Saturday, January 29, 2011

And then we danced.

On the last night of True Body Project work with Transitions Global, Sola (left), Courtney (right) and I joined girls and women in the circle to to celebrate the girls' strengths of mind, body and spirit.

Our first exercise asked the girls to consider what super powers would they want to have if they were a super hero? Many of the girls wanted to be able to fly. Even more wanted magic of the general sort. Who wouldn't? One girl wanted to be able to shape shift and change her appearance. Another wanted to travel backward in time.

Several girls wanted to be superman to be able to help people. Especially important to this group are girls who have been trafficked and orphans. Many girls also wanted to be able to have a home for their family. They saw this in the same category as being able to fly or swim under water deep in the ocean. They consider an intact family under one roof, something many of us take for granted, as a feat requiring a super hero's skill.

After our energy warm-up and our meditation, we thought about someone who we admired and who had helped us: say a social worker or a teacher or a parent. The girls wrote down the characteristics of that person that they found particularly helpful. They like people who give good advice, who encourage them, who worry about them, who explain things to them, who are good people, who don't go away when girls do bad.

Then we talked about how you cannot identify a characteristic if it doesn't live inside of you. Recognition requires personal context. So we tried to impress on each of these girls that those are the characteristics within them, that they are all caring, giving, encouraging, loving teachers too.

Finally, we danced. First the girls learned a dance to Mary J. Blige's "Work That." They were fantastic! Thanks to Julie Sunderland for reminding me of the choreography long-distance. I think I got it pretty close to the original.

Next Sorida, one of the Transitions staff, showed us Apsara, the traditional Cambodian dance with the extreme hand shapes and flexed foot positions. It was so beautiful watching the girls move like this, taking on a traditional dance typically reserved for the elite.

And on a personal note, I had a fantastic moment with Deflated Balloon Girl who I mentioned in an early post. Let me tell you, the minute we started to dance, this girl lit up like Chinese New Year lights. She was so totally in her body and in her bliss. And she was the one who took me on as her student, telling me to bend my knees more and placing my hands in the very right position, which I could not for the life of me capture on my own.

Last up on our dance program was a Cambodian line dance to a really, really long song that sounded an awful lot like 70s disco meets Asian funk.

After our dancing and our final words to each other, with great sadness, I looked at each girl and said goodbye for now. I am convinced because I need to be that we will work together again. We will write, we will dance, we will help and we will heal.

We will celebrate the truly remarkable, inextinguishable light within these beautiful, beautiful girls.

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