March 10-20, Guatemala 2022
LEARN FROM AMAZING TEACHERS AND STAY AT MESMERIZING GUATEMALAN JUNGLE RESORTS!
THE PROGRAM IS FULLY PACKED WITH FLOW ARTS WORKSHOPS TO LEARN; POI, HOOP, BUUGENG, CONTACT STAFF, DOUBLE STAFF, DRAGON STAFF, CLUB JUGGLING, AND SILK FANS. AS WELL AS; TRIBAL FUSION DANCE AND YOGA.
AND IT EVEN GETS BETTER, THERE WILL BE MANY SHOWS AND DJS FOR YOU TO ENJOY!
Escape the winter and have a fun and active holiday in a tropical paradise. Learn loads of new tricks and techniques, and have an amazing time together with other spinoholics. Taste the delicious food, for example, the vegetarian and healthy kitchen of Eagle’s Nest with an absolutely Insta worthy view over the Atitlán lake.
This is the teacher line-up;
VOJTA STOLBENKO Poi, Juggling, Acrobatics
GUSTAVO OLLITTA Buugeng, Handstand, Dragon Dance
LUCERO PONCE Hoop, Silk Fans, and Tribal Fusion Dance
LUIS WACHONG Double Staff Manipulations, Contact Staff, Fish Tails
MIGUEL GARCÍA Contact Staff, Dragon Staff, Club Juggling
LAURY CHANTY Poi, Buugeng, and Show Making
LUKE O’CONNELL Yoga and Conditioning practices
The GuateFlow Gathering is suited for all levels of spinners. All the workshops will be open to all levels.
flow arts gathering
Imagine sipping on a fresh coconut, with the best view ever… of loads of beautiful people spinning and dancing, hahahaa! It was hard to find a training space with a more mesmerizing and iconic view, and more volcanos than on Stromboli, but I think we’ve succeeded! Without jokes, we’re super happy to to work together with the resorts Eagle’s Nest and Starry Mountain to facilitate all the workshops and events we’re planning for you.
In March, Guatamala will have it’s dry season. So probably there won’t be any rain, and day temperatures average between 75°F / 23°C and 83°F / 28°C. So that should be perfect as a winter escape, but not so hot we won’t be able to move. Our epic-view training space at Eagle’s Nest has a roof, so we’re out of the full sun, also the yoga shala at Starry Mountain provides shade.
This event is slightly different from our previous retreats, as it’s almost a little festival! That’s why we’ve called it a Gathering instead of a Retreat. Also, there’s more flexibility for you to choose different workshops, food, and accommodation. You can book a ticket for the full program with all food included, or you could follow some workshops for fewer days, and have accommodation elsewhere.
book now, before the early bird ends…
START THE DAY WITH YOGA
Do you feel like starting the day in a conscious way for your mind and body? Join a Yoga session with Luke overlooking the jungle, in a brand new Shala at Starry Mountain.
If you are staying at Eagle’s Nest you can go for a 1,5h yoga class with varying teachers. For people that don’t have their accommodation at Eagle’s Nest, the fee will be 10 dollars to join the class.
After breakfast, the morning will be filled with Poi, Buugeng, and different Staff classes. These classes will be given both at Starry Mountain and Eagle’s Nest. It’s only about a 5 min walk from one location to the other.
LUNCH you can choose to reserve your lunch every day at Eagle’s Nest. Together we’ll enjoy a deliciously healthy and Vegetarian buffet.
Most afternoons will have a wide variety of workshops to choose from. We’ll also explore the beautiful surroundings, with a hike up to a volcano, and a boat trip to a Full Moon Party at the other side of the lake.
All afternoon workshops will be given at Eagle’s Nest, with a daily flow jam during sunset for you to enjoy the amazing scenery.
IN TOTAL, THERE ARE OVER 70 HOURS OF WORKSHOPS TO CHOOSE FROM!
SEE THE FULL SCHEDULE HERE This is the tentative schedule, there still might be some small changes.
poi – flow freely
Learn Poi from Vojta. We 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 a liberty of expression.
