We give people an excuse to connect about things that matter with structure and support to invite intimacy and growth through witnessing each other’s humanity
We're here to make authentic, vulnerable connection the norm.
Our mission is to make authentic relating accessible, inclusive, and mainstream.
Our team is made up of social scientists with good ears, big brains, and tender hearts.
Our emergent community looks for local visionary humans to co-create and build exceptional learning laboratories with us.
CEO & Founder, She/They
Dakota Quackenbush is the founder of Authentic Bay Area. She has been taking up space in the Authentic Relating world for the last 5+ years. Her background working in addiction and mental health already had her rooted in vulnerability, depth, and analyzing social dynamics when she found AR. Once discovered, she quickly began incorporating this technology into her everyday living. She is actively researching Authentic Relating’s Impact on Social Emotional Skills in Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Relationships. Her focus in life is reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and making authentic, vulnerable connections the norm. Dakota regularly closes her eyes to connect to her emotions and physical sensations. When she’s not facilitating connection, she can be found writing poetry or dancing any time a beat comes on.
Ryan Brown is a facilitator for Authentic Bay Area. Ryan spent most of the past ten years helping people improve their life function and quality of relationships through behavioral changes. He is certified as both an Erotic Blueprint Breakthrough™ Coach and an Accelerated Evolution Coach. Through 1:1 work with clients, he helps people increase joy, connection, and self-expression. Ryan invites people to explore and challenge rules and expectations of gender and sexuality. The results are living truer to self with greater, clearer purpose, more joy, and fulfilling connections with others - in short being their fullest, loving, shiniest, sparkly, beautiful selves.
Jaclyn Shea is a facilitator for Authentic Bay Area. Jaclyn is a somatic coach, facilitator, science communicator, and health researcher. With over ten years of experience facilitating, she loves creating playful containers that allows people to expand their capacity for presence, connection, and authenticity. She works with one-on-one clients through somatic coaching and facilitates a group program called Body Language Lab. In her free time she propagates plants, cuddles with her cat, and dances her way through life.
Infinity Nguyen is a facilitator for Authentic Bay Area. She is also a certified massage therapist, somatic coach, and embodiment guide who is passionate about creating containers where the full spectrum of human emotion can be expressed. She loves to facilitate events where people can connect authentically, vulnerably, and playfully by practicing the arts of deep listening and embodied presence, first with themselves and then with others. Her signature offering, Pleasure Alchemy, has now been shared across multiple venues on the Big Island of Hawaii, in the SF Bay Area, at Burning Man, and in St. Pete, Florida. Her approach to facilitation has been deeply influenced by over a decade of learning and practice in somatic psychology, nervous system repatterning, conscious communication, authentic relating, dance therapy, and contact improvisation.
“Dakota does an amazing job facilitating authentic connections and genuine experiences of all kinds. I highly recommend participating in anything she’s involved with.”
Tayo O. - Vice President, Executive Planning Consultant at Fidelity Investments