When you think you can't...there's always more...

Some reflections on a week where giving was all I did - and all I wanted to do.

I had the honor of teaching in Slidell, Louisiana this past week for a summer intensive through iaminitforlife.com. The workshop was called A Dancer's Story and it was held at Galloway's Studio of Dance and Performing Arts. The dancers that attended the workshop were given master classes everyday and notebooks to write notes, quotes, thoughts, dance terms, new friends phone numbers - whatever went into their "dancer's story". They were asked to decorate the front of the notebook with whatever images and words described what dance meant for them. I taught opposite of a long time friend and inspiring human being - Garrett Minnitti.

The workshops pushed dancers to their limits, and beyond. That's the gift we're given as artists, we are pushed to the point where we think there is no more to give, and by God's grace, the universe...the human spirit - we push further and become whole. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually fulfilled. The funny thing is that as much as I felt I was sharing with these kids, they could only imagine, how much they had given ME during the week.

Most, if not all, of these kids and their families are survivors of Hurricane Katrina. I heard such inspiring stories. Some of them made me cry, some of them made me gasp, some of them gave me strength, all of them gave me light. After all these families had been through, here they were bravely sharing their stories, sharing them through dance. We got to visit New Orleans and some of the surrounding areas and what I got from the short week I had there was that the people here new how to celebrate life. Go to Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, Jackson Square, among it's devastation, there are people celebrating all they have NOW.

During the week, I also volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in Slidell. It amazes me, how after 5 years there is still so much to be done. There are still so many homes that need to be built and areas that need to be cleared of rubble. What surprises me is the fact that this place is not over seas, it's not a different country. There's still so much healing that needs to be done - that can be done - but for some reason, has been forgotten.

We taught classes, we volunteered, we put a flash-mob together to raise awareness and funds, and as much as I felt like I did during that week - I still feel like I could do more, give more. One thing I do know, is that that trip was definitely not my last.

My heart and thanks to all those I crossed paths with, and those I have yet to.