2017-03 Adult Class Thu 22s

Dancing and Aging

“To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”
— Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

 

Immediately after reading this,  I received an email from Johannah discussing her experience in class this past Friday.

 

Johannah has been taking class with me since I started teaching in 2003, and the Friday class has been a struggle for her at times:   I don’t always use music, there is very little instruction, and sometimes there is a minimal amount of big muscle movement  (i.e.. leaping, jumping, locomoting, spinning, swooping).

 

A question that continually comes up for Johannah about this particular class is, “Is this really dance?”

Read more

2015-05 Adult Class Tue 06s

What Happens When You Dance?

What happens when you dance ?
When you are in motion, what do you feel, sense, perceive?

 

What about stillness?

 

What about the in-between?

 

Just yesterday I was dancing with my class and a new pattern emerged.

 

I felt the thrill of new and old laying ground.

 

As I sat on the sidelines later on to watch, long moments of fullness and ease moved in, and stayed for awhile.

 

I felt, sensed, and percieved awe.

Read more

2015-08 Adult Class Thu 07s

Trisha, Angela, and Helen

Getting ready for Dog Dance after hearing Dr. Angela Davis speak this weekend about undoing structures and re-thinking assimilation.

Getting ready for Dog Dance after hearing the incredible Judge Helen Whitener speak about understanding the codes — the rules of conduct — and advocating from within.

 

The opposite of what Dr. Davis was speaking of perhaps?

 

Not sure, though the back and forth between these two women had me sitting at the edge of my seat.

 

Getting ready for Dog Dance after a weekend spent in Florida listening, learning, and struggling to understand the systems that have shaped a world that is not fair or just.

 

Getting ready for Dog Dance and wondering about the fate of the NEA, the EPA, PBS, NPR and all of the things that I care about and participate in.
Getting ready for Dog Dance and paying attention as best I can, so as not to miss any steps.

 

Getting ready for Dog Dance and feeling lost sometimes, found at others.

 

Getting ready for Dog Dance and reading about Trisha.

 

I wonder what she would have said on that panel with Dr. Angela Davis and Judge Helen Whitener.
Would she have steered the conversation in an entirely new direction that we can’t begin to imagine, or would she simply have started to dance?

 

Warmth, Love, and Wonder,
Joanna
of
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending
www.joannandtheagitators.com

 

DSC_0103 (1)

i’ve been thinking about you

I wonder how you are choosing to walk through the world after reading the news or not reading the news.
I wonder how you are doing, hearing the first 12 minutes of this, as you hang the laundry.

I wonder and hope that you are going to dance class — because you must continue to go to dance class — even as you hear these first 12 minutes, and want to run, screaming into the streets.

Do run — screaming into the streets — but also:

Go to dance class.

We cannot let him take that away from us.

I wonder how you are moving in the world right now, in this moment in history.

I wonder where, and how, you are finding stillness.

I wonder if you are spinning.

I wonder if you are spiraling.

I wonder if you are sensing your weight — in space — as it shifts and drops, and then rises.
It is difficult

to get the news from poems

Yet men die miserably every day

for lack

of what is found there

~ William Carlos Williams
Katharine sent this me when I said “I don’t have time for poems right now.”

I decided, then and there, to make time for poems.
I’ve been thinking about you.
I wonder how you’ve been doing.
xo
Joanna
of
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending
www.joannaandtheagitators.com

2015_11_adult_class_thu_13s-1

are you awake?

I am.

The wind is blowing the house down.

So I’m up,

I’m giddy and unable to sleep because something woke up in me last Wednesday — right after I sent you that last newsletter.

That something has been groggily waking up for a long time now, but last week it got me sitting up straight, eyes wide open.

This thing I asked us to imagine?

It’s taking shape, in a way I couldn’t have imagined, and it’s moving fast.

Read more

71ecb1e3-bbf6-46f4-bfb6-2c425ca958da

Let’s get together and…

Imagine.

 

What if we all meet — in the middle — to take our shoes off, sit on the floor and roll around for a bit, before beginning the work of dreaming the world we want to walk in.

 

What if we all meet —at dusk —to watch the moon rise, and to sing a hallelujah.

 

What if those who gather are artists and politicians, teachers and mail carriers, front desk workers and chiefs of police.

 

What if those who gather are dishwashers and lawyers, tribal leaders and midwives.

 

What if you and I and everyone else takes a deep breath, closes our eyes, and dreams.

Read more

2016_04_adult_tue_class_11s

A Naked Ballerina

A little boy came home from school and told his mom that his teacher had asked all of the kids in his class to come to school the next day, dressed as the thing they wanted to be when they grew up.

 

His mother said,  “What are you going to dress up as?”

 

The little boy replied,  “A ballerina.”

 

The mother said, “Boys can’t wear tutus.”

 

The little boy said, “Oh.”

Read more

fullsizerender

dance ideas

“You should be breaking through the walls, breaking up the universe trying to find new things for yourself, & develop more deeply those that you have been working on.”  — Martha Meyers, Dean Emeritus at The American Dance Festival.

This is the dance that is building inside of me:

Working title:  Cooking with Roy

Note:
My father wanted to name me Roy, if I had been born a boy….can you imagine?

Roy Rotkin?

Oy.

Read more

p1010610

Midnight

We must continue to gather.

 

We must continue to practice and make time for what we value in our lives.

 

We must continue to meet each other.

 

We must continue to stand for one another.

 

We must continue to dream.

 

We must continue to show up, in the light.

 

We must continue to be bold.

 

We must continue to love.

 

We must continue to gather.

 

Read more