Our DJs

Samadhi (aka Sydney Strahan)

“Creating ​P​latforms for E​xpansion, ​C​onnection and ​O​neness thru Movement, Music and Community is my Purpose. Activating the Body thru Dance, ​Art, and Creativity is my Passion. Expanding Unity, ​I​s ​M​y Goal.”

​     Samadhi is a graduate of Texas Christian University and a life-long learner in creativity, spirituality, and expressive healing arts. She has danced, performed and facilitated dance for over 25 years as a dynamic art experiential-ist whose evolutionary vision is best expressed through ancient modalities of free-form movement as catalyst for self-discovery and community connection.
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     Since 2003 she’s been creating, hosting and facilitating elevated experiences for her ​Ecstatic Dance ​Houston communities; DanceEvolution Weekly Community Ecstatic Dance’03-’14, Barefoot Ballroom, Conscious R.A.V.E. ’12, DEFT ​Ecstatic Dance Facilitator Training ’09-’14, EarthDance Houston’s Annual Global Dance for Peace ’05-’13, Journey Dance Houston, Give Peace a Dance, New Years Day Burning Bowl ~ Wishing Well Ceremonies ’07-’14, The 9 Energetic Functions (For Ecstatic Practice), What the Bleep is Ecstatic Dance?, The P.E.P. Shop (Principals of Ecstatic Practice), Sacred Sound Sacred Body, DancePortation, and BlackLights & BodyPaint for the general public as well as for Meditation Groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, Crazywood Dance Spa, The Texas Yoga Conference​, The Oneness Community,​ and Unity Church. She produced Ecstatic Dance for Peace radio shows- KPFT ’05-’07, was Featured Ecstatic Dance Artist for Fox News segment, as well as co-creator of Sacred Dance church services for Creative Life Center, Center For Spiritual Living, Unitarian NW and the Mary Magdalene Community at Rothko Chapel.
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DanceEvolution was featured in a Platinum Award Winning film called House Of Dreams ’07​, performed in a PBS Special on The Artery ’09​, and ​​was featured in a show & tell performance with Discover Dance at Discovery Green ’14​.
 
DanceEvolution will be a featured company in the Dance The Dream Houston MLK 50 Celebration at Discovery Green, facilitator at the Archaic Revival Transformational Festival, and will be featured in an upcoming TV series for the Travel Channel called SOUL SEARCH. Samadhi’s current adventures include the creation of WWEE a World-Wide Ecstatic-Evolution Global Dance Community ~ Stay Tuned!

Samadhi’s moves upscale as a current student at The Four Dragons Institute of Dao, Bob Steven’s Conscious Language, Yoga, Meditation, ​Heart Songs and ​Kirtan. Her past studies include; Toni Bergin’s JourneyDance ’10, Vin Marti’s Movement Leadership Training & Soul Motion ’06,  Dunya’s Dance Meditation ’03-’06,  Oskar Maderas’s Body Choir & Liquid Sol Ecstatic Dance Facilitation ’04-’09, NIA White Belt ’05, Sonya Sophia’s Goddess Awakening ’05-’07 and​ ​EFT Teacher Trainings ’07-’13, ​Rainbow Gatherings ’05-’12, Gabrielle Roth’s Sweat Your Prayers and 5 Rhythms ’04, and continues to participate in the global proliferation of ecstatic evolution through the art of human nature in movement!

Cheryl Shakti Ma

     I’ve been a lover all my life of dance, play, creativity, freedom, self expression, heartfelt connection, healing, exploring, and celebrating being alive. When I stepped into Ecstatic Dance Houston for my first time in 2006 I knew I was home. Here was my spiritual family that I never knew I’d always wanted!  Here was this magical place where all of these elements live and thrive!

     I instantly embraced the opportunity to join this community and dove into the dance.  My passion for this extraordinary experience inspired me to become a facilitator in training in 2011 and now I continue on this path as a core facilitator and trainer.  I am still learning, growing and evolving in these roles and thoroughly enjoy it!

     As well as facilitating ecstatic dances, I offer a number of therapeutic services including Reiki healing and initiation, Reflexology, Acupressure, Hypnosis, Life Coaching, Guided Meditation, and a big favorite, Hugs… Never underestimate the healing power of hugs! All of this flows immaculately with my personal mission of self discovery and being One Love.

Rory Jagdeo

  I am a Telecommunications Analyst and a solo artist singer/songwriter.

     My first experience at Dance Evolution was so memorable and profound that I decided it would be a joy to Facilitate and share this musical journey with anyone open to experiencing this blissful dance.

