Workshops and Engagement

“The safe atmosphere she created, interacting with everyone, making her points, explanations and directions very clear, accessible to everyone. It felt like you were entering a different universe, more chilled than the outside world” Lia: Participant at the HOME Series in Bristol

To book a workshop please contact us here

Ella Mesma Company seek to champion an environment which is inclusive, collaborative and empowering using the universal language of dance. The company ethos of undoing limiting beliefs extends to our engagement and community work. With each company production, we offer wraparound activity, and are interested in dance for transformation and healing and giving voices to the unheard. 

Who can study with us?

We can cater for all ages from 4 to 100… we have taught in nurseries, schools, universities, congresses, youth groups, care homes and in both community and professional dancers and settings.

Technique Classes

“I had a wonderful time, you are absolutely a joy to watch and your class is a true reflection of our beautiful culture”. Ana Terra Carvalho, Brazilian Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa

To read about the dance styles our company dancers teach and practise, click here

The HOME Series 

I originally developed the content of the HOME series  workshops to facilitate the telling of the performers stories in a way that was healing and affirming. They have evolved into a series of 7 movement meditations inspired by the chakra system.

Chakras are the centres in our bodies in which energy flows through: if they are blocked this keeps us from flowing freely in our lives, for example feeling grounded, our ability to accept others and new experiences, our ability to be confident and in control of our lives, our ability to love and be loved.

The origin of the rainbow chakras and the kundalini serpent derive from the Yoruba orisha system of ancient West Africa, deified in the divinity Osumare. This was later taken to Kemet (Ancient Egypt) and became the Uraeas, and then transferred to the Andamanese (the oldest inhabitants of India) from where the physical exercises that constitute yoga as we know it and the Hindu concept of chakras evolved. In the tantric tradition, it is believed that the energy that was brought forth at the creation, the Kundalini, is a serpent coiled at the base of the spine. Through the use of yoga and meditation, the Kundalini energy can be awakened to flow through the body and allow one to connect with the Creator.

We all have our natural and unique talents to share with the world, and I love draw these out in everyone: coming home to who we are through imagination and how we move authentically! If you would love to create a shift in your life or simply to reimagine the way you move through your reality, these workshops are for you!

1: HOME: Grounding and Foundation

“I thoroughly enjoyed Ella’s invitation to seek deeper, to ground further into the inner expression of myself. A mindful workshop to root in your own dance”. Agüi Garcia

 

“It was such a wonderful experience attending the HOME workshop, as a dancer I felt totally immersed in the movement. HOME provided me with an opportunity to dance many styles, including my own and to meditate towards healing. Throughout the session I was guided through movement meditations; learning new dance vocabulary and improvising in my own flow – a wonderful synergy”. Dani Byars, Leeds

“The ache for home lives in all of us: the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” Maya Angelou

Inspired by the Root Chakra (Muladhara), HOME uses different improvisation techniques and work with the bandhas and the ‘Pole of the Body’ as described by Katherine Dunham to discover and unlock the unique movement language within all of us.

The Muladhara or Root chakra corresponds to the physical body and connection to the Earth. Just like a foundation, it is concerned with the basics of survival (evolution) and thoughts such as ‘I don’t belong’ and so in this class we use affirmations, grounding, contract/release work, floor-work and the imagination.

Danced to Latin and Afro house, (and other awesome tracks) HOME comes with a complimentary Chakra PDF about how to further work on opening and grounding.

*Wear Red!

“The knowledge she gave, the vibe created and being able to access the “Home” place we so regularly forget about and overlook, all led to a soul warming and fulfilling experience. I would highly recommend all artists from any background to take Ella’s workshops” Kiran Kumar, Student, Leeds

2 (Or 3) SACRED: Pleasure and Shadows

“I live in a queendom, ruled by a womb-iverse.” Erykah Badu

Connecting to our divine feminine wisdom, SACRED was inspired by the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana), SACRED is a transformative women’s only workshop to worship you! SACRED uses fertility dances, yoga and explorative dance to explore and experience our emotions, the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’, pleasure and boundaries in an unashamed and delicious way.

*Wear Orange!

