Welcome to our October issue of EDPeeps! Thank you so much for joining us on this journey. We are so grateful for your support, and we hope this will be a space for ongoing conversation and a sense of community for everyone involved. Enjoy.
Happy July, dear EDPeeps!
I love this month’s theme of support, and actually looked up the definition. Merriam-Webster defines support as a transitive verb in the following ways (this is only a partial list):
1. : to endure bravely or quietly : BEAR
2. a (1) : to promote the interests or cause of
(2) : to uphold or defend as valid or right : ADVOCATE
(3) : to argue or vote for
b : ASSIST, HELP
4. a : to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for
Support, as mentioned above, is the essence of Esperanza Dance Project in every way. Let’s start with dance on a physical level. As dancers we spend our lives strengthening our bodies in order to do the things that our art asks us to do. A strong core is imperative for dancers to support our spines in order to move through the space with strength, power, grace, ease and beauty. Dancers talk about “giving and taking support.” We do partnering work that is all about leaning, lifting and often bearing the weight of one another.
Esperanza Dance Project is not only about the physical aspect of dance, which is what makes us stand out from other dance companies. We utilize the power of dance to advocate, promote a cause, defend, validate, assist and help. We create and nurture a sense of community beginning with our EDP community, which is strongly based on support.
It is so profound to be able to use our art in the way that we do. I am forever grateful to be on this journey of giving and receiving support in small, simple ways and simultaneously in infinite ways that all began with my love for dance.
We at Esperanza Dance Project are here. Please reach out to us if you are in need of support.
Artistic Director, Founder
This month we are taking a look at support. How to offer support, getting involved with a supporting community, supporting survivors in your own life, supporting your own growth.
What you'll find this month:
ADVOCATE: A Definition - A brief definition on the term and in exhaustive list of advocacy points to consider.
Thoughts on Support - Larry Hanelin, talented photographer and long time collaborator shares his take on creative support
Poem of the Month - Poem of the month by dancer Abby Manrique
Go Grrrls- Supporting youth in the community - A week long free summer camp for female identifying youth to share with the young adults in your life
New Solo Movement Moment - New choreography by dancer Gabi Chancay!
Curated Content- Get the best reading recs, podcasts and playlists here!
Comment Section - We'd love to hear how you receive and offer support, share your thoughts here
Advocacy is a term and process taken from the legal model. It is defined as "one who pleads the cause for another," as in individual advocacy, or "one who argues for defends, maintains, or recommends a cause or proposal," as in the case of class advocacy. Being an advocate is not the same as being a counselor. Professional counselors typically have advanced degrees in counseling, social work, or therapy. A person who has been sexually assaulted has had control taken away from them by the perpetrator. The goal of peer advocacy is to give survivors support. Advocated must have a clear understanding of their role. As an advocate this responsibility does not mean making decisions for the client- even though it sometimes may seem easier to do so.
Advocacy is a core value of Esperanza Dance Project, and we implement it by providing annual peer advocate trainings to all performers and board members.
What is an advocate in a nut shell? An advocate has a set of skill that enable them to help those who need it. In a peer group setting, an advocate is a confidant, someone to trust and confide in.
One of the most important aspects of being a peer advocate is to listen. Respect: Let the survivor know you honor their experience and identify their courage for reaching out for support.
As stated above, the peer advocacy role is not that one of a counselor. We don't recommend offering advice, because each circumstance and individual is unique and no journey to healing is the same.
Peer advocates versus mandated reporters: Mandated reporters are required by law to report any cases of sexual violence (domestic violence and other forms of abuse) to authorities. Teachers, social workers, and other positions require mandated reporting. Survivors reserve agency to decide when they are ready to disclose information about their experiences. Peer advocates are not obligated to report when someone discloses to them. This gives space for people to move at their own pace for finding recovery.
It is very important to get help when needed. Advocates or the person disclosing may need help making decisions about what to do next. An advocate is there to listen, but does not need to know all the answers and "fix" the problem. Knowing when to reach out for additional support is a monumental step. Please consider our Resource Page for some organizations that might help fit a variety of needs.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of how to become an advocate. We highly encourage you to reach out to us if you are interested in our peer advocate training and to seek additional educational material to deepen your understanding of advocacy.
It takes strength to recover.
The heart re-learning to trust.
The body shedding old skin cells every second.
Removing that which creates problems to make room for something better.
