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october 1 to 7, 2023
montjoi, south France
michelle verhoeks
kevin arleri


This is the perfect retreat if you want to give your performance skills a boost, learn new tricks and techniques, and of course, have an amazing time together at a luxurious private castle! You can learn from the most inspiring instructors, meet new friends, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the French countryside and the stunning beauty of a medieval castle.

7 Days filled with workshops, music & dance, fire spinning, delicious food, playing together, and lots of inspiration. The workshop program is fully packed with a mix of flow arts, dance, and mindful movements from the most skilled artists!
Poi & Light acrobatics and Jumps with Vojta Stolbenko
Hoop & Rope Dart with Michelle Verhoeks – Flowmies
Contact Staff & Double staff with Kevin Arleri – SuperCho
Sword, Staff Spinning & Qi Gong with Tom Hora
More teachers are going to be announced soon!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced spinner, this retreat is the perfect way to hone your skills, recharge your batteries, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

one more retreat in
chateau montjoi

Nana moved from Chateau Montjoi, but she is still doing the website, so that allowed us to rent Chateau Monjoi with a discount for one more retreat! It’s quite a challenge to find a private castle that can provide what we’re looking for, and is also not too expensive, so we don’t have to raise our prices too much… We know there aren’t enought private rooms available, but this is the best we can do for the moment. So if you want a private room, be sure to book fast, they will run out very soon.

We’re super happy to have Michelle Verhoeks, Flowmies coming to teach! We think she’s a super inspiring artist who gives amazing, energetic performances. There’s much to learn from her with Hoop and Rope Dart. And Kevin Arleri is also coming back to teach at the Castle! He did teach in 2018, and we’re super happy he is coming back to teach you all the secrets of Contact Staff

this is what

you will all get!


– 8h+ of workshops every day
– super amazing teachers
– time for individual questions
– Qi Gong every morning
– try a new prop

all included!

– 6 nights of accommodation at a Luxurious Private Castle
– 3 delicious meals a day
– coffee & tea included
– all workshops, activities


– Private 18th-century Castle, Luxurious rooms
– Relax at the private pool
– Unwind and recharge your batteries in nature

awesome activities

– lots of fire jams
– music and Dj’s
– shows
– full workshop program
– private billiard



All levels of Poi, Staff Spinning, Contact Staff, Double Staff, Hoops, Rope Dart, etc. are welcome to join! We’ll offer beginning, intermediate and advanced options for most techniques. For the Poi workshops, we split the group into different levels.

To benefit the most from this retreat, be sure to know the basic poi moves, such as; 3-beat weaves (forward & backward) windmill, watermill, hip-reels & turns, butterfly (same-time, split-time), buzzsaw.
If you can’t do some of the moves listed above, don’t worry! We will teach you that. However, if you want to be prepared, look up some tutorials (we recommend to have a look at – those tutorials are great!)

flow freely with poi

Learn Poi from Vojta Stolbenko. Get inspired by this amazing artist and acrobat! He’s been a professional fire performer for over 10 years now and is frequently performing with many high-level artistic companies and groups, traveling all over the world to show his art. Since covid hit, he’s also created a Patreon, with many Poi tutorials on it. This is extending his passion for teaching to the online space, so it can be available for everyone.
But with this retreat, you’ll have the pleasure to personally learn from Vojta! He won’t only focus on tricks, but also on how to incorporate the moves you already know into your own flow, and how to beautify them.

Poi isn’t only about tricks… It’s a state of mind, and liberty of expression.

For those who don’t have their own Poi, it’s possible to borrow them.

