By Emma Young
Two days, over 30 workshops for novices and experts alike, three large studios, two performance-filled evenings, and tens of experts and artists in movement, dance, the healing arts, and more. Combine them all to create one of Washington D.C.’s most unique and enriching gatherings: The Interfusion Festival. “There’s a lot going on,” explained Christian Rodriguez, Interfusion Festival Founder. “It’s the chance to come to this space and have the freedom to explore, to practice. There is a lot of kinesthetics [physical movement], but it is strongly related to other traditions.”
Rodriguez, who is also the Founder of the Institute for Integrative Wellness, demonstrates a clear passion for helping others realize a deeper connection between mind, body, and spirit. His ardor is what prompted the founding of this rare congregation across diverse disciplines. The Interfusion Festival includes artists and professional instructors in Thai massage, mindfulness, acroyoga, salsa, qigong, belly dancing, visualization, zouk, meditation, west coast swing, laughter yoga, and dance acrobatics, among several others. “I wanted to fuse these different communities together, to expose the relationship between mind, body, and spirit,” said Rodriquez.
“I am very excited about it,” remarked Umka Pele, an acroyoga practitioner and movement artist who will be teaching at the festival. “There is already so much connection between dance, yoga, acrobatics, and the healing arts, and this is a platform for all of them to interact more, cross-pollinate, and learn from each other. I hope to see a new community forming, an interfusion community that consists of artists from a variety of movement styles, that will exchange their art, their skills, and engage in each other’s genres. Whole new genres of movement can originate from the festival,” Pele enthused.
The Interfusion Festival is for all skill levels, though: from those just beginning a fitness and health journey who want to try different practices to experts seeking to perfect technique or delve into a new field. “This is an accepting and non-judgmental environment, space, and group,” said Rodriguez. “There are experts, but each is also a beginner. You may be well-versed in salsa, but new to Tai Chi. The point is to get people moving, thinking, and doing whatever they feel comfortable in,” he explained. Pele agrees. “All workshops are at all levels; beginners, intermediate and advanced folks will have things to learn. It’s great because it’s like a fair of different movement styles. If you’re undecided which type of movement you like best, this is a great opportunity to get a taste of a dozen or more of them and decide if this is something you want,” she furthered.
“It’s an opportunity to connect. A chance to try something new,” summed Rodriguez. “It’s going to be great.”
The Interfusion Festival is hosting workshops from 12:00-8:00 p. m. on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7, at The Dance Loft at 4618 14th St., N.W. in Washington, D.C. After-workshop performances, entertainment and dance socials are included in the ticket price. For tickets and more information, visit interfusionfestival.com/ or the “Interfusion Festival” Facebook page.
Emma Young is a freelance writer living in Prince William County. She’s excited to attend the Interfusion Festival and can be reached at [email protected]