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“In the Beginning, It Is Always Dark”

…And I say this because I want to do a thing, and I’m completely in the dark about how to make it happen.

On numerous occasions, I’m sure, I’ve kvetched about the lack of performance opportunities for adult dance students around here. Likewise, I’ve kvetched about the relative lack of body diversity in dance.

After class on Saturday, I mentioned to B. that I’d like to put together a performance for local adult dance students — and that, ideally, I’d really like to see that performance reflect the diversity of body types and abilities out there.

B. said, “Oh, you know, this could be a great fundraiser!”

I think that’s a great idea — to create not just a chance for adult dance students to perform, but a chance for us to work together to do something for the community at large.

Later, I thought, Wouldn’t it be cool to use that performance to raise funds for either for an organization that harnesses the power of dance in a therapeutic way, or for an organization that works to help people with disabilities gain access to dance classes (or maybe even to the arts in general)?

…And thus was the germ of an idea born.

When I asked him if we had any existing organizations that do that kind of thing around here, Denis pointed out that Metro Parks Louisville has an Adapted Leisure program that both offers recreational opportunities (including social dancing) for people with disabilities and that helps make Metro Parks’ other recreation and leisure activities accessible.

That seems like a great place to start.

Beyond that, though, I have absolutely no idea how to proceed.

Hence the quote above: I’m sure it’s a line that’s cropped up in a bazillion places, but I always remember as spoken by The Childlike Empress in the film version of The Neverending Story, which I probably watched 14,000,000 times as a little kid (and, for that matter, as a not-so-little kid: yes, I have totally been guilty of feeling my bike sink into swampy terrain during a gravel race and shouting, “ARRRRRRRRRTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX!”).

So, basically, yeah. Thinking about this again, today, I realized that everyone begins by having no idea how to do things — and they manage to make it happen anyway.

And, yet, things happen. Wheels get invented (and re-invented); people organize events; history rolls forward.

A year ago, I didn’t know how to do a lot of the stuff I know how to do now. What I did know is that, when something looks difficult, the best thing to do is just try it anyway (hello, promenade en dehors in écarté devant; hello, remembering long combinations; hello temps de fleche — okay, don’t really entirely have that one down yet, because coordination, but it’s coming).

When you attempt something difficult and fail at first, you’re still closer to having it down than you are if you just don’t try.

So, anyway, in recognition of that vision of harnessing the potential of every kind of body, every kind of person, in dance, I’m kicking around the idea of calling this thing EveryBody’s Dance Theater.

The rest I’ll have to figure out as I go along. It seems like probably a good idea to connect with some local people who have experience doing things like this.

So there you have it.

Yup.

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, you guys.

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