CONTACT staff secrets

Learn Contact Staff from Kevin Arleri
Kevin is already a professional Contact Staff artist for over a decade, so there are quite a few things to learn from him! For beginners; you’ll make sure your you’re learning the basics in the right way. For intermediate or advanced Contact Staff players; you can learn new moves and advanced techniques to level up.
Please bring your own Contact Staff

double staff manipulation

Learn Double Staff from Kevin Arleri. With these Double Staff workshops, you can learn some pretty patterns and tech moves.
Kevin created amazing choreographies for Double Staff duos and trio’s with his company SuperCho! Even with passing, and juggling three Staffs… That might be a bit too advanced for the workshops, but if you want to get into that, just ask him for an exercise.
If you don’t have Double Staffs, you can borrow them.

traditional staff spinning secrets

Learn Staff Spinning from Tom Hora. Tom’s style of Staff Spinning is quite explosive and fast, as he’s trained in Kungfu and traditional Indian fire art Banethi. But he’ll break it down, and go a bit slower, so you can also learn this impressive style of Staff Spinning.
Please bring a light Staff to follow the workshops, not a heavy Contact Staff. If you don’t have a Staff, you can borrow it.

free your inner ninja

Learn Sword from Tom Hora. Working with the Sword is a great way to combine Flow Arts and work on body awareness, as the prop is quite easy to manipulate. All the steps and body postures you will learn can be a great inspiration for other props. The advantage of the Sword is that everybody can follow these lessons, without any prior experience, and get into it relatively easily. The Sword lessons are based on the traditional Chinese style, which is slower, and more meditation-oriented, not a full combat style. This will be mixed with performing techniques, as our teacher, Tom Hora is a professional fire-spinning artist. Previous years, everyone absolutely loved Sword lessons of Tom! So we’re super happy having him back again, to learn more bad-ass movements…
If you don’t have a Sword, you can also use, or borrow a (light, not too long) Staff to follow the workshops.

hoopiness for everyone

Learn Hula Hoop from Michelle Verhoeks. Hooping is a fun and engaging activity that can provide a full-body workout. For beginners, you’ll learn the basics of hula hooping such as waist hooping, hand hooping, and basic tricks. For intermediate hoopers, you can learn more challenging techniques like chest hooping, leg hooping, and various off-body tricks. You can develop your own style and creativity by learning to incorporate your own unique movements and ideas into your hooping practice.
If you don’t have a Hoop, you can borrow one.

Rope dart – Unleash Your Inner Ninja

Learn Rope Dart from Michelle Verhoeks. Rope dart is an ancient Chinese weapon used for hunting and self-defense, which recently gained a lot of popularity in the Flow Arts world, and as a fire performance art. The classes are suitable for people of all skill levels, from beginners to intermediate, and also to learn advanced ninja tricks. Don’t hesitate to follow these classes and unleash your inner ninja!
If you don’t have a Rope Dart, you can borrow one.

start your day with Qi gong

Qi Gong classes with Tom Hora. These lessons are perfect to gently wake up your body, build your energy, and get centered to have an amazing day! Qi Gong is a more active form of conscious movement than Taiji. It uses active, standing, yoga-like poses while breathing consciously. I’m sure you’ll love Tom’s classes, as he’s been teaching Qi Gong for many years now, and is practicing it for almost two decades.

the shedule is packed with value

We have sooo many great teachers, that our shedule is fully packed with workshops to give you the maximum oppurtunity to learn from them! We didn’t really shedule breaks in between the workshops, as probably you won’t follow all the workshops, so skipping a workshop now and then will give you the time to relax near the pool. Of course, you can follow all the workshops, but it might be intense after a few days of following worshops full-on, and doing fire jams in the evening…
We will collect all your preferences for the workshops, and probably there will still be changes, depening on which props people want to spend the most time with. We will change the amount of hours for workshops per prop, depending on the global preferences.

a day at the retreat

(Tentative schedule)
This is what a day at the retreat looks like;

8:00 – 9:00   Qi Gong and Yoga (choose one)
9:00 -10:00  Breakfast
10:00-11:00  Sword
11:00-12:00  Contact Staff
12:00-13:00  Hoop

13:00-15:00  Lunch
15:00-16:15  Poi Beginners AND Alternating Flow Arts Workshops
16:30-17:45 Poi Intermediate AND Alternating Flow Arts Workshops
18:00-19:00  Body movement and Juggling
20:00              Dinner

Alternating Flow Arts Workshops: Staff Spinning, Double Staff, Dragon Staff, Rope Dart

