JAM SESSION

The slogan of the Freestyle Dance Jam held at Chautauqua Hall every Friday night is “Dance Like No One Is Watching.” Your story, however, illustrated little understanding.

The best way to understand what happens on this dance floor is to experience it. The Dance Jam is a weekly opportunity to drop into your own movement energy without the judgment, to get out of your head, and listen to your own rhythm. 

When people arrive I invite them to find a comfortable space on the floor to stretch and listen. “How does my body feel now?” Tired or awake, introverted or extroverted, calm or stressed, playful or introspective. From this place of listening we learn to dance through feelings and drop into the core of spirit. Since every week we arrive with new experiences and emotions, each dance is unique.

Who would you be if given a safe container to express yourself without social constructs? Who would you be if you took away the “steps” and the “methods,” and let yourself “be danced,” if only for just a moment?

Over six years more than 500 people have experienced the Dance Jam, which has evolved into a community, one that shows up for each other for celebrations and challenges, marriages and fundraisers, births and deaths. As participants shed their fears and inhibitions through dance, in a drug- and alcohol-free environment, they become more awake to their own expression, more fully alive– both on and off the dance floor. With this practice, we can more gracefully dance through all of life.

Donna Linda Kaufman | Monterey

MORE OF THE SAME?

On Friday, U.S. missile attacks in Pakistan killed 22 suspected Al-Qaeda members, although witnesses on the scene say many of the dead and wounded were women and children.

 In Afghanistan, President Karzai has condemned a raid by U.S. forces which he claims took the lives of 16 Afghan civilians on Saturday.

That same morning, U.S. forces killed an Iraqi couple in their bed as their daughter slept between them.

These tragedies all occurred within Barack Obama’s first 100 hours as commander-in-chief.  Is this part of the “change” Obama promised?

Martin Luther King– whose memory was repeatedly invoked at Obama’s inauguration– once called the United States, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” For those on the receiving end of U.S. violence, it appears that Obama is not bringing change, but more of the same: more sorrow, more tears, and more blood.

Phillip Crawford | Monterey

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