• Most Thursdays, starting January 25th, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:30 PM | Deep Dive Oakland @ Veteran’s Memorial Building, upstairs in Hall 1 (200 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA, 94610)

    Dancing Lyrical™ with the Deep Dive tribe.
    (Photo Credit: Sayrah Garrison)

    I have joined Crew for Sayrah Garrison’s 5Rhythms® class. Come to the East Bay and dance with me and the Deep Dive tribe!!!

    Sayrah is a certified 5Rhythms® teacher and has been teaching a weekly class in Oakland for about 5 years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also teaches yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to the general public and to special populations in need. She is deeply committed to exploring how these profound body based practices can affect positive change in all of us and hopes that her classes provide a fun way to explore creativity, connection and personal growth.

    Created by Gabrielle Roth, the 5Rhythms® is a conscious dance practice rooted in the principle that if you put the psyche in motion it will heal itself. In essence it is a dynamic moving meditation that nourishes mind, body and spirit! What to expect in a class led by Sayrah:

    ● The 5Rhythms are Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. These rhythms come together to create a Wave, which take shape in the form of music. There are 2 Waves in each class.
    ● The first Wave is a warm up, about 45 minutes, during which you are encouraged to let go of your day and drop into your body. The music is designed to help you warm up slowly in Flowing and Staccato. In Chaos, we reach a peak, then in Lyrical and Stillness we mindfully settle down.
    ● In between Waves, Sayrah introduces a theme, which we explore individually, in partnership and in groups.
    ● You are ALWAYS at choice and should not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
    ● NO TALKING on the dance floor and please keep our space drug and alcohol free. No street shoes.



  • Friday & Saturday, March 23rd-24th, 2018 from 6:00-8:30 PM & 11:00 – 5:00 PM | Exploring Healthy Boundaries: A 5Rhythms® Workshop w/ Sayrah Garrison @ Western Sky Studio (2525 Eighth Street, #13A, Berkeley, CA, 94710)
    Deep Dive Oakland is offering this workshop in response to the pervasive and overwhelming sexual misconduct/harassment cases sweeping the nation, the all too familiar #MeToo movement and continued violence against women happening all over the world. During this workshop, Sayrah will offer experiential practices and self inquiry designed to guide you deeper into your personal experience of boundaries. Exercises will build upon themselves to encourage the dancer to confidently and clearly embody healthy boundaries that will ultimately serve not only the dancer, but the community as well.

    ALL GENDERS WELCOME! No experience required, just an open mind and a willingness to participate.

    Regular price – Saturday Only – $95
    Regular price – Friday & Saturday – $115
    Friday only – $30

    To register, visit Deep Dive Oakland. For additional questions, please call 808-430-9423.




  • Saturday, January 20th, 2018 from 7:00-10:45 PM | The Transformative Inquiry Department at California Institute of Integral Studies 2017-2018 Diversity and Inclusion Book Committee presents “An Evening of Trans Revolutionary Experience” @ The Portola Room in Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel (105 Rockaway Beach Ave, Pacifica, CA, 94044)

    Inspired by our mission of diversity and inclusion at CIIS and the work of Dean Denise Boston, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Transformative Inquiry Department is honored to announce an evening of radical Trans experience. The event will feature a talk from award-winning scholar and filmmaker Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History, whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative words have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s. Our evening will include Q & A time with Susan, a reading from Alex Leslie Combs, and a discussion panel of guests who will bring our community into the heart and soul of what radical trans experience means to them.

    This is a FREE event with RSVP. To RSVP, please go to

    The 2017-2018 Diversity and Inclusion Book Committee members are Ashley Campbell, Jennifer Peer, Kai Sebastian Stout, Kelsay Myers, Brian Davis, and faculty advisor, Dr. Leslie Allen Combs.



  • Monday, January 22nd, 2018 from 2:30-5:00 PM | Transformative Studies Department Mini Conference by TSD Doctoral Students @ Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel (105 Rockaway Beach Ave, Pacifica, CA, 94044)
    TSD second- and third- year students are invited to present in a mini-conference to be held at the January 2018
    Intensive. During this mini-conference, students will have an opportunity to share their work-in- progress, pilot work, or discuss their research inquiry. My colleague, Jessica Spring, and I will be presenting a talk entitled “Adoptee Ways of Knowing: The Role of Scholarly Personal Narrative in Transformative Inquiry.”

    Jessica and Kelsay are both adoptees and academics engaging Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) alongside arts based and embodiment practices in our work. Though our adoption stories are extraordinarily different, both of us have felt called to explore the labyrinths of identity for as long as we can remember. While many people seek self-understanding and belonging in the world, we identify and describe ways of knowing attributed to living with the loss of early life separation from the biological mother, a trauma that adoption psychologist, Nancy Verrier (1993), has called “the primal wound.” Verrier (1993) believes this primal wound or “abandoned baby lives inside each and every adoptee all his or her life” (p. 25). Maybe she does indeed still reside somewhere deep within us, but our life experiences show that we can be transformed through the arts and embodied ways of knowing. Adoption loss magnifies and places questions of the motherlines, identity, trauma, resilience, embodiment, and the creative self at the center of an adoptee’s consciousness. It is our belief that everyone can benefit from following their roots back to the mothers, getting in touch with the wisdom of their bodies, knowing themselves in a deeply transformative way, and sharing their stories in community for a more profound understanding of what it means to be alive in our present society. We are each offering our life experiences and our work here using Scholarly Personal Narrative, artistic imagery, and movement in the hopes that it will offer some inspiration for a more compassionate, connected, and embodied future.

    View the presentation slides here | Adoptee Ways of Knowing: The Role of Scholarly Personal Narrative in Transformative Inquiry

    View my SPN writing here | The Journey: A Scholarly Personal Narrative


    Leighton, K. (2005). Being adopted and being a philosopher: Exploring identity and the “desire to know” differently. In S. Haslanger & C. Witt (Eds.), Adoption matters: Philosophical and feminist essays (pp. 146-170). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    Verrier, N. N. (1993). The primal wound: Understanding the adopted child. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press.