Tap Into Transformation, April

Singing and Dancing in the Rain

TAP INTO TRANSFORMATION        

April 3, 2015
7-9 pm

Viriditas Studio 
4939 N. Broadway, Unit 65
Boulder, CO 80304

rain girls 

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.
It’s about learning to sing and dance in the rain.

What would it feel like to sing and dance in the rain? Come to this month’s Tap Into Transformation and find out! We all experience storms in our lives and have learned how not to let them blow us over. This month we are actually going to learn how to SING AND DANCE in the midst of them, and even do it in community. Bring a raincoat and an umbrella and a smile on your face and join us!

Gene Kelly dancing rain

Join husband and wife duo Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Dr. David Sharp in an evening of transformational song, poetry and tap dancing in our gorgeous and inspiring Viriditas Studio in North Boulder. You will laugh, smile and stomp your feet while feeling the joy of moving your body and opening your heart to awe, wonder, beauty, gratitude and more.

Our world so needs each of us to step out onto the stage of life and make manifest our great potential. Experience us as we pave the way to do this by exhibiting the power of Divinity in Action through our spectacular and fun gifts.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity, in a creative community, to acknowledge and share your own gifts, or be inspired to dive into new ones! We will teach you tap steps, and with these tools, we will journey into our hearts to explore and celebrate the human journey, honor its triumphs and challenges, and spark new breakthroughs in the art of living. We will create rhythms, poetry, prayers and praise with our feet, our voices and our bodies, individually and as a group.

To Reserve Tickets:
1.888.612.8189 or www.viriditasllc.com
$15.00 admission     $10.00 students

No experience necessary and we provide the tap shoes!

Come manifest your most powerful creative self while having an absolute blast!

Power For Life Now, March Newsletter

Greetings!

On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, Jeannine and I presented a performance piece called, Tap Into Love in our Viriditas studio. It was akin to dinner theater. We started with appetizers and refreshments that people took to their seats. Jeannine and I spent time sitting and talking to people before the show began. We even became the waiters as we refreshed drinks, and took away empty plates. Then, we blinked the lights, which quieted the audience and we began the show. Tap Into Love tells the story of how Jeannine and I, following our love for tap dancing, were eventually led to each other at this time in our lives. The hour and a half performance went smoothly Jeannine and I had so much fun and the audience response was so warm and enthusiastic, that we are considering making this event an annual presentation. We received several appreciative thanks in regards to how glad people were to have something else to do besides dinner and a movie. Of course, we would create different presentations, but the theme would center on love. And I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend Valentine’s evening with my wife! Stay tuned!

In fact, this is what Jeannine had to say in her own newsletter about the beginning of the show: “It begins with David and me singing the song that David wrote for me many years ago when I was trying to get the rights to certain music for Feathers On The Breath Of God. The song is called “Don’t Hold Back Your Love.” Singing it with David that night, looking into his sparkling eyes, surrounded by the love of the people present, I can say that I know what heaven feels like!”

When I wrote that song for Jeannine, I had no idea I would ever sing it live, or sing it with Jeannine; and certainly had no thought of being married at that point. But as the song says we didn’t hold back our love. That is what Jeannine and I communicated, the power of love to heal, make new and bring heaven down to earth! As the show contains a lot of tap dance, we ended the performance with a beautiful homily or what we call dance prayer to Psalm 91. This is a piece Jeannine composed and I created the arrangement for. It is apropos ultimately, because it was our tap dancing intertwined with our spiritual lives which brought us together. We were asked to do an encore and we did, to Michael Jackson’s song, “BAD.” 

Tap Into love for March newsletter
For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the promotional video that Jeannine and I created for this event. Take a look and feel the LOVE! (Click Here to view the video)

Tap into love performance pic 1
Above is a shot of Jeannine and I singing the opening song, “Don’t Hold Back Your Love.”

KICKING UP OUR HEELS
Here we are, kicking up our heels in the closing number, Psalm 91. This movement is what we call The God Step.  It is a visual representation of the reality that God’s presence is all around us, present through all time and all space, always.