Choose your Level; Poi Beginners or Intermediate and above
Every day, there will be 2 blocks of 1,5 hours of Poi Classes. This assures the classes will be catered to your level, and you’ll benefit the most from all the workshops.
For those who don’t yet have their own Poi, it’s possible to borrow them
buugeng – key movements
Learn Buugeng from Gustavo Ollitta
In these workshops, we’ll explore the different Manipulation Techniques. Get to know all of the beautiful patterns and dynamic geometries that can be created using S Staff or Buugeng.
The name Buugeng comes from the Japanese ‘Buu’ which is ‘optical illusion’ and ‘geng’ means ‘martial arts’.
This is a great opportunity for beginners to start the journey of buugeng, or for intermediate spinners to refine their moves. We’ll go into the concepts of 1 & 2 beats, finger-spins, liquid weave, and much more!
For those who don’t yet have their own Buugeng, it’s possible to borrow Buugeng (for a small fee) or to buy a pair of Gustavo Ollitta.
hula hoop – dance & play
Learn Hoop Dance with Lucero Ponce
The Hula Hoop workshop combines the art of dance, meditation, and a full-body workout!
An inner journey to connect more with our bodies, as for being able to spin the hoop at almost every point, we need to build awareness, strength, and coordination.
Being playful, just dancing and moving without judgment. Find the joy of this active meditation and experience you can release tension through Hooping. We will explore our own style of dance with more organic ways to play.
There will be different exercises; first the warm-up, some stretching, dance moves, and we will explore the different possibilities of manipulation and movement with the Hoop spinning around the body, and holding the Hoop.
The workshops are suited for beginners and intermediate Hoopers. It’s possible to borrow a Hoop if you don’t have one.
belly dance – sensuality & coordination
Belly Dance with Lucero Ponce
This powerful ancient dance tradition combines smooth, sensual, and waving movements with precise, rhythmic, and strong movements. Learn to develop coordination in different parts of the body to perform the staple technique of dissociated movements.
Of course, there’s a great focus on the pelvic and belly zone. This zone is the gravitation Center of the body and represents our primordial energetic area. Connect with your own femininity en sensuality through soft and gracious movements. Practising Belly Dance is a fun way to develop strength, flexibility and coordination!
The workshops are open to beginners and intermediate dancers.
silk fans – dance & expression
Learn Silk Fans from Lucero Ponce
In these workshops, you will learn the Silk Fans Fundamentals: basic wrist movements, flourishes, frames & turns. We will also create a choreography with all the different movements learned.
Come, practice, and experience the beauty of Silk Fans! ♥
For those who don’t yet have their own Silk Fans, it’s possible to borrow a pair, (for a small fee), or to buy a pair.
The workshops are great for beginners.
contact staff – basics and beyond
Learn Contact Staff from Luis Wachong and Miguel García
Here is an unique opportunity to learn from absolutely mind-blowing teachers, and even two of them!
Luis and Miguel will alternate giving Contact Staff classes, so you’ll get tips, tricks and training from both of them.
Learn the basics of Contact Staff, or if you’re ready for more, you virtually can’t run out of new techniques to learn from Luis and Miguel! As these two teachers really represent the top of possibilities, going into 5 staff multi-staff contact. Please bring your own contact staff.
double staff – manipulations
Learn Double Staff Manipulations from Luis Wachong
If you want to get new inspiration for Double Staff, and learn many cool tricks, you’ll love these workshops!
If you’re a beginner, and you know the basics of single staff spinning, you might also want to try Double Staff Manipulations.
The Double Staff style of Luis is really techy, making pretty geometrical shapes. For sure, there’s a lot you could learn from Luis, even for advanced spinners.
You can borrow simple Double Staffs to follow this workshop.
fish tails – meditative moves
Learn Fish Tails form Luis Wachong
No, we’re not talking about the animal, hahahaa. A Fish Tail is a move done with a Contact Staff. The staff is placed on the back of the hand, and without changing the position of the staff, a one-beat is made. The name Fish Tail derived from the motion, as the hand is just going from left to right, like a wiggling fish tail. Here is a video to see what the move looks like.
