Christian founded Interfusion Festival under the Institute for Integrative Wellness (IFIW) in 2016. He completed his undergraduate studies in Public Management from Northern Arizona University (NAU), Magna Cum Laude. Christian returned to NAU to earn a Master in Administration with distinction, Public Executive emphasis, as well as a Master of Arts in Wellness Coaching from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). His commitment to integrative wellness includes a personal practice of mindfulness with emphasis on meditation and somatic movement. Christian is also a public health professional with over a decade and a half of public service.
Jenna is an accomplished professional and caretaker who specializes in event operations and logistics. She comes with a wealth of complex experience and knowledge of operational management, strategic execution, and development. She works closely with all members of the Interfusion team providing support and logistical direction as a compassionate leader and peer. Jenna also has a 15+ year background as a dancer, instructor and performer in the latin dance community and event industry contributing to her expertise and professional guidance as Operations Director.
Consent Program Codirector
Indigo Dawn (They/them/elle) is a transformational coach and touch therapist who catalyzes life-changing, life-affirming experiences. They have designed and implemented consent processes for 4-10 day events with anywhere from 30 to 1500 attendees. As a conference speaker and facilitator, Indigo seeds skills that yield a more joyful and abundant life-- including emotional dexterity, responsive boundaries, and intimate communication. As a personal coach, they empower social changemakers to harmonize with their deepest values to create the life-- and the world-- of their dreams!
Consent Program Codirector
Sarah Taub, PH.D., teaches relationship and community skills and helps groups deepen their intimacy. She facilitates group processes including consensus decision-making, business meetings and retreats, conflict resolution sessions, and ZEGG Forum, and has co-created consent policies and led consent support teams for retreats and festivals of 50 to 1500 people. Sarah has been organizing with Center for a New Culture since 2004, putting on multi-day camps and other events that create a culture based on awareness, compassion, and freedom rather than on fear and judgment. Since 2011, she has co-managed Abrams Creek Center, a retreat center and community in the mountains of West Virginia, where she now lives with her intimate network of lovers and co-creators. What excites Sarah most is holding space for the deepest group conflicts so that an even deeper level of connection, understanding, and creativity can emerge.
Iva Vest’s passion is embodying + sharing authentic, conscious living and holistic wellness. Through her work as a Certified Transformational Health Coach + Empowerment Mentor, she lives to witness and inspire others toward true self-love + greatness by powerfully facilitating awareness of their true path, reminding them that all they desire is available to them, in every moment. She is a dynamic, spirited lover of nature, food, movement, and the raw experience of being human. Iva's extensive dance and yogic background fosters a deep love for sacred movement, which provides a strong framework for cultivating the mind/body awareness available throughout her offerings.
Eric Sipes found a love of movement arts when he began teaching himself to breakdance via videos from a file sharing program back in early 2000. Hardly able to contain his excitement and passion for movement, he began sharing his practice with any and everyone.
After moving to Baltimore in 2011 he was introduced to AcroYoga and it changed his life completely. Eric has trained with professionals from all over the world, and has spent literally thousands of hours practicing his craft. Eric believes that in order to be a great teacher you must also be an amazing student, he obtained a 200hr yoga certification from Baltimore Yoga Village before receiving his AcroYoga International certification, AcroRevolution certification, Lux Teacher training Certification, Thai Massage Certification, and more!
Brazilian Zouk Director
Mr. Prada started dancing in 2004. However, it was only in 2006 that he really began to dive deep into dance as a work-study trainee of the Jaime Aroxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most prestigious dance schools in Brazil; which trained some of the most renowned dancers in the country. During his 6 years as a member of the school's team, he learned all Brazilian partner dances (Forró, Samba de Gafieira, Soltinho, Bolero and Zouk) and Argentine Tango. Apart from dance, Mr. Prada also studied and worked as a tantric massage therapist. This work helped him to create a unique perspective of human nature, as well as gain a deep understanding of the capabilities of the human body. His investigation of the close embrace continued over the years, and through many sources both inside and outside of the dance world. These studies guided him to form a multidisciplinary understanding of dancing and connecting in close embrace as a healing and therapeutic experience.
Healing Arts Director
Emma comes to Interfusion with 10 years of experience as an intuitive healer. She combines her Reiki Master certification, clairvoyant abilities, and Shamanic training to help her clients pursue healing. Emma’s mission is to hold space for people on their spiritual journey of self-love, awareness, and expression. She founded KiVibes, based in Tyson's Corner, VA, where she creates a welcoming environment for clients to benefit from energy healing, spiritual guidance, and intentional jewelry. Emma envisions a future where all beings have the opportunity to step into their personal power and intentionally pursue their life passions.
Expressive Arts Director
Mikela began her movement journey in 2016 when she left her day job to pursue her yoga teacher training. She soon fell in love with the practice and committed herself to movement as a means to healing herself and her community. For five years, she worked in the non-profit yoga sector sharing affordable and inclusive yoga across the DMV. Most notably, Mikela combined her passion for advocacy and movement by leading over twenty workshops addressing diversity in yoga spaces. Today Mikela works across DC as a licensed massage therapist helping clients reach their pain management and movement goals through therapeutic touch. In her spare time, she organizes Femme-focused events that primarily explore movement and creativity. Mikela mission, inspired by the #MeToo movement, is to empower Femme folx to embody and express their most authentic self through art and somatic practices while uplifting, healing and inspiring the larger community to show up in big ways. In the fall of 2022, Mikela begins her graduate studies in mental health counseling. Her goal is to combine her love for movement and mindfulness into a somatic therapy practice.
