This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Beth Lawrence, RYT 500

Chair Yoga

Our chair yoga practice will connect body and mind. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care.

All levels welcome.


Our Chair Yoga class meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Beth Lawrence
Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly cancer support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 6 & 20

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren Broschak
Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Theater Games
PC: https://spolingamesonline.org/

“Improvising is openness to contact with the environment and each other and willingness to play.”

— Viola Spolin

 

Take a break from your Monday and get in touch with your sense of play through theater games. Very different from “improv” shows designed for entertainment, these simple, structured improvisation sessions will lead us through building environments, creating characters, making images, moving and inventing new languages using nothing but our bodies and our virtually shared space.

The foundation of this workshop will be the theater games and explorations of Viola Spolin, author of the classic Improvisation for the Theatre. These games focus on a wide range of core acting skills including nonverbal communication, concentration, listening, observation, character, relationship, and sensory awareness.

Actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner attested that the principles behind Spolin’s games “have formed the basis of all the work I’ve done.” Elsewhere, another writer described them as “structures designed to almost fool spontaneity into being.” Spolin’s work is taught all over the world to children and adults, professional actors, educators, and community members.

We will apply these skills to storytelling and our individual healing journeys. No previous theater experience required.


Theater Games Workshop will be hosted on the 1st & 3rd Mondays from 2:30-3:45pm ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 6 & 20

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

The Energy Balancing team continues to offer distance sessions. If you wish to receive, please email kiersten@smithcenter.org.

with the Energy Balancing Team

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • 1:00pm
  • 1:40pm
  • 2:20pm

About the Energy Balancing Team

About Ann Ringenberg

Ann Ringenberg

I am a reiki master and have been practicing reiki for over 12 years. I have provided reiki through volunteering at Thomas Circle Retirement Community, The Smith Center and was approved to start volunteering at INOVA Life with Cancer center prior to the COVID pandemic. I also volunteer at the Charles County Hospice Center. Reiki helps me to stay centered within myself and helps me to give others the gift of relaxation and a moment of peace.

About Anne Molofsky

Anne has always been interested in promoting health and wellness. She had a forty-year career as a nutritionist, beginning as a research nutritionist in several NIH-funded clinical trials, then working for the federal government in policy and education, and subsequently counselling clients in her private practice. She received her reiki training over 10 years ago and was able to offer reiki sessions to her nutrition clients as part of their treatment. Since 2013 Anne has also volunteered at Walter Reed offering reiki sessions to Wounded Warriors and their families. She became a Reiki Master Teacher in 2017. Anne is thrilled to be joining the wonderful Energy Balancing Team at the Smith Center!

About Margaret Haggerty

It is a privilege to be part of the energy balancing team for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.
Having had a long and gratifying career as a registered nurse, I bring a wide range of experiences. Before my retirement nine years ago, I had worked for 47 years as a nurse in a variety of capacities. Whether I was taking care of a tiny two-pound NICU infant or doing diabetic teaching for a centenarian, I realized that there was a larger Presence who was always guiding me. And I believe deeply that whatever experience of healing we receive, involves body, mind and spirit. I became a massage therapist and Reiki Master in order to incorporate a more deliberate approach to healing touch. It was a privilege to work with many clients who were dealing with cancer. What a joy it was to offer some hope and gentle touch as they faced many medical and emotional challenges. Now in my later years I am happy to bring the soft, caring touch of energy balancing to help those who come to Smith Center, to relax in order for. their bodies to mend and their spirits to heal.

About Marianna Blagburn

About Pat Spellman

Pat Spellman

Pat studied English literature and has a special interest in reading and writing poetry. She has been certified as a Reiki master and as a practitioner of reflexology and Feldenkrais movement. She is a long-time member of the Self-Realization Fellowship, which teaches meditation methods and principles for harmonious living. After a career in publications in DC, Pat retired in Baltimore where she continues her active interest in the Smith Center and its clients.

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Cathrine Nelson

Yoga Nidra

Lying on a yoga mat with blankets for support, or sitting comfortably in a chair, you are invited to rest while being guided into a state of deep relaxation, the aim of which is to quiet the mind, relieve mental and physical stress, and to guide you to come home to yourself.


Yoga Nidra is offered Monthly on Wednesdays from 4:45-5:30pm.

