Do I have to be a dancer or have some kind of movement training to do your workshops?

No. A general level of fitness, mobility, and an openness to movement is helpful to have, but the workshops are designed to accommodate a broad range of abilities. The most important thing is that you’re able to listen to your body and respect your own limitations.

Seeking out my Shadow sounds terrifying.  Are you going to make me pick my worst fear and have me talk about it in front of a group of strangers?

Not at all!  We deeply value your privacy and your agency--both of those things are pivotal to this work.  We truly believe that one can only genuinely access the Shadow on their own time and in their own way.  The theme (or “fear”) that you choose to work with is very personal, and you alone decide what that is. You are never obligated to share it with the group, and in fact we rarely know the specifics of what participants are working with.  The beauty of working with a symbolic object like a mask is that you can have a very powerful experience even without sharing details that may be difficult to reveal in front of others.

It’s also important to remember that our Shadows are not necessarily deep dark secrets; they are just parts of ourselves that we’ve exiled for whatever reason...impulsive emotional sharing (genuine communication, from a different point of view) for someone who has learned to equate vulnerability with danger; self-indulgent play (otherwise known as spontaneous creativity) in someone whose pragmatic responsibility is required to keep their family afloat; being an overbearing loudmouth (or just assertive) for someone who has learned to be seen and not heard.

Maskwork and movement can create the opportunity to reimagine some of the verbal narratives that we tend to build up over time--to find new stories and new relationships that will help us thrive as more integrated wholes.

Is the workshop basically group therapy?

No. We are not trained therapists and are and consequently not qualified to lead that kind of work. Our goal as artists is to provide a structured environment for creative expression: how can we take personal narratives and work with them artistically and symbolically? How can we support an existing creative practice or introduce new modes of expression to somebody looking for a creative outlet?

The workshops are designed to give you a very personal experience. Most of the work is non-verbal or involves individual writing. While there are a few moments when we do come together as a group, you can share as little or as much as you want.

PLEASE NOTE: Shadow Tender workshops are an excellent compliment to a personal contemplative practice or existing therapeutic process, but the nature of the work may be destabilizing if a traumatic event has occurred in the recent past. These workshops are not designed for those who are currently working with or going through acute crisis or trauma. We are artists, not licensed therapists or crisis workers. Thus, in addition to being extremely cautious around recent traumatic events, we strongly encourage anybody pursuing Shadow Tender work to have ample outside support and resources (family, friends, therapists, community, etc) to help navigate the material that may arise out of the workshop.

What should I bring with me?

A journal, a water bottle, a writing utensil, and comfortable clothes you can move in. Most workshops include a short lunch break, so snacks or a small meal are recommended.

We provide all crafting tools, materials, and supplies.

Can you come teach this in my city?

We would love to. Please reach out and let’s start a dialogue!