Both beginners and more intermediate staffers are welcome. There’s more to Fish Tails than the basic one, can you already change direction, and to other tricks?
Please bring your own Contact Staff.
dragon staff – contact & movement
Learn Dragon Staff with Miguel García
Dragon Staff has got ever-increasing popular the last few years! This is probably because it just looks so spectacular, the many fast spinning wicks at both ends of the staff… It’s such a dynamic prop, that’s relatively easy to learn. Once you figure out the spin, the contact is easier as with a normal contact staff, as the spinning gives it more balance. Leaning from Miguel García gives you the opportunity to really learn from a pro, who can give many tips and tricks to master your Dragon!
For this workshop, you’ll need to bring your own Dragon Staff.
club jugging – the basis of juggling
Learn Club Juggling with Miguel García
If you want to learn to juggle Poi, Staffs or any other prop, it’s a great base to start with balls, and Clubs! This prop really gives the foundation of the possibilities to juggle multiple objects. You’ll learn the basics of throwing a prop, and when you can juggle 3 clubs, you’ve learned another very valuable lesson of focus. The focus and speed you need to react to juggling multiple objects will benefit you greatly in all other areas of spinning and juggling.
And of course, if you’re already familiar with juggling clubs, there are many nice tricks and variations to learn from Miguel. Please bring your own Clubs.
borrow props for the workshops
Yes, you can borrow props, but not all of them…
We try to provide as many props as possible to lend for the people that don’t have their own. But, as most of the teachers and organization come from other continents, it’s getting really expensive to fly them in, especially for bigger and heavier props. There are so many different workshops, so we can’t offer to provide props for them all. Below is the list of which props you can borrow, and which not.
PROPS YOU CAN BORROW
Please indicate at the question form, after your registration which props you want to borrow, so we can prepare them for you.
Poi – Vojta will be selling Sock Poi, great for beginners
Silk Fans – Lucero will be selling Silk Fans
Buugeng – Rental fee $ 15 for the full event. You can also order the Buugeng and Silk Fans upfront here, to be sure
Dragon Dance – Gustavo will bring multiple Dragon Kites for the workshop. It’s also possible to buy them
Double Staff – These will be simple sticks, but will do for the training
PROPS YOU’LL NEED TO BRING YOURSELF
Please bring all these props yourself, to be able to follow the workshops.
Contact Staff – Dragon Staff – Clubs
about eagle’s nest
The famous yoga deck
This venue isn’t only famous for its stunning lake view, but also for the quality of events that it hosts. From international DJs and all kinds of instructors to unique ecstatic dance events and ceremonies. This place offers the true immersion into the heart of the Atitlán lake landscape – with a stunning view from a shaded dance floor, perfect for going deep into any kind of practice, whether it is poi, yoga, or meditation.
We are delighted to have this place available for all 10 days of this event.
Eagle’s Nest offers different kinds of accommodation, with up to 30 sleeping places. You can book a dorm or private studio, all with the amazing view.
There are daily yoga classes, and weekly Ecstatic Dance and sauna sessions!
The Eagle’s Nest Cafe & Restaurant
Come by any time to enjoy delicious food and drinks in the cafe or restaurant. The menu is always packed with fresh and healthy items, there is a vegetarian and a vegan menu also.
During the GuateFlow Gathering, you’ll be able to taste all these goodies! We’re offering a Lunch Package so you can have lunch every day at Eagle’s Nest during the Gathering. It’s convenient to eat at the workshop venue, and nice to eat together.
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.
Gustavo Ollitta is a Brazilian circus artist who excels with buugeng, poi, slack rope, and balance techniques.
Since 2007, he’s started his manipulation research, started to practice with poi, and straight after that discovered buugeng in 2009. In 2010 he released his first research of buugeng in a YouTube video called “Flow”. With this video, which reached more than 2.5mil viewers, he’s become one of the world’s most influential buugeng artists.
If you heard of buugeng, you probably also heard about Gustavo!
