Celebrate Life

Up and Coming

Inspire Me

A time to pray and a time to dance

April 24, 2021

April 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

There were MAJOR prayers answered this week with the verdict of Derek Chauvin found guilty of George Floyd's murder.  Two steps forward!

Yet at the exact same time the verdict was read, Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl lost her life by the hands of police.  One step back...

More prayers.
More frustration.
More helplessness.
What can we do?

On Monday, I attended a free iHollaback.org training called "Bystander Intervention." In a time when racism and hate violence seem constant, I felt like I needed some tools so I know how to intervene and respond if I am ever a witness, or victim, to future incidents.

I highly recommend taking one of their trainings!  I finished the Zoom session feeling better equipped with indirect and direct ways of intervening, and I hope that I will be able to use one of those techniques versus my normal reaction of "freeze or flight."  

They offer MANY one-hour online harassment trainings to address specific areas of bystander training including:

  • gender-based street harassment
  • youth
  • the workplace
  • voter harassment at the polls
  • police sponsored violence and anti-black racist harassment
  • stopping anti LGBTQ+ harassment
  • anti asian-american and xenophobic harassment
  • online abuse
  • learning differences
  • ...and more!

and they do it FOR FREE!!!  Therefore, I would love to support them by donating in honor of May as AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) month!  More information to come next week...

Please save the date on Saturday, May 8th, for a Stop Drop And Dance Donation Class for iHollaback.org!

Support Inclusion With Best Buddies!

On Tuesday, April 27th, we will be recording a special Stop Drop And Dance class that will be donated as a "Month of Movement" activity for the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, which takes place on May 1st.

Best Buddies empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.

Over $120,000 has already been raised in the San Francisco chapter! Thank you to Stefanie Taylor for organizing this event!

Watch the 1-minute video below to learn more about Best Buddies and click here if you feel inspired to donate!

Celebrate Tanya Burdick's Birthday and raise money for San Rafael Public Schools! This Saturday, May 1st, please join us in "The Garage" in Terra Linda (or on Zoom) as we celebrate Tanya's Birthday Fundraiser to support HeadsUP (San Rafael Public Education Foundation)!

HeadsUp's mission is to bring critical enrichment and support programs to San Rafael schools, providing equitable opportunities for students while building community district-wide.

Your donation will help students from all of the following schools (grades K-12):

  • Bahia Vista
  • Coleman
  • Davidson Middle School
  • Glenwood
  • Laurel Dell
  • San Pedro
  • Sun Valley
  • Venetia Valley
  • Madrone High School
  • San Rafael High School
  • and Terra Linda High School

Click here to donate on Eventbrite and check your confirmation page for directions on how to join class on Saturday!

Did you hear what happened on Tuesday?

My sister’s birthday was two weeks ago, but she was out of town, so I asked if she wanted to celebrate this past Tuesday in our Stop Drop And Dance class.

My sister lives an hour and a half away so she always joins on Zoom. She agreed to creating a 75 minute playlist, but she specifically requested that I “don’t spotlight her” on Zoom (aka making her the main screen).

I said ok, no problem.

Tuesday morning,I arrived at Pelo Fitness to set up as normal at 8:45am,45 minutes before class, and after I parked, I looked over at the car next to me, and my sister was looking back at me.

I completely froze and it took me seriously 30 seconds to process everything!!!

My sister had woken up super duper early (and she's not an early-riser), to drive an hour and a half to my dance class, so that she could “Stand By Me” for HER birthday!!! Plus she brought goody bags for all the in-person dancers!!! Over-the-top!

I was in complete shock and she totally surprised me (and my parents who are also regulars on Zoom) in the very best way!!!

Despite just getting her second vaccine the day before on Monday, she danced the entire 75 minutes on camera next to me.

My big sister!!!
100% supportive.
100% thoughtful.
100% selfless.

You guys, am I lucky or what? 🥰
(PS obviously the matching from head to toe was coincidental too!)

What is in your control?

Other people's words, actions, and beliefs are not in our control.
Life, death, and everything in between that happens accidentally is not in our control.

How we respond and react to everyone and everything IS in our control.

On Monday, I got educated on what to do if I am ever a bystander to a hate or racist incident.
On Tuesday, my sister went out of her way to bring me so much happiness.
On Wednesday, I brought my Miya home and cried with my kids as we found the perfect spot to keep her.
On Thursday, I got my second vaccine.  
On Friday, I listened to my body and slept.
On Saturday, today, I share my heart with you in these newsletters.

Keep looking up. 
Keep moving forward. 
Keep giving. 
Keep living.



Some highlights from the week:

Top Left: Mother & Son Lisa & Blake showing us how to dance to "Lottery"

Top Right: Jane's Mini-me dancing to "Levitating" from our YouTube channel

Bottom Left: Araceli, Allyson, and Stephanie getting "SPICE-Y"

Bottom Right: Aimee's sister, niece, and mom Sandy dancing in Portland, Oregon