JAGs Birthday Bash

My 49th birthday is June 15, 2015. Forty-nine is a big year for me because it completes the seventh cycle of seven years.  Every seven years I undergo a major shift in personality and perspective.  It isn't usually an instantaneous thing, but something that happens over a several-year period. The most recent change could be felt beginning in February of 2014 during my First Degree Black Belt training and continued throughout most of the year. And I feel like I'm still adjusting to the new me; I can't wait to see what I become this time.

In the meantime, to celebrate this event, I'm inviting all of my Nia family to come and party with me. I have reserved the Century Ballroom on June 13 from noon to 4pm.

At noon I plan to teach my latest routine, Frankie Say Nia.  I have taught it plenty of times in Seattle, but that was before I took it on the road. When I take it around from place to place, I get a chance to refine and improve it at every stop, based on how the students respond to it. So it is now at a place that I feel very proud of, whereas when I had taught it in Seattle in the past, I was still feeling my way through it.

After that, at one pm, I want to play around with a song for inclusion into my 2016 routine. The working title of the routine is Community Network Synergy. The idea is that I am calling on the creative energy of my friends and colleagues to co-create all of the choreography this year. So far, I have worked with six different communities (Santa Monica, Santa Fe, Sedona, Kansas City, Dallas/Houston and Boise) and we have put together six songs. I'm halfway done with the routine. I want to include Seattle in the mix and I have chosen a song that I'd love to work with, but I'm also open to hearing other suggestions. I would like the song to be something that 'speaks to' the community or that represents the community in some way. It could be from a local artist, or a song about the city, etc. This is not a hard and fast rule, but simply a suggestion to help in coming up with song choices.

Then, when the song is chosen, what I'll do is share the method I use when I create choreography for my routines. But instead of using my creative energy, I want to use the creative energy of the teachers and students in attendance.  I will orchestrate it so that we use my method of creation, but I will be plugging in movement 'clicks' and inspirations entirely from my colleagues.

So far this has been an incredibly rewarding experience as I am inspired to use movements and songs I never would have thought of. I'm thrilled at how this routine is going to get me outside of myself and forge a new path for me in my creativity.

Here is the song I am considering for using in Seattle.  As I said, I'm open to other suggestions.

In my experience, it takes about 2 hours to fully realize the choreography to a song using the group method. And then, with the last hour, from 3 to 4 pm, I will teach a song or two from Frankie Say Nia so that the teachers in attendance will be able to teach them in their classes.

In the future, I may put together an entire playshop for learning the routine, but for now, this is the only means for learning the songs from me.

So what is the cost, you ask?  Nothing. It is my birthday, so it is my pleasure to present this to my community. I will be putting out the donation bowl in case anyone would like to contribute to the JAG & River Road Fund. Every little bit helps as we trek across the country. Staying in motels and filling up the gas tank every day can get a bit expensive.

So come and play with me on my birthday. Enjoy some Frankie Say Nia "80s New Wave" Nia and help to co-create next year's routine.

EVENT: 'Frankie Say Nia' routine and Choreography Creation Playshop

DATE:  Saturday, June 13

TIME: Noon - 4pm

LOCATION: Century Ballroom; 915 E Pine St.; Seattle WA

COST: FREE!  (donations gladly accepted)

WHO: Anyone is welcome; teachers, belts and students alike!


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