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

Gift PDF Disability Culture Publication: Turtle Disco Pandemic Artifacts from the Zoomshell

Turtle Disco is a somatic writing studio in our repurposed living room in Three Fires Confederacy territory in the College Heights neighborhood of Ypsilanti, Michigan. We, Petra Kuppers and Stephanie Heit, started Turtle Disco in 2017 as part of our art/life practices, to cultivate disability culture experimentation, creative self-care, communal inquiry, connection, and awareness. We aim to provide a welcoming and supportive environment, grounded in a crip/mad/queer led ethos. Every week, we offer one to three different movement or writing sessions for local folx, as part of a small experiment in art friendship, community building, and ecological sustainability. The space is wheelchair accessible.

Turtle Disco Zoomshell – due to the pandemic, we are experimenting with zoom offerings to continue to connect with our regular turtles and new friends. Turtle Disco Zoomshell offers a medium to reach out to be with each other in the midst of this worldwide pandemic, to create a space for the complex range of feelings and experiences within our predominantly disabled and queer community, and to offer vehicles for creative expression and play.

Sign up to receive emails about Turtle Disco offerings here.

Pandemic Artifacts  /                                            
                                      /  from the Zoomshell

a Turtle Disco Disability Culture Production

Gift PDF: Turtle Disco Pandemic Artifacts from the Zoomshell We are delighted to share with you this collection that witnesses the pandemic through art and writing created during Turtle Disco Zoomshell offerings. Edited by Petra Kuppers and Stephanie Heit, featuring work by Samar Abulhassan, Marc Arthur, Roxanna Bennett, Beth Currans, Sarah Dean, Jose Miguel Esteban, Elena SV Flys, Raven Kame’enui-Becker, Megan Kaminski, Victoria Lee Khatoon, Denise Leto, Naomi Ortiz, Hannah Soyer, Chanika Svetvilas, and Tracy Veck.

Turtle Disco is dedicated to access; you will find image descriptions with all the art work. These pieces emerged out of community arts practice and are intended to be experienced and enjoyed in the community, freely and widely. Please share this pdf at leisure, being mindful to keep artist credits intact.

Turtle Disco Zoomshell Offerings June 2022 (all times Eastern)
**Registration
: For general Turtle Disco queries and to register to receive the zoom links for any session, send a note to Stephanie: email stephanieheit@gmail.com  For specific questions for Petra: petra@umich.edu

Brass tack line up with details below
Zoomshell Connection with Turtle Disco Kaffeeklatsch [zoomshell]
Friday, June 17th 7-8pm Eastern
Sensorial Gardens [zoomshell]
Saturday, June 25th 3-4pm Eastern
Crip Magic Reading/Writing Workshop [zoomshell]
Tuesday, June 28th 7-8:15pm Eastern
Turtle Disco Goes…to the Watershed [in person, masked/distanced]
Wednesday, June 29th 2-3:30pm Eastern

July Satellite Events:
Starship Somatics: Speculative Embodiment with Petra [virtual] through Movement Research
Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th, 11:30am-12:30pm Eastern; $40-$75 Register here.
Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice with Stephanie [virtual]
Guest artist for DanceAbility hosted by Detroit Disability Power
Friday, July 22nd 12:30pm-2:30pm Eastern; More info here. Registration info TBA.

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Turtle Disco Offerings Descriptions & Details
Zoomshell Connection with Turtle Disco Kaffeeklatsch [zoomshell]
Friday, June 17th 7-8pm Eastern
free
Join us to connect, check-in, and exchange about our creative lives during viral times. Low-key community space with a small group. Just email us if you’d like to join, and we’ll send you the link and password. Meetings are no longer than one hour and are free. These were started in the early days of the quarantine and continue to be a harbor for tender creative exchange.

Sensorial Gardens with Stephanie [zoomshell]
Saturday, June 25th 3-4pm Eastern
Class Sliding scale: free-$20 Suggested Class Donation: $10
Paypal: stephanieheit@gmail.com Venmo: @Stephanie-Heit
How can we transform a zoom practice into a container garden to hold us for an hour of sensate play? No need to be glued to the screen, an offering to support us to inhabit, tend, and find pleasure in our many locations. Experiment with how different inputs (sound, touch, memory, smell, language, gestures) engage with your sensorium through invitations you can customize to your bodymind and space (inside/outside).

