Welcome to our July 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 wonderful beginning to an ongoing conversation and sense of community for everyone involved. Enjoy.
S U P P O R T
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.
S U P P O R T
What you'll find this month:
Supporting Survivors - An incomplete list of ways to help offer support to a survivor of sexual violence
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
OFFERING SUPPORT TO SURVIVORS
Supporting survivors of sexual violence is THE most important aspect of our mission. For 10 years EDP has committed to eradicating the stigma, secrecy and shame associated with surviving childhood sexual violence. It is fundamentally important to have conversations about sexual violence and sexual abuse. We believe that at our very core. We want to help those who have experienced these traumas to find hope for healing and gain access to resources for their journey to wellness. That being said, we cannot offer a single solution to moving on from these difficult traumas. What we can do is offer a little insight into what has helped us become better supporters and advocates for survivors of sexual violence. Here are just a few.
We believe it is important to listen. Sometimes that is what someone needs. Just to be heard.
We believe it is not your fault.
We believe you.
We don’t offer advice and we don’t force or recommend any actions for you to take with your perpetrator – we are not mandated reporters and we don’t file police reports. That is not our role.
Ask for consent always. When someone’s boundaries have been violated, it is important to be sensitive to their needs and respect how they choose to navigate. Even something like asking before you offer a survivor a hug matters.
This path is not one you have to walk alone.
Here is a short excerpt from the accompanying narration to each and every EDP performance. We hope it brings you a sense of how we support survivors.
Place your love into a vessel and let them drink,
Fill them with what they no longer have and cannot create on their own.
Use kind words to build for them, new pillars of support.
So that their walls will no longer crumble and fall.
Open their hearts, and replace the storm of despair with,
Gentle skies of hopefulness.
Let the clouds in their mind be peaceful,
So they can rest their heads and feel at ease.
Victims become survivors. Healing can happen.
The journey to healing is complex and no two paths are the same.
But this path is not one that survivors have to walk alone.
Kindness and patience can help them move forward.
Small gestures can ease the hardship.
Offer support in the words you share with them.
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.
THOUGHTS ON SUPPORT
The most effective support I have received has been given freely, reflexively, almost unconsciously and with an open heart. The only intent was to help and educate. There was no expectation of a return on investment. In dance photography, the support flows in both directions- the dancers giving all of themselves to their process and the photographer in his own zone capturing their movement and enhancing the images in post. This bidirectional flow of support and energy is apparent on the review of the finished work. If you are fortunate, this process is repeated often over many years and results in both trust and mutual respect. In my opinion it has also resulted in my best work.
View more of Larry's brilliant dance photography by clicking here. Photographs included are from the recent collaboration with Larry Hanelin and the EDP dancers shot in Sabino Canyon using infrared photography. Stunning!
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!