3rd Wheel dot Org is a community organization based in Orlando, Florida. We employ top talent creating sustainable business practices through keeping it local, referring you to others in your area when possible, and purchasing our instruments and costumes from fair trade organizations that support village life in Africa and elsewhere. We believe in the education and survival of cultural traditions the World over. It is our goal to share our love of different musical and dance backgrounds throughout Central Florida while also expanding the life skills, wellness factors, and cognitive benefits conferred by these activities.

The phrase “3rd Wheel” is often used as an unwanted guest. But what if the “3rd” was an agent of change and growth and was the combination and complementation in a pair of opposites. On a tricycle, it's the 3rd wheel that keeps the rider from tipping. In rhythmic music and dance, it's the tri-pl-et pattern that teaches balance and coordination. In a tripod, it's the 3rd leg that gives it stability. In a plug, it's the 3rd prong that grounds the cord.

The “3rd” creates new perspectives and attitudes. The “3rd” creates and sustains spirit. 3rd Wheel dot Org strives to serve, nurture, and sustain community through music and movement.

Mark J DeMaio

Owner / Drum Circle Facilitator

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In 2001, Mark graduated the University of Central Florida. He has taught overseas, worked as mentor and tutor, and slowly crafted his own brand of creating music with complete strangers and non-musicians. He has studied and played with world renowed Drum Circle Facilitators and drummers. He is Remo HealthRhythms© trained and has been creating drum circles for schools, diversion programs, parties, teacher team building, and more since 2006. He is a founding member of Thee Flammable Babylon Percussion Ensemble and the drummer for Tangent. Through these many experiences, he has dedicated himself to service. 3rd Wheel is a culmination of this dedication.

Martin "Wolf" Murphy

Special Workshop Instructor, Drummer

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About Wolf:

Martin “Wolf” Murphy, M.A. (English), RYT has been instructing, facilitating drum circles, and storytelling with the drum for decades. He has incorporated a wide diversity of tribal instruments (as well as found and created ones) into his performances and recordings. He has completed the Remo Health Rhythms Facilitator training; is a Rhythmic Entertainment Intervention Authorized Therapy Provider; and has performed, practiced Sound Healing modalities, and recorded from coast to coast.

He has recently published The Encyclopedia of World Rhythms, Vol. 1 (2013); and is launching The Journal of World Rhythms in 2013.

He is a founding member of numerous percussion ensembles including Orlando's Umoja; SHREDD!, and his current project, Flammable Babylon. He has played with Red Shift Mantra; Mizna; Gypsy Caravan and the G.C. Remix Band, The Manteis Project, Chicago Aissawa; Tam Tam Congo, Tam Tam Africa, the Legendary JCs, Liberation 44, and more.

Most recently he completed Shine On Yoga's 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and has done numerous workshops incorporating drumming for brainwave entrainment with yogic practice, as well as continuing ongoing vibrational energy cleansings and treatments using instrumentation including rattles, singing bowls, bells, and gongs.

He has studied with master drummers from West Africa, the Congo, the Middle East and more. He has trained on ngoma, djembe, and dunun, as well as Arabic/North African tabla, riqq, and frame drums. He produced, directed, and performed in the award-winning "The Extraordinary Fila" for the 2005–06 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festivals.

As a P.U.R.E. (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) Drum Faciltator he helped found both the Orlando, FL and Portland, OR chapters. He also founded a "Drums Not Drugs" program in Orlando, FL to present drumming as a community and self-esteem building exercise for at-risk and challenged youth at counseling centers and in various schools.

Kasa Panzu

Master Congolese Drum and Dance Performer/Teacher

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Kasa Panzu is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. He has a B.A. from the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa, Congo, majoring in music interpretation and traditional African music. Mr. Panzu has toured Africa, Europe, Canada the USA as a master drummer & dancer of traditional Congolese and other forms of African music & dance. As a performer, Kasa has more than 25 years of artistic experience. He has been involved with Umoja African Ballet Company based in Pittsburgh, PA since 1997 as Master drummer, dancer, Assistant Director and later on Artistic Director. Currently, Kasa is a contractor entertainer with The Tam Tam Congo at The Animal Kingdom of Walt Disney World in Florida.

