This blog entry is not just about Hawaii. It’s a frank talk about the state of things as I am involved and witnessing them from my artist and busness perspective.
First a bit about Hawaii.
Student roster for Visionary Hawaii Retreat
April 2 2010
Unmata dance partner
Can you imagine adding your name to this very small class ? These are amazing belly dance instructors and really nice people. This years value is unsurpassed!
Study, dance get to know each other for 7 days and 8 nights in Paradise? We will all be friends for life! There is a staff member for each student just about as this moment! LOL. The dance space is beautiful, huge 2100 sq feet, with suspended wood floors and mirrors. This opportunity to study with this combination of dancers is not coming around again. Every retreat is very different as many of you know who follow what we have been doing since 1991.
We need 5-6 more dancers is all (to not loose our harem pants!)
Come join us!
I gotta say we are devoted to Kalani. They began chopping back the jungle with a machete and doing the construction in 1975, but it’s grand opening was in 1982. We have watched them grow and become better and better each year. They do so much good intentional work on this planet it is our pleasure to be affiliated with such genuine caring and committed organization. It was begun by Richard Koob. He is very respected and beloved by the island community . Richard is a master hula dancer. He’s a visionary like me. He’s in incredible shape, he swims in the ocean every day, dances, lifts weights and plays volley ball. He lives well and so does everyone on his large staff. (Kalani History). It’s situated on 19 acres across from the ocean on a country road. The location is built on the ruins of an ancient native Hawaiian school . We are near the volcano but the trade winds keep it out of the Vog and actually they have the cleanest air in the world. Crazy. At night the Koki frogs serenade us to the rhythms of the surf. Moon light and strings of ferry lights lead the way through the night palace to hob tubs, massage studios, saunas and 25 meter pool. It’s enchanting.
So GO CHECK IT OUT www.delilah-belly-dance-retreat .com
The state of Money
I know many dancers would like to come but finances are out of reach for many. Believe me we are struggling in the face of this economy as well, but we believe Belly Dance keeps all women sane and we are offering a valuable service with our art.
What IF there was no belly dance in our lives?
What if because we just can’t afford to run studios, make DVD’s, have festivals, concerts, workshops and retreats, belly dance just dried up. No longer something available to women. What if there were no dance leaders to mentor, guide, develop and support the recognition of this art? How sad this would be. Those of you who dance know that this dance is so very important to women of all ages. It’s important enough to us to pass it down to our daughters and our grand daughters. Even sons have gotten into it as dancers and as supporters of their mothers passion about belly dance!
If we didn’t have those brave enough to sponsor events and keep the sub culture going. . .? Well, I think it would fall into the den of iniquity that befalls women in 3rd world countries when they have no rights, no public voice, or leadership. Women become vulnerable and Dance becomes prostitution and exploitation at it’s worst. When we do not respect the art of women dancing, we do not respect life.
It takes a lot of work and financial risk for a small business to exist in the arts. Belly dance does not provide a large income job for anybody I know. Maybe for a couple years out of the life of a top dancer if she markets her self well. But we aren’t talking even long enough for a stable retirement plan.
We at VDP are bravely weathering this current storm and continuing to bring belly dance to women. We are spending our personal savings doing so at the moment. We have hopes that things will improve. If we stop and break down our tents, . . . it’s not likely we are going to build it again (not at this point in my career) thus we are hold on tight and continuing.
The letters, calls and e mails from folks knowing and receiving value from our works goes very far in inspiring us on! Thank You!
AND we know, not everyone is being hurt by the economy. Some people have gifted VDP very generously because they can know how we are working hard, on a shoe string at the moment. We in turn have given a lot of classes away this year to women who expressed sincere interest. See our BELLY DANCE STIMULUS PROGRAM we started in the fall. Our NTP group have helped organizations raise money as well as help the studio out with the RED VEIL SALE. In May they will have a GREEN VEIL SALE in celebration of the Solstice Parade. Hooray!
