Inspiration, voices, and letting go

I had to pause for a moment as I thought these words in my head: “when I met P!nk”….

Then I realize – I haven’t actually met her. I was so very lucky to have been able to attend one of her concerts earlier this year. If you’ve seen her…you feel like you met her. She’s so real…she just lays it all out there. She gives it everything she has, and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. The audience milling about outside the arena was a literal melting pot, and I felt overwhelmed with…acceptance. No difference, no judgement, each of us were unique and I felt as one with every single person there. I almost put “but I felt” but there are no “buts” – there is only and. and I felt as one.

In society today, acceptance of who we are feels harder. Maybe part of it’s the media, a plethora of other things. What I know is me. My circle of influence, the people I surround myself with, and me, myself. I can’t change the world, but perhaps…just perhaps I can share that feeling of acceptance with others. That feeling of oneness. A friend shared with me these words yesterday, “there is room for everyone”, and there is. I may not understand everyone’s choices – but do I have to?

Today, instead of worrying if what I do is good enough or that I’m letting people down. If I’m “past my prime”. Instead of letting judgement cloud my head, worrying about who has stars on thars…today, I will focus on being me. Laying it all out there and giving it everything I have. Not think about what is expected, but releasing my voice…loudly. Letting go. Dismantling the wall inside.

I’m so very moved by this, and thank a very special person for sharing it with me.

Blessed be. Namaste. May the lord keep you and watch over you.
~ Eva

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Reawakening the Madness

Did you ever know something, believe in it, then realize you’re not living it? Sometimes it’s the universe that gives you a nudge, or a shove…or a friend, comrade, or a random person even. I forget sometimes that believing isn’t enough. It’s living it that makes a difference.

The words that are running through my head at a louder and louder volume: Be who you are. The best version of you. Don’t be what you think others want you to be, what you feel pressured to be.

My style. This one was like a smack upside the head. I like exploring new dance styles and ideas, but for me right now my creativity wants to live in what speaks to me. The songs I chose for dances are great songs, but they aren’t me. They feel hollow when I think about creating. My ideas basically repeats of videos or what would be expected. So what’s my style? I’m drawn to epic, to quirky, to dark and powerful. Not always, but that’s my space right now. Why fight it? Isn’t art about expression? Dance is expression and definitely art in my book. I forgot why I create for a looong time – not to perform, but to express, to release my creativity and enjoy the process (most of the time! ha).

I think ambition isn’t about having to be the best, or the most well known, or the richest. Sure, many might define it that way – especially hedge fund managers and car salesman. Ambition to me is the drive, the inner drive to accomplish something. Not for glory, not for accolades, but because we believe. So…now I’m thinking, what is my ambition? Time flies way too fast, it’s so easy to drift along on the waves and forget about the things you want to accomplish. I like drifting on the waves, and sometimes we all need those waves to rebalance.

Time has flown since I last posted. A lot has changed in, for, and around me. A lot has stayed the same. Simplify is one of my new mantras.

Don’t apologize for who I am is another. People can accept me as I am or not, and that’s ok. I’m me. I have my own style. I can’t be someone else, and trying to be someone else, something else is draining.

The third, the third is asking myself why. Why do I dance, why do I teach? Because I have to? Because I feel responsible to? Because I “have to”? or because I love to? What has the dancers in my head twirling in happiness? What creates that constant underlying burn of excitement and ideas? What grabs my heart and twists it and seems to take on a life of it’s own?

Welcome to the madness. 🙂

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It is a good day

A dear friend has made a difficult but wonderful choice for her, changing her focus and direction, and embracing new things. I am so very proud of her.

The world evolves, things transition, people leave your life and new ones come in. We evolve. I remember when I was in my 20’s that I thought by the time I was in my 40’s I’d have everything figured out. Nope, didn’t happen. I continue to explore, to learn about myself, fall down and brush myself off.

My biggest questions and challenges right now? Learning to say no. Learning what makes me happy, what I find fulfilling (two different things!). Exploring new skills and building on the ones I have. Working on my tendency to withdraw into my “inner sanctum” – leaving others to wonder where I went.

Most of all, I awoke today thinking about my priorities. What is important to me? How do I want to focus my time?

Reading a book recently, I stumbled over a new term – “micro obsession”. My jaw dropped and I know I said “wow” aloud. Bells rang and angels sang. A micro obsession is basically becoming absolutely and overwhelming consumed with something. It pulls attention away from other things, consuming our thoughts and even our dreams. aka – total opposite of balanced.

I’m not sure when having this tendency (which I always called “jumping in with both feet, and hands, and head, and every other body part”) began, but it was definitely way back when AOL and dial up were the norm, or before. Want an example: I’d become infatuated with Revolutionary War Reenacting – I think I saw it on tv or read a book. I loved camping, I was a scout leader, I love traditional ways and the colonial period always resonated with me. I went to events, joined a reenacting group, began studying everything I could get my hands on, made clothing for my boys and spouse. (and me of course.) It was always in the back of my mind – go to a flea market? I’d look for wooden bowls to fit the period. I went to a work conference and lugged a suitcase of fabric so I could work on the cold weather breeches for my boys.

