What Just Happened?

It’s been one week since I’ve posted. After posting everyday for so long, I assumed it would feel strange to stop. But the last week has flown by! Early in the week I got to see a lot of friends in Encinitas. I wish I could have seen more people, but time wouldn’t permit.

I keep getting the question, “Are you at loose ends? What’s next?” I have an idea, but I need to figure out, What’s Now? So that I won’t be at loose ends. I’ve been keeping myself distracted and I’ve been spinning about it, but now I realize that it’s time to Pause, really Pause.

The Everyday Dance Project kept me disciplined. For the moment, I’m going to replace that with daily yoga classes (some hot). I have used this as a ritual in transitions before and found it to have a cleansing and centering effect. The stability of a class and the freedom to submit to the teacher appeals to me right now. And of course, I’m still dancing everyday…just not making a video.

While I do that, I’ll be starting the process of editing together a summary mini-documentary to answer all of those questions. Part of that process is to go through the year and create a “Best of” list…maybe in several categories. I’ll be asking for input on this too. For now, I’ll post one of my all time favorite solos -“Boogie Shoes.”

Day 365 – Coming full circle

I’ve been listening to this song, Will it Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston for a few months now. I somehow knew when I heard it the first time that it would be the right song for today’s finale. I think I made a good choice.

I wrote a long post yesterday about what I thought may be next…and it’s late so I’ll keep this short. I want to thank everyone who showed up at the Organ Pavilion to dance with us today. Unfortunately some people didn’t find us, but they were there and I appreciate the effort. To everyone who made this video great, thank you! Please leave a comment – you are all awesome!

There were people from all walks of life with us today and some media people who came to cover it. Fox 5 called, but they were about an hour late :-). If you wanted to make it but couldn’t we still felt you there in spirit.

It’s been an amazing year. I can start to process it now and I’ll post more in a few days, but for now…enjoy – and please pass it on!

love,
Mary

Day 364 – Gratitude

I feel a little like I used to feel as a kid on Christmas Eve, full of excitement and nervous energy about what the next day might hold. I guess what I’m feeling is a little more complex than wondering what Santa will bring, but it might not be too far off in the magical thinking area.

I’ve spent the last year completely immersed in this project and tomorrow marks it’s completion. Over the past year I’ve imagined all kinds of possible outcomes from getting “discovered” – to living in shame for committing so much time to a passion without knowing the outcome or if my activity had any outward value (I always have thought so…but in the throes of it, I’ve had my doubts.)

I wished some people in my life would have taken more interest, but mostly I’ve been amazed by the number and variety of people who have not only encouraged me to continue but expressed sincere interest in the project and even volunteered to participate.

It’s a milestone for sure and it opens the door for the next part of my life to unfold. I am a bit sad to see the end, but I’m also optimistic that I can continue to be an advocate for making dance more a part of our everyday culture. I will continue the original mission of the Freebox- to encourage people to sit less and dance more.

The blog will continue, and I will continue to post on thefreebox.org, plus I will be creating an outlet to air other people’s everyday dances by accepting submissions and having guest contributors. I hope to create a network for people to arrange public spontaneous dance events wherever they are – and I’ll even collaborate. I’m looking to partner with a corporation to use the message of the Freebox as an outreach for their brand, whether it’s a company that wants to increase their employees health, happiness and creativity, a corporation that wants to use the Freebox as a means of positive community outreach, or ideally, a media partner that I could create content for – going from city to city arranging public dances and making a video as a segment for a popular dance show or talk show to promote dance as an everyday part of life.

What I know is that the message is a positive one and there are no down sides to Freebox dancing. It’s fun, it’s free and it connects people and brings them joy. I’ve seen it over and over and over again this year.