Crip Magic: Reading/Writing Workshop with Stephanie & Petra [zoomshell]
Tuesday, June 28th 7-8:15pm Eastern **rescheduled due to covid. new date tba
free or by donation
In these generative writing sessions, we will read one or two contemporary poems together, discuss them, and then engage in writing, led by prompts provided by Stephanie and Petra. This is not a sharing or feedback-driven workshop: it’s a place to immerse ourselves in craft in connection with social justice discourses, and to get to writing (disability-led, but not exclusive to disability topics or disabled writers).

Turtle Disco Goes….to the Watershed [in person, masked/distanced]
Wednesday, June 29th 2-3:30pm Eastern; free **rescheduled due to covid. new date tba
UMMA: University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 S State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (meet in the lobby at 2pm)
Join us on a field trip to UMMA, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and their Watershed exhibit – recent work from fifteen contemporary artists in an exhibition that immerses visitors in the interconnected histories, present lives, and imagined futures of the Great Lakes region. We will visit and run a few performance and writing experiments to connect ourselves with the work and the waters of our region.

*A note on payment: Turtle Disco operates on a social justice payment exchange. We are able to provide most of our offerings for free, especially those facilitated by Petra as she already has a regular salary as a professor at University of Michigan. Stephanie’s offerings are by suggested donation with the option of free as well. She is dedicated to economic access balanced with her personal economic situation as a disabled person not conventionally employed whose income is social security disability. All donations are appreciated. Paypal: stephanieheit@gmail.com Venmo: @Stephanie-Heit or contact her for her address if you’d prefer to send a check.

*A note on accessibility: Zoom presents many access benefits as well as challenges, many of which we are unable to mitigate at this time (ASL, live remote captioning). Turtle Disco originates from a disability culture framework, and we want to acknowledge the current limits of our access provisions. We will provide audio description and pdfs of any written materials, if requested. Please feel welcome to contact us with any access questions or requests.

Past Session Descriptions

Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice with Stephanie Heit
Saturday, April 30th 3-5pm Eastern
Class Sliding scale: free-$30   Suggested Class Donation: $15
Paypal: stephanieheit@gmail.com Venmo: @Stephanie-Heit
In this practice, we will create a laboratory of delight: move in improvisational play engaging with our inner and outer spaces, awaken the senses through freewrites, witness the breath in meditation, tend to self and other taking influence from and connecting through our community of zoom squares. Join us to cultivate creative self-care, communal and individual inquiries, and an embodied, moving writing experience. This can be a rich training ground for touching into and being with the unknown, a useful skill for these uncertain times.

Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice is based on and adapted from Contemplative Dance Practice created and developed at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado by Barbara Dilley, who I had the pleasure to study with for many years. I honor this lineage and appreciate her invitation to adjust this “dancer’s meditation hall” to make it a living, changing thing to meet the moment.

No experience necessary. Please make a zoom space nest equipped with whatever you need for sitting or horizontal meditation (chair, cushion, mat). Bring writing/art materials you desire (journal, pen, colored pencils, etc.). Dress in comfy layers to support movement and stillness.

Starship Somatics with Petra Kuppers
Wednesday, May 11th 7-8pm Eastern
free
In this workshop, we will engage our bodymindspirits as portals, as trance-mobiles that honor pasts and jet us toward speculative futures. In our sessions, we will use improvised movement, dream journeys, sounding, writing, and drawing as our transportation devices: firmly grounded in the sensory immediacy of our beds, sofas, floors and windows, and flying wide to honor ways of being of all kinds. All welcome, grounded in disability culture values.

Turtle Disco Goes…to the Beach! [in person, outdoors]
Saturday, December 11th 11am-1pm Eastern, free
Jensen Beach Park (4191 NE Ocean Blvd, Jensen Beach, FL 34957)
Come along and move, write, feel between the sun and ocean. Let’s immerse our hands in the sea, cleanse and ground ourselves for the year ahead. Playshop score instructions by Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers. Please register ahead of time so we know to look for you! And let us know of any access needs.