Eventually, things shifted. Katrina hit, gas prices rose through the roof. I couldn’t afford to drive all up and down the east coast. My son was at the age where he’d join the ranks and spend more time with the men, but things didn’t click and it created anxiety for me. Did I tell you I skated with a roller derby team for a while? Fresh meat. That ended when I broke my tailbone. It was amazing while I was involved, then it passed. (Though I still have the goal to get back on my speed skates at the local roller rink).

Some of these micro obsessions have settled into “normal” passions in my life – camping, incorporating elements of my time ‘living’ in the colonial period, quilting.

When you step away from something, or jump off the treadmill, it gives you time in that “cooling off” period to determine what you really want. You. Not expectations, or “have to’s”, but what is fulfilling. For me here in SL, I have my hobbies – plantpets, DFS farming (I have chickens RL too), teaching, and dancing.

Who you talk to, who you focus on, is all an investment of energy and time. I have no patience for rude people, or pushy people, and I don’t date in SL. I’m too nice – not fair to them or me.

So today, I’m cleaning out the clutter – in my house and in my head. I’d say my inventory but you wouldn’t see me for 3 years. Searching youtube for house cleaning inspiration videos – do you believe they have them? Mine could use a deep clean, but *definitely* need inspiration for that.

Thank you to those who have been so supportive of me, who believe in me, and who have been so very patient. Many of you may not even know what an inspiration and impact you have made on my life, even with the briefest of exchanges.

I feel good, and inspired, passionate, and hopeful. There is no limit to the number of new beginnings you can have.

~ Eva

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The best laid plains…no workshop tonight

It seems the fates have alternate plans for me tonight as I’m still at work until an unknown time.

The Smooth Dancer workshop planned for tonight will be rescheduled and posted on the calendar and blogs.

ps – please send chocolate and pepsi!

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What’s new pussycat…workshops

Sure…now I have that Tom Jones song in my head…doesn’t make it easy to focus. I haven’t had my morning coffee yet either – what is this world coming to????

A mix of the new and a mix of my favorite – two workshops! I’ll be testing out offering each workshop on a Monday night and early Saturday. With time zones and work schedules this will hopefully make them available to many. So…what has been spinning in my crazy head?

Spot On Smooth Dancer
~ Become one with your HUD ~
Monday, 6/24 @ 6 pm and Saturday, 6/29 @ 3 pm slt

This is Spot On animation tool for creating and playing animations and dance sequences and what I consider the first dance foundation tool everyone should start with. If you own it but haven’t used it, or have used it but aren’t comfortable this is the workshop to come to. In July we will add on sequences, for which solid understanding of this hud is a must.

Couples Dancing
~ Begin on the right foot ~
Monday, 7/8 @ 6 pm and Saturday, 7/13 @ 10 am slt

During this foundation workshop we will review couples dance: tools used to create one and what can make it really stand out. I’ll be sharing examples, brief demonstrations, and key concepts such as transitions, pivots, composition, and dancer complement.

As always, everyone is welcome to participate or listen. Don’t have the tool? Just curious? Feel free to come listen. Workshops are always free. Donations always appreciated.

The workshop area is currently being redesigned. Please keep an eye on the calendar page and the in-world group. They’ll be updated soon.

Happy feet!
~ Eva

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The Madness Continues… oh, and pivots

So, I was thinking…

WordPress changed their blogging setup, and I’m still not comfortable with it. Eh…it’s time to dance right? So…thoughts recently.

Pivots. This has been in my brain a lot. In part because I’ve started writing a class on couples dance. I believe it was five and a half years ago I started with Spirit Light Dance Company. My first experience in dance in SL. Back before Spot On existed, or the performance director. Barre was around but my company used a manual hud, every animation, every mover movement was a click. I had to learn coordination, I had to practice for hours. Every dance was in the moment. Because everything was manual and there were no dance groups on the hud, it was almost always a joint effort. I began by making the frogs jump and shimmy. I’d do the walks, I had to coordinate with the other hud operators for the dance. I’m glad I learned this way.

One of the directors, Caryl, who still leads SLDC today taught me about pivots. By changing the perspective of an animation – turning the dances a quarter turn, eighth of a turn could *dramatically* change the animation and how dancers “related” to each other. You suddenly add a new energy, a new “picture” of the dancers on the stage. We frequently see mirror animations used – but don’t be afraid to pivot your dancers on the stage using waypoints!

One of my favorite sayings: The stage is your canvas, the dancers your paint.

I shared on dance queens a post about my recent burnout, and my crawl back into finding the magic in dance again. Honestly – it’s a little scary to reveal something so personal, so imperfect. I am not perfect and will never pretend to be – but nor am I weak. Is it society that teaches us that we must be “strong” all the time? What is strong by the way? And who says so? I’m so very thankful for the people who stuck by me. Who never stopped believing in me even when I had nothing new to give.

I’ve moved to a new sim, new structure for the teaching area but it feels gooood. Less is more – especially in this age of SL gadgets and such. (I’m a gadget geek.) Slow and steady, ears to the ground and following my heart. Onward and upward!