TAPIT PERFORMANCE PIC - 2
Here we are doing a move that captures the understanding that God is all-powerful! It is the finish to the move you see above this picture.

Standing ovation at tap into love
Here is the response to our show, Tap Into Love!

On the heels of the Valentine’s Event, Jeannine and I prepared for the March edition of Tap Into Transformation.  Our theme was “Express Yourself.“ Since we do this event only once a month, I pay special attention to who has been coming and where we are with our tap dancing. This month, I brought in a different style of tap dancing. It was more syncopated, with intricate steps that required more ankle dexterity. It was challenging but fun to try to do some of the fast footwork called for. The group always goes for it, no matter what I throw at them. Thanks everyone!

After a great meal of hot chili, hot clam chowder and fixins’ Jeannine led the second half of Tap Into Transformation. It was a wonderful activity of diving into our souls to see what there is to express! Jeannine had us close our eyes and tune into some aspect of ourselves that yearned to be expressed. She then placed on the floor full size sheets of paper for each participant, large enough for the whole body to lie on! After working through some inhibitions (who, me?) everyone settled on their pose. The partner then drew the outline. They switched, and now the other partner did their own pose and was traced. As fun as that was, now, the real play and transformation began. Jeannine handed out crayons, and we colored ourselves based on whatever was in us that needed some expression in the moment. Thank you, Jeannine! That was an awesome process to get what is in our souls or imaginations OUT and expressed in such a powerful way! We then took a tour of the exhibit! You should have heard the oohs and ahhs as we looked at, took in, and appreciated the beautiful expressions of the inner life of the group.

Each person took his or her masterpiece home as a souvenir of the night’s adventure. Below is a picture (standing up) approximating the poses each had on the floor. I must say, the picture cannot quite capture the power of the artwork created! We have such a talented and expressive group. We even discovered some hidden talents as artists we didn’t know we had in our group!

pose pic

On March 7th I traveled to Los Angeles to be a special guest performer in a concert by the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers. It was a performance in celebration of and to commemorate the civil rights marches that took place in Selma, Alabama in the 60’s. These acts of social justice helped to secure the Voting Rights Act, which mandated equality and the right to vote for all who are American citizens. For five years, I sang with this group and toured many countries with them. It was a great pleasure to be brought back to perform with them, as myself, doing my own thing. And what was that? I performed parts of my one man show, including a long, historical poem entitled, “Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Rap”, which captures the ethos and aesthetics of how and why African Americans created these styles of music. I did a piece about my mother and how she taught us the true genius of tap dance and how she used it as a form of therapy, creating joy from pain. I had audience participation, getting them to tap dance right there in their pew seats!  Ahhh, you should have seen and heard people, in a catholic church, sitting in the pew tap dancing! Now, that’s my idea of a church! I concluded with my piece, “I’m a Black Man, Who Are You?” This is a poem that arose out of the pain of racism and me not wanting to be Black anymore. In my pain, I had encounter and conversation with the Creator and out of it came this poem.

Black man at St. Bernadette
Here’s a picture as I am saying the closing line from my poem, “I’m a Black Man, Who are You?”

As it turned out, one of the performers came down with bronchitis, and I was recruited to fill in for him. I had a blast being part of this amazing singing chorale. One of the things that make them so special is that while they are great singers, they are also known for their productions numbers, which includes movement and choreography. Because I didn’t get to connect all the dots there were two times that I entered the stage when I wasn’t suppose to and I had to improvise to make it look like I belonged in the scene I didn’t belong in! Inside I was laughing because, I knew enough about performing to pull it off and there is nothing like live performance to keep one humble but I also kept hearing this song, “There’s no business like show business!”

The two-hour show was held at St. Bernadette Catholic Church. People came to the show I had not seen in ages; I mean like over 30 years, including an old fraternity brother and one of my mentors as a minister. While in Los Angeles, I even had breakfast with my college roommate, whom I had not seen since college!

STANDING O AT ST. BERNADETTE
This is the response to my 20-minute performance!
This audience was so receptive, warm and appreciative.


