Our 2023 Workshop Presenters
Uplifting Dance through Zumba
Presented by Wanda Thorpe
Licensed Zumba instructor and Founder, Sparkling Dance Fitness
Dance your way to better physical and mental health with Zumba. Increase your self confidence through dance and positive, uplifting music. All dance levels are encouraged to try this!
Read more about Wanda
Wanda has lived in Northern Virginia all of her life. She loves her community and loves to help others. With the help of her friends, family and her Zumba community, she holds monthly fundraisers to help the local communities. She has collected donations for cancer and heart research, coats, and food.
In 2021, Wanda made a huge career move is now focused on helping her locals get healthy as a full time fitness instructor. She is also furthering her career as a nutritionist and personal trainer.
In her spare time, Wanda loves to spend time with her husband, dog, her two nieces, and her family and friends. She loves to cook, especially on holidays, keep active, explore her community, and watch her favorite shows or movies.
How to Make Peace With Meditation
Presented by Michele Capots
BeWell Health Coach, PRS Inc.
This beginner workshop will educate attendees on the benefits of meditation, lead them through a short, guided visualization, as well as practice mini mindful exercises to do anywhere, it’s even perfect for the person who believes meditation’s not for you.
Read more about Michele
Michele Capots is a coach, storyteller, and peer specialist, who has worked for more than half a dozen years supporting individuals and groups on their path to mental wellness. Currently, in her role with PRS Inc, she serves as a health coach for the BeWell program, helping individuals integrate their physical and mental health. As a person with lived experience in mental illness, Michele has published essays in The Washington Post Magazine, Marie Claire, and The Tribune-Review newspaper. She is an executive committee member of the Global Mental Health Peer Network, and finds her happy place in nature, where she loves to go on long walks and hikes.
Our Visual Voice – Art in Recovery
Presented by Samantha Simons
RPRS, ToT, Expressive Arts Facilitator
This workshop explores creativity as both a language for individual reparation, recovery, and growth and a vehicle for advocacy in action. Expressive arts honor the creative voice of the individual while providing an opportunity to be in community with others through a visual representation of our journey. We will learn some of the scientific benefits of expressive arts, how visual creation drives motivation, the ways art is used to broadcast messages, and concludes with a “drawing what you hear activity.”
Read more about Samantha
Developing Lasting Relationships In Recovery
Presented by Monika Taylor
Director of Marketing and Communications, RPSV
During this interactive workshop, participants are encouraged to share their concerns about finding and building friendships and long-term relationships while in recovery. We will discuss activities that can help us feel empowered to make new connections and will leave with a greater understanding of how and why self-love is the key to any successful relationship. Join us and make new friends!
Read more about Monika
Monika Taylor is Director of Marketing and Communications for Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia (RPSV). In her role, she manages a team of staff and volunteers to increase awareness and resources for those RPSV serves with mental health, substance use, and homelessness issues across Northern Virginia.
Before RPSV, Monika managed Strategic Support for Nonprofits, a consulting firm she founded to support small to medium-size nonprofits and for-profit businesses from Chicago eastward. Over the last nine years, she has managed a vast variety of projects and initiatives in the areas of communications, marketing, media relations, branding, web design and content management, virtual and in-person events, fundraising development, grant writing, video production, blogging, public appearances, development trainings, and nonprofit management consulting. She is a long-time resident of the City of Falls Church where she lives with Bob, and their cat, Lucy.
Finding Balance Through Pain
Presented by Seth Pearson
Founder and CEO of “Heal with Seth Henry”
Pain is inevitable in your journey through life. However, it does not have to define you or be your “source of suffering”.
In this workshop, learn about ways to ease your suffering, and discover how to find balance within yourself, even while going through difficult times.
Read more about Seth
May the Breath Be with You
Presented by Niecia Bullock,
Managing Partner-Rooted Yoga, Reiki & Sound Immersion Practitioner, RYT-200
Breath Meditation is a simple and accessible way to incorporate self-care into your daily routine because your breath is always with you!
Practicing intentional breathing or controlled breath has several benefits, such as reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing your energy, and calming your mind.
During this session, we’ll explore how to recognize stress and overwhelm and learn specific breathing techniques to move through moments of panic, boost your energy, or induce relaxation.
Read more about Niecia
Niecia is the owner of Rooted Yoga and a RYT 200 yoga & mindfulness educator. Rooted is a vibrant yoga studio that celebrates diversity, community, and practical self-care. It is located in the picturesque Belmont Bay neighborhood of Woodbridge, VA. After experiencing a series of seizure activity, Niecia was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Through her healing process she discovered the benefits of yoga and mindfulness. She couldn’t believe how transformative a few moments of simple movements, focused breath, and practical self-care could be. Like Oprah, she wanted everybody to have her favorite things! She’s been passionately guiding new yogis to the mat, providing mindfulness education, and encouraging the practice of unapologetic self-care ever since. Her intention is to create diverse, relational, and supportive spaces for connection. Food and ridiculousness are her love language and finding the funny in less than stellar situations is her superpower. She also enjoys biking, paddle boarding, traveling, reading, and binging podcasts.
Rewiring Anxiety Through Yes-And Thinking
Presented by Dan Brown, Reflex Improv
Over time, improv training and play can have a profound impact on the effects of anxiety. In this workshop we’ll cover these:
• Yes-And: improv’s foundations build in active listening and communication.
• Got Your Back: teamwork honors selflessness and empathy, creating a safe and supportive environment to play.
• Embracing Mistakes: what goes wrong in a scene isn’t a mistake – instead it opens up unexpected opportunities.
• And we’ll laugh hard.
Read more about Reflex Improv
After performing improv while in college and teaching several years for Washington Improv Theater in DC, Dan started Reflex Improv in the spring of 2016 to bring improv classes out to the suburbs of the DC Area. Reflex currently has classes running in Annapolis, Fairfax, Falls Church, Mosaic District and Reston, and runs corporate workshops teaching Yes-And creative improv skills to organizations such as Captial One, Deloitte, Amazon, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Leadership Fairfax, the USDA, Boston Properties, and Microsoft.
Our philosophy is that Improv training can change the world in very positive ways, even beyond stage performances, so we’re trying to get it out to as many people as possible.