This is a copy of what I sent out today:

Hello Beautiful People!

I hope this finds you well and safe.
I have not reached out to you since mid-March. The shelter in place mandate rocked so many parts of my daily life and structures. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take a sustained break and rest from some significant parts of how I operated.

So much has been and is changing in and around us.

Now that we are in Phase II of Covid 19 activities, I have the opportunity to go back into Balance Studio (and can bring one person under 65) to offer online sessions on Zoom. 
This kind of format will be unfamiliar and fairly uncomfortable new terrain for me to learn about and develop into meaningful opportunities for us to share movement, music and community in. And, it is time to try it!
Basically it’s gonna be first draft of a gentle and small space version of Wassa Dance on
ZOOM online
Tuesdays and Thursdays in July

10:30-11:30 am  
7/7 -7/30/2020
(donations welcome)

with a trial run Monday 7/6 
10:30-11:30 am

I’ll send another email in the next day or so with specifics & details after I go into Balance Studio to learn the early ropes.  Big ups to Aileen and Daniel for the powerful ways they have kept their mission with dance and culture going during these challenging times. 

As I step back into teaching it is very important for me to honor and acknowledge how profoundly my creative life has been inspired by music and cultures from Africa and its diaspora. This love has brought me beautiful powerful experiences, teachers, friendships and collaborations. I have visited Brazil and studied in Mali and those experiences continue to be great influences for me. From the start, ihas not my intent to present what I offer as an “African” dance class or to be an authority on cultures outside my own. That’s not possible. There are very good dance teachers here in Seattle that are African, Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Cuban and more, who work hard and their wonderful offerings are available to you!
These days, so many great opportunities on the inter web as well. 
A few local teachers I know are teaching online now:
Manimou Camara (Guinea)
Etienne Cakpo (Benin)
Dance with Dora (Brazil)
Bahia in Motion (Brazil)

As a lifelong student and teaching artist in Seattle, I see my role as sharing what I learn and am inspired/challenged by from deep wells of my privileges, inspiration, examination, ongoing dialogue, truth seeking, re-learning history as a citizen of the world, spirit sources and movement studies as a springboard for people to experience a taste of for themselves and offer resources for how to go deeper with the music and movement that speaks to you.

As white person whose life has been so enriched by cultures outside my own, it is important for me to advocate for African and Black arts and artists and social justice. When we dance, we dance.  I will also be putting together more resources to be shared on my website and finding the best way to share the music I use and putting that in the context of where it comes from.
Here are just a few local organizations to support:
Northwest Tap Connection
WaNaWari
CD Forum
Town Hall Seattle
Seattle Public Library

I’ll be back in touch as soon as final details are in place for our online July experiment. 
Thank you for reading and for all that you are.
Here’s to the seeding,
Lara

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