Process + Play Facilitators
Playing with Movement
Emily Olson seamlessly weaves together music, movement, visual art, creative writing and mindfulness practices in an integrated approach to personal and spiritual growth.
Over the course of her 25-year career as a professional musician, she cultivated a holistic approach to mindful awareness by combining sound, movement, writing, storytelling and visual art with practices from multiple wisdom traditions, as well as through studying the Alexander Technique, Authentic Movement, Body Mapping, Dalcroze Eurythmics, Enneagram, and Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education.
Emily has a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Michigan, and her interest in the role of the arts and mindfulness in health and wellness has led to certifications in Therapeutic Music, RYT 200 Yoga Teacher Training, and Trauma & Body-Based Awareness. Emily’s depth and breadth of artistry have been fostered by her spiritual journey, which can be characterized by lifelong curiosity, an unbound pursuit of wisdom, and a constant longing to evolve.
Playing with Art
Anna Vantsevich studied neuroscience and health informatics at U-M, and a few years after graduating with her masters, she landed a coveted position at the University of California San Francisco, a top-three medical school in the U.S. The feeling of “stuckness” in her career, however, persisted even after working in the prestigious position.
Anna began cultivating a practice of reflection and self-awareness, and when her circumstances changed to reveal a broader set of possibilities, she was ready to pursue her deeper goals. It is the building of inclusive narratives, and the skills that support embodying them, that Anna is inspired to share with others.
Anna is currently in the Masters of Art Therapy program at Wayne State University.
Playing with Photography
Sheila Otto is a storyteller, storywriter, storylistener, mother of 5, grandmother of 6, and great grandmother of 1. She holds degrees in French, Education, and Guidance and Counseling and certificates in Spiritual Direction and Reiki. She is the former director of Public Relations at Lourdes College.
Sheila studied photography with Michael Woods, Christine Valters Painter, and Jan Phillips and has practiced and taught contemplative photography in the Toledo area for many years. Her book of photos and stories for reflection, All Stories Are True…Some Actually Happened, explores such “soulsnorkeling," which she calls her process of looking below the surface. Dive in and explore!
Sheila believes that all things are potentially revelatory and the who, what, how we do photos can take us to places of self-discovery.
Stop, look, listen, then maybe photograph.
Playing with Words
Since the age of twelve, author India Bell-Felder—affectionately referred to as “Dia”—has used the written word to breathe life into the characters and universes of her imagination. It was at that age that she lost her mother, and turned to writing for catharsis and coping. Seated at a dining room table in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, a young Dia penned her first short story on a legal pad, using a sparkly blue gel pen. In the years since then, she has written countless pieces, two of which—“A Yuletide Alpha” and “Cassia’s Anniversary”—were published in the Holiday Follies and Valentine Follies anthologies.
Dia considers herself a student of her craft, constantly reading and studying to grow as an author. She draws inspiration from Mildred D. Taylor, Zora Neale Hurston, Nora Roberts, and Tomi Adeyemi; and was a member of the inaugural class of The Writer’s Roadmap. Dia’s genre is fantasy, with a focus on magical realism. Her big imagination allows her to compose works with vivid imagery, unique worlds and plots, engaging dialogue, and cliff hangers and twists which draw in readers. She is currently working on her adult fantasy manuscript.
Playing with Voice
Kath Weider is a singer, vocal coach, writer and entrepreneur. Kath began her musical career with traditional, conservatory-style vocal training, performing professionally in classical voice & musical theater. She eventually left the conservatory to pursue a creative career in writing and filmmaking, while continuing to play in folk and jazz bands.
In 2003, Kath discovered the work of David Darling and Music for People and began exploring the voice as an improvising instrument. This led her to study with Meredith Monk, Barry Green (The Inner Game of Music), Rhiannon (Voicestra) and Warren Senders (Hindustani singing). She completed her MfP Facilitators Training in 2007.
Kath is a long time practitioner of meditation and inquiry, and a student of the Diamond Approach school since 2005. As lead singer for the Spirit Singing Band, she facilitates and composes song prayers & chants for various spiritual communities.
It is Kath's great personal joy to share the beauty of singing and improvised play, whether in one-on-one sessions or in groups, as a means of deep healing and magical delight.