Turtle Disco Goes…Crane Dancing! [in person, outdoors]
Saturday, October 23rd 5:30pm Eastern, free
Phyllis Haehnle Audobon Memorial Sanctuary
NE of Jackson, MI on Seymour Rd. Driving directions and more info here.
Turtle Disco Goes…is back with an outdoor interspecies experience. Join us before the sun sets to witness the marvel of sandhill cranes gathering before their trip south. Bring a camping chair or blanket to get comfy. Trail to the viewing area is wheelchair accessible. Please register ahead of time so we know to look for you!

Amoeba Dances with Petra Kuppers
In this workshop, we will listen to and move with sounds we are making with our own breath, in our own home, while being comfortable on a mat on the floor (or in a similar comfortable position for yourself and your particular bodymind). The practice is informed by Pauline Oliveros’ deep listening work, by Continuum Movement, and by Olimpias disability culture practices. We will use our breath to channel sounds through our body, paying attention to the images, sensations and movements that come up as we engage our home space, and the objects inside it. We will then move from experience into creative writing.

Petra’s practice is born out of experiences of physical pain, and it is designed to be accessible to people who live with (different kinds of) pain. Our breath tunnels link us to new and old worlds, to moments that allow us to experience ourselves in difference, in hope, in joy, toward aliveness. We encounter ourselves and our micro-worlds, response-able to minute shifts, desires, and sensual states.

MELT/Movement Research:Starship Somatics with Petra Kuppers (on zoom)
Monday, July 26th-Friday, July 30th, noon to 1pm Eastern, $50
Registration and Info Link: https://movementresearch.org/event/16020
In this workshop, we will engage our bodymindspirits as portals, as trance-mobiles that honor pasts and jet us toward speculative futures. Over our week together, we will use improvised movement, dream journeys, sounding, writing, and drawing as our transportation devices: firmly grounded in the sensory immediacy of our beds, sofas, floors and windows, and flying wide to honor ways of being of all kinds. All welcome, grounded in disability culture values.

present/breath: participatory drawing action with Petra Kuppers, a Turtle Disco event
Friday, June 4th, 6-7pm, link here
outside 22 North Gallery, 22 N Huron St, Ypsilanti  free
Let’s look at one another again – freed from Zoom screens and lonely living rooms. Let’s see each other as humans in the wild. Come and join 10-min outdoor participatory drawing actions. All materials provided, zero drawing experience necessary. Look for the red camping chairs!
present/breath will culminate in an exhibit at 22 North Gallery in May 2022.

Queer Dreaming with Petra Kuppers
free
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.

Turtle Disco Salon
Fall Salon: Friday, November 13th 7-8:30pm, free
Offerings by Chanika Svetvilas, Naomi Ortiz, and Hannah Soyer
Spring Salon: Friday, April 16th 7-8:30pm
Offerings by Sarah Dean, Raven Kame’enui-Becker, and Petra Kuppers
Join us for this creative sharing of new work in process (poetry, art, studio tour, film, performance, etc. whatever has juice for you now) with a small community of artists. We’ll do a brief personal check-in followed by salon offerings. The people presenting will each have up to 10 minutes to share followed by conversation about the work by the whole group. A supportive place to experiment. Email us if you’d like to present, and also if you’d like to join the group.

Online EcoSomatics Symposium (Main Sponsor: University of Michigan Think/Act/Tank) Symposium begins Tuesday, September 22 with offerings through Tuesday, October 6
live remote captioning for all events, free
Find below the offerings from Stephanie & Petra. For all the details on the whole symposium, many events open to the public, please visit: https://petrakuppersfiction.wordpress.com/ecosomatics-symposium/
Please register by September 15th
Saturday, September 26th 3-5pm Eastern (3-4 with Stephanie, 4-5 with Petra)

Water Bodies States of Mind with Stephanie Heit
In this hour-long workshop, we will explore and tune into the water in our own bodies, using this element to become aware of, hone, and sometimes shift our states of being. We’ll choose water forms to embody from saliva to oceans through movement, sound, and writing/drawing. Hydrate yourself with this practice that offers bodymind support, care structures, creative inquiry, and fluid intelligence vital to thrive in our changing world. This workshop originates from my personal experience as bipolar and the grounding/altering properties of water. The ability to change energetic/physical/spiritual states and to move or flow between feelings is a resource that water in its many forms models as a way to navigate present/future uncertainties. This practice is offered as a portal to embrace and explore a full range of water and bodymind states, acknowledging that water can be a vehicle and site of violence, ancestral drowning, division as well as an arbiter of connection, buoyancy, joy. Please make a zoom space nest with room to move and rest. Have on hand water and writing/art materials you desire (journal, pen, colored pencils, etc.). Dress in comfy layers to support movement and stillness.