So about today’s dance. I wanted to have one more studio dance before the year ended, so I got up very early today before our flight to L.A. (and before the sun!) This song, Gratitude, by Earth, Wind and Fire says what I want to say. It’s my way of saying, Thank You for being a witness, for your support and encouragement over the past year. I really appreciate it! I dedicate this dance to my husboyfriend, Mark. Without his partnership, creative genius and unwavering loving support, I could never have made it through this year. And it certainly wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Day 363 – Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Everyday it seems I make new friends with this project! A couple of dancers that I met last weekend at our Flash Mob, Molly and Ann Marie, joined me today along with my friend and fellow actor, Mary Ruth. We met at Crown Center to see if we could spread some Christmas Cheer.

My favorite moment of this video comes about 2/3’s of the way through when a lovely older woman in a wheelchair just had to join us. Things like that really light my heart. We had a great time, though most of the other holiday shoppers seemed to be in their own little world. But you can see her again at the end waving and cheering us on.

The kids on the playground were pretty interested in what we were doing since we were moving at about 1/10 of a normal speed. That was Mark’s idea…we had used that effect in a video earlier this year that we filmed at the River Market. Today’s really worked and I think we had the most fun of anyone.

This song, Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives brings back happy memories from my childhood.

Day 362 – KC Writer’s Group – Paperback Writer

A month or so ago I danced with Maril and Deborah. Maril had read about the project in the Kansas City Star in June and contacted me wanting to take part. Deborah was coming along as a not-so-sure participant. Apparently she had a great time, because she invited us to surprise her writer’s group this morning with a spontaneous dance party. She chose the – very appropriate – song, Paperback Writer by the Beatles. Since it was a surprise, I wasn’t sure how enthusiastic they would be. Turns out – everyone participated and had a great time. I love this job!

Day 361 – Getting down in the Burbs

I’ve made a new friend, Anne Marie. She came out to dance with us at the Liberty Memorial last weekend and emailed me after to say she was game to do some more public dancing. We had a brief window today, so I headed to her neighborhood (Mission, KS) to meet her at the “Mission Mart” strip mall in hopes of recruiting some bystanders to join us. None did, but we had a lot of fun anyway dancing to this remix of the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack.

Day 360 – Purple Haze..

Mark and I are both a bit loopy from cough medicine and he came up with the idea to video this from all angles. He had the camera on the monopod. It was after we did it that we realized it’s day 360 – and this dance is video’d in 360 view 🙂

Day 359 – Dancing with myself…

Good old Billy Idol! I was at an audition this morning and this song was playing in the casting room. I heard it and wondered how many other totally great and totally obvious songs there are out there waiting for me to remember them! I mean some days I struggle to find songs and then here I am almost a whole year into the project and just now dancing to this great tune.

Mark and I drove around looking for a good location – hoping to find a crowd of people – it’s not that easy to do on a weekday downtown, so we settled on this overpass on Baltimore. I think the people driving by were sufficiently confused because Mark was a long way away for most of the shoot and I really did look like I was dancing with myself and myself alone :-).

Day 358 – Happy Feet in the new Plaza Wellspring

We met up with Linda Puthoff today, owner of Plaza Wellspring – where I’ll be teaching some classes in the new year – and she was totally up for a dance with Mark and myself. I love her space and I’m very excited to offer some workshops there in the new year. We danced to “Love City” by Moby and Sly and the Family Stone.

Day 357 – Keep movin’

It was supposed to be 50 degrees and sunny in Kansas City this morning, so when I woke up and it was 30 and foggy, I wondered how many people would show up to dance at the Liberty Memorial. {Quote from Molly’s comment – Liberty Memorial where we house The National World War I Museum, the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences.}

Was I surprised when we got there and people were already waiting! It was super cold but 30 people came out and we had a blast. Everyone was so happy and we had a great time. I was amazed how well everything went.

Fox news came out too here’s a link to the segment they did about us on tonight’s news!

I met a lot of fun, new people today. Thanks so much to everyone who came out. Thanks to KCUR for sharing the good news so people knew what we were doing today.

I think the cold weather made us focus a little bit more closely because how in the world did 30 people who (for the most part) never met each other do all of this in one take? What fun! Fox4 came out to cover the event. And my new friend and local blogger, May, came out. She is doing a 365 day self portrait project and she took today’s picture with us.
This song is called “Get a Move On” and it’s by the artist, Scruff