Sensing Race: Making Sense of Race Through Somatic Play (Online Workshop)

Join us virtually with workshop facilitators Shay Au Lait and Christos Galanis for a unique, embodied experience on race.

March 26, 2022 - 1:00pm

Programming category: 


Earthdance is proud and excited to offer this 2-Day, ONLINE workshop in our collaboration with Shay Au Lait and Christos Galanis and their growing work called Sensing Race.
Through this collaboration Earthdance wants to affirm its commitment to working with themes such as race and racialism, and at the same time to broaden the scope of how we approach and work with such themes. By bridging the gap between the social/political and the somatic in a creative and hands-on fashion, we believe that Sensing Race will allow people to engage with this topic in new and inspiring ways.

"Sensing Race opened me on multiple levels to a deeper exploration of race than I previously knew was possible."
-Hazel (past workshop participant)

What does ‘race’ feel like in your own body - in your own senses?
In what ways do your senses perceive ‘race’ in the body of another?
How does this race-fixated culture we’re a part of inhabit and inhibit our bodies; our imaginations; our speech; our dreams and our nightmares? our agendas?
How might we ‘make sense’ of race, and explore how Blackness and Whiteness inform our relationships, our identities, our emotions; or our very perceptions of reality?
Most importantly, how might we explore these prompts mindfully, playfully, creatively, and even sensually?

Join us via zoom - with workshop facilitators Shay Au Lait and Christos Galanis - for a unique workshop on race, produced in partnership with Earthdance.

What we propose to devise for you is a dynamic, creative, somatically-centered container within which we might temporarily pause from wrestling with race and racism intellectually or politically. Inside that pause, we will explore using our own body’s intelligence as an instrument for better understanding the ways in which ancestry and difference might instead be vehicles for play, inspiration, and intimacy, as opposed to barriers that divide us and stoke reactions of fear or violence, and impulses to fetishize, control, or conceal.

By the conclusion of this 2-part workshop, it is our desire that participants might come away with a more resilient and integrated relationship with race. Practically speaking, participants will take away new or more effective tools that employ embodiment, creativity, and play as strategies for resourcing themselves and their communities in the collective struggle of bringing about a more just and inspired society.

Please note:
1. This is a two-day ONLINE workshop. Attendees must be present both on:

Saturday, March 26th from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
Sunday, March 27th from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET

Attendees will be emailed all details including the private Zoom link. Please ensure you register for the workshop with an ACTIVE email address.

2. 10% of all ticket sales will be donated equally between to organizations/charities of choice by each Facilitator. (Org names TBA.)

3. As this workshop is interactive, sensual, and embodied, space is limited so as to facilitate an intentional and thoughtful container that allows time and space for everyone to sink in and participate.


2-Day ONLINE workshop $150



What They're Saying:
"I loved your creativity, openness, authenticity and willingness to explore difficult topics with curiosity." - Registered Psychotherapist

"Thanks so much for doing this tricky work, and for a great class." - Associate Professor of Dance

"OMG!!! Shay and Christos!! So good! Thank you both for this! I am so appreciating each of you, the crucible you are offering here together and the juice you are each bringing, thank you!! " -Sacred Sexual Healer & Transformational Guide

"I was quite pleased that you did not try to tell us things but instead encouraged us to experience our own feelings and also to learn from other participants." - Workshop Participant

" strikes me that diving into the clean pain/discomfort becomes more fully resourced when it's held in tandem with pleasure, play for the sake of play. I appreciated your workshop this summer and very much look forward to future opportunities to dive in. Thank you both so much. so grateful to get to play and explore lovingly in this terrain-- our creativity gives us a place to live into. deep bow. “ 
- Meditation teacher, Conscious Dance Facilitator, & Yoga Instructor


Known for her creative and poignant philosophical approach, Shay Au Lait speaks to and facilitates personal development and self-awareness through a value-based system that challenges traditional paradigms of thinking. Her practical, actionable, and sensual techniques have earned her the nicknames of “Vulnerability Doula,” “Intellectual Sensual Shaman,” "The Typhoon of Temptation," and a “Cultural Provocateur.” Equal parts playfully innocent and dangerously kinky, she is also a provocative, intoxicating Sorcerer hailing from Chicago, IL. As a BDSM practitioner (The Kinky Siren Switchress), burlesque, theater, and pole dance artist, she combines her love of eroticism, sensuality, emotion, and storytelling on the stage, in the classroom, and in life through SpeakEasy Noir and Siren Pack Productions.

Christos Galanis (MFA) is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural geographer who has spent the past 12 years intensely tracking and making visible the various ’spells’ through which colonialism and Whiteness inhabit and inhibit relationships, both individually and culturally. In addition to his extensive academic publishing, lecturing, and ethnographic field-work experience, he also brings years of experience teaching workshops on play, performance, kink, and eco-sexuality. A practicing Animist, he is a graduate of Stephen Jenkinson’s Orphan Wisdom School and is currently completing a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.

To learn more about the work, CHECK OUT this video.


Q. Do I have to be of any particular race, ethnicity, or nationality to attend this workshop?
A. All races, ethnicities, and nationalities are welcomed. Please note your workshop facilitators will present select references to North American experiences. This workshop is also an experience in "blackness" and "whiteness" which can be experienced by any person in the manner this workshop is explored. Please also note that both facilitators will present in English.

Q. If I took Sensing Race before, does it make sense to take it a second or third time?
A. While some of our exercises are the same, your experience with them will be different and perhaps deepened. Also, please know that we've changed some of our activities and added in new & different exercises based on participant feedback, social change, and our own growth. This is a similar yet different workshop than before.

Q. How is this different than the mandatory diversity training I took at work, the anti-racist class my friend insisted I take and the inclusion summit I attended last June that mentioned we should also be abolitionists too?!
A. Sensing Race is a creative and somatic workshop. We'd also love for you to re-read our workshop description. We think it's probably different from anything you've done before, and perhaps can help you integrate your previous experiences too!


"The journey of meeting the entities of whiteness and blackness was the most profound."
- Past Workshop Participant