Do you know that great feeling you get when you help someone out? Have you ever found yourself stepping up to make a difference just because you can? Can you imagine how valuable your insight or wisdom might be to someone in need?

Whenever you make a move that helps someone else out, you actually improve your standing in the world. It’s the difference between abundance and scarcity, because the fact is, you’ve always got something to offer.

I’m not talking about life as a zero-sum game, the mindset whereby giving something of yourself means that you have less. The essence of what I call “contributor culture” is the belief that there is always a win-win solution for any challenge or problem you might face. And that as a culture and species, we can collaborate and contribute in such a way that creates a better world for everyone, not just a few winners at the top.

Maybe you feel spent. Out of gas and tired of doing everything for everyone around you and not enough for yourself. If so, this sounds like you have your ‘value cycle’ out of adjustment. If you are worn out from giving too much for too little, think about how value works and see if you can improve things for yourself.

We all have many forms of value to offer. First we CREATE it in some way, develop a practice, write a book, build a platform, or offer coaching or counseling. Then we CONVEY it to others somehow, be it marketing, advertising, or word-of-mouth. The third step, and the crucial one that is all too easy to fall short on, is to CAPTURE a fair share of that value and complete the cycle.

We’ve lived this firsthand here at Conscious Dancer. Before we shifted the business into a membership model and founded theDance First Association, I would sometimes joke that I worked at “the desk of 1,000 favors.” People all over the world could easily see the value we create via the MoveMap on our website and this newsletter that reaches many thousands of very influential people around the world in the conscious dance field.

So several times a day I would receive requests to help promote events, plug workshops, or publicize practices on our website or in this newsletter. Obviously since we are one of the most visible voices in the field, it’s only natural that we would want to help everyone out, right? The answer is, yes, of course! But for one small factor, we aren’t supported by grant money, nor are we independently wealthy philanthropists.

So asking people to chip in on an ad hoc basis, or buy some piecemeal advertisements rarely worked. And it left us stretched far too thin, and unable to provide the level of service hardworking conscious dance leaders deserve. That’s when it became clear that to truly build a platform that could be effective, we needed to invite people to become members and close the loop on our value cycle.

So now when you join Dance First, you have have carte blanche access to post classes and events on the MoveMap, include your workshops or retreats in the big list at the bottom of this newsletter, and enjoy privileged editors access to our Facebook Page. We also offer practice-building support, marketing tutorials, and an online community forum for our members.

Plus we are able to keep a full time assistant on staff who posts your event links out to all seven of our social media platforms, more than any sane person could manage on their own! We maintain a daily presence on all of these and encourage you to follow us and share on your platforms of choice. FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest,LinkedInGoogle+, and Reddit.

The key to sustainable contribution is to create a scalable and self-supporting system. A well designed system takes sustained input until it reaches a tipping point that allows it to grow on its own. The field of conscious dance in general and our project in particular have a long way to go to fulfill the vision.

When it comes to things like creativity, caring, kindness, and empathy, we are all deep wells of abundance. You have an endless supply of contribution at your fingertips. And while it may seem like there are others around you who are better equipped, remember, they’re only a handful compared to the many who need and will appreciate your help.

Keep your dance in balance and always take good care of yourself. Your gift as a giver depends on you letting yourself thrive!

Have a great Valentine’s week, and I’ll see you next Monday for more love!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

PS: I’m DJing at the Silicon Valley Sunday Morning Ecstatic Dancethis coming Sunday, Feb 18th. Come on out for a great groove!

DANCE FIRST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Biodanza with Julie Neustadter

This week’s Dance First member spotlight shines on Julie Neustadter, aka Biodanza Julie!

As a long-time and well-loved member of the Bay Area conscious dance community, she’s one of the driving forces behind bringing Biodanza to the forefront.

Becoming a Biodanzero is a serious undertaking, it’s a long and detailed training, and there are many layers of understanding to develop before you are able to prepare a ‘vivencia’ and share the practice with a group.

The late founder of Biodanza, Chilean-born Rolando Toro called the practice of Biodanza “the poetry of human connection.” Biodanza uses a mixture of dance and music, carefully chosen for its rhythmic qualities with the aim of helping people reconnect with their passion, vitality and sensuality to release the power of expression held deep within.

Julie works hard to hold space and create community with Biodanza with her weekly classes in Marin County and special events and appearances around the Bay Area.

Join her this coming Wednesday evening when her regularly scheduled class in San Rafael falls on Valentine’s Day! Whether you are single or happily coupled, this class is an opportunity for you to drop deeper into your spirit of humanity and enjoy the benefits of enhanced connection.

The theme is “Friendship and Love.” Here’s what Julie says about it:“This class is perfect for anyone single, in a relationship or somewhere in between who is looking for a wonderful evening full of fun and laughter where they will feel adored and vibrantly alive.

And to make it even more enticing, she’s offering it for half-price, which is two-for-one, so grab a friend or partner and come on out!

Thanks for carrying the torch for conscious dance Julie, your dedication to Biodanza is an inspiration! We’re happy to support your work with the services of Dance First and wish you well with all your movement endeavors!

Special Valentine’s Day Biodanza class with Julie Neustadter
Wednesday, Feb 14, 8-10pm, Body Vibe Studio, San Rafael, CA

Learn more about Julie and read her Biodanza Monograph!