Dance Teachers Healing Retreat coming to Cape Breton this July!

This 5-day journey in self-care and dance is designed for inspiration, collaboration, reflection, and growth.  Together the group will explore ways to look at how dance skills can be used in a healing way, a personal wellness plan while teaching and sharing the passion for dance, and how to engage families and students in thinking holistically about their dance experiences.  Each day explores a special topic with intention and the sharing of healing sessions provides personal care.  The magic of Cape Breton Island, and the special spot in Mabou will add to this experience with exploration of the area and famous tourist opportunities.

For those arriving on Saturday, July 25th, don’t miss the West Mabou Square Dance from 9pm – 12 am.  Sunday, July 26th, the Famous Broadcove Concert is held just outside of Inverness starting at 3 pm and into the evening.  If you wish to immerse yourself in all things Celtic, plan to arrive to take these opportunities in.    

Monday, July 27th     

“What Does Self-Care mean to YOUR life as a dance teacher, student or studio business owner?”

9:00 – 11:00 am

Enjoy a cup of Intend2RaeD8 Tea Blends (there are 10 in total) and learn how you can use the power of Intention with the 5 Element Wheel to choose your special tea. Together we will get to know the retreat members and their special gifts for the week, while we learn about the science and opportunity that intention can provide us in our business, classroom, and movement experiences.  Yes, all this with a cup of tea!

11:15 – 12:30 pm

Self-care Healing Exchange Session.  Pair up with another member of the group to offer a treatment to each other.  We will be exploring how to use intention to “offer” possibility to another, rather than “giving” what we know is good for them.  We will explore the use of breath to find center, and then together create grounding to change the quality of movement. 

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Picnic Lunch at West Mabou Beach.  A prepacked lunch will be ready for us to take to the beach.  You can walk the beach, do a little hike, or just lay back on the sand and enjoy the atmosphere.

2:00 – 4:15 pm

Skill development: Serving the Best needs of the client/student. Dialogue and Practice session.  This is the opportunity to discuss what some of the key features the group finds important for assisting clients to be relaxed and ready for learning.  This includes the space you create for them to enter, the approach to a classroom session or lobby wait, and the attention to your client/students needs that will come from you.  Photos of your learning space as well as classroom set up will be helpful for discussion and for idea development.

4:30 – 6:30 pm

Dinner at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou. Dinner music with local musicians will begin at 5.   

For those interested in experiencing a Cape Breton Square Dance…Brook Village Dance is just down the road and has excellent music and dance from 9 – 12 pm for an $8 door fee.

Tuesday, July 28

 “What care have you been avoiding in your life and how can you create a plan to include it in your daily routine?”

9:00 – 10:00 am

Sharing session with ideas from the group around our topic for the day. A chance to journal a little and create a plan.  Automatic writing will be introduced to gain insight into ideas and challenges that are looking for new direction. Our focus will be how we may not prepare for our day to meet the challenges of our profession, and how we can change this pattern to better support our wellbeing.

10:00 – 12:30 pm

Creating power through movement:  We will explore our favorite movements and build a checklist of experience for developing a movement plan.  Then, discussion will extend into a Precheck list for optimizing energy flow.  This will include working with Shock Absorbers in the legs and spine, Gait reflexes in the feet, Cloacals that interpret engagement of coordinated muscle patterns for brain integration, Visual Inhibition and Auditory Challenge to name a few. 

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Port Hood Beach – With a picnic lunch prepared for us, we will head off to one of the five beaches that Port Hood can share.  You can walk the boardwalk, lie in the sand, or just relax.  There is an art gallery and gift shop close by for some local artisan displays.

2:00 – 4:30 pm

Skill development:  Using the checklist from the morning and the skills built with the Precheck list, the group will break up into smaller groups to identify assets for self-care and student- centered learning and explore approaches to implementing these ideas. 

4:30 – 6:30 pm   A visit to “The Mull River Farm and Nature Center” to learn about the project there for youth through to older adults.  A walk to the river and some time to explore in nature will be a part of this tour, as well as dinner together with their group.

7:30 – 9:30 pm Mabou Ceilidh at the Mabou Hall.  For those wanting to learn a little more about the Celtic Music, this is an opportunity to listen to our local talent, hear stories, see some Cape Breton stepdance and more.  The cost is $10 at the door.  Afterwards, a trip across the street to the Red Shoe Pub could finish the evening. 

Wednesday, July 29th

“Finding the Energy Boosters in all that you do!”

9:00 – 11:00 am

Reflecting on our habits and our goals, we will create a list of energy boosters that support us through the day, as well as a list of energy drainers that we need to watch out for, adjust or support.  This will again be a chance to work with centering and grounding as well as journaling and brainstorming as a group.

11:15 – 12:30 pm

Working in pairs, the group will explore the Precheck list with the dance checklist with the ideas discovered through the morning exploration.  This experiential approach will allow for identifying what works, what doesn’t and how to simplify for easy application.  

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Inverness Beach – With a picnic lunch prepared for us, we will head off to Inverness.  You can walk the boardwalk, lie in the sand, search for sea glass (a favorite spot for tourists to search), or just relax.  There are some specialty shops, art galleries and beer tasting for those interested.

2:00 – 4:30 pm

Skill development:  Becoming a student again.  How we understand learning is always reflected when we are challenged to go back to the beginning.  This afternoon will be a chance to apply these ideas in a classroom setting.  The group will be involved in a Cape Breton Stepdance class to learn the basics, some challenging choreography and of course, apply them in a Square Set atmosphere.  We will be learning new dance ideas, patterns and more.  We will also be learning about our students and apply their feelings and experiences to how we deliver our own materials.  We will explore where blocks may exist, and how we can create an open space for change to flow through.

