2017-03 Adult Class Thu 10s

daca, driving, and also dancing

Last Thursday night, a few of us from the community had dinner with a few DACA students currently attending The University of Colorado.


We listened as the students shared stories of how their families came to this country, how old they were when they arrived, what they were studying in school, internships they’d held over the summer, and hopes and fears they had for the future.


Two sisters from Mexico — the older one who is a DACA recipient and the younger one who was born here — spoke about the different paths their future’s hold, not because of dreams, ambitions, and desires, but because of who had been born on what side of the border.


Students from Mongolia, China, and Ecuador spoke about what would happen if DACA was rescinded.


At the end of our time together, we hugged good-bye, with promises to meet again soon and continue the conversation.

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Wild Life

I know this is a newsletter about dancing, but there is so much wildlife happening here this summer, I can’t stand it!
1. Hummingbirds in the courtyard.
For the past month we have been watching hummingbird parents fly in and out of the nest they built, to sit on their eggs. 

Recently the eggs cracked open and now the parents swoop in every half hour or so to feed the baby birds, whose beaks point straight up into the sky.  The babies open up their beaks and urgently reach when the mother or the father fly in to feed.


The nest the hummingbirds built is stunning:  there are bits of flower petals — yellow and purple — mixed in with the weeds and the grass.


2. Coyotes howling, wild turkey’s fighting, deer feasting, last summer the sighting of a moose (not this summer though, at least not yet), bunnies hopping, bob cats prowling, foxes darting, ravens roosting,


3. AND my most favorite moment of all (I’m soooooo jealous I missed it):


A mountain lion sauntered in front of our house last week, in the middle of the day, bolted up the mountain, jumped on a deer, KILLED THAT DEER, and then ran.

In the middle of the day, right in front of our house!


Glen, who saw it all, said the whole thing happened in seconds.

We looked at the body of the deer through our binoculars until the mountain lion came back that night and dragged her to a more secure location, to feast in private, I guess.


Awhile back, maybe 5 years ago or so, I was taking my morning hike and I came across the body of a deer. It totally freaked me out, and it took me a few seconds to realized what had happened.


I remember thinking, “Murder. There’s been a murder”, which of course is a silly way to think about it, but that’s what popped into my head when I saw the body. I stared at that body, covered in sticks and leaves, wondering who was trying to hide the evidence.


For the next week or so, I hiked up there every day, and watched as a part of the deer disappeared until all that was left was a pile of fur.


What this has to do with dancing, I have no idea, except for this:
At every wild sighting I see, I exclaim “Ah” and “Oh” and “Hmmm” with a little burst of breath at the end of each exclamation.


And those sounds, as I’ve mentioned before, also happen in class.


No matter how hard I try to keep quiet, a sound creeps out of me, as surprise and beauty spill into the world.


“When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim, “Ah,” you are participating in divinity.”  — Ancient Hindu Text.


Let’s add dancing in there too.


With Warmth,
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending
So many PS’s today, you might want to get your calendar out! 

Free Community Dance Classes:
Tuesday, September 5th
Thursday, September 7th
10:15am-12:15pm at The Boulder Circus Center.

Fall Dance Session:
The Anatomy of Improvisation
Tuesday, September 12th – Thursday, December 14th.
10:15-12:15pm at The Boulder Circus Center.

First Friday of the Month Dance Club:
Practicing and presenting improvisational performance

Meet at The Boulder Circus Center the First Friday of each month from 5-7pm.
October 6th
November 3rd
December 1st
January 5th 
February 2nd
March 2nd
April 6th
May 4th
Showings on January 5th and May 4th.

Dog Dance:
Next Performance of Dog Dance is on Friday, August 18th
Next Learning to Dog Dance Workshop is on Saturday, August 19th.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the above offerings, email me.


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2017-03 Adult Class Thu 08s

love and fear

In a little dance studio, out in the fields, the last rural outpost within the city limits, down a dirt road, only land, all around, doors and windows thrown open to the prairie and the wind, the sound of meadow larks filling the space, under the radar and far from the mainstream — something is brewing.


As this country unravels at breakneck speed, we are slowing down.


The dance we are doing in this little studio on the edge of town is unhurried and meandering.  It’s a tiny blip in a world that can be mean.


But it’s our blip, and as this country and the current leaders of it, break the codes that keep us standing, we keep dancing, in that unhurried and meandering way.


Valuing stillness as much as movement, and silence as much as sound, this dancing:


Can it keep a world that is falling, or so it seems, aloft and possible?

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Women and Guns

I am making 2 ginormous assumptions about the 400 or so of you who read this newsletter every week.

I assume that each and every one of you respects, cares about, and is kind to women.  True, yes?

I assume that you feel the same way about guns that I do.  I have no idea if this is true or not.

I am bringing this up because two things happened on my vacation last week related to these assumptions.

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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.
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending


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.

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Let’s get together and…



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.

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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.”

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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.


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