I offer this very special private sacred dance retreat, exploring the ancient feminine in Italy. Italy for me is one of the most majestically beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. From every town and city, from the two seas to the vast mountain chain there is something to see to know and to explore, much of which has directly or indirectly affected us in occidental societies, no matter where we live. As I have written before, you do not need to go to Rome to see Roman antiquity or even Greece to see Greek ruins and goddess sites. I have a Greek temple to the Goddess Venus or Aphrodite only an hour form me under the beautiful cathedral in Ancona. As for Madonnas if I look out my window to the left, in the valley there is the church of La Madonna della Rosa. In this church there is a fountain fed by a spring, where pilgrims have come since the 1600‘s for the healing properties of the water. One hour south of Ostra is the Black Madonna of Loreto. Every time I go to Loreto my experience of this healing place and its power deepens.
I look forward to sharing this exclusive, personal and private
Retreat with 4 women as guests in my home in Ostra.
The emphasis of this retreat is not luxury accommodation with a pool, spa and perfectly pressed white linen. You will all receive personal individual attention from the time I pick you up, until we part. I cook for you, drive you everywhere and create a space where together we care for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. I am holding you in a quantum healing dance. From this place you are able to weave your story through the dance and what transpires in-between. The dance is about the inner work and it will be deep intense work. In the depth there are always moments of joy. Our visits to the Madonnas will be about reflecting on the feminine story in ourselves then taking this back to the dance. Every moment spent together no matter what we do is the dance. Things will keep evolving all the time. This workshop is a total emersion into the divine intention of what is created between each of us.
My personal story is much entwined in symbols of the feminine, as they hold great meaning to me. I have now spent 4 years surrounded by Madonnas, they are a part of kit of power tools. They mean many things to many people. I respect that they are a part of the Christian faith, but I and many others like me see the Madonna as much more than that and we must not forget Magdalena. Women today are going deeper and deeper into their beings, we are looking for truth, wholeness and the essence of who we are. We are remembering who we are. We are finding ways to live in this world, as marvelous as it is, it is swiftly moving towards such great happenings and we must be ready. As grateful as I am to wake up each morning and bless the day, as appreciative I am to be surrounded by the most amazing women, our Terra Madre is becoming more and more contaminated with violent acts towards the earth and its people, in all aspects of human existence.
During this week spent together, we can take in what we see and experience to explore it through the dance. Whichever of the modalities you chose that are on offer, we will set an intention to be a part of the great feminine healing force that is quietly and powerfully doing its work.
I invite whomever wishes to explore your sacred and divine self through dance to embark on this rich journey of the feminine, in a land steeped in herstory, to come forth and journey with me.
As guests in my home we will share this very personal, deep transformative experience, moving between the dance space and our daily activities. We will dance together for 3 1/2 hours a day in my studio.
I have a lot to offer and a number of streams of which one can choose to take. One may choose either to explore an aspect of Embodied Bellydance® (EBD) or Dance Journeys for the Awakening Heart, or a combination of the two. No matter if you are 4 women who know each other or not, this will be worked out together before your arrival so that we are ready to begin.
Do you need dance experience to attend?
No. You only need a willingness to dance. You can come from a non-dance background or be a student, no previous experience required.
Will there be choreography?
No. I will not teach choreography. If you choose to move from the Dance Journeys for the Awakening Heart the focus will be on dancing freely to express your feelings, sensation and thoughts. If you choose Embodied Bellydance® the focus will be to create a framework of learning and applying techniques of moving the body. This will then lead into improvisation in the Genre of Egyptian dance as a baser for your preferred dance style.
Can you be a group of professional/teacher dancers, wanting to deepen the dance practice?
Yes. Together we can choose a theme of daily practices of what you need as a group and individually.
If we are professional dance teacher will this count towards further training.
Yes. At the end of the week you will receive a certificate of attendance stating the time, date and place. This will qualify towards hours required to begin to train to be a teacher of Embodied Bellydance®.
Can the group be made up of professional /teacher and non professional participants?
Yes. It can be used as a learning tool for the teacher and create a richer learning field?
Will there be a 1 on 1 sessions for each person?
Yes. It is included in the package. The 1 on 1 sessions will be individually tailored to suit your needs and wishes and can also include body work. You will be given a recording and some follow up notes of your private session. It will give you a chance to fully consolidate aspects of your dance or your self inquiry.
With only 4 of you in the group a very deep and personal space will evolve where each persons needs can be met.