Ok, that’s all of those euphemism things I’ve got. Happy dancing – and never lose your inspiration!

~ Eva

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Learn & Play! New stuff this week! (5/18-5/25)

“Hey hey we’re the monkees…and people say we monkey around
but we’re too busy dancing!

It’s a fantastic thing to once again wake up to music in my head. The dancers in my head have been quiet for waaay too long but I hear some shuffling up there which is a great sign! So…..what’s the plan? Changing up the workshops, a bit of newness, add a sprinkle of glitter and fun…voila’!

New changes: all workshops will start promptly at 15 after and the sim will be closed once begun to minimize distractions. A couple other things in the works – stay tuned!

Harleyquin Learning Center:

Sat, May 18th

9:15 am slt
Moves & Grooves – meshing music, choreograph
y, and transitions
Fully interactive dance session as we practice meshing music, creating choreography, choosing animations, transitions, and more! A dance HUD with animations is required, bring questions and problem transitions!
(60 mins, Dance Studio)

11:15 am slt
Spot On Tools

We’re taking a stroll through the primary Spot On Tools, what they can do, and the order to learn them for a strong dance foundation. Take them for a test drive, and bring your questions! Geared towards the new dancer, those interested in new tools, and anyone with questions.
(60 mins, Project Platform)

Sat, May 25th

9:15 am slt
Field Trip – Particle Stores

Once a month we pack our trail mix and kool-aid before taking off for the great unknown. This month’s itinerary is three particle stores where we will explore what’s available, different types, considerations, and how to use. Meet at Harleyquin @ 9:15 to catch the bus!
(1 hour, Field Trip)

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Sometimes you need to take apart the pieces to put them back together in a different way…

I think we hibernate. Crawl into our cave where it is, and we stay there for a while. If I still lived where it snowed, I’d hibernate just because of the snow. But I don’t…so why?

Toss on a robe, candle lantern to light just what’s right in front of him. Simple. So, what does the tarot card mean?

The Hermit suggests that you are in a phase of introspection where you are drawing your attention inwards and looking for answers within. You are in need of a period of inner reflection, away from the current demands of your position.

Do I know when I’m hermitting? Sometimes, but most often not. Does it feel like I’m missing pieces? That something is out of alignment? Yep. Do I miss connecting with people I care about but feel like I’m looking out through a fish tank of clear goo? Right again.

Sometimes by choice, but most of the time for me it’s a compulsion – a need. I’m overwhelmed with thoughts, with stuff, and I need to process it all. There’s a need to reduce stimuli, focus on simple,”safe” things while the gears whir away in my head until the pieces snap back into place.

burnout change transition

The most important part? Coming out the other side.

I’ve missed you all and I’m so thrilled to be back!

Yours in dance,

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Workshops this Week! (3/9-3/11)

The chaos has settled a bit, Spring is coming, and workshops are ready to roll again! The Animation Shopping field trip was soo much fun and a big hit!

So what’s on the calendar this week? Hope to see you soon!

Sat, Mar 9th

9 am slt
Mini Workshop: Animation Organizer – [NDS]Animation Manager 

Own the NDS Animation Organizer but not quite comfortable with it yet? Interested in learning more about this great tool for organizing your animations? Bring your own to work with, or play with one of mine for this mini-workshop!
(30 mins, Gadget Central)

10 am slt
Choreography Designer Class 3 – Creating Multiple Dancer Routes, Using Prefixes and Mirroring

A step beyond the basics, we start exploring some of the additional features that can make creating choreography routes so much easier!  Know how to update a movement card?  Add waypoints, what (travel) time and sleep time are?  This is the next step as we explore other handy options available – what they do, why you would want to use them, and most importantly – how!  You’ll wonder how you worked without using handy features such as prefixes, stats, particle paths, and copying choreography routes in seconds!
(60 mins, Build Studio)

Requirements to participate:  Own Spot On Choreography Design System 2.0, have a basic familiarity with creating waypoints and updating the mover notecard.   All are welcome to attend and listen!

11 am slt
INTERACTIVE 2.0: Choreography Designer Class 3 – Creating Multiple Dancer Routes, Using Prefixes and Mirroring

Feel free to stay, ask questions, and practice what we covered during the workshop! Informal and interactive!
(60 min, Build Studio)

Mon, Mar 11th

5 pm slt
Introduction to Dance & Choreography

This workshop was created for anyone new or interested in becoming a choreographer and current choreographers interested in reinforcing their foundation in dance.  The workshop will be presented in a comfortable discussion type format – interaction is encouraged! During this workshop we’ll be introducing what we believe are the key aspects of dance and offer suggestions for building a strong foundation.  Components of dance, what is choreography, starting tools, considerations, and bringing your vision to life will also be discussed.
(60 mins, Atrium)

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No workshops today, Spring cleaning and newness

No workshops for today – I’m working on some fixing some system issues. There will be some new blog posts this week and some workshop restructuring. I’m excited – and hope to see y’all soon!

~ Eva

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