LAST SONG AT ST. BERNADETTE
This is the last song in the performance! The song is, “Walk Together, Children”
There I am, center stage with the white tux jacket.

Labatdougdavid 2
After the concert, here I am with two of my best friends, David Labat and Douglas Griffin, who is the assistant director and chief choreographer. Douglas and I have known each other since we were 4 years old!

One of the great surprises of my time in Los Angeles was that I got to meet Charles and Elaine Bibbs!

Charles Bibbs
That is Charles Bibbs on the right. He is the painter of The Reader II which graces the cover of my book, I’m a Black Man, Who are You? We finally met for the first time. His wife, Elaine is on the left. The man in the yellow hat is David Labat, a best friend, and the man who steered me to Mr. Bibbs. Thank you, Labat!

LA group pic
Celebrating with wonderful friends! My daughter, Danea is on the far left.

There may be no business like show business, but there is NOTHING like spring. I close with this anonymous bit of verse:

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the birdie is
The bird is on the wing
Oh how absurd, the wing is on the bird.
As I looked up in the sky
the bird dropped whitewash in my eye
I didn’t laugh, I didn’t cry
I just thanked God that cows don’t fly.

May you have Power For Life Now!
David

 

Tap Into Power For Life!

A Two-day Workshop
March 21-22, 2015   
9am – 3pm

JGA-DS dunes

Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Dr. David Sharp

Transform limiting obstacles in your life through
creative exploration, tap dance and more!

Using the arts as a doorway to the soul, we will put on tap shoes, create body prayers, do storytelling and dramatic interpretation, use props, and experience communal embodiment and ritual. We will take an important reality in your life that you want to address and transform. We will look at each issue creatively and work to create breakthroughs that will free you to move forward into your best destiny, including having more peace, personal power, joy and gratitude. We will use tap shoes and basics steps as our language to see what there is to stomp and step, acknowledge and honor, remember… and even forgive.

“David and Jeannine, with incredible passion and talent, challenge us to transform our pain into power, moving through our blockages and trauma with grace and beauty.” Jan Rupp, Co-author of The Five-Minute Healer.

“David and Jeannine are very loving and accepting. With their encouragement, it allowed me to not only have a hell of a lot of fun, but also to feel free to release my inhibitions and safe to explore deeper parts of myself.” Herb Rodriguez, Musician/Artist – Member of The Boulder Chorale 

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to journey into…YOU.

Viriditas Studio
4939 Broadway, Unit 65
Boulder, Colorado 80304

$125 – includes lunch both days
Workshop limit:12 persons

Register: www.viriditasllc.com 

Sharpettes & Annie Ruth’s Truths, March

I began creating what I call Sharpettes over 30 years ago. As a speaker and writer they became my own way of sharpening my understanding of the meaning, power, and energy of a single word. I am sharing them publicly now in hopes that you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

The first line is the word.

The second line defines or describes the word twice, 4 syllables for each attempt. You may place a comma or semi-colon between each attempt. So, the second line has a total of 8 syllables.

The third line is a simile. It always begins with the word “Like”, and paints a picture of the word in 10 or 11 syllables.

On some Sharpettes the 4th or 5th syllable of the third line will rhyme with the word on the first line itself. This can yield another insight into the word chosen, and provides a unique and fun poetic challenge.

Enjoy!
David

*******
remember string
Remember
To hold in mind; not to forget
Like an anchor keeping a ship in place.

***

 

MOM-AND-ME-IN-TAP-POSE-240x300Annie Ruth’s Truths are my renderings of folk wisdom and country common sense, gained from a lifetime of listening to my mom, who has a unique way with words, as well as a witty, joyous and playful attitude to go with it! Always fun or sassy, they tell the truth and can make you laugh, shake your head and go “Hmph!” or even make you shout, “Whaaat?!”

“It’s easy to forget the easiest things to remember.”