In 2011, Gustavo traveled to Italy to participate in the Contemporary Circus course of Scuola di Cirko Vertigo (2011-2013). Thanks to the knowledge gained in this school, Gustavo’s movement portfolio includes a lot of contemporary circus techniques, such as handstands, slack rope, and many performing and teaching techniques.
HOOP, SILK FANS, BELLYDANCE
Lucero Ponce is a Peruvian Flow Artist and a certified 200hr yoga teacher, specialized in Hula Hoop, bellydance, buugeng, and balance.
As someone who’s always been passionate about body expression, she started in 2010 taking classes of modern dance, belly dance and contemporary dance. In the same year, she got introduced to the philosophy and practice of yoga and meditation.
In 2015 she started to develop flow arts techniques, starting with Hulahoop and combining her experience of body expression with other flow arts disciplines.
In 2018, after 7 years of Yoga practice, she got certified on 200H Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand.
Gustavo and Lucero form the company Equilibra, A duo that has already performed and taught as solo and duo at TV shows, juggling and music festivals, retreats, conferences, and Galas in more than 25 countries around Europe, Asia, North America, Middle East, and South America!
Always bringing new concepts of Flowarts, circus and dance technique to the world!
Luis Wachong is a professional fire performer from Costa Rica and director of the world-class fire troupe Pyrodanza. He specializes in several forms of firestaff manipulation including: fishtails, firepalms with fishtails, tiptails, double staff tech, single and double Thai spinning, contact staff, 5 staff multi-staff contact, dragon staff, and double sword with dragon staff.
In 2016 Luis won 1st place best individual performer at the Minsk Fire Festival, Belarus. This is a competition among the top 80 professional firedancers in Eastern and Western Europe. In 2016 his troupe Pyrodanza performed the final show at the Phoenix Fire Convention in Germany. In 2019, Pyrodanza performed the closing show at the Fire Gala of the European Juggling Convention. Through their participation in these events, Pyrodanza has demonstrated high levels of skill and technique within the fire and juggling community worldwide.
Luis is also a licensed psychologist with a doctorate degree in postmodern clinical psychology. His pursuit of spiritual wisdom and awareness has shaped the attitude and mentality with which he approaches technical exploration and performance development.
CONTACT & DRAGON STAFF, CLUBS
Miguel is a Nicaraguan professional fire performer, the co-founder of the world-class troupe Pyrodanza, and also a talented self taught leather worker, and jeweller. See the costumes and headdresses of Pyrodanza for many of his amazing creations!
He specializes in several staff techniques such as: fishtails, fire-palms with fishtails, double staff tech, torch juggling, staff jugging, contact staff, double and triple contact staff, dragon staff, Thai staff, double Thai staff, and Firestar.
Discovering flow arts at a young age, Luke has taken his love for dance and movement into different realms over the years. Within his teachings he’s combining flexibility, strength conditioning and yoga, he has blended them all into one beautiful mix. Completing his yoga teacher training in 2017 Luke has taken his adventure from Australia to across the world, toured through Europe and the UK with performing and teaching.
“I really look forward to running yoga and meditation sessions within this retreat. I think with the combined knowledge I have acquired over the years, I will be able to bring a fun and beneficial experience to all. Catering towards flow artists and dancers I will explore different yoga techniques, dynamic/static stretching, flexibility and strength and conditioning for all levels”.
POI, BUUGENG, show making
Laury started spinning poi and doing fireshows in Montmartre (Paris) in 2005, and is today the manager and artistic director of one of the most important fire and light show company in France : “SuperCho”. He never stopped improving his Poi, Staff, and Buugeng practice and likes to merge it with his music producer and light concept skills to make creative performances.
During the retreat, he will be teaching poi and buugeng techniques, warmups, and sharing his knowledge about show making. And you will see him on the stage of course!