– 24th of September: arrival starting 15:00. Start of the retreat at 19:00 with dinner and an introduction meeting
– 25th to the 29th : 5 full Workshop days
– 30th of September: end of the retreat, brunch, and departure at 14:00

the fire tornado – zenith

Experience the magic of Zenith – Tornade de Feu. (under reserve) This is a real miracle of nature, brought to us by the one and only tornado tamer, Ima! What more to say, just watch the video, and come to the retreat…

prop shops

If you’re looking to buy some new props, Juggling Calling, and the Manda Lights Shop will be at the retreat. If you want to have a specific prop, please send a message upfront, to be sure they’ll take it. Also, if you have broken props, or you need new wicks, take them for repairs!

poi, DOUBLE STAFF, acrobatics
vojta stolbenko

Vojta is a Czech pioneer who excels at combining tech tricks with dance and acrobatics. With a style and approach all his own, he has created innovative new poi techniques that enriched the poi world.
Despite being famous for his poi spinning, Vojta also excels in spinning other props too. He’s been a professional fire performer for over 10 years now and is frequently performing with many high-level artistic companies and groups at various events worldwide. Nowadays he mainly works with his ex-Cirque du Soleil colleague Srikanta Barefoot and the company Fusion Arts, as well as the French companies Supercho, Mandalights, and Cercle de Feu. You can also often see him on stage with Phoenix Fire Dancers, or his Czech co-performers Tom Hora and Kristina Zebrova.
Vojta has shared his poi enthusiasm all over the globe and has taught many in his workshops and retreats worldwide. He’s filmed many popular inspirational poi videos (thanks to being a professional videographer, besides poi), including the world’s most-watched poi video “The Future Is Now”. In 2020 (with the arrival of Covid) he got fully into creating poi tutorials that also gained a lot of popularity. On his Patreon channel, you’ll find almost 100 poi tutorials. Check out Vojta’s videos and personal website to learn more about this talented artist. Just click on the icons below.

wave dance, contact ball, iso hoops

André Hidalgo is an artist that’s internationally recognized for the precision and fluidity of his movements. He has created a style all his own, by combing juggling and dancing; he pioneered in laying the framework for combining Windstyle with object manipulation. He’s also known as Pilolip, the artist name he has created famous videos with.

-In 2013 he started working together with Aragorn Boulanger, also known as Bishop, the founder of Windstyle. Windstyle is a kind of popping but in a fluid motion. From Windstyle, many different branches in body manipulation techniques like Wave and Liquid emerged. Aragorn and André gave many workshops together for 8 years, teaching a combination of dance- and circus techniques.
-In 2014 André played for seven months in Las Vegas, in a show from the Spiegelworld company. They later also toured in many alternative theaters in Paris.
-After coming back to France, he worked as a juggler, dancer, and creative director for the companies Piryokopi (juggling), Genom (dance), and Defracto (juggling).
-In 2018 he has created his first choreographed solo show combining juggling, body & object manipulation called “Tendrure”
-Since 2019 he is participating in a project from the company Kiaï, that’s a choreography with 6 acrobats on trampolines.
-He continues to develop his skills by following workshops in a broad variety of categories like clowning and capoeira.

sword, staff spinning, qi gong
tom hora
Tom is a Czech Full-Combat Fire-Artist who has studied with many different teachers across the globe to learn a whole range of combat techniques and meditative body work practices. He has a lot of experience as a teacher and is an amazing fire-performer, Tom cooperated with many artists and fire companies and he did more than one thousand performances!
Tom started with the Fire-Art in 2000 and he is fire-performer since 2002, he has founded the fireshow group PALITCHI in Prague with friends.
In 2005 he started to study traditional Indian fire art Banethi with his teacher in Varanasi (after this first visit he came every winter to study Banethi & Yoga and to perform in India for 6 years). Tom has been working as the Fire-Art teacher (long staff techniques and acrobacy) in Prague New Cirque Centre for 4 years (2012-2016). His artistic way was also influenced by Dance, Taiko Drumming, Capoeira and of course Chinese martial arts…:
– student of Shaolin kungfu since 2002
– student of Chen taiji and Qi gong since 2005
– member of Shaolin kungfu performance group (2008 – 2013)
– 2nd place winner of Czech national wu-shu competetion with long staff 2013
– kungfu teacher (for kinds and adults) since 2011
– studying in Wudang mountains in China – internal cultivation, Qi gong, Taiji and kungfu in 2015, 2016, 2018…for a total of 6 months
– since 2016 he is a student of Li shifu (abott and master in Five immortals temple and also good friend..;)
– Qi gong and Taiji teacher since 2016
Hoop, fans, yoga
Adrienne zest

