Monday, May 28, 2007

Dancing or Drumming?

This weekend was a big shift for me. For the last 5 or so years, I have volunteered and participated in a Women's Drumming Weekend. I have taken drumming workshops many times with Ubaka Hill. She is a fabulous drummer, inspirational teacher, and a bright and beautiful spirit. Here's where I'll try to make a long story short. Last year, I began to feel a shift. . .I was not incredibly excited to perform at Artsfest as a drummer in the Women's Drumsong Orchestra with Ubaka. When the time came to get up on stage with her and the other women, I did, and I had a great time. However, I felt similar this year. I did not take the workshops at all; as a matter of a fact, I didn't even bring my drum to the workshop space! I was busy helping out in several workshops throughout the weekend, so that was ok for me anyway. But when it came time to get ready to go downtown for the performance, I put on some fun bellydance garb. I'm so glad I did. . .Ubaka normally has several women from the community come and play, sing and dance while she is drumming one song. . .this year, she invited me from up on stage to come and dance! I was so nervous. . .I am normally one of the people in the crowd watching and taking pictures. This year, I was dancing with Laura V. (who is amazing, by the way!), and a couple hundred people were watching us and doing their own picture-taking! It was amazing!
I had the opportunity to thank Ubaka afterwards. . .I have been working with owning and sharing with the world some of my gifts. . .she called me out gracefully and compassionately, and made witness with all those people that I am a dancer. A spiritually connected dancer. Now I have to wear that as mine, and utilize it out in the world someplace. Somehow, Ubaka became the catalyst for this transition. I am forever grateful, and forever aware of that gift that she gave me.


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