Check out Supercho and Laury videos and website to learn more about this talented Artist. Just click on the icons below.
this is what our past poi retreat
From Vojta: Since I explored Guatemala in 2017, I always dreamt of organizing a retreat at the Atitlán lake. The combination of numerous active volcanoes, tropical nature and mountainous landscape gives this place a truly unique feeling. This video is partially shot in Guatemala and Costa Rica (majority of beach shots are from Costa Rica and all the volcano shots, waterfalls, and Mayan ruins are from Guatemala)
I’m happy to share my experience from this beautiful country – from the volcanoes of Atitlán to the beautiful colonial architecture of Antigua, millenniums-old Mayan ruins or incredible waterfalls and cascades of Semuc Champey.
is the deepest lake in Central America, with water that is clean and perfectly suitable for swimming. The culture of the towns and villages surrounding Lake Atitlán is influenced by the Maya people. Lake Atitlán is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and is one of Guatemala’s most important national and international tourist attractions. In literature, it is often called “the most beautiful lake in the world”. It won’t look so far-fetched once you see it! The area around San Marcos (where the retreat takes place) has particularly tall cliffs abutting the lake and in recent years has become renowned for cliff diving. Despite that, there are many small beaches offering comfortable access to the water.
Surrounding the lake caldera, there are three volcanoes. Volcán Atitlán lies on the southern rim of the caldera, while Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán lie within the caldera. San Pedro is the oldest of the three and seems to have stopped erupting about 40,000 years ago. Tolimán began growing after San Pedro stopped erupting and probably remains active, although it has not erupted in historic times. Atitlán has developed almost entirely in the last 10,000 years and remains active, its most recent eruption having occurred in 1853.
If you wish to observe an active volcano doing its things, then we recommend visiting volcan Fuego or Pacaya, that are nearby.
Pacaya is an active volcano, which rises to an elevation of 2,552 meters (8,373 ft). After being dormant for over 70 years, it began erupting vigorously in 1961 and has been erupting frequently since then. Much of its activity is Strombolian – which is a rare type of frequent activity, perhaps the most interesting one, as it almost guarantees you to see lava. It’s not a coincidence that we organize a retreat in Stromboli and Guatemala 😉
Have you ever seen lava? If not, you might be really interested to see it. If you have seen it, you are probably interested even more.
Antigua is an ancient city (originating in 1524) in the central highlands of Guatemala known for its preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is surrounded by three majestic volcanoes – Volcan de Agua, Volcan de Acatenango, and the most impressive one, Volcan de Fuego.
A volcano worth seeing – even from a distance – that is Volcan de Fuego. As the name tells, this is a furious one – it is famous for being almost constantly active, with small gas and ash eruptions occur every 15 to 20 minutes.
The best view is available from Volcan de Acatenang – a neighboring volcano with a similar height to that of Fuego. If you are into volcanoes and hikes, this is the right choice for you. However, this quite a challenging one, requiring certain equipment, and time to hike.
If you are interested, let us know, as we are probably going to climb this volcano before or after the retreat too 😉
Tikal, perhaps the most amazing Mayan ruins
A bit further from the Atitlán lake, there lays the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. It can be easily reached by an overnight bus to “Flores” – a city on a little island on a beautiful lake, which is the starting point of all Tikal expeditions. This Mayan city is definitely worth visiting. I’ve been to many Mayan sights in Guatemala and Mexico, but this is perhaps the most amazing one. I recommend going there early and spending a whole day. It’s not a bad idea to pay for a tour guide (which isn’t expensive) as the stories that come with each of the numerous pyramids or ruin in the city add another dimension to your experience.
The Cascades of Semuc Champey
Located in the middle of a tropical national park, surrounded by traditional villages and steep mountains of mid-land Guatemala, Semuc Champey offers perhaps to most tropical experience I can imagine in this country.
It’s not only this tropical paradise by a wild river but also the whole experience of getting there and seeing the local life. I remember walking in a random village near this place, observing some local religious ceremonies, eating in a small restaurant that perhaps wasn’t even a restaurant and staying in a little cabin just next to the river with a lot of fireflies all around!
It does take some time to get there, but it is worth it! It’s good to combine this trip with visiting Tikal – perhaps on your way back from Tikal to Guatemala city.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little story about all the amazing spots to visit in Guatemala. I look forward meeting you soon, so we can climb a volcano together!
don’t miss out, book your TICKET!