is on improving YOU. I’m a firm believer in putting your mask on first when it drops down in an airplane and then helping those around you. The fastest way to own, integrate and share information is to explore, personalize, and then tweak your processes based on feedback. Can you imagine how much a like-minded group of dancers and teachers could learn through a process like that? I can…
No previous anatomy training is necessary and it doesn’t matter what your current fitness level is – but passion and desire to improve your own physical health is essential.
At the 2018 Tuscany retreat I brought my adult (non-dancing) daughter with me and we had a blast! There were a few other teachers who shared that trip with a family member and with that in mind I am going to open up some spots to a non-dance partner or family member to attend with you at a decreased price. (-$200 off) They will be fully involved in all ways, except for the classes that you would be taking with me. If you want to take advantage of this simply pay the deposit for double occupancy for each of you and then let me know who is a non-dancing partner. I will revise the later invoices to reflect the decrease. Sharing adventures is always more fun!
Believe it or not, the body thrives on change. When you put yourself in a new environment your nervous system perks up! It’s one reason why people like to travel so much – they say they feel so alive and awake – and that makes sense from a physical and physiological perspective.
It’s not that you can’t make changes during your normal schedule and life – it’s just harder. Teachers have a bad habit of putting their students’ well-being before their own. They are caretakers and parents and compassionate men and women.
I’m calling this adventure a dance teacher retreat because I want you to retreat from your normal life and take time for yourself. Imagine having free time and making a choice about how you want to use it – visit a village? Be poolside to rest and swim? Decide to take a nap?
There are plenty of times we will be a community – during classes and meals and I suspect many of the excursions off of the hamlet. It is your choice. And it will feel good.
Why Tuscany? Well…. you won’t find a more beautiful area in the world that is relatively easy to get to, has an amazing culture, history, beauty, shopping, nature… and heart ❤️
Tuscany – a region in central Italy known for its landscapes, traditions, history and artistic legacy – is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and a paradise for those who love living the good life.
We’ll start and end in Florence. Mark Twain described it as “the city of dreams.” It is a spectacular city noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture. It is also known for its haute couture, as well as its pottery, leather gloves, decorative plates, soap, among many other things. Our hotel is located on the ‘other side of Florence’, across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge where there are many shops (and where the locals tend to go.) The Hotel Horto Convento is located inside a 12th century monastery in the Borgo San Frediano neighborhood.
We’ll depart from Florence and travel about an hour into the Lunigiana district where we can easily reach the coast and the beautiful cliff-side villages known as the Cinque Terre, Lucca and Pisa, with many smaller villages a stone’s throw away from our agriturismo. (more info below)
We will return to Florence on the 16th (hotel for that night included) where you can take off for further adventures or return home on the 17th.
Tuscany is the PERFECT place to relax and refresh body and soul while learning new information!
- Tuscany is a one-of-a-kind adventure: the area has picturesque villages, amazing art and culture in the cities, and fascinating landscapes
- Explore stability and mobility techniques to keep the aging body flexible and responsive! (Also good info for our students!)
- Discovering the latest techniques & strategies for integrative learning practices first and foremost for yourself, which you can then take back to your students.
- Release stress and deepen into the natural rhythms of your body.
- Recharge your energy walking in nature or taking a dip in the pool.
- You can’t come to Tuscany and not have adventures! We will have daily classes and almost daily adventures such as visiting small villages and larger ones such as Lucca and Pisa. How about a boat ride to view the cliff-side villages of Cinque Terre? Or just meander along cobblestone streets and relax with a gelato while people watching?
We’ll be staying at an ancient (16th Century) hamlet that has been renovated and turned into an agriturismo. It’s set on top of a hill where you can look upon the Apennine and Apuan Alps, and surrounded by the green mountains of Lunigiana.
Being surrounded by nature will help stressors melt away. When not in a class with Deborah you can lounge by the swimming pool, play tennis, golf, or meander along ancient foot paths on foot, by mountain bike or horseback.
Each double room has an ensuite bath. The rooms/baths are simple and functional. European baths designed in the 16th century will not compare to the large and spacious baths often found in new homes. You won’t be spending much time in your room with so much to explore and learning adventures to be had!
For those who attended the Tuscany Retreat will attest to how amazing Italian food is! Gluten intolerant? Vegetarian? No problem! Indulge in healthy, inspiring, vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes, incorporating a wide selection of locally sourced fresh organic ingredients, providing a culinary experience that will nourish and satisfy. We’ll enjoy complimentary wine with dinner and be treated to typical dishes of the Lunigiana region.
