I grew up in a very large family - twelve kids in all. After having ten children (myself being number ten), my parents adopted twins. I only mention that they were adopted because it left an imprint on my soul.
My dad was asked once why they took in twins after ten kids and he said something like, “They need love and a safe place to grow up and we have room and enough love to go around.” This was formative for me and I strive to live up to their example every day.
There are many stories of my childhood that have shaped me, but for now I am thinking about dance as that has become my metaphor for life. I love to dance and always have. I remember tagging along with my sisters when they cleaned the old movie theater. I would get up on the little stage in front of the screen and dance away while they cleaned.
The irony is that years later, that old building was moved and renovated into a theater where I would do choreography and dance with the Dirty Shame Belles for 15 years. The Belles were part of a community vaudeville type show that our little town put on every summer during Pioneer Days.
When I moved to Washington state, I started doing liturgical dance during choral concerts at a small college I attended. Soon I was dancing at churches and leading the occasional workshop. As the years went by it became a personal spiritual practice.
Friends of mine, Eric and Marcia, seeing that this is a significant piece of who I am, offered the song "I Hope You Dance" by LeeAnn Womack as inspiration and encouragement.
And so, dance has become a metaphor for life and I am writing to celebrate life, to learn from my experiences and to I use my camera as a way to record that dance, reflecting on how it shapes me. Maybe it shapes you too?