CBC & CBC | FTC Testimonials

Karen Nitsche: 

“Contact Beyond Contact came into my life in 2021 and since then has been a truly moving journey for my own personal développement. It helped to understand myself in new ways, created a beautiful shift on how I move through the world and especially how I move through my relationships in life. It made me approach dance and movement with new eyes. The practice of CBC feels safe, respectful and honor boundaries in a container of exploration. A sense of belonging emerged so strongly that I decided to train and share this practice with the world. Ive been sharing CBC the past two years in my community in Ojai as well as in retreats in California. Over those years, I witnessed incredible connection between people, I witnessed open hearted strangers relating with each others in such authentic and unique ways.”

Amber Deylon (Part of Karen’s CBC group in Ojai) 

Death Midwife and creator of Grieve&Breathe

“Karen essence is beauty and grace. The way she moves & grooves and dances with life is what draws me to her as a dear sister and teacher. CBC has brought truth, embodiment and beautiful expression into my life. I LOVE IT! I love the way Karen shares it. As a stand alone offering as well as a wonderful addition to the retreats I host. Thank you for your dedication to this art of connection, soul and dance.”

CBC | FTC Level 4 Ojai, May 2024

Angelina Duran CBC Facilitator Level 2 | 2024

“Dance for me has always been my healing space. It’s been there when I had moments to celebrate life, to move sadness out of my body, to find connection I needed- whether with myself, another person, or the cosmic energies. For years, I have wanted to share this connection through dance with others, hoping they too could experience the growth and healing I have found in this movement practice. 

I was first introduced to CBC by Vangelis at a dance retreat in Bali. The practice was perfect and exactly what I had been looking for! He guided us through connections between movement and philosophy, self-development and embodiment. It was a beautifully curated safe space where everyone could laugh, cry, connect, and grow. I fell in love with the practice immediately and knew it was a gift that should be shared, an offering of universal healing.

I feel so fortunate to have found and trained in the CBC method of facilitation and to bring it back to my private practice. Each class leaves my heart full as I witness people forming authentic connections to their heart space, creating a safe community, and receiving the moments of wisdom they need from the experience. I look forward to continuing my CBC journey by taking Level 3 soon and having the opportunity to bring more of this healing practice to my local community.”

A testimonial from Lisa Ferrin, a frequent participant in Angelina’s CBC facilitated classes:

“So blessed and grateful to attend Contact Beyond Contact-a beautiful dance fusion of contact improvisation, mindfulness, and embodiment. I love Angelina’s style of teaching and the wisdom she brings in these connection practices, relating every day situation and relationships to the movements of dance. I always leave with a new perspective and renewed sense of connection with others. These classes are fun, informative, joyful and healing!” 

Nati Araruna CBC Facilitator Level 2 | 2024

“Becoming a Contact Beyond Contact facilitator was one of the most profound and enlightening experiences. It gave me a constant connection with my body and mind at the same time, and I am more aware of what is happening in my body on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.  

What I love most about conducting this practice is observing how much change takes place in the participants and what transformation they go through, what energy they enter the practice with and what energy they leave with. It is a great gift to have the ability to communicate on such subtle and deep levels with yourself.”

“The impact of Contact Beyond Contact went well beyond the dance floor; During the weeklong training, I opened up my heart for the first time in over a year, found deep connection with community, and learned the importance of questions to grow closer with God. ” B. G. – CBC | FTC Level 1 Santa Fe, March 2023

“The immersive experience of this CBC facilitator training for a full week has really changed my experience of life as well as dance! I am moving through space with much more awareness whether it be on foot, in the car or the dance floor. It is as if I am literally able to take-in more of the environment, and yet this expanded awareness brings a feeling of greater calm. I don’t want to lose this way of being, I want to continue to grow it. It is magical that the combination of experiences in the CBC facilitator training has brought such significant changes to my daily life. I had only anticipated the training would help me to be a more graceful dancer, and possibly help me to better share dance with others on the dance floor. In actuality, life feels more graceful and I am noticing a greater capacity for overall creative expression. Lots of life is in motion!” J. G. – CBC | FTC Level 1 Santa Fe, March 2023

“The facilitator training level 1 was the most transformative and healing week of my life at that point. I was getting out of my comfort zone with a beautiful group radiating of support, understanding and compassion. I learned to transform and release old patterns of myself while diving deep into the CBC practice. I got to learn to be more aware of movement, thought patterns, words and interaction with others. Qi Gong, Meditation and open talks were rounding the experience while valuing & enjoying each others company & healthy food. The course was truly transformative and brought me to a whole different place in my life, my personal development and my spiritual growth.” D.S – CBC | FTC Level 1 & 2 | 2022

“I participated in Levels 1 and 2 of the CBC FTC and I am eternally grateful for the gifts they have given me. I have a background and interest in many movement and healing modalities such as yoga, qigong, thai massage etc, and this course so beautiful connects them all. Vangelis provides a safe space, that really allows all of the participants to drop into themselves and discover their unique role and calling. Both courses provided me with many new skills and practices, making me feel confident in my ability to facilitate and hold a CBC session. For me, Contact Beyond Contact represents the power of community and the strength that comes from authentic human connection. I look forward to spreading CBC to the world.” K.N – CBC | FTC Level 1 & 2 | 2020