Amoeba Dances: Tunneling Open with Petra Kuppers
In Amoeba Dances, we listen to and move with sounds we are making with our own breath, in our own home, while being comfortable on a mat on the floor (or in a similar comfortable position for yourself and your particular bodymind). Our practice is informed by Pauline Oliveros’ deep listening work, by Continuum Movement, and by Olimpias disability culture practices. We use our breath to channel sounds through our body, and respond in movement – tiny or large, whatever is appropriate to us. My practice is born out of experiences of physical pain, and it is designed to be accessible to people who live with (different kinds of) pain. Our breath tunnels link us to new and old worlds, to moments that allow us to experience ourselves in difference, in hope, in joy, toward aliveness. We encounter ourselves and our micro-worlds, response-able to minute shifts, desires, and sensual states. I use this practice as the basis for movement/writing workshops in Turtle Disco, a disability-led somatic writing studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

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 and contemplative movement practices. She is a Zoeglossia Fellow, bipolar, and a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her debut poetry collection, The Color She Gave Gravity (The Operating System 2017), explore the seams of movement, writing and mental health difference and was a Nightboat Poetry Prize finalist. Her lifelong love of dance and poetry shapes her offerings 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 and invites you to delight in the movement and stillness of your body, mind and spirit.

TrudiinTurtleDisco

Turtle Disco dog Trudi (non-shedding shitzu-poodle mix)

Turtle Disco Offerings Archive

March 11, 2020  Turtle Disco In-Person Events Suspended
Dear Turtles,

Here at Turtle Disco we feel it’s time to tuck into our respective shells for this next stretch. We want to honor our mission to cultivate creative self-care, communal inquiry, connection, and awareness in a disability culture framework. As a disability led space that hosts turtles of all shells, we want to be responsible and as safe as possible in the midst of Covid 19. We are not just concerned for our own health but for that of our community, especially the elders, immune compromised, and other people more vulnerable to illness.

For those reasons, we are suspending our regular classes until further notice. Instead, we are working on putting into place some alternative ways of being together.

Many of you have seen on Petra’s account on Facebook her experience with being sick and unsuccessful attempts to get tested for covid. During this stretch of self-quarantine, we’ve had daily skype dates with a dear poet friend that have been a boost to all of our spirits. As Michigan moves into a culture of social distancing, we’d like to offer a weekly online Turtle Disco Tea. This would be a time to hang out together, catch up and chat and ameliorate some of the loneliness and isolation people may be feeling. We’ll be in touch with the specifics soon.

In the meantime, take good care of yourself and each other. Invent fun lyrics to sing to as you wash your hands. Paint your shell a new color. Plan your spring garden.

Please feel welcome to reach out to Petra or Stephanie with any questions. We love our Turtle Disco community and feel this is the best course for the present moment.

In love and creativity,
Stephanie and Petra

Ypsi First Friday present/breath Gallery Opening
(For more info on all present/breath events visit here)
Friday, May 6th, free, everyone welcome, no registration needed
22 North Gallery; 22 North Huron, Ypsilanti, MI

5:00pm onward: present/breath community drawing with Petra Kuppers
Let’s see each other as humans in the three-dimensional wild. Come and join 10-min participatory drawing actions. Community performance artist Petra Kuppers invites people to create surreal contour drawings of one another, of dancing participants, and of quietly meditating ones. All materials provided, zero drawing experience necessary, grounded in disability culture values of access aesthetics and experimentation. Enjoy spending a few minutes to look deeply at and witness another human being.

6:30pm Artist Talks with Jennifer Lickers and Chanika Svetvilas
Jennifer Lickers (she/her) is a biracial First Nations artist with ties to both Detroit, Michigan and Six Nations, Ontario. She grew up in the Detroit area. As a child she had little contact with her indigenous family and information about her native identity was formed through old photos of the west and one sided history books. Beliefs of the vanishing race theory started to surface early in her childhood. She often lived in two worlds. During the school year, she spent her time between Dearborn and Detroit. During the summer, she was with her grandparents on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. The space between two cultures is the focus of her work.

