“ Support and encouragement are found in the most unlikely places.”

 ~ Raquel Cepeda

How often do you stop to think about the people who are your supporters in one way or another? If you’re contributing creatively to society somehow, then you probably have a constellation of folks who either support or encourage or promote or help you along in life in some way or another.

All sorts of actions can become wind in your sails. Any number of things can qualify as support. Sometimes it’s just a kind word of encouragement. Maybe it’s someone who appreciates your creativity buying a work of your art. The person who signs your paycheck. Folks who show up to your class or training on a regular basis. Members of your association! Buyers of your book! Fans of your music!

Sometimes the people who are behind you are your personal friends, people you know on a first name basis who have your phone number or show up in person. Support can come from someone completely anonymous, hiding behind a cryptic username or handle.

If you’re like me, a lot of what you do is simply because it’s a labor of love. The turntables in my house are spinning at least two or three hours every day, upwards of 20 or 30 hours a week. Way back at the start of the pandemic I figured out how to pipe my soundtrack out to the web of the wide world, so now I share my music with whoever happens to tune in at least a couple times a week for a few hours at a time.

I would be playing my records, whether anyone else was listening or not. But when I’m plugged in and playing live, there is another layer of energy that adds to it since there’s a sense of connection.

My shows aren’t for everybody. The music I choose to play on any given day or evening may or may not be your cup of tea. Since my DJing moved from a live dance floor to more like a private radio station format I have a lot more leeway to play different kinds of music as the mood suits me. So I played jazz, blues, psychedelic rock, disco, funk, soul, as well as the occasional mixed house and techno set. The art of the LP is another piece of the puzzle I love to share, so I post a thread of the covers on Mastodon as I spin and have a video feed of the LPs set up with my turntables.

Some listeners have come and gone, others have stuck around, and a few have became good friends of mine. There are a handful of people who must have their notifications turned on, because they generally show up as soon as I start playing. Folks have a  lot of ways to spend their time, so if someone chooses to devote it to you, that means they are passing on Netflix, their newsfeed, or any of the millions of distractions that today’s screens and stream have on offer.

This is what I mean by wind in your sails. I would be playing my records for myself and my sweetheart Isabelle regardless, but having a few people along for the ride with us makes it special. If you haven’t joined us for a live set yet I hope you do soon, and in the meantime you can sample hundreds of hours of recordings on my Soundcloud page.

Regardless of who they are, how many of them there are, or the magnitude of their support, turning your gratitude back around to acknowledge them personally is always a good idea. You will never go wrong letting fork know how much you appreciate their support.

Contribution is like a dance, there’s always a good amount of give and take, back and forth, expression and reflection, and reciprocal flow. Like your body, it works best when you keep the energy moving!


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