Conscious Dance Director
Umair Ahsan is motivated to thread together a deep and enriching Conscious Dance Program for Interfusion Festival. Umair has been dancing Contact Improvisation, Ecstatic Dance and 5Rythms since 2017 and has witnessed the power of conscious dance through his own transformation and growth. He is an active member of the conscious dance events in Washington DC and enjoys traveling for dance.
Umair is a host by nature and loves to create intentional spaces for expression, healing and connection and is the co-founder of a healing arts collective in the DC area that organizes community events. He also co-organizes a space for Contact Improvisation at a local dance studio. In addition, Umair holds a master’s in electrical engineering and is the founder of Aquanimous, a company that markets sustainable cork yoga, recovery and self-massage tools that aims to shift the normalization of plastics and artificial materials in the fitness industry.
Wisdom & Science Director
Yonah has worked with thousands of persons from all walks of life, helping them move beyond inner blockages and optimize their lives. Teaching from the core principle that we create our reality, Yonah helps people hone their personal power through mental, emotional, and physiological state shifting practices. He helps people improve the quality of their lives through Mindfulness, meditation, changing thinking and behavioral patterns, and practical action.
Yonah studied Behavioral and Social Psychology and received five years of Humanistic Counseling training from a psychologist taught by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. He learned from disciples of Sri Chinmoy for one year and has spent several years learning from Dr. Tara Brach and others through continuous self-study. He also completed multiple Vipassana courses under S.N. Goenka, based on teachings of the Buddha rooted in 25 centuries of tradition. Yonah recent clients include U.S. House of Representatives, Johns Hopkins University, National Science Foundation, Washington Times, Halcyon, Georgetown University and more.
Support Services Team
Jermaine Corley has served as the Logistics Director for Interfusion Festival since 2019, where he works with staff to plan, coordinate, and execute the behind-the-scenes operations. He comes to the festival with 20 years of experience leading small and midsize software teams in the development of complex engineering solutions. As Logistics Director, Jermaine brings his authentic and unique self to a role which he finds challenging yet rewarding and demands humility, creativity, flexibility, good humor, determination, and compassion. While his passion is Bachata and Kizomba music/dance, he is hoping that 2021/2022 and beyond will present lots of opportunities for exploring Brazilian Zouk.
Lorenzo (DJ Renzo) is the Night Program Director of Interfusion Festival and is one of the nations top Latin music DJs. Aside from salsa, Renzo also mixes Top 40, Hip-Hop, R&B, House, Swing and many other genres as well. What makes him an in-tuned DJ is the fact that he is also an avid dancer. Utilizing this knowledge is what has helped propel him on the scene. He credits knowing what dancers like to hear as a silver lining in his growth as a DJ. Renzo prefers the heavier, percussion driven rhythms of salsa and counts some of his favorite salsa artists as Sonora Poncena, Roberto Roena, Ray Perez, Ray Barretto, Conjunto Universal, La Terrifica and Just Betancourt. Overall, Renzo loves all salsa from the Cuban rhythms, Columbian salsa to modern day salsa romantica. If it has the clave and cowbell he can be seen bopping along to it.
Marcella is an avid Latin dancer in the Washington DC area, who has trained in salsa and bachata since the age of 15. She works in the defense field by day but in her free time, she is passionate about working behind the scenes and assisting in the production of local events.
Marcella volunteered at the very first Interfusion Festival and instantly knew she wanted to become more involved. By 2018, she rose to serve as one of the two volunteer coordinators of the festival, and now spearheads the rapidly growing Community Volunteer Program (CVP), which hosts 100+ volunteers annually. She loves her role and looks forward to helping facilitate this year’s volunteer program!
Daria has spent years immersed in a dance and self evolution journey. As we venture through our journey in life, we are ever evolving and helping one another as we learn to improve on our journeys and self realization. Between my business experience and my love and passion for the events we have at Interfusion, I feel fortunate to be a part of this ever evolving event.
Creative Arts Team
Mariya is a Creative Soul, Artist, Designer and Photographer, who strives to bring beauty and joy to people’s lives through everything she does. Originally from Bulgaria, where she graduated as Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management, her passion for travel brought her to USA, where she made her home away from home, and pursued further studies of Wedding & Event Planning and Design. Her biggest inspiration is the simple beauty of nature. Her biggest joy-sharing her light and bringing smiles to people’s faces. Ballroom dancer in the past, she recently reconnected with her passion for dance discovering Zouk and Bachata.
Media Team Director
Ross Lewin brings 10 years of photography, videography, dance, and entrepreneurial experience to his role as Media Director at interfusion. In his 5th interfusion festival as a photographer, Ross values images that bring the authentic joy and color of interfusion to life. As the owner of Lewin Creative Group, Photographer Matchmaker, and youth meditation company Zen Warriors, Ross uses media and technology to bring innovation to real-world problems. As Media Team Director of Interfusion Festival, Ross is responsible for the selection and management of photography staff, as well as ensuring the highest quality end products for our project and community.
Visual Arts Designer
Owner of WildPetsCreation Graphic Studio, based in Italy. She has assembled a small team of Italian and American illustrators and graphic designers through the years. Their work is focused on custom artwork, both digital and hand painted. When she is not in her house in Italy, she is seeing the world and working from new places that can inspire her creativity. Shaping concepts into colors since 2016.