     In this dance, music is my guide, and I get to connect with kindred souls, enjoy freedom of the body, have a deep awareness of my energy level and open my heart in a loving environment.  I am really excited to share music and rhythm that intoxicate the senses, thus leading to a blissful state of mind.

Andy Karavitis

 Andy was raised in central Wyoming. He earned a B.S. in Religious Studies from the University of Sioux Falls.  Besides dancing, Andy sometimes likes to sing and play the guitar.  He is a big fan of camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation.  
     
     He dabbles in sound and lighting, sets and props for various theater and dance productions, as well as the Houston Art Car Parade.  As a DanceEvolution Facilitator Trainee, his current emphasis is on coherent thematic dances and interesting musical transitions.

Isabella Schmidt

Hello! Bella here!

     Actually my name is Isabella, but some people call me Izzy, two special people call me Mom, but mostly I go by Bella these days!

     I practice and teach hot yoga at the amazing Express Hot Yoga studios in The Woodlands, TX where I also have my Alchemy Within Reflexology practice.  I am very excited to be co-facilitating DanceEvolution The Woodlands, a bi-monthly dance, expanding our community beyond Houston city limits!

     I have been involved with the Houston freestyle dance community since 1994!  I danced many years with the Houston Sweat Your Prayers and Nia Communities and am a certified Nia Brown Belt instructor.

     I have been dancing with the Houston Ecstatic Dance and DanceEvolution community since it’s early beginnings.  Over the years I have become ever more filled with gratitude for our amazing Community and for our facilitator’s commitment to continually provide me (us) with a safe and energized space to experience the magic of music and our bodies in full expressive movement.  

     I’ve experienced time and time again the beauty manifest in the dance and what an amazing vehicle it can be for self-discovery!  (Not to mention it’s just a blast)!  I am honored to be part of an amazing team of facilitators and love facilitating these musical journeys!

Ivan Daniel DreamDancer Espinosa

  I believe in the power of dance.  It transforms me.  It enables shifts, breakthroughs, and countless self-discoveries.  It makes me healthier, happier, and more connected.

     I have been dancing since 2009 and creating ecstatic dances since 2011. I have explored a wide range of mind/body/dance modalities, including contact improvisation, post-modern dance, Wilbert Alix and Frank Natale’s Blindfold TranceDance Experience®, Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms ®, Pablo Bobbio’s Silent Language of the Body, and Bruce Carloye’s Body of Movement.

     It is such a delight and pleasure to facilitate dances for DanceEvolution.  I can’t say enough about the magic and healing that happens in this beautiful and supportive setting — a safe, welcoming space where my heart can open up and receive the warm gifts of love, connection, and community.

DJ Taz

     Taz Rashid (DJ TAZ) brings a high vibrational energy to any crowd instantly by mixing the beats and rhythms of Love, Ancient New World, House, Kirtan, Devotional, and all the cosmic sounds. His vision is to be a channel to cause the expansion of all those around by tapping into the creative wisdom of the body and allowing them to feel, let go and awaken.

He has been producing and part of creating conscious events in the Midwest over the last few years and as a musician, he plays guitar, keyboard, Native American Flute, didgeridoo and hand percussion.  He takes these instruments and connects to the Divine and what comes through has the ability to move his crowd to connect to their Divine higher selves. Recently he has been performing and DJing at events such as Bhakti Fest, Serendipity Festival, Denver Chant Fest, Arise Festival, Zen Cruise, Hanuman Festival, Greenheart Transforms, Yoga Journal, Wanderlust Festivals and many more conscious gatherings.

In Chicago, he and his team produce Club Divine, a monthly spiritual dance party with high vibrational DJs, healers, body workers, artists and amazing musicians. Recently they have been taking the dance party experience to other festivals, expos, and even on multi city tours. See you on the dance floor.

 

DJ Maitri

     Marek aims for dance journeys that work out all of your brain lobes and engage your body, mind and spirit. His mixes are inspired by both electronic and organic music infused with beats from all over the globe.

He started to play for dance journeys in 2012 in the Happy Valley and since then he has played for ecstatic dances in Vancouver BC, Portland OR, Bellingam WA, Houston TX, New York, Dance New England, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Prague. He was recently featured on Valley Free Radio WXOJ.

Marek’s other projects include Mandala Dance, a unique creation of live music, movement and art (www.mandaladance.net), Pollinate, monthly World-Bass-Soul-Tech-House party in Northampton and monthly I-Opener Community Ecstatic Dance in Boston, MA. He’s an avid Didgeridoo player, drummer and works with other acoustic musicians overlaying his DJ’d beats with live instrumental melodies at Dance Spirit events.
 

You can check out his mixes on Mixcloud at DJ Maitri.

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