María “Mara” Rivera, BC-DMT, LCAT, was born and raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. She is a dance/movement psychotherapist, somatic healer, educator, Ra-Sekhi practitioner (Kemetic Reiki-Level II), Spiritual Life Coach, and mover currently residing in the Bronx, New York. Mara has acquired vast experience servicing adults of diverse backgrounds in the New York area and the Caribbean.
Mara has traveled to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Haiti to research African based traditional dances and spiritual practices, which have highly contributed to the integration of an Afro-Centric values, Afro-Caribbean dance aesthetics, and foundational spiritual/healing principles into her psychotherapeutic, coaching, and somatic wellness practices. She was awarded “Excellence in Education Award 2021” from the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) and she currently is a core member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce of the ADTA.
She is the founder of the 4 levels of Empowerment holistic therapeutic model (previously named Afro-Caribbean Dance Healing Systems), which affirms that embodied intelligence can be claimed through our bodies in relationship to various intelligences: our collective/communal spaces, culture/socio-cultural identity, and spiritual legacies. These intelligences, activated in the body, are essential for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and empowerment.