Who We Are

Our Story

Neva and Raffles have been cultivating community, teaching embodiment, and creating performances together for more than a decade. Along the way we have gathered momentum and sourced inspiration from arts institutions such as Art Monastery, Loom Ensemble, Pilobolus, Double Edge, thejamjar, Solaluna, Earthdance, and key relationships that go all the way back to Oberlin College. We have found Home with artist communities in NYC, Italy, Stockholm, Berlin, Dubai, the Hudson Valley, Colorado, and Vermont. Now WildHeart is a new Home for cultivating deep community, for the development of new performances, and for ongoing embodiment practice and research. 

WildHeart is the culmination of collaborative partnerships with artists and embodiment practitioners from around the world. 

Neva Cockrell

Neva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist.
Neva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist.

She danced and toured with Pilobolus from 2016-2019 and began serving as Dance Captain in 2017. With Pilobolus she has toured to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, China, Mexico, Israel, Dubai, and within the US. She is also a writer/director/choreographer who uses dance-theater as a tool for social change. In 2010 she co-founded her own interdisciplinary company, Loom Ensemble, which has toured across the US, Europe, and UAE. In 2012, she joined the Art Monastery, and served as a co-director from 2014-2021. Her life path is deeply grounded in communal living, body-based activities, art-making, being outside, and contemplative practice.

She has been teaching dance, theater, and embodiment practices for over a decade, including opening Physique 57’s first international studio in Dubai and developing her own movement technique, Catalyst. Her diverse background in gymnastics, partner acrobatics, contact improvisation, Capoeira Angola, and Yoga inspire her unique style of Contemporary Dance in both her choreography and her classes. She is yoga teacher certified through Simple Yoga with Eric Stewart, and is deeply passionate about the overlap of somatic work and breaking down systems of oppression.

Raphael Sacks

Raphael Sacks (they/them) is a singer, dancer and theatermaker born and raised in NYC.
Raphael Sacks (they/them) is a singer, dancer and theatermaker born and raised in NYC.

Raffles has performed internationally with the English National Opera in London; Loom Ensemble’s annual performance season in Dubai, and with the Art Monastery Project in Italy, Belgium, Stockholm, and Berlin. New York highlights include Lincoln Center with Urban Research Theatre, New York Philharmonic with Constellation Chor, BAM with Meredith Monk, and La MaMa with Loom Ensemble.

Raffles is particularly proud of their role in devising, producing and performing in “Bootstraps: An American Fable” which toured the US in 2017 and 2018, combining dance-theater and anti-racism workshops; most recently Loom Ensemble’s “Twenty Twenty / Twenty Twenty-one” which included participatory ritual for grieving racist police violence, and guided audiences to imagine their own role in cocreating a more just future.

Co-Director of Loom Ensemble since 2010, co-Director of the Art Monastery from 2014 to 2022, “500-hour” certified Yoga Teacher, and dharma student since 2010, Raffles believes in the artist as a whole human, and advocates for integrity in all the little choices of daily life.


Our bodies are cultured. 

Our embodiment practice (and unexamined habitual patterning!) channels into our artmaking.

Art shapes culture.

And the culture we co-create circles back around to shape our bodies.

We can interrupt the default course of this cycle at any point:
with critical thinking and strategic detox from the overculture’s impact on our bodies;
with embodiment practice that repatterns how we self-express;
with art that affirms life, honors all bodies, opens regenerative possibilities.

This is our work:
to support a spiral of cultural, embodied, creatively expressed love.

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Find out about WildHeart happenings!

Get Updates

Find out about WildHeart happenings!