100 hours

Did I tell you - I don’t think I told you! - that I spent over 100 hours this winter working on a huge, multi-year operational grant for my itty bitty organization, Joanna and The Agitators?

I was obsessed with it, couldn’t stop working on it, stayed up ‘till the wee hours of the morning for months - refining, caressing, holding it close. 

After all the sweat, tears, and blood that poured from my body throughout this process, — dripping and pooling directly onto the grant application — I can say with pride:


I didn’t get it.

Thank my lucky stars.

Sure, it would have been great to get a big ole’ check in the mail next week - who wouldn’t want that?

But then what?

Then I would be tied to a system, a paradigm, and a way of being an artist in the world, that I can no longer abide by.

I would be accountable to a group of people that frankly, I don’t want to be accountable too.

There are many reasons for this that I won’t get into here, but I will say that

there was a lot of i dotting and t crossing, and that just isn’t me. 

I don’t jump through hoops well — I always seem to miss the hole, and usually end up bashing my knee on the edges instead.

I’m an odd bird, always have been, and I don’t want to pretend I’m not.

But I’m proud, really proud of the work I did, because I walked through fire with this thing.

It almost felt like I went through some sort of dying ritual —  like I had to partake in this torturous process that turned me into a complete loon for a few months — just ask Glen — in order to finally let go, and to finally be free.

Sure, I’m poorer than I would have been if I had gotten the grant, but ultimately, at the end of the day, I have more freedom to explore exactly how I want to explore and investigate this creative life.

The classes I teach, and the people I get to work with when I teach, feel so rich, so honest, so potent, and so exactly right for me, that that is what I want to be doing more and more of.  That is what I want to spend hours and hours working on.  That is what I want to refine, caress, and hold close, as I fall asleep every night.

In terms of performing, art making, and dancing:

You remember the abyss, yes?


I’m OUT!


I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but I  clawed my way up those walls, and I’m OUT baby.

Just in time for spring too. :)

I finally climbed out on Friday, March 18th after the 4th Dog Dance happened.

The material I have been exploring for awhile now with Andrew settled in my body and my being.

It landed in a way so that I was able to stay the course.

I was able to follow the trajectory of the work.

This whole new side of my artistic practice emerged, FINALLY. 

(Phew, that was a hard run for awhile there).

And I know it will melt away and go into hiding sometimes.

I know I will fall into the abyss again and again throughout my artistic life.

But now I know that the possibility is there, and that that possibility has weight, substance, and


The weirdest thing happened to me while performing Dog Dance in March.

I maybe shouldn’t tell you, because it’s odd, and I don’t know what it means,  but as I was following the thread of what was unfolding, anytime I felt myself slipping away from that thread, thereby losing presence and attention to the situation, I would say to myself, in my head, over and over again:

I’m a Jew.

I’m a Jew.

I’m a Jew.

until I found the thread again.


I have never ever done that before, and I have no idea where it came from.

I was told by my friend and colleague, Jill Sigman, that my work has a similar sensibility to Yiddish Theater. 

Having never seen Yiddish Theater, I really have no idea what that means.


Wish you were still around to help me out with this one, ‘cause I’m a bit lost in regard to the whole Jew thing and how it relates to my performance work.

But back to not getting the grant.

So, I didn’t get it.

But some people did, and maybe you are one of them!  If so, congratulations!! That’s wonderful.  I can’t wait to see what emerges for you. 

For me and where I’m at now in my artistic life, in my questioning, and wondering about the meaning of it all:

I’m grateful I went through that dying process.

It allowed me to streamline, shed, and begin the process of finding out what is buried beneath everything I once knew and understood to be true.

And so now:

I’m dancing.

I’m dancing.

I’m dancing.

As a Jew.

As a Jew.

As a Jew.

What the frickin’ frack does that even mean? 

I’m scratching my head with one hand and typing with the other.

Your Dance Mission for the Week is to find the culture of your own body.

I have no idea how one does that.

So just try, ‘cause that’s all you can do anyway.

See what happens.

Here is a song to get you going.

Let me know how it goes.

Comment, share, and spread this newsletter far and wide, if you wish.

With Warmth, With Jivey Vibes, and With A Wish to Dance with you Soon - Somehow, Somewhere,



Joanna and The Agitators

sweetly agitating/persistently upending


PS:  Save The Dates, Save The Dates, Save the Dates!

Friday, April 15th:

Dog Dance




This will most likely be the last Dog Dance that happens until September, 2016, so I hope to see you there on April 15th.

Tuesday, May 31st & Thursday, June 2nd:

Free Dance Classes


Boulder Circus Center

June 7th-August 26th:

Summer Dance Session

Tuesdays: 11-1pm

Thursdays: 11-1pm

Boulder Circus Center

This upcoming summer session will run for 12 weeks with the option of purchasing an 8, 10, or 12  week card.  I will be sending out a link to the fee schedule in next week’s newsletter.

xoxo jo