Aaron Mason is a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional dancer practicing in the Los Angeles area. His embodied wellness practices are grounded in yoga, mindfulness meditation, and West African dance. Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of San Diego and received his Master’s in counseling from California State University, Long Beach, where he completed a thesis exploring the impact of West African Drum and Dance on positive mental health. Aaron has been a principal company member with Dembrebrah West African Dance Company, Dafra West African Dance and Drum Ensemble, aswell as a performer/choreographer for three editions of Africa in America’s African diasporic showcase located at the Barnsdall Theater. In his third year of experience with the aforementioned showcase, Aaron served as both a performer and collaborating choreographer for Wilfried Souly’s piece “Tekere/Change” which explored the tension between traditional and contemporary within West African dance. Aaron was also performer and co-choreographer with Souly Dance Arts in 2016’s New Original works Festival at the Redcat Theater, where they debuted the piece “On Becoming” which explores the ways in which our life experiences and encounters shape our constantly evolving identities. In 2018, Aaron received funding from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts for a more in-depth and focused study of West African dance under the mentorship of Mr. Souly of Burkina Faso. In 2019, Aaron collaborated with Dauen Jung for the “Beach Dances” series in the piece “Earthling Folk Dance” which explored the creation of a novel folk dance. Additionally, from 2018 – 2020 Aaron collaborated with Victoria Marks on her pieces “Pastoral” which debuted at the Odyssey Theater in February of 2020, as well as “Dirt” which was a site-specific piece created and performed in Mark’s backyard during the summer of 2020. In an effort to synthesize his passions for the performing and healing arts, Aaron is beginning his training to become a registered dance movement therapist with the Life is Movement Institute: Dance Movement Therapy Institute, based in Berkley, CA. Aaron currently serves as the clinical director of REACH LA, a non-profit located in downtown Los Angeles which provides free sexual health, mental health, and arts programming for LGBTQ youth of color.