This week’s Dance First Member Insight is brought to you by Melissa Michaels, founder of Golden Bridge and SomaSource. Dance First members are sharing their insights and inspirations during this troubled time, as well as how they are coping. Plus links to live streams and online offerings for you.
This time out of time has brought some great challenges to our global Golden Bridge community. It has also provided us with a powerful opportunity to engage in collective revelation and unprecedented collaboration. Although our SomaSource training has focused on the frontier of somatics, social justice, and initiatory processes for decades, this pandemic has given us a clearer focus on the fissures in the social, environmental, and economic fabric of our global community.
We received reports of the impact COVID has had on our students in the early days of the pandemic. Many of our beloved dance mates found themselves in very different and all too often, highly compromised situations. The first wave came from our students in China. They offered stories of hope and resilience from their positions in quarantine, using their time at home for self-study and growth. On their heels came reports from resettled refugees, here in the United States, being forced into compromised work conditions. They had to quit immediately, redirecting their creativity towards developing sustainable means for survival outside of the systems that had abandoned them.
Our community members in the townships of South Africa, in the favelas outside of Rio de Janeiro, in the schoolyards of the Congo and Zimbabwe, and in villages of South India also reached out and revealed their need for basic necessities. Things such as soap, water, beans, rice, and internet access had become scarce, adding to the pandemic’s impact. The stories we received of individual isolation, family fragmentation, and young people living in risky situations were beyond unsettling.
Within Golden Bridge, we rapidly mobilized, making decisions about how we wanted to show up during this worldwide threshold experience.
We chose to begin with only one public online offering, Movement Mass , channelling all proceeds to our community members in need. You can read a few of the Stories of Impact and Resilience that demonstrate how those funds have been used to support SomaSource leaders and their communities around the world. The needs are many and ongoing.
We also chose to focus our energy on the emergent. We have been meeting as a global community online to create support structures that will endure long past this pandemic. From organizational restructuring to day-to-day programming, we have used this time to focus on what is ready to birth through this mighty collective of souls.
Above all, we continue to lean into our foundation, the endless pathways for resourcing in the face of rapid and disorienting change. Dance opens the door to access all of our tools for staying present. Prayer. Service. Artistic expression. Listening. Nature. Tending to others. Tracking sensations. Showing up. Sharing. Study. Ceremony. Creating beauty. Community. The list of resources for centering and seeing amidst the chaos is boundless.
We are vast. We can find our way through this epic descent, coming out stronger on the other side. We aim for going the Golden way, devoted to dancing our way towards our collective return. Join us.