Kalabash Dance – Francelise Guillaume Dawkins
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”    Martha Graham
     Kalabash is a low-impact, ‘dyslexic-friendly,’ step-by-step dance class. Though kept simple with easy flowing, movements, it can be quite dynamic. It is accessible to most, and does not require extensive knowledge of dance or super-flexibility.
     In the 80’s Francelise created what became a popular dance class she called Kalabash, named after the calabash gourd. She imagined savoring the content of a large calabash filled with delicious rhythms rooted in Africa which have spread to the Caribbean, Brazil, Portugal and beyond.
     Kalabash borrows from international folk and social dancing as well as jazz dance movements. With all the vibrant musical notes of the world springing out of Kalabash, dancing becomes, as expressed by Ernst Bacon, the means to “make the body poetic” by unearthing the prisms of the longing soul.
     My first teacher was my mother, an excellent dancer and talented in many other artistic arenas. As was done at that time, she forced me to be right-handed, and I developed lateralization problems, another expression for dyslexia. I secretly started cutting my left hand when making collages, and turned my strong desire to dance into highly creative movements, avoiding conventional instructions that always left me utterly confused.
     Since 1961 I have taught modern, jazz, beginning ballet, South American and French West Indian folk dance in France and the United States. I joined a dance troupe, Balatai-Chaca and performed throughout the Parisian area until 1974. After many appearances as a guest dancer with Drums of Africa, I formed a French West Indian folk dance group, Fruit of the Root. Singing dancing and teaching cultural material were also included in Young Audiences venues leading to almost 900 performances and workshops throughout Indiana public schools. Since 1986 I have lived in upstate NY with my family offering dance and storytelling classes at places such as the Glen Falls and Saratoga Ys, the Yoga Center, Trifecta, and the Dance Museum of Saratoga Springs

 My Vow/My Vote: Writing Workshop - Lisa Freedman
“[W]omen are finding success on the [campaign] trail by being their whole unabashed selves. And that will likely be the most lasting legacy of this year of the woman.” Nia-Malika Henderson,  CNN
     The Tuesday after WWAM is Election Day. Did you know that the words for “vote” and “vow” both come from the Latin word, votum, which means "a promise to a god [goddess], solemn pledge….a wish, desire, longing, prayer" (Etymonline.com)? Can voting in the mid-term elections be seen as an expression of your deep care for the world? A sacred act? Have you been thinking about the links between the personal and the political? The disconnects, too?
     Join a circle of other women writers and artists and explore the nature of voting and the process of vowing. We will use different tools (gentle stretching, meditating, free-writing, sharing, discussing, first drafting, and crafting) to get grounded, access our “whole, unabashed selves,” and give them room to set intentions, make promises, and imagine – unapologetically -- their places in our precious and precarious universe.
      Lisa divides her time between writing, teaching, and coaching (http://lfwritingcoach.com/). She weaves meditation into these practices because it connects us to our deep wisdom and the clarity and confidence to express it. Her prose and poetry appear in Resist Much / Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance; Satya Magazine: The Long View; and Grabbing the Apple: An Anthology of New York Women Poets, as well as Art & Understanding: 20th Anniversary Anthology and POZ Magazine, among others. She has received residencies and awards from Blue Mountain Center, Soul Mountain, and the National Arts Club. She is a proud co-founder of Poets against Xenophobia. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, where she now teaches courses such as Writing and Activism and Intro to Creative Nonfiction, among others.
     After the 2016 presidential election, Lisa started Breathe/Read/Write, a free-writing circle for people who want to face the news with less reactivity and more creativity.

