Turtle Disco Classes

Studio space with hardwood floors, purple wall, a spiral sculpture on the wall, orange chairs, a gong and yoga mats with cushions

Turtle Disco is a community arts space in the College Heights neighborhood of Ypsilanti, Michigan co-created by Petra Kuppers and Stephanie Heit to cultivate creative self-care, communal inquiry, connection, and awareness. Turtle Disco offerings include salons, readings, somatic writing, movement, Olimpias workshops, Kundalini yoga, and more. We are dedicated to providing a welcome and supportive environment, grounded in a disability culture framework. The space is wheelchair accessible.

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Fall 2017 Offerings

Monday             Tuesday                    Wednesday                   Friday                Sunday
Kundalini            Contemplative          Olimpias Creativity     Queer                  Kundalini
Yoga &                Dance & Writing      Sessions:                        Dreaming           Gong Bath
Meditation         Practice                     Amoeba Dances           Bimonthly           Monthly
7-8:30pm            4-6pm                      12:15-1:15pm               10:15-12:15          8-9pm

Queer Dreaming with Petra Kuppers
Fridays bimonthly 10-12am

The Turtle Disco women began this series on the anniversary of the Pulse tragedy, as a way to connect ourselves to wider webs of memory and love. Dreamers engage in a 20 minute journey, followed by open writing time. The practice is queer-led, seeks new kin and new responsibilities, and honors many different cultural pathways to lucid/shamanic dreaming (we do not engage in Native American appropriation).

No experience necessary, all bodyminds welcome, disability culture friendly. No sage or other scents.

To register, email Petra: petra@umich.edu

Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice with Stephanie Heit

Four week series: Tuesdays 4-6pm
November 21-December 12
Suggested donation: $48 for whole series; $15/class

In this practice, we will create a laboratory of delight: move together and apart in improvisational play, awaken the senses through freewrites, witness the breath in meditation, tend to self and community. Take a mini-retreat with this practice to cultivate creative self-care and inquiry.

No experience necessary, all bodyminds welcome, disability culture friendly. Bring writing/art materials you desire (journal, pen, colored pencils, etc.). Dress in layers to support movement and stillness. Cushions available.

To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

Kundalini Yoga & Meditation with Stephanie Heit
Winter Holiday Survival Kit
Mondays 7-8:30pm
November 27, December 4, December 11
Suggested donation: $36 for three week series; $15/class

Fortify yourself for the holiday season with these classes to strengthen your heart, increase prosperity, and tune your intuition to keep yourself buoyant in the weeks ahead. Give yourself the gift of self-care and join us for a class or this three week series to keep yourself resourced in this demanding season.

No experience necessary, all bodyminds welcome, disability culture friendly, gender neutral language.

Community Yogi Tea offered after each class.

To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

Surfing the Aquarian Wave ~ Steady in Stressful Times
Six week series: Mondays 7-8:30pm
October 16-November 20
Suggested donation: $72 for whole series; $15/class

This class series focuses on meditations, yoga postures, chanting, breathwork and live gong relaxation to support equilibrium in the nervous system and to work with bodymind states such as anxiety, depression and mania. Whether you are feeling the chaotic nature of the world and/or living with mental health difference, this series offers simple tools as self-care resources you can take into your daily life to increase resilience and joy.

No experience necessary, all bodyminds welcome, disability culture friendly, gender neutral language.

Community Yogi Tea offered after each class.

To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

Sunday Kundalini Gong Bath with Stephanie Heit
The following Sundays 8-9pm
October 15
November 12
December 10
Suggested donation: $11/class

Join us for an evening of sound healing and rejuvenation to prepare you for the week. We will do a short yoga set to ready the body for relaxation and then sink into the healing power of the gong followed by a short meditation with mantra (chanting).

Community Yogi Tea offered after class.

To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

The Olimpias Creativity Sessions: Amoeba Dances with Petra Kuppers
Wednesdays 12:15-1:15pm
November 15-December 13
Cost: donate an amount appropriate to you and your circumstances into our entry basket. Once a month, we’re giving what accumulates to a local queer, feminist or anti-racist organization in Ypsilanti and surrounds. Let’s nourish our communities as well as ourselves.

These somatic classes start with a short movement warm-up. Then, we’ll dive into our senses, exploring bodily boundaries on our yoga mats and under colorful blankets. We encounter ourselves and our micro-worlds, response-able to minute shifts, desires, and sensual states. We end on solo processing — writing, drawing, or moving — before we close our time together. Let’s pour our bodyminds across Turtle Disco, and tune up like jellyfish.

Radical access: let’s explore together what works for us. Ramp access, hypoallergenic doggie on the premises, queer/trans friendly, neurodiversity friendly.

To register, email Petra: petra@umich.edu

Olimpias Practice with Petra Kuppers
The following Saturdays 2-5pm
November 11
December 9

Camille [a fictional entity of the Children of the Compost, a collaborative web of speculative narratives hosted by feminist theorist Donna Haraway] came into being at a moment of an unexpected but powerful, interlaced, planetwide eruption of numerous communities of a few hundred people each, who felt moved to migrate to ruined places and work with human and nonhuman partners to heal these places, building networks, pathways, nodes, and webs of and for a newly habitable world. (Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: 2016: 137)

In these open sessions, let’s explore together how we can connect our collective to the Children of the Compost, using somatic exploration, movement, social sculpture, creative writing, visual work, public markings of any kind.

Open workshop, probably roaming to different sites, all bodyminds welcome, disability culture friendly.

To register, email Petra: petra@umich.edu

About the Turtle Disco Creators

Two white women in sunglasses leaning on each other and against desert pale rocks.

Petra & Stephanie

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist and community performance artist. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an artist collective, and travels internationally to co-create disability culture worlds. She engages community participants in gentle experimental process work, and dances in women’s centers, hospices, mental health self-help groups, with youth groups, with traditional Weavers and Knitters Guilds, politicians, people labeled as ‘developmentally disabled’, cancer survivors, in National Parks, abandoned buildings, swimming pools, forests, on the beach. In these art journeys, participants use touch, mark-making, sculptural attention to material and space, sound art, installation, writing, and live presence. Petra teaches at the University of Michigan, and is faculty on the Low-Residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. Her academic work focuses on arts-based methods, embodiment/enmindment, and disability culture. Her creative writing engages feminist experimental poetics, and speculative queer/crip fiction.

Stephanie Heit is a poet, dancer, and teacher of somatic writing, Contemplative Dance Practice, and Kundalini Yoga. She lives with bipolar disorder and is a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her debut poetry collection, The Color She Gave Gravity (The Operating System 2017), was a Nightboat Poetry Prize finalist. Stephanie was introduced to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in 2005 while in massage school at Crestone Healing Arts Center in Colorado. Since then she has continued her studies while living in Chile and now in her native Michigan and through attending annual Solstice Festivals. She completed her Kundalini teacher training with Harijiwan, Tej and Guru Jagat in 2016. Her lifelong love of dance and poetry enhances her practice along with her training in contemplative and somatic awareness practices at Buddhist-inspired Naropa University. As a queer woman with mental health difference, she creates a welcoming and supportive space that includes people with diverse gender expressions and bodymind experiences. In her classes she offers disability modifications, uses gender neutral language, and invites you to delight in the movement and stillness of your body, mind and spirit.