“Rare is it to find a movement innovator that so eloquently and powerfully resources from personal experience of time spent in dance, performance as well as in healing modalities such as Qi gong, Reiki, Thai Yoga, Body-Mind-Heart-Spirit interrelationship. As a CBC Facilitator you will unite dance & healing to empower holistic relationship with self, others and universe.” K.F – CBC | FTC Level 1 | 2019

“The training was a beautiful combination of eastern and western modalities making it a unique experience that allowed me to connect to my heart and gain meaningful teachings and relationships. I feel ready and passionate to share this practice with the world. ” R.S. – CBC | FTC Level 1 & 2

“What I love about this practice is this sense that I can slow time or even stop it – that I am alive through every cell of my body, fully embodied, connected to people and the environment.

It is the opportunity to practice the kind of listening, communication, creative confidence, playfulness, intentionality, adaptability, trust, focus, and acceptance I aim to bring in to my daily life.

As part of the facilitator’s course, we hold sessions for the general public, and it has been inspiring and spine-chilling to see people walk in commenting about how they don’t think they can dance or how they feel fear about contact dance, and end the session with joyful enthusiasm about the next session. it’s been powerful to see experienced dancers in a number of modalities share about the heightened level of awareness, connection, and comfortable intimacy they experienced.

I loved learning, embodying, exploring the immense breadth and depth of modalities and practices that Van has unified together through Contact Beyond Contact.

I gained so much as a facilitator from Van’s way of facilitating and holding space for whole rooms of diverse people – to discuss what we can be observing and making choices around, to explore nuances and possibilities, and to receive specific and direct feedback on ways I can personally keep improving.

In just the first day of the training, I felt that I had already changed in how I move and I how I relate to others – and by the end of two weeks for levels 1 and 2, I felt exponentially more able to dance, create, and communicate. I highly recommend this training for people with curious mind, love breadth and depth, keen to learn from everything, and keen to move through challenges with mind body heart and spirit. ” A.O – CBC | FTC Level 1 & 2

“My name is Matt Shilcock, I am based in Adelaide, South Australia. I completed my CBC Level 1 in Melbourne on 20 October 2019. 

I was first introduced to Vangelis’ methodology and Embodied Unity in 2013 and I have made it a point to work with Van as often as a can since then. CBC offers a way to connect with and better understand my body and relationship to space, my environment, myself and to others. 
I live with a skeletal condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or ‘brittle bones’. Although I have a mild form of the condition, I had broken more bones than Jackie Chan, by age 12. I took up dancing, since dance classes are cheaper than physiotherapy. ‘Dance and Healing’ is the perfect term for my transformational journey.
Only a month after I was first introduced to CBC and Van’s practice, I shattered my pelvis in an accident and underwent major surgery for it. I incorporated a lot of the modalities I had learnt from working with Van into my recovery and rehabilitation; managing to recover faster and less strenuously than I had experienced before, being able to recognise with my pain and discomfort and pass through.
My journey through this week has been both a lightening experience and a challenging one. Prior to the course I was dealing with some stress related residual injuries in my lower back and legs, and I was relying heavily on crutches to move. For practicality I only brought one crutch to the course and after the first couple of days I was having less pain and moving much freer, experiencing a release of tension in my body and a balancing in my emotions and energies. by the end of the course I was moving freely unaided and unencumbered.
My physical release lead to some suppressed emotional traumas rising to the surface and I was confronted with a few psychological and emotional blockages to process. The safe space Van and the other participants provided allowed me to process, understand and deal with these traumas in a constructive manner.
Through this course I have been able to recognise, connect with and process what my masculinity means to me, let go of feelings of doubt and failure from unrealistic expectations of myself and connect with and appreciate myself more as a being.
CBC is unique in the intuitive nature of the practice. It flows and feels more like remembering than learning. It’s a practice that is open and accessible to everyone, and encapsulates and shares everything I want to communicate about my healing journey with dance, but don’t know how to – until now.
I recommend this course to people who are already dancers and want to connect (or reconnect) with their practice on a new level. To anyone who wishes to ground themselves and reconnect their relationships with their body, environment and other people.
This practice and course has helped to transform my belief in myself and confidence in my abilities. CBC | FTC Level 1

“This was my second time to learn about dance and healing, first time for my partner, he was a little hesitant but still dance around with me. We discover more about each other differences and preferences through movement.

We learned about resistance and conflict – how it helped us reflect on our relationship with each other. The more we resist, it will persist, when it happens, acknowledged its presence and let it go. What I realise from the experience was that resistance is just part of our life and we just need to learn to dance with it, don’t forget to stop, take a deep breath and pass through it. It was such a beautiful practice to be supported by a safe space to express oneself, embrace one’s presence, and connect deeper beyond contact. ” CBC Session Participants R.J. 2020

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