Just came back from my second rehearsal of the flashmob dance for #1BillionRising on V -Day, February 14. Here in the San Francisco area, the flashmob will happen on the plaza in front of City Hall, and the event is sponsored by the Mayor of San Francisco. City-wide involvement in an event to end violence against women and support the well being of women is remarkable enough, but these dance rehearsals are a world of joy unto themselves.
My first rehearsal was at a dance studio in San Rafael, CA on Thursday night. Almost 40 people showed and packed the space -- women of all ages and several men. As we learned the steps from a gracious and lovely dance instructor, something began to happen. We learned the movements. We heard the words -- "break the chain" -- "You (all women) are beautiful" -- and by dancing and moving together, we invoked the power behind the words. We achieved a special unity.
In older times, dance united the tribe. Dance was a powerful and evocative way of communicating higher feelings and emotions. So it is with this very inspired way to bring women of all ages (as well as some welcome men) to do something inspirational together. DANCE! Learn new movements and new dance routines, apply them to new music. Simple yet absolutely revolutionary.
Today I went to a second rehearsal in Sausalito, CA and perhaps because I had to concentrate less on the movements themselves and more on the flow and refinement of the movements, I had another, even more powerful experience of unity and the power of women. When you are pointing at the other ladies in the room and singing "You are beautiful," and you are looking at women with no makeup, no special hairdos, no special age or shape -- in other words, you are seeing your fellow women without the imprint of marketing and media and centuries of conditioning as to what constitutes "beautiful," it is quite amazing to discern just how truly beautiful your fellow women are. It's mind-blowing because it makes you realize how many judgments you lay on yourself and your fellow women that keep you apart, and those judgments are not real.
And when forty women dancing are envisioning breaking the chain of violence and repression, and I sincerely hope Eve Ensler achieves her goal of one billion rising on February 14, that vision is impactful, unifying and visceral.
The women in both dance classes kept saying, "This is so powerful." It is. I am honored to be part of it and to dance in the flashmob on February 14. I hope women will read Independence Ring to keep the flame of power building and rising to the highest possible level.
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