Up and Coming

Make a Difference

The Struggle Is Real


June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

Dear Friends,

Orange is a Sign of Danger

When I was in elementary school, I remember two drills: the fire drill, where we would line up quickly and go out to the field, and the earthquake drill, where we would hide under our desks with one hand behind our head and the other hand holding onto the desk leg.

However, when I became a Kindergarten teacher almost 20 years ago, we officially added on a third drill: the "code red drill, aka stranger danger," as we told the kids. In this drill, all of my 33 kindergarteners hid under or around my desk, while I pushed and arranged all the desks to barricade our 2 doors. Really, code red meant active shooter on campus. Our new reality.

This week is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend.

"Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence."

Help us raise money for Moms Demand Action against gun violence!

This Thursday, June 3rd, at 9:30am, please join us as we WEAR ORANGE and Stop Drop And Dance for Moms Demand Action:

"Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. We pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. We also work in our own communities and with business leaders to encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership. We know that gun violence is preventable, and we’re committed to doing what it takes to keep families safe."

Thank you to Jennifer Gonzalez for organizing this event to raise money for the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. Please consider donating even if you are not available to dance!

Donate Here:


Orange is a Sign of Energy

When I think about the first 6-9months of the pandemic and the classes I taught on Zoom in my living room or deck, I waver between cringing, giggling, and bursting in gratitude that all of you gave me chance after chance (after chance).

* There was the countdown on Spotify: "OK press play on 3 - 2 - 1 - PLAY!" to try and sync our music and video.

* There was the I-can't-hear-you-Grace classes where I'd be giving shout outs and trying to be inspirational, but the microphone didn't work.

* There was the heart drop class when I'd be dancing and all of a sudden, your screens would all become frozen, meaning my internet failed.

* There was the wrong zoom link class where half of us were on one zoom and another half on another zoom.

* There was the neighbor that complained about my music on my deck, the yoga class that was so windy our mats were flying all over,the grass crop circles that apparently happens when you stay in one socially distanced spot and take a 3-hour-danceathon...

There were SO many failed moments like these... I could go on and on.

Then came PELO.

At the end of October when we had moved to the Orange Tier, I was ready to find a "permanent" outdoor spot.  I reached out to Alan Roberts at PELO in San Rafael, who I had been connected with by a mutual student (thank you Amy!). 

During the pandemic, Alan had the experience and knowledge to know how to set up a high quality sound/video system for his members.

Alan also was the first to think creatively and set up outdoor tents on the parking lot spaces in front of his building for what he called "Safe Outside" classes.

Alan not only let me rent his space Tu/Th for a very reasonable price, but he helped me eventually fine tune my equipment so that I could finally, finally, finally lead high quality sound and video hybrid and in-person classes.

Those of you who have been taking my Stop Drop And Dance classes this last half of the pandemic know the PELO space and how perfect it has been for COVID.  I am extremely grateful to Alan for sharing his space and his expertise with me, and helping me be able to continue to teach all winter and spring (in the rain, in the wind, and six-feet apart wearing masks!).

Hello and Goodbye

After making it over a year through the pandemic, I am sorry to share that Alan made his official announcement a few days ago that Pelo is closing its doors at the end of June.  

"Like many businesses, the Payroll Protection Program has been the lifeline we needed to see us through this pandemic and the shelter at home period. Unfortunately after 3 months of effort, we were unable to get our second round of PPP assistance due to some pretty terrible bungling by our bank. (who shall not be named here) 

Our landlord has been beyond generous in helping us to try to stay afloat, but without the SBA assistance we just cannot continue."

Most of us in this fitness industry don't make much and we are here to simply give and to share.  We love what we do, and we are addicted to making YOU feel happy and healthy. 

If you know Alan, or have taken classes at Pelo before, this is the time to reach out and thank him.  He would never ask for this, but I'm going to ask for him because he deserves all the praise and support for his hard work this past decade.  Alan, I hope you feel proud of the amazing small business you created on your own and I hope you can always look back at this chapter of your life knowing you changed the lives of many people, including mine.

To my Tu/Th in-person dancers... I am currently looking for a new spot starting in July... stay tuned...

Support Small Businesses

This past week, we celebrated Tammy Parr's birthday on Tuesday, and she is opening a food truck in San Anselmo called Center Depot! Her original opening date was May 4th, but it got delayed and now she is officially opening THIS WEDNESDAY, June 2nd!

Congratulations Tammy!!!  Can't wait to try your bubble waffles!!!

Orange is a Sign of Liberation

Last week, we also celebrated Rita Channon's birthday on Thursday, who danced all 75 minutes like a queen, with her mini crown on her head!

And today, June 1st, we celebrate Sara Rainbolt and Helen O'Shea at our 9:30am Stop Drop And Dance class.  If you can't make the live Zoom or in-person classes, remember that all live classes are available ON DEMAND for 2 days afterwards at:

"Orange is a color of liberation, from the pains of hurtful love and inner insecurities. 
To 'channel orange' is to truly be free, to be you."
- Frank Ocean

Happy June, friends.