Chanika Svetvilas (she/her/hers) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Princeton, NJ who utilizes lived experience to create safe spaces, to disrupt stereotypes, and to reflect on contemporary issues. She has presented her interdisciplinary work at ABC NoRio, Brooklyn Public Library, Westbeth Gallery, Denver International Airport, Asian Arts Initiative, Islip Art Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and more. She is curator for the annual exhibition, Unique Minds: Creative Voices, at Princeton University and presented by the Graduate Student Government Mental Health Initiative. Svetvilas is also co-founder of ThaiLinks and Thai Takes, the first biennial Thai film festival in New York City. For more information, visit chanikasvetvilas.com.

present/breath Symposium Day [in person]
Saturday, May 7th 1:30pm-6:00pm, free
Please register here. Access Notes: Wheelchair access, microphone, various access technologies will be on site. If you require CART, ASL or other access provisions during the symposium events, please inform us at petra@umich.edu by May 2nd, so that we can arrange the exhibit space accordingly.

1:30-2:30 pm Opening in 22 North Gallery. We will engage in welcoming somatic work with Stephanie Heit (independent artist, Turtle Disco, Ypsilanti), and Petra Kuppers (UM, English, Women’s and Gender Studies), followed by a structured conversation about the work that surrounds us, in the presence of artists Jennifer Lickers and Chanika Svetvilas.

2:30-3:15pm Eco Soma Book Launch in 22 North Gallery, book launch for Petra Kuppers’ Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access). This book grew with and out of many of the engagements we had in our Eco-Somatics series these past years. How do dream journeys, poetry explorations, science fiction, dinosaur bones, and soft blankets go together? Come over, listen to a reading, and celebrate the book release with us!

4:00-4:45pm Workshop with Jessica Rajko.
In this small workshop we will focus on the palpability—the feeling of our active senses—in interactions with various technologies and apparatuses. Beginning with small, sensory explorations augmented by non-digital technologies such as ear plugs and stethoscopes we will explore the richness of our active, seeking senses. This will transition to similar explorations with custom-made wearable technology bands that unpack various biosensors and methods for making biosensor data legible. This offering is slow and playful—engaging curiosity as an entry point into criticality, particularly around questions of quantification, surveillance, and digital representation(s).

Jessica Rajko is an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in dance and big data analytics. Her creative research and critical scholarship explores what we learn pragmatically, aesthetically, and ethically, when researchers cultivate spaces of methodological plurality and generative tension between dance and computing fields. Jessica has presented her research at Harvard’s Digital Futures Consortium, UPenn’s Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and University of New Mexico’s ART Lab. She’s also shared her interactive/performative artworks at CHI, Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Electronic Literature Organization Conference, Amsterdam’s OT301, Currents New Media Festival, and the Heard Museum.

5-6pm Closing Performance Sharing with bree gant.
bree gant is an artist and thinker from the westside of Detroit. They studied film at Howard University while gentrification paved over Washington, DC, and moved back to Detroit, when the city filed for bankruptcy, to see the cranes had followed her home. She has held residencies and fellowships with Art Matters Foundation, Kresge Arts in Detroit, Red Bull Arts, People in Education and Detroit Narrative Agency, and exhibits artwork nationally. Some of their most transformative experiences were collaborative, improvisational performances with folk like The Gathering, Visions of the Evolution, and The Fringe Society. bree is currently researching the bodily experience of depending on the bus in the Motor City, binge watching early 2000s science fiction, and probably at a park somewhere dancing in the snow.

present/breath Artist Talk with Jennifer Lickers and Chanika Svetvilas [zoomshell]
Thursday, May 26th 6:30-7:30pm Eastern; free (please register here ) Live captioned.