Thobos Lubama

Master Congolese Drum and Dance Performer/Teacher

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Thobos Lubamba was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Kinshasa. At the age of 15, Master Thobos co-founded BANA-KIN and released a CD for which he did the musical research and on which he played several instruments. In 1984 he worked closely with Percussions ELIMA. Between 1983 and 1987 he founded several groups, including the Ballet d'Institut des Beaux Arts (4-time 1st-place winners of the promo-scholastic competition, and 7-time winners of the festival of fraternities). He was co-founder of TUTA-NGOMA (4 1st-place trophies under his artistic direction). On October 31, 1988, on his 22nd birthday, he created NGOMA I NGOMA ('A drum is a drum"), an experimental ensemble of rhythm and dance, and a school that researched and taught rhythms and dances. He completed an internship in 1992 at the National Ballet of Congo and was then employed for three years as a percussion artist. As a renowned artistic director, Master Tam-Tam and Djembe percussionist, Master Thobos toured and performed throughout Africa, Europe and Asia. Master Thobos left Africa for Orlando in 1997 to fulfill a contract with Disney at Epcot Center with TAM-TAM African group. Two years later, Thobos joined the world beat percussion group DRUMS OF UMOJA which was performing nightly at Universal CityWalk. In 2000 and 2001, he choreographed the opening show for the Jimmy Buffet Tour. In 2005 Thobos was an integral part of the Shredd! Ensemble's theatre show, The Extraordinary Fila, which won multiple awards in the 2005 Orlando International Fringe Festival. On the 30th of June 2003; which is Independence Day for the Congolese people, the Tam-Tam Congo group was recreated by Master Thobos Lubamba and a few more Congolese Masters, Dancers, and Drummers. The reconstructed group toured the US,and then retourned to Disney in 2005. This time they are featured at the Animal Kingdom. Master Thobos, who continues to perform worldwide, now lives in Orlando and teaches dance and drum classes and leads workshops around the United States for adults and children.

Lacey Sanchez

Belly Dancer, Special Workshop Facilitator

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Lacey is the director of Florida Tribal Dance Troupes: Black V, offering professional Tribal Fusion performances, Blue Caravan, a troupe specializing in improvisational Tribal Style, and Silver Sage Tribal Florida Tribal Dance's student troupe. Lacey and Florida Tribal Dance also hosts two big events each year: " An Evening of Tribal" every Spring/Summer and " A Tribal Garden" our annual Gala every November celebrating the students, troupes, and extended family of Florida Tribal Dance. In addition to teaching weekly classes Lacey is also available for instructional workshops. She prides herself on her upbeat personality that puts students in a fun place to learn and her meticulous breakdown of movements so whether you are a first time dancer or a seasoned professional you will find Lacey's teaching easy to comprehend and useful in any dancer' s progression.

Genevieve Bernard

Movement Workshop Facilitator / Director of Voci Dance

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Genevieve is a founding member of Voci Dance. She has worn many hats in the company including dancer, choreographer, and costumer. She holds her Masters in Dance Education from Temple University and has received awards and fellowships for her choreography. Genevieve comes to Voci from the Orlando International Theatre Fringe Festival, where she served as Associate Producer. Genevieve also worked for Orange County Public Schools as a dance and music teacher for 8 years and spent much time creating and implementing a dance curriculum for OCPS elementary school students. She is also a choreographer for IBEX puppetry. This is Genevieve's 10th season with Voci Dance.

Alejandra DeMaio

Henna Artist for 3rdWheel / Owner of MotherNaturale

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I am Mother NaturAle. The name of my business comes from the desire to celebrate life's naturalness, the art of bringing babies to the world, the natural beauty of the pregnant body, the natural way of nourishing our babies, and the natural way of adorning our bodies too. I believe motherhood is a magical experience where we bloom as women. I also believe that the birth of a new life is the continuation of other lives, and is part of an intricately woven web of relationships that builds the family tree. The Mother Tree has it's roots grounded in the Earth and her branches are embracing the Heavens representing every woman's ability to connect with her own Mother Nature in participating in the cycle of life. I am mother of two beings of light who I attribute for my fascination with pregnancy, birth, and connected parenting. I believe every woman is a birthing Goddess who possesses the knowledge and strength within her to carry and birth a child with awareness and beauty. Just as a woman grows a child, so too does she grow more of a connection to the earth, to the bringing forward of life and desire to protect and nurture that life. I recognize birth as a very sacred experience and hold the utmost respect for you, your family and your needs.

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