When I first learned of One Billion Rising three years ago, I felt fire coursing through my veins. I took this as a sign of the incredible impact this global movement was going to have on my life and community.
As a Tribal Bellydance instructor and performer, One Billion Rising instantly captured the dreams of my body and soul. When learning, teaching, and performing the Break the Chain dance I have a visceral sensation of release and purification as the realization that I’m dancing in solidarity with countless people all over our planet courses through my blood, muscles, heart, and womb. Last year I had an opportunity to visit City of Joy in Democratic Republic of Congo and noticed the health and vibrancy of the survivors who are residents there. Christine Schuler Deschryver said, “This is Africa. We do our therapy through dance and drumming.”
When we demonstrate with dance, drumming, joy, solidarity, poetry, celebration, sisterhood and brotherhood we shift consciousness. But the shift doesn’t occur only through the outward demonstration of our actions. We shift consciousness by re-organizing our beliefs and cellular memories about who we are, how our bodies relate to the paradigm of violence and control, and by getting out of our heads and into our bodies and hearts. This is where healing happens. Our revolution happens from the inside out.
This year in my community of Flagstaff, AZ we’re organizing our biggest rising yet. We have three volunteer instructors teaching classes in collaboration with 5 nonprofit organizations. I’m honored that I have been invited to teach the Break the Chain dance with Hopi and Navajo communities, homeless youth, and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Children and men are rising with us, which brings joy to my heart. We need allies from every part of our human family to make our revolution big and beautiful.
Our rising will feature a V-Day flashmob and open mic event in downtown Flagstaff and continue with the Hungry Hearts Cabaret that evening. This event starts with an expert love advice panel including the following perspectives: Native American, LGBTQ, Sexology, Domestic/Sexual Violence, Feminist Relationships, Sexual Positivity, Trauma Healing, and Body Image Empowerment. The evening will continue as we explore love and sexuality with performance art including pole dance, aerial dance, belly dance, can-can kickline, live music, physical theater, acrobalance and a community performance of Break the Chain.
I am so grateful for the global revolution we are creating together, as one family.