Winter 2020 Turtle Disco Offerings (check descriptions below for date/time specifics)
Mondays: Kundalini Yoga & Meditation 7-8:30pm
Tuesdays: Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice 6:30-8:30pm
Saturday: Turtle Disco Goes Hands-On 1:30-3:30pm; Feb 15 (see description for location)
Sundays: Amoeba Dances 11am-1pm; Jan 26 & March 15
Turtle Disco Goes Automotive 2-4pm; Feb 23 (see description for location)
Queer Dreaming 11am-1pm; Jan 12 & Feb 16
Gong Bath 8-9pm; Jan 19, Feb 16, March 15

SPECIAL EVENT: International Contemplative Dance Practice Day
Friday, March 13
3-5pm
Free

Join us here at Turtle Disco in company with folks all over the world as we celebrate Barbara Dilley’s birthday and the wonderful form she created. We will plumb the bounds of kinesthetic delight through meditation, movement, writing and improvisational play. Tend to self and community in this mini-retreat to cultivate creative self-care and inquiry.

Free, 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

“Not too much expectation of anything. Not trying to change anything. Being here with others, others who do this. It’s a worthy discipline.”
-Barbara Dilley, from This Very Moment

Class Descriptions
Kundalini Yoga & Meditation with Stephanie Heit
Purple Third Eye Kisses: Intuitive Powers
Mondays 7-8:30pm
January 13 – March 2, March 16 & 23
Suggested donation: $15/class

Cultivate your intuition and manifest your dreams in this new year. This series will focus on the third eye to increase the panoramic view of your life and all of its possibilities. We will utilize meditation, yoga postures, breathwork and live gong relaxation to balance and strengthen your system. Each class will offer simple tools and self-care resources you can take into your daily life to help you thrive.

Turtle Disco Kundalini is queer/disability led and embraces queerdalini and feminist principles. LGBTQ+ folk welcome, inclusive language, disability culture friendly, no experience necessary. We strive to make a safe space for all bodyminds and gender expressions.
Community Yogi Tea offered after each class.
To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

Contemplative Dance & Writing Practice with Stephanie Heit
Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm
January 14 – March 3 (no class February 4th)
Suggested donation: $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

Amoeba Dances hosted by Petra Kuppers
Sundays 11am-1pm
January 26, March 15
free

Let’s dive into our senses. We encounter ourselves and our micro-worlds, response-able to minute shifts, desires, and sensual states. Let’s pour our bodyminds across Turtle Disco, and tune up like jellyfish. Small  movements on the floor, followed by writing.

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

Turtle Disco goes… Hands-On    A Playshop with Petra Kuppers
Saturday, February 15th  1:30-3:30
Location: Hands-On Museum, 220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor
Museum Entrance Fee: $12.50

Turtle Disco goes… Automotive    A Playshop with Petra Kuppers
Sunday, February 23rd  2-4
Location: Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Center, 100 E Cross St, Ypsilanti
Museum Entrance Fee: $5.00

In this series of fieldtrips, Turtle Disco goes drifting in museums and other local public spaces. We meet, engage in sensory delights, and focus our attention in different performance modes. We’ll do some freewriting in between. Accessible to all. Free, apart from entrance fee. We usually have coffee or so in-between or afterward: this is a social occasion as much as a creative exploration.

Sunday Kundalini Gong Bath with Stephanie Heit
Sundays 8-9pm
January 19
February 16
March 15
Suggested donation: $15/class

Join us for an evening of sound healing and rejuvenation to prepare you for the week. We will do some movement and meditation to ready the body for relaxation and then sink into the healing power of the gong. (No swimsuit needed or water involved!)

Turtle Disco Kundalini is queer/disability led and embraces queerdalini and feminist principles. LGBTQ+ folk welcome, inclusive language, disability culture friendly, no experience necessary. We strive to make a safe space for all bodyminds and gender expressions.

Community Yogi Tea offered after class.
To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

Queer Dreaming with Petra Kuppers
Sundays 11am-1pm
January 12, February 16
free, new participants welcome

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

Salamander Lair Material Practice with Petra Kuppers 
dates by arrangement, contact Petra if you are interested
free if it’s hard to pay, $10 materials donation appreciated

These sessions take place in Turtle Disco’s new underground Materials Studio, accessible via stairlift. The practice might involve felting, mixed media, or other table-based work, inspired by a disability culture theme, often incorporating found material. Register to find out what we are doing on any particular day, and to hold your spot: only 3-4 spaces. If you want to use your hands to craft and play, as well as visit and have tea, join us. Basic materials are provided but bring your own if you have them.
To register, email Petra: petra@umich.edu

Turtle Disco Salon: Carla Harryman ~ Artifact of Hope
Saturday, January 13
7:30pm
free, please RSVP by emailing petra@umich.edu

Turtle Disco is delighted to host Carla Harryman for our first salon in celebration of her new chapbook Artifact of Hope (Kenning Editions, 2017). Join us for this intimate reading and discussion followed by a reception.

