Maureen Atkins, aka "Mo" joined the Bay Area Circle Dancers in 1993 and has been teaching Sacred Circle Dance since 1995. She has been a regular BACD teacher since 2000. She leads a group in San Leandro which will be celebrating 11 years this November. In the past she has organized and led weekend dance retreats, participated in special occasions like church services, weddings, grief groups and has co-facilitated at the Far Horizons Dance Camp/Retreats. Her newest group in Felton at the Center for Healing started this past Spring. "I teach a variety of things everything from meditative to lively. I believe that it is important to make new comers feel welcomed. One thing that drew me to Sacred Circle Dance was the idea that we celebrate all things that make us human. I am looking forward to being at camp for the entire week this year and will be bringing my harp!" Maureen lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Ben Lomond. She works as an addictions counselor in Santa Cruz.
Marina started in ballet as a kid; into modern dance as a teenager; discovered Circle Dance in 1985 and have been joyfully circling ever since. With John, founded groups in the SF Bay Area, Hilo, Hawaii, and Nashville Tennessee. Aren't there enough dances? I hear from time to time. No. When a piece of music tickles the fancy or touches the heart, if it's got a beat we can move to, I'm dancing in my mind. The fun comes when it's shared. Sometimes it's the words to a song: Be Like a Bird is my theme song. Sometimes it's the feeling: Nightwalking is the desert at night, lit only by the stars until we raise the moon. Dance Camp is a chance to unveil the latest inspirations and try things that we'll only do once, in that group at that time. I love the community we build holding hands and moving together and always look forward to the next chance.
John Bear first circle danced in Glastonbury, England in 1984. With Marina, he established the first circle dance group in America the following year, and has been dancing and teaching ever since. With Marina, he has taught circle dancing in eight American states, and various cities in Canada, England, and Scotland. He can teach more than 500 dances, including those he learned from dancing with Colin Harrison, David Roberts, Laura Shannon, Peter Vallance, Renata Ramos, Lesley Laslett, Martine Winnington, June Watts, and other prominent teachers, as well as a group of nomads on the Tibetan plateau. John and Marina have been married for 55 years, and live and dance in northern California.
heather thompson, born to a very religious dad and not so religious mom, always wanted to be a dancer but was never given the opportunity until Sacred Circle Dance came to Nashville in 1986. At age 31 this dance opened a world to me of traveling to other countries through dance. I enjoy tremendously the freedom, inner peace, joy, happiness, and love, it brings with each step. It has taken me to a few places in this world as well as a returning to the dance from the loss of an adult child. For many years I have found it extremely difficult to listen to music. I now dance and teach with a deeper understanding of living with grief. It comes out in many forms as does the joy of a richer beautiful dance experience. Her choreographies Tikho nad Richkoyu also known as Kitka, Lullaby, Son Mi Doyde, Hadra, Ong Namo, and Little Heart are Circle Dance favorites Worldwide.
David was invited to the Circle Dance Community in 1990 in Nashville, Tennessee by Heather Thompson. He fell in love with the dance (and Heather Thompson), and by 1993 he was an active teacher and was married to Heather. Through the years his dancing and teaching skills increased, and he began to help teach sessions at Far Horizons’s Dance Camp, and then at Monte Toyon, in California, and workshops for the Bay Area circle Dance group. David has choreographed several dances including Aa-Shoo Dekei-Oo, and Diri Diri. David continues to live in rural Tennessee with his wife Heather, and returns often to California as a guest teacher.