Yesterday after my 9:30am Stop Drop And Dance class, I was starting to say goodbye when all of a sudden, everyone started holding up "Thank You" and appreciation signs on their little Zoom screens. It really caught me off guard, and I was SO confused. What was going on?? Then someone said to tell my husband to check the front door, and sure enough, there was a beautiful vase with bright orange flowers and a touching card plus chocolate bars! And then? My girls ran off to get their homemade signs, and even THEY knew about it?? I was totally baffled and overwhelmed, and no, it's not my birthday. Seriously, how did this happen and who was the thoughtful and brilliant mastermind behind it?? I still don't know, but thank you for making me cry in the best way. Thank you to all of you who were a part of it, and thank you to all of you who are taking the time to read this right now.
As embarrassing as it is to show, here is a video clip of what went down on Saturday morning and you can witness my genuine confusion:
I sure feel the love.
Because you are reading this, we share a connection. Maybe you are one of my students, maybe I am one of yours. Maybe we hang out in person, maybe we only know each other through our social media usernames. Maybe you dance with me every single week, maybe you've never taken one of my classes before. Maybe we share the same viewpoints, maybe we don't. But for whatever reason, you and I are connected through this post and I want to tell you:
I see you, I care about you, and I appreciate YOU.
We rarely know what seeds we've sown. But every single moment, we are changing the world. An email, a text message, a phone call, a conversation, a blog post, a video, an interaction with a stranger... everything has a ripple effect.
I remember the people who called 911 when I was 16 years old and I passed out in front of their house from anaphylactic shock (shrimp allergy). I remember my Harcourt Publishing finance boss during my college internship who told me that I should become a teacher if that was my heart's calling. I remember my husband hopping into my one and only marathon race at mile 19 because I was hitting a wall. I remember the homes and the faces of people who lived in the slums of Mathare when I went on a Kenya missions trip. I remember the prayers that were given to me when I was terrified to be on bedrest during my first pregnancy. I remember the friends who celebrated my 40th birthday last year by doing something crazy-just-the-way-I-like-it: by dancing 40 songs together.
We will ALL remember 2020.
You don't need me to recap the past 7 months, but it's been a downhill slope for all of us in so many ways. If you didn't see my social media Nutella post, well, this is my 15 second TikTok summary of 2020 so far.
My hope is that we will use the remaining 5 months of 2020 to climb back up that steep slope we've fallen down and spread more ripples of inspiration, of hope, of joy, of laughter, of courage, and of change...
I know I desperately need more good news to lift my spirits, and so I'd like to end this post with three bits of inspiration from this week, and one call to action.
1. Those of you there for my surprise on Saturday knew that my little one had a hip hop performance right after class. In a proud Mama moment, I just have to share this video. And I am almost tempted to teach her routine in one of my classes because Ms. Tara from Love2Dance just made the choreography look so so fun!
2. My signature "jump" logo that I use originally came from our closing birthday dance, "Da Da Ding." I first heard this song from an inspiring Nike ad, and had to choreograph to it. Well, Nike has done it again. Have you watched their latest "You Can't Stop Us" commercial that edited together 4,000 pieces of footage? Givin' me chills.
3. Watch Morgan Freeman reading the final words of the late John Lewis, titled, "Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation." Mr. Lewis requested this essay to be published in the New York Times on the day of his funeral, but trust me, reading it is one thing. Listening to Morgan Freeman reading it, is a whole different experience.
Finally, a call to action: have you checked your voter registration? All you have to do is go to https://registertovote.ca.gov/ and make sure your address is up to date. If you've never voted, this is the year to start. Just enter your information so that you can get a ballot to your home. The last day to vote is not November 3rd. The last day for online and mail-in voting is OCTOBER 19th.
We are finishing 2020 on a positive note.
Right??? Right. I am beyond grateful for you and I thank you for being part of my Stop Drop And Dance community. As I said in my video, "I wish I could give you all hugs."