Artifact of Hope is an epistolary essay combined with the documentary remains of a post-Occupy project, one beginning in a wish to situate a collective dialogue in creative readings of Ernst Bloch’s The Principle of Hope. The artifacts that comprise the majority of the essay take the form of daydreams, letters to students, a conference paper, citations, and various writings by those who attended Harryman’s workshops and seminars at the Oakland Public School in 2013 and, two-years later, at the Pratt Institute. Harryman views these venues as aspects of concrete utopias, however fragile and impermanent.

Carla Harryman has authored nineteen books of experimental poetry, prose, essays, and plays. Her work begins in a radical exploration of the sentence and its non/narrative performative capacities, developing in the context of the West Coast Language Writing scene of the 1970s and 1980s as well as in text-based performance and interdisciplinary collaboration. Harryman has received numerous awards including a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Art; grants from the National Performance Network and Opera America, Next Stage; awards in poetry from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the Fund for Poetry, and the NEA Consortium Playwrights Commission.  She is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University, and she serves on the summer faculty of the MFA Program of the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.

Please RSVP by emailing petra@umich.edu, and join us to celebrate Carla Harryman, Kenning Editions, local collectives and concrete utopias.

Access Notes: Ramp access, hypoallergenic doggie on the premises, queer/trans friendly, neurodiversity friendly, let us know of additional access requirements.

Special Workshop on MLK Day
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation: Creativity in 2018 with Stephanie Heit
Monday, January 15
7-9pm
free (please bring a small offering: an apple, a poem, a dollar…)

Let’s celebrate the power of dreams and creativity and set our intentions for the new year in this special workshop that utilizes Kundalini yoga, live gong relaxation, writing, and drawing. We will practice a yoga kriya to open our creative channels and then map our creative desires for 2018 onto the page. Visualize rainbow colors moving up your spine, chant the mantra for creative consciousness and set yourself for a year of creation and joy.

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

Community Yogi Tea offered after workshop.

To register, email Stephanie: stephanieheit@gmail.com

The Olimpias Creativity Session: Amoeba Dances with Petra Kuppers
Wednesdays 12:15-1:15pm
January 10, 17, 31
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

International Contemplative Dance Practice Day
Tuesday, March 13
4-6pm
Free

Join us here at Turtle Disco in company with folks all over the world as we celebrate Barbara Dilley on her 80th birthday and the wonderful form she created. We will plumb the bounds of kinesthetic delight through meditation, movement, writing and improvisational play. Tend to self and community in this mini-retreat to cultivate creative self-care and inquiry.

Free, 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

“Not too much expectation of anything. Not trying to change anything. Being here with others, others who do this. It’s a worthy discipline.”
-Barbara Dilley, from This Very Moment

Spring Kundalini Community Potluck
Sunday, March 25
6-8:30pm
Free

Please join us for meditation, potluck, community and to celebrate the arrival of spring! We’ll be doing a group meditation at the beginning but feel free to come by any time.  I’ll make lentil soup and have yogi tea. Please bring a vegetarian offering to share.

Turtle Disco has cushions/yoga mats for six folks for the short meditation, but feel free to bring whatever supports you need. Also, please note we have a dog. Turtle Disco doggie Trudi is a shihtzu-poodle mix, non-shedding and hypo-allergenic, but just an fyi for those with allergies. She has been known to tune in.

RSVP for address:  stephanieheit@gmail.com

Special Turtle Disco Satellite Event
Petra Kuppers ~ Ice Bar: Disability Culture Writing
Thursday, June 21
7pm Aut Bar Patio, Common Language Bookstore
315 Braun Court, Ann Arbor
free

On the first day of summer,  Petra Kuppers will read short stories from her new collection, Ice Bar. Visit with post-apocalyptic science fiction and psychedelic fantasy, featuring a cast of queer, vulnerable, beautiful characters. Disability becomes an invitation to new lives, new stories, new opportunities.

Copies available at our local LGBTQ Bookstore, Common Language and their online site here