 

 

Mountain Man Sharp

On the last day of February 2015, the month I was born in, I just experienced one of the singular most amazing days of my life. I volunteered to do something I had never done before. I did it to support my wife and stepson… but I also did it for me. Several students at my stepson’s school were preparing for a winter outdoor wilderness experience they were chosen for; and parents were needed in the preparation. This preparation called for us to go up into the heavy snow of the Roosevelt National Forest, hike in with snowshoes until we found a suitable spot; then learn how to build… and build… SNOW CAVES. Now, I have always enjoyed the challenge of proving myself at different things, whether sports, academic endeavors or hobbies of one kind or another. I have enjoyed proving that I could do things people thought I couldn’t or wouldn’t do…. whether because of my size, race, age, or some other limiting criterion people love to put on others. But, there are things I am doing for the first time, and at my somewhat advanced age. I never skied until I was 52 years old… I am now 59. But my ski life is really only 5 years old because I didn’t go skiing in 2012 because I had hip replacement surgery… and I didn’t go at all the next year. So… I am still a newbie. But I love skiing, and… I am proving to myself that a hip replacement is, for me, a new lease on life.

Sharp snowgeared upBut now, the challenge I am talking about is something altogether different. It’s like being Jeremiah Johnson or something. I got all geared up, with shovel on hip, snowshoes on, layers of clothing, food supplies and extra clothes. And with two highly trained and skilled leaders, I went with several people, including my wife (who grew up in Switzerland) and young students… into the high country, as if I was one of them; them being people who were a lot more use to hanging out in snowy cold environs than yours truly… and were probably much more comfortable with it all. Now, mind you… I am the only African-American on this expedition, and the only one for miles and miles in any direction that I could honestly ascertain. Now, being born in Colorado… well, is a plus on my side. But, leaving as a 6 year-old and moving to the South… that is, Texas and Georgia, doesn’t bode well for my mountain man in the snow skills and comfort zone.

Partly, I did it to see how I would respond. What I learned is that I loved it! Once again, I proved, at least to myself, that anyone can do anything they want to do! Forget the early double takes from some people who were not use to the sight of someone who looked like me being in a place like that. Forget the compassionate questions about whether I was warm enough. But the experience for me, as the one in my own body experiencing it, was absolutely amazing. It was the same experience I had going up in a ski lift for the first time. I was overcome with emotion, and wondered why I waited so long to give myself this gift?

Now, I have done a lot of wonderful things early in life… but they didn’t involve being in extreme cold weather conditions, on a mountain, in the dead of winter, in deep snow, bundled up like an arctic explorer, and heading into a forest looking for where to survive. But in so doing, I learned a lot about myself… and I liked it.

One of the things I realized is that in a profound way, I had become my father. I grew up knowing that my father was in the army, and that he was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was in a ski patrol unit monitoring the Russian border. My dad was an African-American military skier during the early 1950’s. I remember seeing a picture of him in skis with his military gear on. The picture was on one of his two military helmets that were always on display. I took them for granted in terms of its significance; but not anymore. I realized, as of a few days ago, that he was probably one of the early African-American skiers in the United States, military or otherwise. Here, deep in the wonderland of the outdoor winter wilderness, I felt his spirit smiling in my own. It was a beautiful feeling.

Now, on top of all of that, I have a son. My son Justin, now 28 years old, is a snowboarder, and has been since his high school days. I said to him one day, “Look at you. Your grandmother and grandfather lived and worked on farms in the south. Your great-grandmother, my grandmother, knew her grandmother, who was a slave as a young girl. My own mother picked cotton in the fields of Mississippi. And now, here you are snowboarding. We have come a long way.”

I sent my son a picture of me in all my cold weather snow survival gear. He texts me back… “Dad, that winter outdoor survival stuff is crazy. You’re like a total adventurer in that photo!” Just goes to show you what my dad use to say to me from time to time, when I would complain about the racism I was experiencing… or the challenges of finding your way in life… or love. He would say, “Well, Dave, keep on living and see what happens.” Well, I think dad is applauding, and in a deeply spiritual way, we were together on that mountain…. “Dashing through the snow, laughing all the way.”

May you have Power For Life Now!
David