Hello, my name is Adrienne. I am a dancer and a performer, as well as a teacher of yoga and movement. I conducted my formal dance education at the conservatoire of Dusan Nebyla in Slovakia and later continued broadening my skills by attending different workshops around the globe.

In my early twenties, I discovered object manipulation – also known as ‘flow arts’, which led me to a new and exciting world of performing with fire and light. My favorite tools to spin are mini hoops, fire fans, and poi. I enjoy sharing my passion for movement with others and discovering new ways to reach the ultimate body-mind connection.

Have a look at my Youtube channel, for free yoga classes. Also, see my website below, just click on the icons.

Have a look at

our past castle retreats

Have a look at

the “new” castle

this is what our

past attenDEES say

the castle room choice


Retreat prices are based upon which kind of room-sharing options you would like.
See the different room sharing choices below, and buy your ticket at the bottom of this page.

  • Occupancy: up to 9 people
  • One or more bedrooms
  • Shared bathroom
  • Single beds (double for couple)
  • Same-gender bedrooms available

Premium Sharing, price per person: 650 euro
Early Bird price; book before 22/07/22 and get a discount of 25 euro!
Lazy Bird prices after 22/08 are +40 euro


  • Bedroom: 4 people
  • En-Suite Bathroom
  • One bedroom
  • Double and single beds available

Shared Bedroom, price per person: 775 euro
Early Bird price; book before 22/07/22 and get a discount of 25 euro!
Lazy Bird prices after 22/08 are +40 euro


  • Bedroom: 2 people
  • En-Suite Bathroom
  • One bedroom
  • Double and single beds available

Twin sharing, price per person: 890 euro
Early Bird price; book before 22/07/22 and get a discount of 25 euro!
Lazy Bird prices after 22/08 are +40 euro


  • Private Bedroom
  • Private Bathroom
  • Double bed
  • Choose your room!

Private Bedroom, price per person: 975 euro
Early Bird price; book before 22/07/22 and get a discount of 25 euro!
Lazy Bird prices after 22/08 are +40 euro



What’s all included?

The prices of the different room-sharing options all include:
– 6 nights of accommodation
– 8+ hrs of workshops per day
– 3 meals a day (meat, vegetarian, and vegan options are available)
– coffee, tea, and mint-water
– fuel for fire jams
– borrowing props if you don’t have them

how to reserve my ticket?

Buy the (deposit) ticket for your room of choice. You will receive an automatic confirmation message.
The email containing your payment receipt, also has a PDF attached with all info about the retreat.

Didn’t get the automatic confirmation message? Check your spam for


Register together with a friend, and you’ll both get a 10% discount on the retreat price!
The friend’s discount only applies if you buy 2 or more tickets at the same time, for the full retreat, including the workshops. The friend’s discount applies to all room options, except for the premium sharing option. If you choose the premium sharing option, the discount will be 5%.

If you would like to bring your partner, friend, parent, or child who will not be participating in the workshops, there will be a 30% discount on the retreat fee.
The person will not participate in the Flow Arts workshops, but all the other things will be included: 6 nights of accommodation, all meals, and drinks. Taking part in the Qi Gong classes is included. (The friend’s discount doesn’t apply here, so the person who does participate in the workshops, pays the normal fee)

details and FAQ

– 24th of September: start of the retreat at 16:00 with an introduction meeting and dinner
– 25th to the 29th : 5 full Workshop days
– 30th of September: end of the retreat, brunch, and departure at 14:00

The retreat will be held at Chateau Lauquerie, in Lauzun. This magnificent 14th-century castle will be our private retreat accommodation.

