Happy Dance.

I did a happy dance:   

 the song is by Jem and it’s called, “It’s Amazing”.

I entered a contest last week to win two free tickets to Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within in Orlando in November.  Tonight I was notified that I was one of five finalists. Tomorrow there will be a link on Tony Robbin’s Facebook page and his G+ page (and of course I’ll post it here) that you can watch and vote for by sharing it.  The more shares the better – that’s what decides who wins.

Why do I want to win?

This is a major opportunity to turn so many lives for the better.  Two of my siblings have already agreed to go with me. We are going to buy tickets and invite the other two also.  Our mother passed away last year and we are just now finalizing the sale of her home. My sisters and brother have all had very challenging relationships and have experienced divorce and suicide up close- (as have I, though now I have a great relationship with my wonderful husboyfriend.) They all have children, some of whom have children. There are long-standing dynamics that could be transformed – many lives will be positively transformed by my winning those tickets.  For me, it would be a true miracle to have us all together at UPW in November.

Just making the final five on the merits of the Freebox Everyday Dance Project makes me very happy. I would love to get more people dancing.  As a coach, I know an experience like UPW will make me even better. I am so grateful to have this opportunity!



The Everyday Dance Project lives on…

I’ve thought a lot about the past year and what effect dancing everyday has had on me. I’ve made loads of new friends, I had a lot of fun, I stretched myself creatively and I can now say that I followed through and completed an enormous task. Though the year of daily dances are done, the commitment and the mission of The Freebox live on.

Times are tough everywhere and between moving to a new city, obsessing over this project and Mark’s magazine clients starting to fold….we have to take some drastic action, so I got a job as a hostess in a restaurant yesterday. It pays a fraction of what I would make teaching dance or using my other professional skills as an actor, choreographer and voiceover talent, but it’s regular work, the manager seems genuinely excited to have me there – and heck, maybe I’ll get the patrons dancing to their tables.

I’m telling you all that as a preamble to say that I’ll share with you my dream of how I’d like to see this project develop with the caveat that it’s only a dream until some resources and external support help me manifest the vision.

Dream -The Freebox is a movement (literally) that gives people the permission and freedom to dance -no matter how well or how badly, whether there is music or not, and in any location that inspires them; alone, with strangers and with friends.

Mission: Get people to Sit Less, Dance More – make “everyday dancing” a cultural norm.

Vision: Create fun public dance events, make fun, entertaining, high production value videos. Expand Thefreebox.org content to include videos from other Everyday dancers. Partner with a TV show or corporation that sees the cultural, creative and health benefits of The Freebox to provide content for their program and/or outreach programs.

Purpose: To make the world a happier place. To place a high value on dance as a form of community building and self expression. To encourage people to sit less and dance more.

In order to do turn the dream into a reality, I am looking to partner with people who:

  • Want to provide content (video or written posts) to this site about their everyday dance experiences.
  • Want to collaborate with me on producing public dance events
  • Have technological skills (mainly video production and web design) and want to partner in the mission of The Freebox.

Some people are in a position to really help me in this mission:

  • Do you work at a company that could use a Freebox dance event to promote its brand?
  • If you work in the advertising industry – do you have a client that could use Dance as part of a commercial campaign or to promote fun brand outreach events?
  • Do you work for a television show or a major website that would like to have a regular dance segment?

If you feel you have any interest in participating – leave a comment or shoot me an email Mary(at)thefreebox.org

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 36 – The Walmart Waltz

You asked for it, we delivered!  Please now…no-one ask for the Sears Salsa, the Lowes Lindy Hop or the Barnes and Noble Bolero.  Feel free to send in your own.  This really was fun and a real adrenaline pump. After doing it twice in one week with very little reactions from store patrons – and today’s only employee reaction was that she wanted to dance with us – it’s not a scary as a proposition as it seemed before.

I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please pass it along!

Day 223 – High Hopes

I’ve had a rough week so far. Seems that even the best intentions can sometimes go awry.  I believe that positive thinking is really important, just sometimes I’m not sure it’s enough.   That’s O.K. I’m choosing to turn things around…I’ve just been on one of those big dips on the rollercoaster – now I’m working my way back up. I thought the version of this song by Skanatra might do the trick today.

Day 217 – Prancing with Cara at the Nelson Atkins

I had a wonderful treat today. I made five new wonderful and interesting women today – all thanks to this project.  Cara Erickson-Parks contacted me after the article in the Kansas City Star came out last month. I just noticed it’s no longer on their website 😦  Oh well, back to Cara and her fabulous friends and family – Cara is a dancer, choreographer and dance advocate -a kindred spirit to myself.  We were very well received by the people who were in the Rozelle Court restaurant as we danced and pranced down the aisles. We had no music except what was in our hearts.

Thanks to Kevin at the Nelson Atkins for being in my video today as well. You’re role was delivered expertly 🙂 Thank you Jane for operating the camera – seems you’ve got a new calling as a cinematographer. Thanks Cara’s mom, aunt and sister for welcoming me to their family lunch.

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

I’ve always enjoyed dancing to this song. I think it’s a remixed version of the Wren and Stimpy theme song. I’m not sure…I just haven’t watched TV in many years and I only saw the show a couple of times.

Anyway, I had to make get things going pretty quickly here so I grabbed my hat and got on with it!

Day 214 – “Standing Ovation”

Today I was the warm up act for a pre-teen girl flick called “Standing Ovation” produced by Rocky Mountain Pictures. The pink wigs from last week’s fun-fest at Starbucks started out as part of this movie’s promotion. I was expecting a group of 10 – 13 year olds, but it was closer to 4 – 10 year olds. We had a lot of fun. I have to admit that I was pretty surprised when I watched this how smoothly everything went…I was totally winging it – and having fun!

I loved working with all the kids that came up to play with me and thank the mom’s who encouraged them!

Today’s the beginning!

Of course everyday is the beginning, every moment is. I won’t get all esoteric on you. I’ll just say that today feels like the beginning of a new phase; one full of opportunity, planning and tasks!

July is National Dance Day and I’ve got permission to have a Freebox dance on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum that day. Details are still being worked out…(tres exciting!)

If you’re reading this and want to volunteer a few hours to help produce an event for National Dance Day with me, please email me. I will email you back as soon as I have a clear first step.  Also, if you have something you feel you can contribute in the way of getting copies made or sponsorship support of any kind – get in touch now!

Details will follow, I’m in the process of creating a page on this site for the event. Please check back tomorrow!

I appreciate your holding a positive intention for an event that lights up Kansas City and beyond.

Today’s dance was cool because I didn’t even hear this song until after I filmed the close-up stuff….spooky how the muse works!

we agree to meet

in a common field

we are all in the dance

whether we like it or not.

Today, I’ll let let down my defenses

and dance alone, and together with you.

Think Pink – day 209 – at Starbucks

This morning we headed out to 39th Street Starbucks, KCMO for today’s Think Pink event there to support Susan G. Komen.

We had a lot of fun and even got most of the patrons to participate.  I love that they asked us to come and dance for the event…it feels really good to be a part of something that’s making a positive impact on the world.  My mother survived breast cancer, but her best friend (who I adored) did not.  I’ve had many friends who have dealt breast cancer either themselves or in their families.  I am grateful to do my small part in bringing awareness to the cause.

Thanks to Starbucks 39th St., all the patrons who participated (leave a comment and say hi!), Tyler and the gang at Allied Integrated Marketing who got me involved.