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Tree of Life Cultural Arts Studio

February 2013  

In this issue

Save the Date

The Tree of Life Sheds Its Leaves

From Katie






Save the Date


We have already begun making plans for various outdoor performances this summer, so stay tuned for further details. 


In the meantime, both Tree of Life Drum & Dance Society and Tribal Roots Fusion Bellydance will be performing and sharing a cultural experience at Chelsea's 2013 Geography Night on Friday,

March 1st.


The event is held at the WSEC, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  We hope to see you there in support of arts and education in our community!

The Tree of Life Sheds Its Leaves


Rarely do we associate big changes with the dead of winter, but this is precisely what has been happening here at the Tree over the past week.


As many of you have already heard (Tree gossip sure spreads fast!), Katie is stepping down from her roles as manager and instructor at the Tree to pursue the offerings of a new chapter of her life in Northern Michigan.  (See Katie's note below.)


This change, on the heels of Sundance's departure, means some even greater changes for the business.  With this in mind, office hours at the Tree will be shortened and by appointment only.  (See below.)


Additionally, after various meetings with, and input from, key figures invested in the future of the Tree, the decision has been made to begin phasing out Cafe Touba.  We will be looking to sell nearly all of the cafe equipment, as well as the majority of supplies:


espresso machine

espresso grinder

double fridge


various mugs

dishwashing sink

trash can

floor mats



  If you or someone you know may be interested in any of the items for sale, please contact the studio.


Thank you all for your continued support, and we hope that you will stay strong with us through this period of change.

From Katie


Dear Tree of Life family,


It is with a heavy heart that I will be bidding you all farewell this coming week. 


As many of you now know, I am becoming a business owner in Northern Michigan.  I have worked in the bookselling, promotions and publishing industries since more than a decade of my life, and have long known that I could never give it up.  The opportunity arose for me to make a bid for a small, independent bookstore that is requiring new energy and vision.  While both myself and the bank are taking on a hefty bit of risk with this endeavor, I have every confidence that this move will map the remainder of my working years.


As with all moves, however, the timing is never ideal.  In some ways, having a "now or never" situation forces one's hand, but I do wish that I had more time left with each of you.  For that I am truly and deeply sorry.


I know that you will all be in great and capable hands with Jenabah at the healm, and I know that she, Sundance and Solair will have the support of so many good people who have come to consider the Tree a home away from home.


I do hope to visit for upcoming performances and the showcase, and encourage you all to keep in touch.  My time at the Tree has been precious and defining, and it is in no small part to each and everyone of you.


I will miss you all dearly.


With love,





The studio will always be open 30 minutes before any class begins.


Daytime hours

are now

by appointment



Please call





Pure Barre, Ann Arbor


Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy


Domba Tribal Bellydance


Earths Cradle Healing Arts


World Dance Workout


Gaia Roots


West African

Drum & Dance, NYC


Evolving Shiatsu


The Macpodz




The AV Pro


Detroit Flyhouse














Here's what's happening in February

and beyond!




If you are currently a student attending any of our Winter Session classes, it's no secret what the theme for this year's showcase will be.  And truly, didn't we all see this coming, even a little bit?


This June, Tree of Life instructors, students and special guest performers will be paying tribute to the unrivaled legacy of Michael Jackson.  By drawing inspiration from the King of Pop's most iconic dance steps, and staging pieces to musical selections which span all decades of his career, this showcase promises to be a celebration like no other!



The first round of information letters will be handed out to students and parents in the upcoming weeks, but in the meantime, here are some important things to keep in mind:


- Recital fees will be due no later than April 22nd.  This is a nonrefundable fee of $25.00 per student.


- This year, all classes will be required to have various costume elements, which reflect one of the many incarnations of MJ.  Costume fees will be determined in early spring.


- The dates to keep in mind, and to mark on your calendar this instant are:

Thursday, June 6th for Tech rehearsal

Friday, June 7th for Dress rehearsal

Saturday, June 8th for the Showcase


- Finally, and perhaps most importantly at this time, is to note that the showcase will not take place in Chelsea this year.  Instead, we will be moving to the auditorium at Pinckney Community High School (the one on Dexter-Pinckney Road, not the old high school).  Many of you have already performed there for various Pinckney Dance Program events, and know what a clean, well-maintained and welcoming space it is.  And dancers . . . this year we will be dancing on marley, not old wooden planks!



If you will not be performing in the showcase for any reason, please do let us know as soon as possible, so that instructors can begin to envision their choregraphy with an accurate count

of dancers.


So get excited!  This show will be a wonderful event for all lovers of music, drum and dance, and especially for all of those family and friends that adore Michael Jackson as much as we do!





Put the "boo boop-a-doop" in your hula hoop!


Whether you are a beginner with no dance or hooping experience or are a seasoned dancer or hooper, you will find many benefits in this dynamic, specialty workshop.  Instruction will cover dance and hooping techniques, isolations, holds, transitions and HOT hoop choreography!  Best of all, you will get some great exercise and have fun, fun, FUN! 


The first 90 minutes of this workshop will be devoted to working out, training and dancing with your hoop.  The final 30 minutes will provide time for a "trick share."  If you have ever seen a trick online, on stage, in a video, or have a trick up your sleeve, bring it with you and Mylitta will break it down for all to do!



Hot Honey Hoops with Mylitta

Saturday, February 23rd

2:00 to 4:00 pm

$20 per student, plus $2 to rent a hoop for the workshop*


Restrictions: All exprience levels are welcome, but students must be 18 or older to register.  Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.


Contact the studio to reserve your spot, or with any further questions.  Please have a credit card ready, with which to secure your reservation.


*You are welcome to bring your own adult-weighted hoop to this workshop.  You may also order one for $20 by emailing  Include the words "The Tree" in your subject line.








Our FREE Community Drum Jam for this month will be held on Friday, February 22nd, from 8:00 to 11:00 pm.  Bring your own instrument, or borrow one of ours for the night.  We hope to drum with you there!









Please help us to welcome Kim Zorn, the newest edition to Tree of Life's massage center, Hands-n-Motion!



Kim graduated from the Ann Arbor Institue of Massage Therapy in March of 2011.  She specializes in myofascial, neuromuscular, Swedish and pregnancy/prenatal massage techniques and practices.  Additionally, Kim has begun to explore Table Thai Massage with Jenabah, and will travel to Thailand in late 2013 to extend her study of Thai Yoga Massage.




As a way to introduce Kim to some of our longtime massage clients, as well as welcome in new clients, we will be offering a discounted rate of only $60 for an hour-long Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage booked with Kim, between now and March 30th!


Please contact the studio for available appointment dates and times, and have your credit card on hand to secure your reservation.


Additionally, please note that as of April 1st, 2013, all massage rates will see a slight increase of $5. 



Tree of Life Cultural Arts Studio • 6065 Sbley Rd • Chelsea, MI 48118
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