I have friends who are remodeling house projects and working good jobs and are unaffected by the economy. These demonstrations of positive energy flow are what we try to keep focusing on to keep us in a positive mind state.
Then, we note some people have large saving and are caught reacting to the air of fear and following the negative flow and are simply not spending when they could. Holding on tight to purse strings. This effects the economy of course big time. Fear is a powerful thing and women have every right to be fearful. I totally understand. Most likely belly fear made you come to class. However fear can eat up your life. Our lives are going to be over sooner than you think! It’s a battle to not let fear take over our lives. We have to realize that life is for living. Who knows how much time any of us might have left. The only story is so true. We save for retirement and then we are too sick to travel or enjoy the fruits of our labors. Reminder that all you really have is the present moment.
We have been doing retreats since 1991 and we have seen all sorts of acts of generosity. Aunts have gifted nieces with the retreats. One father sent one of his twin daughters to our retreat for her graduation from high school! One was a dancer and the other went to Outward Bound. Another women got sick and so she sent a friend but before she sent her, she took her shopping and bought her costumes and a belly dance wardrobe! One man arranged to take time off work to stay home and watch the kids while he sent his Mother in law and his wife to our retreat. Then came with his wife and son on the next one! One women just signed up and said give it to someone you think needs to come! Wow! We gave a way an entire retreat package in a promotional drawing as well as a fund raising raffle prize for a women who had been in a terrible car accident.
Lately, a deep concern:
I want to mention a phenomena I have been witnessing lately in our daily lives of the women I teach and meet. I have talked with other instructors in various fields noticing the same thing. The phenomena of people just not being present in their body and/or able to focus or make a decision. Have you felt it? Women don’t want to talk or show their cards. Fear! A dance class gives you opportunity for non verbal expression but I am noticing as well the lack of non verbal expression. Scary! We are loosing touch with our mind- body connection.
It’s not something easy to retrieve in later years. You need to do it NOW. Keep those neural pathways active.
General reasons for this loss may be our electronic technologies. Our brains are scattered by constant cell phone interruptions. E mail lacks emotional tone and are constantly miss understood. We see little social justice and change in the media and that renders us silent and motionless. Our resources are at risk and so we hold tight on the reins. We have no personal rights in airports and as humans feel be-based. You cannot object, you will go to jail. We cannot talk to a customer service person for many businesses now. Just a maze of electronic prompts. Texting and twettering seems fun but in the long run it’s just keeping you from dancing. So many individuals are pretty lonely if you ask me.
Then we have invested time in these social internet networks. All it is is a game of rearranging buttons and photo furniture in “your space”, and with “”your face” on a “your tube”. People have started to think they really live there and their friends live at their wall. OMG what a crazy world. Which would YOU rather have? A real flesh and blood life or an internet life? People are going to forget how to have a real life. This scares me more than the economy.
I predict we are about to forget how to dance. No Please!
Why because we are loosing our body language.
In dance classes my staff and I notice that dancers come to dance but even making a decision to put on their dance attitude is lacking. Woh! What is this? We can’t make anyone dance. It looks like a sort of psychic paralysis across the board effecting young and old. Is it our societal political atmosphere. I went to Women of Wisdom Conference and noticed a similar thing going on. I talked with people who lead groups and they knew what I was talking about. It’s been happening a lot just lately
This dear friend of mine always said eventually was going to come to one of my workshops in Hawaii. But first she had to work on her career, then she had to raise her kids, then she had to take care of her Mother, now she has a terrible diseased and can’t walk and she’s 58. I have been anxiously awaiting every year for her to make the time for herself in her life but she just postponed it into oblivion. Life is so fleeting. If you want something you have to set your sites on it. Only you can make things happen. Then it will come to you .
Need some Simple Belly Empowerment Inspiration ? (Especially read the Goethe quote near the end)
We only need to find 5-6 more students and this will be a really great retreat! .