Feeling full. Full of gratitude.

Some days I barely know which to-do list to tackle first. Recently someone posted an Instagram update saying they were ‘behind on everything’ and I completely know what that feels like. Somehow my ‘behind’ never translates to ‘disastrously too late’ and so I’m going to notch that up to a good sign that I’m keeping my head just above the water line!

Life is full. And for that I feel extremely grateful.

Here’s an update on what has been filling my cup of late:

  1. We All Dance (QPAC, Royal Ballet and Micah Projects)

A ten week workshop series facilitating dance and movement sessions for Micah Projects clients. This community access and participation project, delivered by Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) to coincide with the Royal Ballet’s visit to Brisbane. Seven groups in Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich worked towards a big community performance event held at QPAC on 2nd July 2017. Just quietly, ‘big’ doesn’t begin to describe the size and scale of the project, it was EPIC! (To use a phrase my 8 yr old likes to throw about!)

This project challenged me in many new and wonderful ways. The rewards of which I am still processing and feeling immense gratitude for. I feel like it has helped me to continue to develop my group facilitation skills within a community development project, and it proved once again that dance and movement holds great power to connect, engage and empower.

The trust we built within the group, the challenges and fears we conquered (individually and collectively) and the final public performance – so many great triumphs for all involved. And the biggest ‘take away/s’ from the We All Dance project? A tangible reminder of the profound impact human can bring to everyone’s lives.

There’s no way I can talk about this project without singing the praises of the inspiring and dedicated support staff that work within Micah projects. So much respect for the quiet heroes that work within the wonderful community organisation – Micah Projects.

2. The Beauty Index (Denmark, WA)

An inspiring week-long intensive in Denmark (WA not Europe) for Annette Carmichael’s community dance project, The Beauty Index. The cast is made up of 17 Men from the local region of the Great Southern. Amazing right? Yes indeed! And what a fabulous bunch of lads – from farmers to chefs to nurses and cabinet makers – and everything in between. More about this project later, but for now here are some images to inspire you.

So grateful for the warm and welcoming community that greet me with open arms when I visit. Being involved in local artist (*cough* celebrity) Annette Carmichael goes along way of course! But it is lovely to be greeted with smiles and warm embraces in the supermarket and/or in one of the many yoga classes all the same. 2017 marks the third year I have been visiting Denmark (WA not Europe!) to work on one of Annette’s projects. What a ‘cup filler’ and ‘soul lifter’ it is too!

Time and time again, all around me, I experience and observe the palpable and tangible affects that community projects have on all involved – communities, participants and facilitators alike. This thing we do … community arts and cultural development … it is pretty special alright.

Gratitude.

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