Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Healing Through the Arts Fundraiser!

courtesy of the Beverly Arts Center

I was recently hired to work with the outreach program at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago.  My classes begin in October, but with the advent of the teachers strike, many teachers who started in September are on hold.  I saw on The View television show that the musician Prince is doing a concert in Chicago to help lift the energy of the city.  That in addition to the emails I get from the program director asking for patience from the artists during the strike compelled me to do something to aid this wounded community.  Below is information on my fundraiser Healing Through the Arts.  You can click on the widget to the right to donate.  Know that your donation is going to help the arts community in an area that needs healing.

The Beverly Arts Center is a valuable resource for the arts in Chicago. Its is a non-profit organization that depends on the community for support. Situated on the south west side of Chicago it provides programming and outreach for an area that is still thriving with caring communities. More importantly, Beverly Arts provides an outreach program to inner city schools in south side communities that are artistically underserved.

I was hired to be one of the outreach teachers with my start date in October. With the start of the teachers strike, many artists who started in September are on hold. Artists are not getting paid and students are not getting served. I saw on The View television show that the musician Prince is doing a concert in Chicago to help lift the energy of the city. That in addition to the emails I get from the program director asking for patience from the artists during the strike compelled me to do something to aid this wounded community.
I came up with the idea of a fundraiser to aid the center in providing support to the artists who work in local schools but also, to provide support for community programming for young people when they are not in school and outside of school hours. I know the strike will end soon, but with the state of affairs in public education, the arts are the first thing to get cut.
I want to ensure that the artists who work in the community are supported and that there is a place where young people can go to enjoy and explore their creative voice through the arts in the community. Know that your donation is going to help in an area that needs healing through the arts.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I am not my HAIR!

My college years
When I was a freshman in college 23 years ago, I cut all of the relaxer out of my hair. My major was dance and I did not have time to worry about "sweating" out my relaxer. I didn't want to wash my hair everyday and blow dry. It wasn't long enough to pull back into a ponytail and even if it was, the stress from the rubber band would have broken off my hair due to it being fine and brittle.   I did texturize my hair at the time to loosen the curl but stopped doing that almost 15 years ago. My point is; I didn't worry about my hair because at the time dance was more important. Being the creative soul I knew I was meant to be overruled what people would think about my hair. I did have the occasional ignorant comment, even my Mom wasn't happy, but I never let that deter me from what I believed was best in achieving my goals.

I saw in the news that about 33% of African American women don't exercise because they do not want to ruin their hair styles. With the high numbers of obesity in our community is it not more important to be well and healthy? A healthy body makes for healthy hair, skin, and nails. We look better and feel better. It is not about the hair! It's about the health and happiness of the soul inside. I just ask that all women no matter the color look inside and work on loving the beautiful soul that is the self. No, it's not always easy with the way society looks at women, but if we collectively begin to hold ourselves higher we will teach our men and society a better way to treat us.

Here is a video talking about the hurtful tweets in regards to Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas’ hair.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ask a Better Question

Ok, I'll admit it, I watched Oprah's Lifeclass and listen to Tony Robbins. Hey, I like the pep talks and support from their words. One of the things I've learned from listening to Tony though, is that if you want a better outcome, ask a better question.

Instead of always saying, "I don't know what to do!” I had to begin to reprogram my brain and ask a better question. You see, lately I've been feeling I don't have enough. My Dance/Movement Therapy degree is a MA and most colleges require an MFA plus performance experience to teach in their dance departments. On the other hand, I don't have enough credit hours from my MA to sit for the counselor’s license specializing in Dance Therapy in the state of Louisiana. This dilemma has driven me crazy, even paralyzed me to the point where I have relegated myself to teaching young people. That's been cool but I would like to do more.

What I have done to stay sane is homeschool my children, cook, and developed an awesome green thumb. In these past 12 years since my last degree, I've learned so much about the inner workings of my mind. In my early years, I stayed so focused on being a dancer, I didn't know who I was and quickly fell out of love with the art. Never mind that I was an awesome teacher and creative choreographer, I wanted to do something else. I must admit, it’s been lovely. If you check out www.southernvegchronicles.com and my YouTube channel under Southernveggirl, you will see me enjoying my other talents.

But now, I am looking at myself again thinking "How do I make the most of what I have?" Folks have done a lot more with a lot less and so I ask, "What is my excuse?"

Let me ask a better question... hmmm... Here we go, "What can I do that uses my creative talent and expresses who I am lovingly with financial abundance?" The answer follows...

While driving, listening to music and seeing choreography in my head, I came up with a thought. What is the biggest, wildest thing I can do? BIG, WILD, OUT THERE!!!. First response, Start a dance company, create my own dance technique, coach dancers on health and wellness, and start a dance outreach program in the community. Whew! I know that's a lot, but that's how I would like to see my gifts used.

Now that I have the answer to that question, I must ask the next, "How do I do all of that and maintain a balanced family life?” I guess that's another post, but for now, I do have a few ideas on how to carry out my WIGs (check out Wildly Improbable Goals). As with any journey, I am going to need support, lots of it. I must admit when things get sketchy I retreat, I am human.  For my sanity, I just have to remember to keep asking the better question and pray :-).

Moral of the Story
1. Ask better question
2. Get support
3. Don't be afraid of Wildly Improbable Goals for your life.

The video below is a modern class I taught at a local university almost 10 years ago.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Big Girls Do Cry!!!

Life has thrown me some curve-balls in the last few years. It seems that I have been loosing everything; house, car, and more heavily, an unborn child. During this time I kept a brave face. “I’m o.k., I’m o.k.,” I kept telling myself. But I wasn’t. I never cried, I never shouted, I never kicked or punched through the anger and frustration. I kept it inside. But then my stomach began to hurt, my skin began to break out, my hair was brittle and dry. My body was breaking down. Now, here I am a Body/Mind Specialist I am having a Body/Mind crisis...

To read more click here here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Me at 18 with one of my friends I've known almost 30 years.
Three things I would tell myself at 18
1.  It's o.k. be you.  There is nothing wrong with you and you are perfect just the way you are so just be as artsy and creative as you want to be. 
2.  If something is not working out, it ok to stop and reassess the situation.  If what you are doing or where you are working doesn't feel right,  leave it to find what does work.  It's o.k. to stop dancing for a while.  You won't know what other talents you hold unless you try something new. 
3.  You have everything you need within yourself.  You are very intuitive and creative.  You know just what to do and will always be guided.  Take care of yourself and live well!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dance is how we move through LIFE!

I haven't written here in  while.  In fact I don't do much with this blog but lately I've been feeling compelled to get a few things off of my chest.  Dance is not just a technique learned but how we move through life.  Life is like a dance and sometimes it's choreographed and sometimes it's improv.  I feel I've done quite a few things in my life.  I've been on a t.v. talk show, I've taught at the college level,  I've given birth without an epidural (that should be in a category all by itself :-).  In fact anything I set out to do, I've done it.  But at this age and stage I ask myself, "What Next?", how do I continue this miraculous life that contains two wonderful children and a witty husband who is stuck to me like superglue.  What's my next production, my next masterpiece?