Upcoming sessions:

  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Cathrine Nelson

Cathrine Nelson

Cathrine is a 200 hour Hatha Yoga teacher. Further training in Yoga for trauma has led her to offer Yoga and Yoga Nidra to patients with PTSD and cancer in a hospital setting. Daily she sees how the power of Yoga Nidra brings peace and tranquility to herself and to others.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Knitting Circle on the Couch

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you.

In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!


Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm ET.

Our programs are open to the community and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.


About Project Knitwell

Project Knitwell

Project Knitwell offers knitting as a tool to promote wellness and help people cope with stressful situations at more than a dozen hospital and community settings.

All of Project Knitwell’s programming is provided by volunteers, and services and supplies are provided free of charge to the people we serve.

Project Knitwell volunteers provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among those we serve.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Sara Field, LICSW, OSW-C, GW Cancer Center 

Developing mindfulness skills can help combat stress, anxiety, and uncertainty in everyday life. Join us for regular sessions to help you better understand and transform your mind. All experience levels are welcome to attend! Open to patients, survivors, caregivers, medical professionals and the community. This group welcomes all levels, including those who have not tried Mindfulness and Meditation before. The group is hosted by and offered in partnership with the GW Cancer Center.

GW Cancer Center Meditation and Mindfulness


The Mindfulness & Meditation Group meets twice a month on Wednesdays from 1:00-1:30pm ET.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 1 & 15

About Sara Field, LICSW, OSW-C

Sara Field

Sara is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work at the Catholic University of America in DC and has worked in oncology for over 3 years.  Sara interned at the Lombardi Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute during graduate school, which confirmed her interest in oncology social work. She joined the Lombardi Cancer Center in 2016 and now works at the GW Cancer Center in DC. Sara has a strong interest in the intersection of emotional and physical health and a particular passion for supporting parents with cancer and their kids. She enjoys partnering with Camp Kesem’s GW chapter and served as their mental health professional for the past two years.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Johnnette Armstrong

Body Groove

Groove Method is a delicious and fun group dance experience with simple steps and movement that nurtures the body, mind, heart and soul.
We invite you for one hour to move and connect with your body in a unique, authentic and cool way. Letting go of whatever is going on in your world, allowing yourself to be free and have fun moving your body.
Let’s get Grooving!


Body Groove will be offered Weekly on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm ET. 

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/month

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Johnnette Armstrong

Johnnette Armstrong

Certified Personal Trainer, Herbalist, Pink Pilates instructor, Health Coach and a Groove Method Provider. I call myself a Wellness Advocate. I have worked in the fitness field for over 15 years and I currently offer classes at Hope Connections in MD, work with seniors, and offer one-on-one personal training.

After my own struggle with body image and self-esteem, I went on a journey to find out the healthy way to lose weight and feel better about myself. I discovered that there is no right way to wellness. We are all beautiful and unique individuals and over the years I have learned three important things for teaching and working with people:

  1. How to create a space where people feel good about themselves.
  2. The importance of accurate knowledge to take care of our bodies.
  3. And how to consistently move our bodies so that we feel good. 

After 15 years of working in this industry, I have found that there is more than one way to move our bodies. The most important thing is to find one that you enjoy. I am super excited to bring Groove Method to you. It’s a fun and simple way to move our bodies. The cool thing is, anyone can do it! 

My passion is helping people to create a wellness toolbox that works for the whole person. Thank you in advance for allowing me to share my passion with you!

Let’s get Grooving!

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Rachel Ress, LGSW

Survivorship Support Group

This group is designed for cancer survivors who have completed their primary cancer treatment(s) and are now either post-treatment or on maintenance medication (such as hormonal therapy). Cancer can be emotionally and physically draining — many times we aren’t able to fully process the experience until after treatment is over and we are trying to get back to our “normal” lives. The struggle and expectation to find “normal” again can also be an overwhelming process. This group is a space where you can talk openly about these issues and process the trauma of cancer with other survivors.

The Survivorship Support Group will meet Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday from 6:30-8:00pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 14

About Rachel Ress, LGSW

Rachel Ress

Rachel is a Licensed Social Worker in Washington, DC. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice where she interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rachel joined the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 2018. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families. Her clinical work focuses primarily on the care of patients diagnosed with breast, brain, and lung cancers, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.