3 (Or 5) CREATE: Confidence and Responsibility

 “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey

 

 

*Wear Yellow and gold!

4 (Or 2) HEART: Give and Receive

“Ella’s HEART workshop is a unique combination of yoga, tango and dance/contact improvisation techniques mixed seamlessly so that anyone can benefit. The workshop I attended had participants aged from 20-70 with varying degrees of dance backgrounds. It was a privilege to see everyone working and creating together with genuine joy. Ella has the ability to allow each individual to shine and to reach their creative potential. A rare and precious gift. I can honestly say it was a transformative experience-it won’t change your life but it may change the way you live it”. Natalie Teitler (Participant in London at The Place)

“The more love we feel in our hearts, the more it will be brought to us” Deepak Chopra

HEART uses techniques from contemporary and partner dances to get back in touch with ourselves and to remember how to teake responsibility, listen and communicate without words using the universal language of the body. Danced to Latin and other beautiful music, HEART includes lifting, one to one and group partner combinations as well as meditations to connect to the heart. Each session comes with a complimentary Chakra PDF

*This class uses balloons: If you have a latex allergy or phobia please notify us and we will make adjustments. (Wear green!)

5 SING: Self Expression

“You bring a lot of calm and safety to the room, holding space for everyone and making us comfortable and connected quite easily. Your workshop was really playful which I think is so important and I really enjoyed the fact that it mixed a lot of different techniques and influences, giving us opportunities to use our bodies, minds, voices, theatrical skills… And I also liked the fact that it had strong spiritual/ self-love and self-care element without being too serious. Laughter and dance all the way!” Melanie Berard, London

 “I will be your companion as you reclaim your potent voice, filling in the past silences” Tererai Trent

In SING, the 5th workshop of the HOME Series, we look at reclaiming our powerful and potent voice using movement, meditation and sound! What we say and how we say it can change lives! Inspired by the 5th chakra: Vishudda, there be laughter, shouting, singing and silence in this movement meditation to unlock the blocks we have to our truest creative expression!

*We finish with an eco friendly outdoor ritual so bring warm clothes and wear blue!

6 FLY: Imagination and Intuition

 FLY (more information coming soon)

7 SPACE: Connected through all time and space

 SPACE (more information coming soon)

Production workshops

With each show we have also developed a workshop and education package which can be booked in schools and dance venues.

The Masks We Wear

This movement workshop explores our identity on and off stage. Sometimes the performance we put on in life can be more restrictive than our stage performance: from how technology allows us to create our self-image, to the sides of our persona we choose to show or to leave out. In this workshop we talk and dance makeup, filters and masks, to explore the shadows that we hide from ourselves.

Ladylike (Consent workshop)

Created with support from The Dance Consultancy, this workshop is aimed at young people to accompany the current National Curriculum sex education syllabus. (SACRED from the HOME series also accompanies the LADYLIKE production)

Foreign Bodies (Our Story workshop)

Created using enneagram work and archetypes, this workshop is an insight into the creation of the piece (HOME and HEART from the HOME series also accompany the FOREIGN BODIES: AN UNDERWATER LOVE STORY production)

Papyllon (Dance and poetry workshop)

This workshop was developed in South Africa with poet Toni Stuart and combines the techniques we used to create this collaborative conversation between two different art forms. (FLY from the HOME series also accompanies the PAPYLLON production)

Where have we taught?

Ella Mesma has been teaching dance since 2003. She has taught for the National Dance Teachers Association, ADAD, Sadler’s Wells, Yorkshire Dance, Dance X Change, Birmingham Hippodrome, Trinity Centre, Dance City, U4, The Place, Drumming 4 Business, Global Grooves, Salsa Congresses across the UK and internationally (Spain, Denmark, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, South Africa), York University, Newcastle University, Leeds University, University of East London, Rise Youth Dance Company, Dare to Dance, Big Dance, London School of Samba, Move It, Step into Dance, Burlington Danes Academy, Elizabeth Garrett Academy and many more schools across the UK.

Homage To:

Every bit of my nine lives training as a dancer/yogi has informed these workshops (which I created on my dance company over a number of years) and so I want to pay homage to all my teachers