Dear Dancing community ~

Greetings from the road … a time of Beauty. Suffering. Love.

Everywhere we have been on this journey through Brazil and Argentina has gifted us with such a raw experience of the current nature of life on this planet.

The soft seas, the wild green, flowering jungles, the blue butterflies. Stunning beauty.

And the suffering.

We had windows blow out as our apartment flooded in a red alert hurricane that hit Rio one night by “surprise.” Homes in the favela washed away. Death gripped the lives of those most vulnerable. The streets filled with trash washed in from … pretty much everywhere. There are not garbage cans on the streets, so out go the plastic bottles, the bags, the butts, right onto the beach.

Lack of access is the most dominant theme we experienced everywhere … in the countryside, in the slums, in the cities. Brilliant and dedicated souls longing for education, opportunities, living food, ways to make meaningful income for their families and their communities. Systemic oppression is rampant and with deep roots. People have been silenced. As a result, the arts are very powerful resources for the people.

And, the arts are protected. The drug lords run Rocinha, the favela we worked in. They monitor everyone and everything that happens on their streets. The streets are only here and there. There are over 69,000 people living there, and most do not have streets in front of their homes. Their homes are crammed next to and on top of each other. One walks in unlit alleyways to get around. Yet when we arrived in Rocinha, we were not stopped and screened, like everyone else is.

The drug lords know that when the dancers gather, all is well for the people.

They respect and step aside in the face of the dance scene that our beloved Yolanda Espaco Aberto has cultivated in her community! We were humbled with this kind of welcome. In fact, the communities throughout Rio and in Tucuman, Argentina all showed up open, hungry, and ready for the work at hand. We made sure to help liberate voices right along with the body.

My most sublime moments were working with the maidens. Seeing their faces light up as they learn about the beauty and power of their bodies and hearts was ecstatic for all! They will never forget that they are golden and worthy of respect, always! Both in Brazil and Argentina, the elder women came out to move and learn with us too. The men also gathered. Deep. Radical for some. Joyous.

The love that flows between the people is the great gift of “nothing to lose.” People have … each other. The dances were intimate. Authentic sweetness radiating in every exchange. The willingness to journey to new frontiers delicious. Humble people. All love.

So as we complete our work in Brazil and Argentina, we send out this mailing in gratitude for the golden bridges built, the love and learning shared by all. And we turn our gaze towards the season ahead in Boulder. It will be wonderful to be back home, on the dance floors most familiar, with our local family. Hope to see you soon!!!

Here is what is happening in the month ahead.

R E S I L I E N C E will unfold in early March. This month we will focus on creating our healing mandalas, both within and through paints. Please let your women friends on the cancer journey know of this very sweet scene that is birthing and uplifting the women who attend.

I will teach a few Wednesday night dances February 27th, March 6th, May 8th. This is foundational movement work, full-on study, and fun.

REVIVAL has shifted and is now a special ceremonial dance with live music at the StarHouse for hard core, feet stomping, rhythm rocking dancers. April 19th.

Golden Bridge’s annual Ovarian Cancer fundraiser at Movement Mass will unfold on March 17th, two years from the date I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Today I remain cancer-free. Please join me in sharing our fundraising initiative at Movement Mass along with learning about that wicked disease. We will dance in solidarity with all the family and friends whose lives are being touched by any kind of cancer. Too many.

And, we will continue to show up and groove on Sunday mornings. Please join us for these soul centric prayer community dances. They keep us in the beat of the seasons and cycles of our ever-changing lives.

Through it all, may we continue to expand our resilience in the face of so much challenge. May we all keep cultivating beauty. And may we all take up the good work of loving one another, in the realms of the most practical to the most sublime.

It remains my honor and joy to dance with you.
In love.
Melissa

Free Gift!

One wave from our double CD IGNITE: Music to accompany the journey through the SomaSource rite of passage process and your dances.

Embodying Life’s Rhythms is music to move get your body moving! This is a 13 minute full wave through all 5Rhythms® orchestrated by the Golden Bridge Rhythm Keepers. Sacred instruments woven into a layered tapestry of inspired sound. A daily warm up. A ceremonial doorway. A chance to simply dance!

Thank you for joining the dance!