5, 6, 7, 8.

The countdown is on, people.

The first annual Movement Mission performance is just weeks away. EEEK. February 7 and 8 we take the stage for three performances only. Have you bought your tickets yet?? (DO IT.)

The funny thing about shows is that you always think you have SO MUCH TIME. I mean, we started rehearsals last summer. That was an eternity ago. But all of a sudden, it’s crunch time. Costumes to buy. Choreography to finish. And tired (tired!) bodies.

This week I couldn’t stop smiling through rehearsal. All this women are so beautiful. Sometimes I want to pinch myself. That such an eclectic group of strangers could come together to produce so much beauty is beyond me.

As the shows get closer, the weight of not only being a dancer, but being a first time choreographer is setting in. Choreographing is terrifying for a few simple reasons.

What if no one understands the story?

What if I haven’t been a very good teacher?

What if we just look…well, stupid? (I mean, it could happen.)

No different from other forms of art, it’s horrifying to lay a piece of yourself out for the public to chew up and spit out. But at some point you have to let it go. Just like the quote says, there comes a point when the pain of staying closed up and held tight is worse than the pain of letting go and blooming (extremely rough paraphrase by moi.)

Regardless, I’m so happy and proud to be telling this story I’ve been carrying around for a few years. It’s like a part of me has come to live in the world. I can’t wait. I better see you there (yes, you.)

And while I can’t give you an actual sneak peek, I thought I’d give you a little taste of what’s to come. Here’s our song! I’m a sucker for acoustic music and I love me a chick rocker.

We Have Come to be Danced.

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post, I thought I’d share a poem that we’re currently working on a dance for. It’s a beautiful piece and the text summarizes The Movement Mission almost to a tee. When you find your thing, it goes all the way to the core of who you are. And that’s what this is about.

Have you found your thing yet? I want to hear about it! Happy Thursday, loves.

We Have Come to be Danced
by Jewel Mathieson

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into the luminous skin of love dance

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I? yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME

Photo by B.Hockensmith Photography, www.bhockensmith.com

The Movement Mission

Have you ever had something that makes you feel completely alive? Something that is a safe space you can retreat to?  That challenges you but you look forward to that? Where you feel completely like yourself but yet sometimes you can’t believe it’s even real?

The Movement Mission.

The Movement Mission came from my good friend Christina and her niece Michela. It grew out of a desire that they, and many of us, have had for years; to dance for ourselves and for a purpose. It’s a group of 30 or so women (we’re looking for some men to join us!) of various ages, backgrounds and technique levels. It’s a place where we come to move  and support each other. A place where we dance for ourselves, not necessarily for an audience or a class of students (many of the women are dance teachers.) It’s a place where we dance for a bigger purpose…more on that in a bit.

Photo by Klatte Photography, http://www.klattephotography.com

About half of us came to be part of TMM because of a previous group, a dance ministry Christina started with our church about six years ago (yowza the years have flown!) Joining this group of women was where I rediscovered my love of dancing, which I had hidden down inside since I was in elementary school, thinking that I wasn’t “really” a dancer. It unlocked a passion inside of me that I had been stifling for years. It showed me that dancing is often my therapy. My way to connect with the Lord and worship. My “me time” in a world where I usually spend my days giving to everyone else around me.

And now we have come together as a group to share our love and dance for a cause. Currently, that cause is the Bonnie Lavric Scholarship at Dublin Dance Center. Christina, Michela and many of the women involved with the group are teachers or students at Dublin Dance Center, and that is where our ministry group has danced since we started. Bonnie is an amazing woman whom I only had the pleasure of meeting a few times, but who lives on through stories of those who love her very much. Bonnie lost her fight with cancer several years ago and the studio supports a scholarship in her honor which is awarded annually to some of its dancers.

The inaugural Bonnie Lavric Cancer Benefit Concert will be held on February 8, 2014. We dance not only in Bonnie’s honor, but also in celebration of so many we all know have fought cancer. We dance to raise funds but also to inspire. It will be a great night of heart, dance, music and a variety of performances.

More details on tickets and times to come. We’re also looking for more musicians/dancers/performers who want to participate…so if that’s you, please get in touch! We’d love to have you as part of this story.

What’s your thing? Your place that makes you come alive. Your Movement Mission. If you don’t have that thing yet, I challenge you to start seeking it out. You’d be amazed how it can change your life!

The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: The Nutrcracker.

Saturday was a fantastic day.

I started my morning baking cookies with a dear friend, a tradition we started last year. Always fun to catch up over some sweets!

The afternoon, however, was where the real fun was waiting. This year, Breena and I finally decided it was time to take Eisley to see The Nutrcracker performed by BalletMet. Being a tiny performer herself, Eisley has talked endlessly about Angelina Ballerina for the past couple of years. She even got to take her first dance class last year. So I of course thought it necessary that she see this holiday classic.

There is something magical about seeing art performed live. It could have something to do with the fact that we were in the amazing, historic Ohio Theatre, decked out for Christmas, among hundreds of excited kids dressed to the nines.

Or, it could be something else. It could be the idea that at the core of all of us, is the desire for something beautiful. And art is beautiful. I can’t count how many times Eisley leaned over to me during the show and said “Oooooh, look at how pretty that girl (dancer) is”…it was like each costume was more spectacular than the last one to her. By the end of the day, she couldn’t stop talking about Clara, the lead character. And I couldn’t help but find a sense of great joy and thankfulness…that in light of Friday’s events, I got to spend a few hours with a little girl, where the scariest thing we had to encounter was the Mouse King, and how he was really just a kid with a costume so she didn’t need to be afraid.

I was thankful that I had the opportunity to go with Breena and Eisley and share something that I love so much. I remember watching older dancers when I was little, thinking they were so pretty and perfect and thinking that I could be just like that. And I hope Eisley got that too; the understanding that she too has the opportunity to be beautiful and make magic in her own life and in her own way. Because art ends only with our imagination.

In Eisley’s own words, “That was just too much fun.” And it really was.

And of course, pictures! We are three fashion-loving ladies, so of course we were excited for a reason to dress up. Eisley even got to wear a little make up because it was a special day out.

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With her Clara Christmas tree ornament she got to pick out.