Drea's Dream: How Dance Makes a Difference

Drea's Dream:  How Dance Makes a Difference

When I was two I had chickenpox.  It’s one of my earliest memories.  I’m told I had a bad case of it (I still have the scars) but I don’t remember the itching.  What I do remember was watching Dorothy Hamill on TV as she twirled and leaped through the air, dancing on ice.  I was mesmerized.  Dorothy’s sparkly dress was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  Covered in pink Calamine lotion, I jumped and spun around the living room in Spokane, trying to be just like her.  Watching TV was a rare treat, but with the chickenpox, I learned, the rules went out the window.  Then, things got even better.  Feeling sorry for me, my mom gave me my first Barbie doll.  This Barbie was a ballerina.  I could stick her foot in a special stand and make her spin around.  I hadn’t watched ballet yet, so I made my doll do figure skating moves…mostly spinning.  I loved that doll and I loved dancing. 

Thanks to the chickenpox, Dorothy Hamill, and Barbie, I was introduced to dance.  I’ve loved it ever since.  Dance made a time, which could have been traumatic, into a sweet memory.  And yes, sometime in the early 80s, I asked for (and got) the “Dorothy haircut”.   It was awesome.   

Other than some time on my high school dance team, I’ve never been a dancer.  But that has never stopped me from enjoying or benefiting from much of what dance has to offer.  I still appreciate a wild Zumba class every now and then.  And though I’m not a skilled dancer, the more I’m exposed to dance its various forms, the deeper my appreciation grows.  Watching ballet (performed well) will often move me to tears. Dance has, and always will be, an important part of my life.

My baby Ballerina

My baby Ballerina

Like me, my daughter was only two when she discovered dance.  Strangely enough, Barbie was also a part of her story.  She watched an animated version of Nutcracker Barbie and was soon dancing around the living room, leaping and twirling just as I did.  She couldn't wait to turn three- because that was the when the dance school would take her.  She has been dancing ever since, a veteran of countless Nutcracker shows.  She’s now seventeen and is a beautiful dancer who loves what she does.  Watching her dance is one of my greatest joys. 

Whether used as a casual outlet for exercise, stress relief, fun, or as a disciplined and skilled artistic performance, dance is one of the purest forms of expression available to us.   

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”

― Martha Graham

@@Dance and music have a unique way of allowing people to express emotions when words are inadequate.@@  

“Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Psalm 149:3

Having you noticed that even babies dance?  It's just a part of who we are.   It shouldn’t be off limits to anyone.  That’s why I was so excited to learn about the Andrea Rizzo foundation.  It’s an organization that raises funds for dance therapy for kids with cancer and other special needs.  I know that dance therapy, while beneficial, can also be expensive.   Families who are facing expensive medical bills already have so much on their plates.  I love that the Andrea Rizzo organization is doing something to make dance therapy possible for more kids. From their website,

“By interacting with children on a primarily non-verbal level, Registered Dance Movement Therapists utilize the healing powers of movement to access pain, transform feelings, expand communication skills, self-awareness, confidence, coping mechanisms and the ability to form relationships at their most vulnerable moments.” 

I realize that this has a departure from what I usually post, but I wanted to share this part of who I am with you.  I’m passionate about dance.  It has been an important part of my life for a long time.  I’m also passionate about sharing the love of Jesus, through loving people.  Those two passions intersect beautifully in this case.  I believe the Andrea Rizzo foundation is doing a great job of loving kids who need some extra care.  That’s why I’m happy to share this opportunity to partner with them as they raise money to continue to provide funds towards dance education for kids with cancer.   My daughter’s dance team is putting on an event called Drea’s Dream: Friday Night Lights, on August 19th to raise money for the Andrea Rizzo foundation.  It’s an event where dance teams from around Washington State can come and perform- with all the proceeds going to this great cause.  My daughter has a fundraising page where anyone (whether they can make it to the event or not) can donate to the Andrea Rizzo foundation.  I invite you to click over and take a look.  There’s a really sweet video there about who Andrea Rizzo is and how this foundation was started.  I know that you, dear readers, are a generous group.  Thank you for taking the time to read and learn more about this great cause. 

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