The address is: Route de Lauzun, 47410 Lauzun, France. See the map below for the exact location.
(Department of Lot-et-Garonne, Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine)

BY CAR: Chateau Lauquerie is a 1.5-hour drive from Bordeaux, 2 hours from Toulouse, and a bit more than an hour’s drive from Perigeux. See the map below for the exact location.

– Bergerac
, Dordogne Périgord Airport only 20 minutes from Chateau Lauquerie. There are flights to the UK and to Rotterdam, Nl. We can pick you up from there.
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, it will take around 1 hour from there to take the train to Marmande. We can pick you up in Marmande
– Toulouse Blagnac Airport, it will take around 2 hours from there to take the train to Marmande. We can pick you up in Marmande
We can pick you up from Airport Bergerac, or train station Marmande, as there is no further public transport from there.

TRAIN: we can pick you up from the train station “Marmande”, as there is no further public transport. There will be an extra fee of around 10 euros for the service.

TRAIN long distance in France, discounted tickets

COMPARE cheap transport options

You don’t need to know other attendees to share a room!
If you want to share a room with other attendees, we’ll try to make a match. Room sharing options are of course depending on how many other people are wanting to share the same type of room. You can give us your preferences, and we’ll try to find matching room-mates!

If you want to share a room with friend(s) or a partner, you don’t have to buy all the tickets at the same time.

You can reserve separately, and buy only your own ticket. When buying the ticket, there will be a field to fill in, asking with who you want to share the room. Like this, you will be placed together in the room.

All levels of Poi, Staff Spinning, Double Staff, Iso Hoops, and Dance are welcome to join. We’ll offer beginning, intermediate and advanced options for most techniques. For the Poi workshops, we might split the group so different levels of poi spinners can work on different moves.

To benefit the most from this retreat, be sure to know the basic poi moves, such as; 3-beat weaves (forward & backward) windmill, watermill, hip-reels & turns, butterfly (same-time, split-time), buzzsaw.
If you can’t do some of the moves listed above, don’t worry! We will teach you that. However, if you want to be prepared, look up some tutorials (we recommend to have a look at – those tutorials are great!)

– increasing our ability to learn fast by practicing coordination and hand independence
– beautifying and exploring possibilities of the moves you already can do
– becoming free with movement and expression, thoughts on improvisation and “flow”
– incorporating our body into the motion
– contrast moves, transitions between different planes, cross-points
– anti-spin based moves
– pirouettes, tracers
– contact poi, tosses
– under the legs, jumps
– hyperloops (basics or advanced)
– wraps (spiral wraps, body wraps)
– stalls, transitions between all the moves
– behind the back moves
– optional: triple poi and meteor basics (from one-handed weaves to one-handed anti-spin patterns)

* note that we might not be able to do all of this, however, if we lack enough time the classes will be adapted to your preferences

You won’t only learn poi moves and tricks – we will talk about how to incorporate these moves into a performance, how to achieve a good stage presence, you will be taught some light acrobatics, footwork and dance moves you can use in flow arts. Moreover, we’ll play some theatrical games that will help us to explore more body movement possibilities.

At the moment of writing we’re happy to say that there are no restrictions at all in place, in France!
Masks are only mandatory in public transport (Updated, July 2022)

We will refund the Deposit paid for your Ticket if government regulations prevent you from travelling. If France will go into lock-down, we will refund your deposit up to 1 month before the start of the event, minus an administration fee of € 25. After one month before the start of the event, we can’t make any refunds.
These rules only apply if travelling will be forbidden in France, and the official government website(s) confirm this.

In principle, the deposit is non-refundable. Please make sure you have travel insurance, so in case you get ill, you can get the deposit refunded from your insurance.

We advise you to take personal travel insurance, that covers;
– Reimbursement of any pre-booked events or excursions
– Coronavirus cancellation cover
See an example here


You can see this event on Facebook here;

get a discount, get an early bird ticket!

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