Thank you to the 130 of you who came out on Saturday to our 3rd Stop Drop and DANCE-A-THON at the San Rafael Community Center! We flooded the room in hot pink tanks and sweat hard to dance 44 (+1 to grow on) songs which was just under 3 hours!
Congratulations on this tremendous achievement!
Those of you who weren't there, this group photo was taken when all of a sudden, 3/4 through our dances, both speakers stopped working.
No more dancing.
And in that moment of panic, I had my husband run home to get the emergency cords (which I now realize I should have brought in the first place), and instead, we used this "intermission" to take this group photo.
What is "The Power With Grace?"
It was this very moment. The dancing literally stopped for 20 minutes, which is unacceptable at a "Dance-a-thon," and instead of criticizing, judging, or blaming me... you guys showed me GRACE. Permission to be flawed. To be imperfect. To be human.
For someone who is quite hard on herself, it was a fragile moment of almost breaking into tears. But instead, you guys embraced this moment and encouraged me to see this obstacle as an opportunity: A perfect time for a group photo.
This photo is that true birthday gift to me:
You gave me GRACE.
An Amazing Family!
Thank you to my family who drove all the way from the South Bay, reluctantly put on hot pink shirts, and even-more-reluctantly danced on stage to our intro song, "We Are Family!" They worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to set everything up, helped with check-in, and stayed to clean up afterwards too!
So grateful for my husband James, my girls Zaydee and Rylee, my parents Henry and Ning, my sister Ann, my BFF Karen and Dave, and our closest friends Brian and Thomasina!
My sister Ann and BFF Karen also surprised me by hiring Warren Difranco Hsu, a videographer and photographer to capture the event.
Click on the image to take a peek at one of the videos he edited of our event:
Lost and Found
I picked up about a dozen water bottles and a pair of rainboots after the dance-a-thon. Please come to an in-person class to claim them!
Also, if you accidentally picked up someone else's goody bag with our pre-ordered "Never Gonna Not Dance Again" hot pink tank, please let me know. We have a missing tank top mystery...
Thank you for a memorable weekend!
Almost-Didn't-Happen Flashdance Class!
About last Thursday.... At 9:05am I was setting up for class, I got a call from the administrator of UUMarin, where we rent space. She told me that the day before there was a potential gas leak in the building and I needed to cancel class.
On any normal Stop Drop and Dance class, that is already a big deal to cancel class literally 20 minutes before starting.
But last Thursday, it was a HUGE birthday class for Anna Barker, Sararose Barker, and Susannah Wallenstrom! Not only that, people were dressing up to the Flashdance theme, AND there was a casual community hangout planned with treats after class!
So no, cancelling class was not ok.
Of course it had to be raining too, otherwise, I would have just set up class in the parking lot! But no, that was not an option.
I had to accept that a gas leak was not a small matter and had to be taken seriously.
There was a glimmer of hope, however. I kept trying to find some creative solutions and found out from the administrator that PG&E was on their way at 10am (30 minutes after our normal start time). And so my only option was to postpone the start of class and wait outside (in the rain) until we got more answers.
Better than cancelling...
My heart sank as I left all my equipment in the room and went outside to wait and greet people to tell them the bad news.
What a disappointment!!!
And then miraculously (thank God!), in less than 5 minutes... the PG&E dispatcher arrived (45 minutes early).
I ran out in the rain to greet him, apologized for my leotard and leg warmer appearance, and he came in the building to assess the situation. Turns out, there was a fireplace on the other side of the building that was fine, but was what caused the smell of gas scare.
With the help of my dancers, I frantically finished setting up in those final few minutes and started class "almost" on time.
That was our magical blessing that was given to us last Thursday. We almost cancelled the entire class, but we ended up being able to celebrate together. Can't take anything for granted!
Happiest birthday to Anna, Sararose and Susannah who bought leg warmers for everyone and thank you to everyone who came and brought treats!
We're doing it again! Join us this Thursday, March 16th as we celebrate Gail Esh's birthday, 80's style!!!
Fundraiser For JED Foundation
Please join our birthday host, Marianne Jacobson, this Saturday, March 18th at 9:30am in "The Garage" for a Stop Drop and Dance Fundraiser for JED Foundation to strengthen the emotional health of teens and young adults, and to prevent substance misuse, self-harm, or suicide.
Even if you can't make the dance class, your donation is appreciated!
Click here to donate and dance!
A note from our birthday host, Marianne Jacobson:
Unfortunately, many of us have lost friends or loved ones to suicide. It is a tragic epidemic.
It is especially heart breaking when it happens to young people. In the last 10 years suicide among 10-24 year olds has increased 57%. And, over 40,000 people die from suicide in US annually.
About a year ago, we lost a close babygroup friend who my kids grew up with in SF. In the last 3 months 2 girls from Ross where I live, have taken their own lives, and then recently one of our dearest family friends attempted suicide…I feel overwhelmed and devastated by all of this thus I am compelled to do something. Dance brings me so much joy, and I want to be hopeful and help improve this terrible situation in some way, so, this year for my birthday, we will dance to raise funds for the Jed Foundation which offers education and prevention services to HS and college students at 9000 schools across America. Thanks for supporting this very serious cause with me.
Thank you for raising over $2000 already for this important cause. We hope you can join our fundraiser this Saturday!
With your donation, you can join us at 9:30am in-person at "The Garage" or on Zoom (scroll to the bottom of your Eventbrite confirmation for the link). In addition, everyone who donates will receive the on-demand video of our live class to dance from home for the entire week afterwards!
If you're coming in-person, Marianne requests to wear your gold or black "Shine Your Light" tanks!
Click here to purchase a "Shine Your Light" tank!
Jammin' With Jocelyn
I had the honor and privilege to share my story of how and why I started "The Power With Grace" with my dearest childhood friend, Jocelyn Auyeung.
Jocelyn is a Life and Leadership Coach and she recently launched her own podcast called, "Jammin' With Jocelyn!"
Listen to our podcast conversation in Episode 2: "The Deeper Meaning of Dance," plus learn more about Jocelyn's coaching services at: www.jocelynauyeung.com and follow her on Instagram at @jocelyn.auyeung!
"Do you love to dance, be in community with others, give and receive that magical natural endorphin energy, and connect with your power and grace within?
Grace Yu, the owner of The Power With Grace, and I dive into the deeper meaning of dance, her pivotal moments, and the life lessons that have led her to this season of life of creating a magical space and community for people to connect in a deeper and soul-fulfilling way through the mode of dance.
Today's episode is filled with insights and lots of laughter that will leave you feeling inspired and joyful."
Click here to listen to "The Deeper Meaning of Dance!"
Another Trip Around The Sun
Thank you to Erin Meyers for surprising me with a birthday cake (with my face printed on it!) after class last week!
My actual birthday last Friday was honestly, not so great. I hadn't slept well, I had to deal with some family issues, I received some not so fantastic news, I had to take care of getting a new water heater, and I was overwhelmed with a million to-do's for the dance-a-thon, so I worked non-stop until 3am.
But the next day was the Dance-a-thon, and I did exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday, with YOU.
We danced our hearts out.
We sweat until our shirts were soaked.
We smiled non-stop until our faces hurt.
We surrounded one another with love.
We shared pure energy and joy.
Thank you, friends.
For support, friendship, and GRACE.