Cara H. Cadwallader is a keeper of the village space.
Born in Canada (Kanada, from the Huron-Iroquis people, meaning ‘village’) and raised in San Diego County, Cara gravitates towards embodiment and connection. Playing in nature, or in athletic games, and participating in the arts and humanities, has always offered Cara the opportunity to be in her body while also being with other people.
Growing up in Tri-City (Vista,Oceanside & Carlsbad), movement was the primary means with which Cara could express all that her stifled heart couldn’t say. Desensitized by a self-indulgent culture that promotes violence as entertainment, Cara’s home was also a place where vulnerability was frowned upon and cycles of rage, addiction, abuse and mental health disease, played out. Driven by these early childhood wounds, Cara channeled a fiery passion for all things beautiful and just into her creative life- making processes.
After spending a high school career flipping flags and jazz dancing alongside a marching band, Cara thrived at Sonoma State. There, she studied modern & post-modern dance, along with other movement modalities such as Feldenkrais, Body Mind Centering, Contact Dance Improvisation and more, while also gaining invaluable business experience as a student coordinator for the campus rec program.
A world traveler, Cara spent her mid-20s traversing the globe. In Zimbabwe, she was greatly affected by sleeping in a mud and grass thatch roof hut and witnessing first-hand the calming effects of attachment parenting on children and the society around them, as well as other methods of child-rearing that were contrary to what she had known growing up in America.
In France, Cara continued to revel in her delight for our planet by leading children on nature-based excursions. And although New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia & Austria were all indelible experiences, since 2003 Cara has been finding what her heart has been always seeking right here in San Diego County.
A decade and a half long member of San Diego Dance Jam! and Dance Church Encinitas, Cara has helped to produce movement-based organizations and events, like: Ecstatic Dance San Diego, the Cultivating Food Justice Conference, Whole Being Weekend, San Diego Sustainable Food Project and more.
Cara received an MFA degree from Goddard College, where her interdisciplinary studies focused on embodiment and connection. Cara then went on to co-found the Prosperity Hive – a community gathering, dance & yoga studio in downtown San Diego.
In 2012, Cara was bitten by a rattlesnake. Ever since, Cara has been even more committed to her soul’s evolution, as well as to feeling all of the pain around her heart and in her bodymind soulspirit.
A passionate, life-long educator, Cara shifted her lens towards women’s health and well-being when she became a mother. After giving birth to her son in 2014, Cara experienced a lack of education and awareness surrounding a woman’s optimal support throughout the many stages and initiations of her life.
Since 2016, Cara has been co-creating a village homestead in Encinitas with her partner and their 4-year old son. Founder of Mama’s (& Papa’s) Cooperative Encinitas, Cara runs the co-op out of her home as it provides her family, as well as many other families, with the connection and other opportunities for growth that we all need. Her work in being a keeper of village spaces has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune as well as in the San Diego Voyager.
Since labor and delivery, Cara’s other initiations & rites of passage have included experiencing multiple pregnancy losses – both her own and those of her dearest sisters – as well as her life partner’s 4th stage, nasopharyngeal cancer diagnosis.
“Mama Moves” is Cara’s signature movement medicine class for staying sane and centered in the midst of a world seemingly teetering in pain and uncertainty. It’s a physical and spiritual workout for the busy mama on the move.
Cara is also available for 1-on-1 sessions for women and men, geared towards: releasing and re-patterning your BodyMind; connecting to passion, pleasure and purpose; and for moving from your center.
A queen of embodiment, Cara values connection as one of our most primary foundations for a healthy, vibrant life. Our connection to self, Earth, others and source, informs our daily patterns, and habits. We can practice new pathways for sustained intimacy through our body by listening deeply, making subtle changes and inviting recourse.
As an interdisciplinary artist, Cara dances with the pen on the page (or, these days, it’s more like her fingers on the keyboard!) as well as behind the lens of a camera. Her writing has been published in Elephant Journal, Vision & Radiance Magazines and elsewhere. You can also purchase some of her photography (& other art) here.
View the online calendar for Cara’s ongoing “Movement Medicine” classes and workshops.
She is thrilled to serve you.
Throughout human story, the village has long been a central space where women and children gather; where arts and culture collide; and where civilization thrives. Although our modern technology will continue to advance, our innate biology that requires real time, human connection will remain. In the face of all of our current social programming, which promotes fear and separation at the expense of community and kinship, it is essential that we relate deeply with ourselves, others & our planet as well as feel held and supported by a group of people that the village space so often offers us.
For the people of Mesoamerica, Quetzalcoatl – aka the feathered serpent – was a divine symbol representing both the crossroad where earth and sky collide as well as the city-center space where diverse people and their cultures met, commingled and evolved.
Since 2012, Quetzalcoatl has been dancing in our collective consciousness daring us to remember and dream these vibrant community spaces back to life once more.