If you have found your way here you may wonder, who is this Cynthia Winton-Henry?
I live along Cum Mayo, Roundhouse River, (the American River) in Fair Oaks near Sacramento on land of the Nisenan people, long colonized by white miners and settlers. I financially support present day Nisenan and recognize that I live on unceded land. I live with my husband, grown children, and granddaughter, Liddy, in a 30 home Eco-housing neighborhood where meals, labor, and some resources are shared.
I am a sensitive, artist, theologian, designer, writer, teacher and spiritual guide. In 1989 I co-founded InterPlay with Phil Porter, an improvisational, art-based community-building practice designed to unlock the wisdom of the body. InterPlay fundamentals creatively reinitiate people into the birthrights of their own movement, voice, story, and stillness. As a people regain basic artistry I’ve enjoyed curating InterPlay performances around the world world like the Unbelievable Beauty of Being Human.
As a white woman, I am determined to counter the harm done to people across cultures in the name of whiteness. I partner with Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and marginalized guides on behalf of a more healthy, earth-centered way of life. To dignify my rage about white oppressive structures, I renounced my ordination with the Christian Church. I still honor my lineage, understanding that no body can renounce their history.
InterPlay and the Ensoulment Arts that I teach are countercultural, earth-wise practices. As an executive director of InterPlay committed to racial equity and transformation, I’ve also served on the YES board to support young activists. I catalyzed Waking Up White workshops and toured a workshop called Changing the Race Dance with Soyinka Rahim to share understandings and misunderstandings of socialized systemic racism. I co-developed the InterPlay Art Responder Practice to realign people to the beauty of a place after a trauma.
The best way to reach me is by Email at email@example.com
Finding my alignment to body, soul, dance and art is the key to my research. This can never be an individual endeavor as body, soul, dance, and art interplay in social, energetic, and even cosmic ways. Along the way my studies allowed me to receive UCLA”s President’s Fellowship to study in Sierra Leone, an M.Div at Pacific School of Religion, doctoral work in “Theology and the Arts” at the Graduate Theological Union and advanced studies in Multicultural Education at the Western Institute for Social Research. I’ve been honored to receive Pacific School of Religion’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Center for Art, Theology and Education Arts Minister of the Year award.
Highlights in my experience include pastoring a church, choreographing and performing with Body and Soul Dance Company, co-directing Wing It! Performance Ensemble, and teaching students at Holy Names University’s Sophia Center, Pacific School of Religion, Spiritual Directors International, Spiritual Directors of Color, University of Creation Spirituality, the National Chaplains Association, the International Expressive Arts Association, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, the United Religions Initiative, and the Parliament of World Religions. I am blessed to have been in the presence of indigenous peoples in India, Africa, and the United States and to bear witness to teachings that transcend anything we know in the west.
My certifications include administering massage therapy, the Focused Energy Balance Indicator instrument of the four-movement patterns, and Andrea Issac’s somatic approach to the Enneagram, Enneamotion.
I am a self-taught folk artist. I make icons, wreaths, and shrines. Here’s a peak.
My books include Chasing the Dance of Life: A Faith Journey by Apocryphile Press, Dance: The Sacred Art: Discovering the Joy of Movement by Turner Publishing, and Move: What the Body Wants by Woodlake Press. “Grace Operatives: How Body Wisdom Saved the World” in Phenomenologies of Grace edited by Marcus Bussey by Paraclete Press. I self- publish The Self-Care Playbook for the Art of Ensoulment that accompanies the year-long course.
My holy bows go to The Tree of Life, the living wisdom of first peoples, my ancestors, the Archangel Metatron, and Jesus. My guidance includes Ruth St, Denis, Thomas Merton, Doug Adams, Phyllis Magal, Katrina Browne, Sheila Collins, Carla de Sola, Barbara Elliot, Jake Empereur, Ruth King, Robert MacAfee Brown, Connors McConville, Roberta Meyer, Soyinka Rahim, Judith Rock, Ginny Whitelaw, Flora Wuellner. and teachers at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley Psychic Institute, friends of Lois and creators of the 12 steps, Operation Crossroads Africa, and to more friends than I can name.
–Rev. Melinda McLain, pastor “Cynthia is a treasured mentor, teacher, and colleague in the art of deep and playful living. She instills trust among diverse peoples and leads groups with tremendous skill. Cynthia is a visionary and an exceptional entrepreneur. Any project or activity that she undertakes will be improved exponentially by her leadership or participation because she has the rare skill to be as great a follower and team member as she is a leader.”
-Rich Citrin, business and health consultant, “Cynthia is the consummate artist, facilitator, body wisdom expert and mystic. As the founder of InterPlay, she has created a new way of being in the world and her influence has spanned the globe and has helped change villages in Africa, artists in Australia and children lives in India. Cynthia brings deep spiritual connection to a practical level for women and men of all ages. She has a special connection to a source that is beyond our usual day to day thinking. She has been a most vital agent in my life and I invite you to allow her into yours. You will be very happy you did!”
–Rev Susanna Pain, priest “What a gift, the spaciousness and creativity and generous listening you offer. Thank you.”
–Lila Mauricia Morisee, expressive arts guide, “It’s difficult to put words to the mystery, depth, and ease that Cynthia’s sessions and written materials provide. I’ve reached a place of contentment, delight and humor that has led me open ever more deeply to it all–the mess of life w/ less drama, more “chop wood, carry water” kind of peace. Thank you, Cynthia –it’s been an immense gift and pleasure.”
–Terrence Keane, Marketing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theater,”Her keynote set the tone perfectly for the weekend. The ideas she introduced wove through our entire event, and I know that many of our participants — myself included — would like to come take a class.“
“Cynthia offered a transformational experience that exceeded my expectations and they were already high!” Retreat Participant