Past Retreat Attendees Comments
“The Tuscany Dance Teacher’s Retreat was an experience that both nurtured the soul and the need to learn more about the dancer’s body. Deborah Vogel shared a wealth of information that will enable each teacher to become more aware of their students’ needs. Not only did we learn specific techniques for student improvement but also for our own personal health and wellness. Tuscany was the perfect place to meet new like-minded teachers, explore and meet the warm hearted people of the villages. And… the food was absolutely fabulous and plentiful served in the outside dining room overlooking the beautiful countryside. Thank you so much for such a memorable, wonderful, fabulous Dance Teacher retreat. You did it right!” Tonie
“Exactly what I needed. This retreat was a beautiful collaboration, initiated by Deborah on the focus of the body/mind. The intention was clear – to explore movement from a mindful perspective, taking into account the whole being. At times I was overwhelmed, in a good sense, with the positive energy of the group. I feel renewed and curious again!” April
“Deb has a true gift of making the impossible become possible. She is educated in multiple disciplines of dance, body awareness, teacher training, meditation, healing and more. With a calming disposition, she is able to guide her students through hands-on training in somatic awareness. The week of classes at the retreat introduced me to a new way to identify problems within my body as well as issues my students may have. I would love to learn more from Deb! This was an incredible opportunity and I am blessed to have been a part of it! ” Pam
“It was an amazing experience for me to meet new friends in a new place with breathtaking sceneries and a stunning environment. Learning and discovering new information together, sharing ideas and guiding each other to know more about ourselves. I witnessed different positive energy and changes on our bodies everyday! (not to mention about the wonderful food and wine, and lovely hospitality from the retreat staff.) I would highly recommend this remarkable experience to everyone from around the world.” Georgia
- Daily classes and loads of engaging conversations throughout the week. We can learn from each other!
- Two nights of accommodations in Florence, 7/8 and 7/16, with breakfast included
- Transportation to and from Florence to the venue
- Seven nights of accommodation at Costa D’Orsala with mountain views and private bathrooms
- Healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners during the retreat days. (dinner includes wine)
- Fresh fruit juices, teas, and coffee
- Transportation for optional group excursions
- Staff gratuity
What’s Not Included:
- Round-trip airfare to Florence
- Individual transfers from airport to the hotel in Florence
- All lunches and dinners in Florence
- Alcoholic beverages outside of dinner
- Personal phone calls
- Expenses/shopping during the excursions off the agriturismo. (there is a dinner at a coastal village included after the Cinque Terre boat cruise)
- Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance (compulsory for each participant to have)
Flights & Transportation:
You must arrive in Florence, Italy by Friday, July 8th, 2022 to meet up with the group at our hotel. Transportation from the airport to the hotel is on your own. Here is info on transportation options. The hotel for 7/8/22 and 7/16/22 is the Horto Convento at Viale Ludovico Ariosto, Via dell’Orto, 13, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy (tel. +39 055 223529) If anyone wants to book extra nights at our group rate please get in touch with Angus or Tania. (firstname.lastname@example.org) If you have paid for double occupancy for the retreat, you will be sharing a room with another participant.
Deborah draws on her background as a neuromuscular educator, dance educator, and “somatic explorer.” She has a unique ability to study a dancer’s body alignment and movement patterns to identify muscular imbalances. As a specialist in devising ways dancers can bring their bodies, minds, and spirits back into alignment after stress, strain or injury, Deborah teaches dancers and teachers how to “see and analyze” the body in motion and how to improve its performance. She is an author of multiple books and dance education products, has taught at multiple colleges and universities and writes health and technique articles for Dance Teacher Magazine.
Angus & Tania are our trip coordinators who take care of accommodations, travel and adventures while in Italy. They are the best and I can’t imagine using anyone else!
Angus Stephens is cofounder and head chef of Chirriposa Retreats. A world traveller, he has worked for many years as head chef in yoga and surf retreats worldwide. After leaving more conventional posts in London, Edinburgh and around Europe, Angus worked for 2 years in the Fiji Islands at Namotu Island Resort. He moved to Costa Rica in 2004 and worked for years at the acclaimed ‘Tierra de Milagros’ Retreat (listed in Yoga Journal’s top 100 retreats in the world). Originally from the UK he has a University BA Degree in ‘European Languages and Business’. He worked for 10 years as a ‘Tour Director’ guiding large groups of American and Canadian students around major European cities. His interests range from sports such as rugby, football, skiing and surfing to music, (including playing guitar), gastronomy and nature.
Tania Cappelluti is co founder and manager of Chirriposa Retreats. From Berlin, Germany, Tania spent the best part of the last decade running ‘Playkula’, a vibrant artist booking and management agency, representing DJs and Producers worldwide . Tania has been heavily involved for many years in the music scene, working as an International Senior Product Manager for Sony Music Entertainment, Artist Coordinator for the ‘MTV Europe Awards’, Program Director for Berlin’s ‘Loveparade’, Tour Manager for the successful ‘Tabaluga Musical’ and Music Consultant for brands like O2, Hugo Boss and Strenesse. Tania also has strong ties to the yoga and surf community. First arriving in Costa Rica in 2001, she quickly found her way down to the Osa Peninsula and at the gates of a “funky little hippie hangout” (Lonely Planet) known as ‘Tierra De Milagros,’, where she assisted in the kitchen and managed the housekeeping for several years. Tania practiced yoga and surfing and was immediately hooked to both.