4:30 – 6:30 pm

Harbour tour – for those interested in being on a Fishing Boat and learning more about trapping lobsters and fishing off the Cape Breton coast, this will be an evening cruise to enjoy the highlights of the coastal area.  Our tour will include a picnic dinner.

7:00 pm

An evening to reflect, relax and rejuvenate.  Or, a drink at the Red Shoe Pub.

Thursday, July 30th

“Finding passion with your compassion”

9:00 – 12:30 pm

Today will explore how Therapeutic Touch® can enhance your experience as a teacher, student or administrator.  The day will provide the opportunity to obtain a Level 1 Foundations certification in TT and relate its effectiveness for dancers and families.

12:30 – 2:00 pm

A trip to Whycocomagh will take us to Charlene’s Restaurant for her famous Seafood Chowder.  Also, a chance to see the St. Patrick’s Channel an arm of the Bras d’Or Lake, and a stop at the Farmer’s Daughter for souvenirs, fudge or ice cream. 

2:00 – 6:00 pm

As dance educators we will apply the principles of TT to the dancer, to the teacher and to the administrator who is working with parents and students throughout the day.  The history and science of TT will be explored, as well as the opportunity to sense what is happening in the biofield of the dancer and how challenges in the field can be adjusted.  How to support injury and decrease healing time will be shared as the TT self-care toolbox is opened for a dancer’s needs.

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Dinner at the Clove Hitch Restaurant in Port Hood

9:00 pm – 12:00 am

Dance at Glencoe Mills Hall.  The cost is $8 at the door, and we will offer directions to the hall for those that need it!

Friday, July 31

9:00 – 10:00 am

Fireweed Tea made here, along with a chat over oatcakes will get the conversation flowing with insights, questions, and new ideas.  For those who sleep in after the dance, this is an optional gathering time!

10:00 – 11:30 am

Sound Essence Bath

Natascha Polomski and Michelle Greenwell provide a one-hour self-indulgence experience with an array of Therapeutic Singing Bowls, Koshi Chimes, Gong, and Sound Essence Sprays.  Natascha will provide the music while Michelle shares a meditation specific for the groups intention while misting vibrational frequencies from her collection of special sprays.  We will honor the science of healing through rest with 30 minutes for relaxation and reflection time after the Sound Bath.

11:30 – 1:30 pm  Lunch at the Distillery in Strathlorne.  Whisky tasting and tour is possible for those interested.

1:30 – 4 pm 

Closing circle with healing Harp, and pulling all the skills together from the week.  Please bring a small token of friendship from your community to share with someone in the group.

Whale Watching and the Cabot Trail!  

Perhaps for August 1st, for those wishing to enjoy some Whale Watching, we can prebook a boat up Cheticamp way to take us out on the water and along Gampo Abbey from the Cliff Side.  The car trip will take about 90 minutes, with the beautiful Cabot Trail along the way.  We will continue up the trail to the Skyline trail where you are welcome to hike the trail for a couple of hours.  We will eat along the way based on the needs of the group.  This is an addition to the retreat for those who would like to experience our beautiful coastline and the infamous Cabot Trail. 

We will leave from Mabou at 10 am, with a return time in the later evening.

Dance at West Mabou dance hall from 9 pm – 12 am  $8 at the door.

The cost for the retreat is:

$450 plus $67.50 HST for the daytime schedule, including lunch (Mon to Wed) and snacks, the Sound Essence Bath on Friday morning, the nature walk and dinner on Tuesday evening, the Healing Harp on Friday, and a Level 1 Foundations Therapeutic Touch certification.  For those wanting to gather CEU’s there are 55 hours of instruction possible across the week and extra activities.

Breakfast and Dinner expense is up to each person (except Tuesday evening at “the Farm”, as well as any extra activities in the evening as listed above, this includes the lobster boat tour as it will be weather dependent.

A deposit of $100 nonrefundable is requested at time of registration.  The balance is due by June 15th.  If you are unable to keep your registration after this time, you may transfer your reserved spot to someone else to use in your place, or we can try to bring someone from the waiting list into the spot.  No refunds after July 1st.

When sending your deposit, please etransfer to with the answer of “dance”.  Check and cash are also accepted 😊


Flights can arrive to Halifax or Sydney airports.  A car will be necessary to reach Mabou, although you can take a shuttle to the area and we can arrange for a pick up.  It is a 3 hour drive from the Halifax airport to Mabou, or a 2 hour drive from Sydney.  The Halifax waterfront and historical sites are often a huge hit for tourists, and in Sydney there is the Fortress of Louisburg which is a great excursion.  A trip to Baddeck is always great for a Lobster supper as well as a trip to the famous Bell Museum and a ride on the Amoeba to see the Bell Estate from the water. Something to consider following the week, as many may decide to do this excursion together.


We have Laurel’s B and B next door, Glendyre B and B just down the road, and the Mabou River Inn as some accommodation options nearby. There are some Air B and B homes to rent as well if there is a group that would like to stay together. Breakfast is often provided with accommodations, although we also have the “Shining Waters” on main street Mabou.  

If there is anything else you would like to do in the area while you are here, just ask.  We can send you in the right direction or assist with planning the best way to tour. 

All of our plans are weather dependent, and adjustments to the schedule may be made if rain sets in.  This is your week of self-care and we are open to making adjustments for the best healing and learning opportunities as possible.

To register please send the following information. 



Phone number:                                     Preferred email:

Area of dance, dance business, or wellness expertise:

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