Rise like the Moon, Shine like the Stars

Somehow I thought I would come into this new year with new energy, clarity, and focus.


I thought this week I would have a nice slate of new year offerings for you–but I find myself unclear on what exactly those should be. I feel myself in a place of alignment, as my love for Oriental dance, trauma resolution, and creativity combine into something new, rich and nourishing. But what?

Something is coming. It’s not clear yet. But I feel it coalescing. It resonates with my mission: “Awaken people to their own beauty and power. Enable them to express their unique individuality through art. Bring honor and appreciation to Oriental dance… “

I do have a theme for the year.


Its subtitle is Show Up and Do the Work. This inspired my choice to post a new dance clip every day in January. Here they are on Instagram and FaceBook (or search #Danceuary21 on IG to see who else decided to do this–you are welcome to join, dancing / posting as much or as little as you like–any music, any clothing, any time. It’s all about fun). More on Connect soon. I feel it coming, gentle as the moon and the stars.

Accountability is another word for this year. It’s been essential for me. I’m building small-group series that help folks reach creative goals, like the ACE Mastermind; to develop online skills, like How to Dance for the Camera; or to empower dancers to excel, with Focus on the Feeling. This year, meetings every week feels like too much. So I’m planning more bi-weekly or even monthly meetings, expanding the connection, accountability, and support so we can really soak these things into our core.

For the rest of it, I’d love to hear from you–what is your biggest challenge? In dance? In life? What would you like to be different? What would you like more of? What would you like to feel?

For the moment, we have a few things happening.

A new round of Tuning In starts tomorrow.

Tuning In helps us settle, ground, integrate our awareness into the here and now. Five Weeks, Jan 22-Feb 12. Fridays, 4-4:30 PM EST. Learn more and Register here.

I like the combination of still and active. It reminds me that even the things I rush with, don’t need to be a mental rush. I can still be connected. 


Belly Dance BEDROCK

BDB is a Fun Class Deep Dive combining our core dance vocabulary with intuitive improvisation, to bring the movement into our bodies, so we don’t just do the dance–we are the dance. Belly Dance BEDROCK runs from Tuesday, February 2 through Tuesday, March 5 from 4-5PM EST 
Learn more and Register here.


I’m heartened and hopeful following the recent Inauguration, especially by our brilliant Youth Poet Laureate, 22-year old Amanda Gorman. Her poem, “The Hill We Climb” stands as a clarion call to all of us to reach our True Selves, to join together for a better world. Below is the text of her poem, and here she is reading it.

With all my love,

The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.

We braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.

We are striving to forge our union with purpose.

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.

We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.

That even as we grieved, we grew.

That even as we hurt, we hoped.

That even as we tired, we tried.

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.

If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.

It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it.

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.

We feared at its inception.

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.

But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.

Our blunders become their burdens.

But one thing is certain.

If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

We will rise from the golden hills of the West.

We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states.

We will rise from the sun-baked South.

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.

And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful.

When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.

The new dawn balloons as we free it.

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

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