The Wild Twist of Your Words – Carol Graser
     I believe poetry has the power to heal and that giving a precise voice to our stories and wounds, our joys and anger transforms us. In this workshop, we'll create new work and experiment with techniques for revision. Using prompts, poems by contemporary poets, and guided meditation, we'll push your writing in a fresh, unexpected direction. 
     Carol Graser is a poet, bookseller and host of upstate New York’s longest running poetry reading series at Saratoga Spring’s legendary Caffè Lena the first Wednesday of every month. Through her organizing of literary events, festivals, publications and poetry workshops for teens and at-risk youth she has been one of the driving forces of poetry in that area for many years. Carol is author of The Wild Twist of Their Stems (Foothills Publishing, 2007) inspired by motherhood, and the strength and creativity mothers need to remain allies to their children. Her work has been published in many literary journals, recently in Devilfish Review, Punch Drunk Press, Trailer Park Quarterly and Minute Magazine.

 Fused Glass Art – Patrice Mastrianni
     Learn how to create beautiful artwork from colorful pieces of glass which are fused together in a kiln. Artist Patrice Mastrianni explains the science of fusing glass, designing with opaque and translucent colors and basic glass cutting techniques. Supply fee covers enough materials to make one 4" work, 3 ornaments or 3 wind chime hangers. Material fee $10 fee.  Beginners to experienced glass fusers welcome. Firing is done off-premises. Saturday workshop attendees will have their finished pieces delivered to the WWAM retreat Sunday afternoon. Sunday attendees will pay the postage to have their pieces mailed to them.
     Patrice is a Saratoga Springs, NY entrepreneur with an extensive background and experience as artist, teacher, former creative director for Golub Corp, and business owner. She is a seasoned instructor who received her B.S. in studio art from The College of Saint Rose and has been teaching adults and children for nearly 35 years.  
     Her Serendipity Arts Studio at 26D Congress Street, in Congress Plaza, offers culinary and fine arts classes–and parties–to people of all ages and all skill levels. It also offers a vehicle for business-to-business connections by having guest chefs and artists teach her classes. Patrice is the past owner of
Creative Sparks Pottery on Phila Street and a former member of the Saratoga Downtown Business Association.

 Singing For Good –Phyllis Pulver
     Give yourself the opportunity to sing for the pure joy of it -
songs of various genres.  Attendees will determine the type and structure of songs presented – from simple rounds to ‘partner songs’ (two or more different songs sung simultaneously) to songs in 3-part harmony.  Blend your voice with others and raise the vibration of your surroundings with “Positive Music,” defined by David Roth as, “songs that carry the intention of a better world for all.”  Simple, joyous, healthy, fun – for good!
Motivational song leader, Phyllis Pulver, is a long-time attendee of Ysaye Barnwell’s “Building a Vocal Community” workshop, and has successfully lead her own monthly vocal community, “Friends In Harmony”, for the past 18 years.  Her workshop underscores the belief that singing benefits the singer, the listener, and our planet. As a former choral director at Unity Church in Albany, Phyllis is skilled in vocal arranging and motivating singers to enjoy the experience of harmonizing


MuseMatrix Journal of Writing & Art  $19.95    Order on Registration Page



 Awesome Autumn 9th Anniversary Retreat!

November 2-4, 2018

Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

$275.00 Weekend     $125 Saturday, $115 Sunday     $35 Dinner Salon


Francelise Guillaume Dawkins:  Kalabash Dancing to the Rhythms of the World

Lisa Freedman:  My Vow / My Vote Writing Workshop

Carol Graser:  Poetry, The Wild Twist of Your Words

Patrice Mastrianni: Fused Glass Art

Phyllis Pulver: Singing For Good


Leslie Neustadt: Dinner Salon Siren of Ceremonies

Dorothy Randall Gray: Mistress of Meditation

Retreat Features:

Intimate 2.5 Hour Workshop Intensives        Sumptuous Six-Course Dinner Salon

Wine & Cheese Reception          Morning Meditation             Evening Readings

Networking Lunch      Open Studio ArtPlayShop       WWAMarketplace for Books, Art & Crafts


 Further Info: Conference Coordinator Debbie Bogosian ~845.661.7625        WriteArtMatrix@aol.com            Assistant Coordinator: Zipporah Harris                  
                    Executive Director: Dorothy Randall Gray