If you have been watching the news or reading things on social media, you may be just a ball of different kinds of emotions. I have been sad, inspired, angry, confused, worried, scared, disappointed, and just wondering how did we get here. It’s been crazy what has been happening over the past few weeks and the tragedy that has come. Everything from the Orlando shooting at Pulse- a gay night club, the bombings in Baghdad and Bangladesh, and the shootings of Anton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas, I think about how can I use my talents of writing and dance help be a beacon of hope in our broken world.
It’s unfortunate, but we seem to live in a society where we are constantly reacting to fear, pain, and hurt. People are afraid of folks who are different than them whether is it because of their race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, or occupation among other minimal differences. I think about how I sometimes have the need to look over my shoulder and out the corner of my eyes because I personally don’t feel safe. I think about the youth today and all the difficult conversations parents are having with their children about what is going on. It all breaks my heart.
I am totally for speaking out, expressing your opinions, and creating movements to spark change. But this all needs to come out of a place of love, not hate. We need to create messages of hope, unity and solidarity. Far too often, we violence leading to more violence and that is not the way to go. I understand you may be angry, but we can’t and shouldn’t become the things that we hate. Whatever you may be feeling, you are definitely not alone. Also, it is ok to feel. Don’t keep it buried inside, let it out!
Dance for Unity
This thought process brought me back a few months ago when I attended the Dance Parade in NYC. It was so much fun. If you are not familiar with Dance Parade, it is a NYC based nonprofit organization that strives to promote dance as a unifying and expressive art form. It is the biggest celebration of dance around and it is amazing! This year, there were over 150 different groups, companies, and schools representing over 80 styles including ballet, modern, hip hop, belly dancing, Jamaican dancehall, Afro-Brazilian, traditional Chinese, butoh, and Bollywood to name a few!
It was great to see the diversity among both the dancers and the spectators. It brought over 10,000 people from all different walks of life. Nobody cared that we are all different races, genders, sexualities, practiced different religions or no religion, that we lived up the block or came from far away. We were all there to see beautiful dancing.
A Call to Action
This all makes me wonder if it is possible to put on some kind of benefit concert where artists of all kind can come together for a day and channel this energy into something positive. Maybe a fundraiser to donate funds to the families directly affected by these tragedies. Perhaps a public art exhibition where the community can come together and paint a mural of some kind. Possibly a rally. I don’t know. These are all just some ideas. But something needs to and can be done if we pull our resources together. We may live in a dark world, but we can be separate and become that beacon of hope.