I’m baaaaaack!

(Where is that line from? Is it from some awful horror movie with a doll in it named Chuck?  Or is it from E.T.)?

I still have “spots” - tons of spots - and I’m not totally up to snuff, but I think I’m turning a corner, so thank you for your patience, understanding, and lovely emails these past two weeks.

Enough about the chicken pox though, let’s move onto another avian related topic: The Owl

There was a time when I wasn’t dancing, and instead was living in a farm house in New Hampshire, teaching outdoor and environmental education to 6th graders who would come up to our facility for a week at a time.

We had a little nature center where we kept bones, nests, cool rocks, etc.

There was an owl there, who had gotten injured and was being rehabilitated.

His name was Fred.

A certain 6th grader who came up with his class one week.

This 6th grader had no friends, was extremely shy, and had a hard time socializing. 

He spent most of his time in the nature center talking to Fred, The Owl.

They would hoot back and forth at each other for hours at a time.

A few weeks after this boy had been with us, we got a letter from him.

Or rather, Fred got a letter from him.   

Here’s how the letter went:

Dear Fred, My Friend, The Owl:

Hoot hoot hoot hoot hoot?  Hoot hoot?  HA HA!!!  Hoot?  Hoot, hoot hoot hoot hoot.  HOOT!

It went on like this for 3 pages, singles spaced, front and back, all written in pencil, with tons of erase marks.

At the bottom of the last page, at the sign-off, the boy had scotch-taped an owl pellet to the paper and had draw  a big heart drawn around it.

In my dazed and spotty state these past few weeks, images and memories like this keep knocking at my brain.

And it makes me wonder about connection.

How, and with whom do we connect?

Like dance, this hooty letter dug underneath the conventional wisdom of relationship, and unearthed something profound.

It was - like dancing can be - mysterious, unknown, and sublime. 

And - like dancing can be -  it was also functional and unadorned:  A little boy making a connection in a way that made sense to him, because that’s what was needed at the time, and so he followed it to it’s end.

In a peculiar way, this comes up all the time in dancing:  “I don’t have an idea.  I don’t know what to do.  I feel lost. I don’t know how to connect. I don’t feel the magic.”

And that’s where the functionality of the dancing takes hold:  Following what is presenting itself to you, and doing the work of showing up, noticing your breath, and staying curious.

The magic and the mystery builds from the day to day practice of dancing. 

The exhaled nature of dancing constructs itself when we notice what is there and when we  follow that, OR WHEN WE DON”T follow that, and we notice what happens then.

Your dance mission for the week is see the moments, all of the moments that pass us by - see them, feel them, hear them, and then try them on as a dance.

Follow what is presenting itself to you.

If you like what you read, would you share it on facebook or any other social media thingy?  And/or share it with a friend.

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, musings about this newsletter, so post your comments here.

With Warmth and (OMG, dare I say it??) JIVEY VIBES!!!



Joanna and The Agitators

sweetly agitating/persistently upending


PS:  Important:

Goodnight, Courtney Love has been postponed because of the Chicken Pox.


When I know the dates for the rescheduled performance, I will let you know.

xo jo