Time cannot change what happened,
but time can help shape the relationship with your scars.
You can learn how to accept, forgive, and love the person you have become.
Letting go of the crutches that carried you on your journey and moving forward towards your house of hope.
Trauma that once kept you frozen, now melts away in the morning sunlight.
Esperanza is the hope that helps carry you out of the darkest tunnels of life.
Use it to build yourself a home filled with love, empathy, and understanding.
Find the Esperanza in your life.
Clench it from the darkness.
Feel the support build up around you.
Let Esperanza lift you up, and use it as a source of life.
If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We have a wonderful collection of resources here, local and national. You can contact us here. Below you will find additional content on offering support in our Curated Content section.
ADVOCACY TO ME
Advocacy to me is adjusting your mindset.
Advocacy to me is dedicating your time.
Advocacy to me is vocalizing your needs.
Advocacy to me is opening doors for others.
Advocacy to me is calling out wrongs you see.
Advocacy to me is admiring those who did the work before.
Advocacy to me is creating space for others.
Advocacy to me is yielding to those who know better.
Advocacy to me is not just for me but for everyone.
POEM OF THE MONTH
A huge part of what makes our performances so powerful is through the dynamic use of spoken word. Our dancers recently participated in a writing workshop to create new material for "House of Hope." Each month we will be sharing a poem written by the dancers.
Unable to Sleep
Please show me that something is up there
Let me feel the wind on my face while lying in a field
Let the sun touch my skin as if it was the first time
Have mercy to let me feel the ache of heartbreak
Taking a risk and having it fail
But moving forward and learning from my mistakes
Let me speak to someone late at night
All I want is to put trust into someone without separate intentions
To feel used but wanted, and to taste bitterness on my tongue
I want pain and laughter and even sadness that lingers on
I just want a hug even if it comes with the pain of breaking a bone
Give anything to me on this sleepless night
As long as it ends this gut wrenching, endless
Feeling of being
THE GO GRRRLS PROGRAM
Do you know any female identifying and non binary youth between the ages of 11-14 in Pima County? Child and Family Resources is offering a free summer summer camp!
The Go Grrrls Program is excited to announce our FREE weeklong July Summer Camp to help connect female-identifying youth (including non-binary) ages 11 - 14 within Pima County.
Participating youth get to meet other female-identifying youth in their community while learning important skills and supporting their budding sense of identity.
Who: Youth entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade (ages 11-14)
What: Weeklong camp, Monday through Friday
Time: 9:30 am - 2 pm (Lunch & snacks included)
Where: Casa de los Ninos at 5th Ave. and Speedway Blvd. (more specifics given with registration)
When: July 19th-23rd, 2021
SOLO MOVEMENT MOMENT
Each new season of Esperanza Dance Project means it's time for new movement to be created. The first piece of each performance begins with all of the dancers entering and using spoken word and original movement to begin "I Don't Pray Anymore." This is the first opportunity for dancers to show their own voice and create movement that resonates with their own unique experience and dance background.
While years past poetry to inspire the movement was provided from the first writing workshop, this year we took the opportunity to create all new poetry. Derived from a writing workshop facilitated with local artist Kimi Eisele, the dancers created new poetry, shared with each other durring rehearsal, and created all new solos utilizing these new phrases and thoughts.
Please enjoy this amazing solo choreographed by Gabi Chancay,
"A Struggle in Solitude"
PLAYLISTS & PODCASTS
6 Steps to Support a Survivor
(Never underestimate your power to affect the course of a survivor’s healing journey.)
5 Ways I Help Myself When My Job is to Help Others
(Here are five ways I help myself, so I can better help those I serve.)
Self Care While Helping a Friend
(It’s important to know when being challenged can be too much.)
On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse
(Dealing with misinformation, feeling powerless, and slowly getting better together)
Lovers & Survivors: A Partner's Guide to Living With and Loving a Sexual Abuse Survivor Paperback – January 1, 2010
by S. Yvette de Beixedon
Baddie Vibes for Self Care Playlist
Beautiful Stories by Anonymous People
We'd love to hear your feedback, your thoughts, and most importantly, how YOU are staying creative these days! Please join our private Facebook group dedicated to our EDPeeps. On this group page we will be able to communicate and share ideas and find inspiration form each other!
This website includes information and content referring to sexual trauma and may have the potential to cause intense emotions for any reader.