Madonnas & Goddesses
There are 100’s upon 100’s of Madonnas in my area alone. If that’s all we did in 1 week, I am sure we wound not be able to visit them all. The ones that I have chosen have touched me in some way. They have and still do offer some kind of healing experience. These include, Madonna della Rosa in Ostra, that I have already talked about. The Black Madonna di Loreto who gives refuge to all races and is the link between, pre Christian faiths, the goddess and now. The Sanctuary of la Madonna di Frasassi set high up a rock face in a cave that was once the home of Benedictine nuns. Santa Maria Appare of Ostra, the Madonna who appeared to a shepherd in the 1500’s and said that if a church was built at the site of her appearance the inhabitants of Ostra would not be afflicted by the black plague that was rampant in Italy at the time. Along with the Madonnas we must include Santa Maria Maddelena of Senigallia. The story goes that some of the remains of Maddelena were take to Senigallia from Provence in France. At that timed, attracted many pilgrims. I personally have a great love and affinity with Maria Maddelena.
As often happens with many ancient sites, the Temple of Venus (Aphrodite) is under the Cathedral of Ancona, there is not much that remains, but we will visit the Museum of Ancona where they have recreated a model of the Temple. We will visit a very powerful goddess site where all that remains is a fountain and washing well. This pre-celtic goddess site is where 100 of clay vulvers were found. The fountain is in a small picturesque town called Montefortino of Archevia.
Culture – Food & Wine
Breakfast at home could be anything from a smoothie, ground seed, yogurt and fruit, eggs or whatever you desire to kick start your day. You are invited to join me in preparing home meals. I am a passionate cook who generally improvises, so come ready with a pen a paper to write down recipes. I believe in ‘food as medicine”. I use locally grown and organic products, a lot of seeds, nuts and vegetables in my cooking. I am certain you will go home with new recipes and perhaps new ways of thinking about food. The theme will be incorporating Italian flavors with contemporary healthy eating ideas. I am not a vegetarian or vegan but I often prepared food based on both. I tend to avoid sugar, wheat and gluten. However I am happy to cater to your special needs and desires. We will dine out a number of times in a variety of places typical to this area, where some locals may join us for the meal and a chat. One day will be spent with Marco Candi a Somilier and olive oil producer of Marco Way Tours. He will take us on a journey into the heartland of the local Cheeses, wines, honey, and olive oil producers, tastings along the way. One evening you will be guests in the home of Michele Ugolini (our local Master Chef) and his family. He will prepare an exquisite meal for you mixing modern and traditional Italian cuisine.
My home is an old large apartment on the second level in the centre of the Ostra which I share with my partner Ermanno and our dog Lily. It is next to the main piazza with a beautiful view of the patchwork hills and near by towns dotted over the hill tops. You will share a room with one of the other guests. Every day the rooms will be cleaned and the beds made, towel changed and sheets changed and cloths washed and ironed on request. There is one shared bathroom and we have WiFi.
Ostra is situated at the foot hills of the Apennine Mountains, 15 minutes inland from the sea side resort of Senigallia on the Adriatic. It has 6800 inhabitants. Originally built by the Romans and destroyed by the barbarians, it was rebuild in Medieval times and renamed Ostra.
It is a well kept town with much character and charm. You will enjoy exploring the cobble stone streets and alleys and to be taken on a tour by the local tourist officer of the beautiful Teatro La Vittoria and a few other places if time permits.
Getting to Ostra
From Rome: Take train from Roma Termini to the town of Jesi or fly direct from the Rome airport to Ancona Airport.
From Milano: Take train from Milano Central to the city of Senigallia or fly direct form Milano airport to Ancona Airport.
From Bologna Airport: Take train from Bologna Centrala to the city of Senigallia
We will pick you up.
Cost (All fees are in euro)
Retreat in Ostra
7 nights & 8 days €1,397 per person
Includes everything except, meals at restaurants.
Restaurant meal average between €20 – €30
(does not include airfare from original destination to major airport and travel to and from the nearest train station or Airport)
The retreat only runs if there are 4 participants.
Booking & Making Payment
Make a deposit is €450 to secure your place.
If 4 people in total do not book your money will be refunded to you in full.
Australians please pay by DIRECT DEBIT
Add on Extra Possibilities:
Trip to Assisi
I love Assisi. Although San Francesco and Santa Chiara are not a Madonna or a Goddesses they both touch my heart deeply. I have been there many times, so I felt that if you wanted to extend your visit, I could share my love of Assisi with you. We will stay at St Anthony’s Guest house in the centre of Assisi. A day will be spent with a good friend of mine Nadia Cibruscola. She is a local and leads specialized and personalized tours of the significant places of Assisi.
2 nights in Assisi €290 each (cost based on 4 people)
- Includes 2 night accommodation with Breakfast in Assisi,
- Extra night and breakfast in Ostra,
- Travel to and from Assisi back to Ostra.
- Private tour with Nadia Cibruscolo
- Does not include meals, snack and drinks and entry fees to churches and venues.
The Assisi trip can run with less people but the cost will increase.
Four women who together would like to participate in this Feminine, Transformative Journey please come together and chose your own dates.
The Madonna’s Goddesses & Culture Retreat runs anytime of the year. Best times are Spring and Autumn.