Welcome to 2015!
2015 started with a bang as Jeannine and I hosted the first Tap Into Transformation event of the year the day after New Years Day. Eighteen participants showed up on January 2nd. Our theme honored and celebrated the elephant, which is an endangered species. We had a very special guest with us for the evening, Kristal Parks. Kristal runs a non-profit organization called Pachyderm power. Her mission is to save the elephant. Jeannine and I invited her to tell us about the plight of the elephant and her experiences in fighting the poaching and abuse that have brought elephants to the brink of extinction. Kristal’s story is amazing, poignant, sad, and ultimately hopeful. Click here to visit Kristal’s website if you would like to explore her important work.
In our tap dancing, we connected with elephant energy, concentrating on the strength and grace of this magnificent animal. I highlighted steps that allowed us to feel our feet firmly hitting the ground. In tap dance, there are two distinct ways to feel the movement. There is a way of dancing that constantly lifts your body off of the floor; that challenges you to feel the lightness of your being. The other way is to feel the downward motion of steps… to feel your body as a grounded entity, even going so far as to sense this connection running deep to the center of the earth. This kind grounding is very powerful, indeed. And as the group “tapped” into this energy, our steps reverberated with a power and volume that impressed us all. It was awesome to feel this power we all generated as a community, and it gave us a sense of what the elephant may feel all the time. I have a feeling this time spent with the elephant will have lasting effects in all of us. Thank you Kristal, for your work, and helping to inspire us!
For the February Tap Into Transformation, on February 6, 2015, Jeannine and I are going to celebrate the great moves of Michael Jackson. It is Valentine’s month, which I think fits, because of Michael’s great love for love, and for children. One of his constant messages was a call for us to love each other, and he called us to begin by looking at the Man in the Mirror.
How, you may ask, are we going to transfer his moves to tap dancing? Well, the dance has been choreographed, so stay tuned, as the promo video will be out soon! We are dancing to the song BAD… but it is going to be GOOD. At the very least we are going to have fun dancing like one of the best performers ever.
On Valentines Day, Jeannine and I will present our multi-media performance piece, TAP INTO LOVE. It is the true story of how the love of tap dancing brought us together, and the miracles that can happen when you follow your bliss. It is going to be a great alternative for anyone who wants to do something unique and different on Valentines Day evening. We will be serving hors d’oeuvres and refreshments and the cost is only $20.00. If you are interested you can buy tickets by going to www.viriditasllc.com, or you can call 1.888.612.8189.
Continuing our busy time, Jeannine and I are also preparing for our workshop, Tap Into Power For Life. This potentially life-transforming event will be held March 21-22, 2015. It is a two-day workshop that explores areas of your life you want to engage and address – be it joys or pains, dreams or dreads. In this workshop participants are invited to offer the wounds or issues they feel are still with them, holding them back in some way, that they are ready to transform. Jeannine and I facilitate a process that allows breakthroughs so that you can move forward in life with newfound strength, freedom, creativity and wholeness. Using the arts as a tool of exploration, expression and healing we begin with simple tap steps (no experience is necessary) as we explore what is in us to be stomped and stepped, tapped and touched, acknowledged and honored, remembered… even forgiven. Using storytelling and an array of props, along with our counseling experience and the arts as a doorway, Jeannine and I help participants in their personal journeys and spiritual evolution. The environment is safe, intimate and sacred. This will be the second time we are offering this, and we are very much looking forward to it.
Our JOY COLLABORATIVE website now has five offerings. The newest piece is called Tap Dancing with the Royal Drummers of Burundi. I love their enthusiasm and joy, and the rhythms these marvelous musicians create. Jeannine and I so wanted to dance with them somehow. So, using iMovie and its green screen magic, I created a video where we combined our tap dancing with their drumming and dancing. Here is the link: www.thejoycollaborative.com/listen. Enjoy!
On January 17th, I had the incredible privilege to preach a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fred Peterbark, the head of recruiting for the music department at the University of Colorado Boulder was giving a concert in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. He asked me to deliver Dr. King’s 1957 sermon, Love Your Neighbor. The concert was at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. I must say, it was amazing to try and channel Dr. King in this manner. The sermon is 40 minutes long and expresses his philosophical approach and belief in non-violent social change.
If you have not heard it, I encourage you to take the time. Dr. King was only 28 years old when he delivered it. To hear Dr. King deliver the sermon click here.
On Sunday, February 8th, I will be conducting the choir at First Methodist Church of Boulder, for their annual gospels/spirituals Sunday. This event is in celebration of Black History Month. The church, located in downtown Boulder, has a beautiful sanctuary and is known for their wonderful acoustics. I have presented there in the past and have enjoyed the people and the atmosphere of the church itself. For this program, I have been invited to teach the chancel choir a spiritual and gospel song for them to perform in the worship service that Sunday. We will be performing the song, DEEP RIVER, as well as a gospel song to be announced. Service begins at 10:30am.
Lastly, I am thankful to begin another New Year. I have love, work, family, goals… and support for them. I am connected to God in a powerful way, and am growing. And I have power for the life I am called to live. I hope you can say the same.