My name is Kate E. Deeming, I am a Glasgow-based/Philadelphia native/International Dancing Gypsy….
I am known as ‘Glasgow’s Morning Dancer’.
Since 1 March 2010 I have danced outside over 300 days – in rain, sleet, snow & sun. I’ve danced for joy, for health, for peace. This blog tells the stories of amazing, of HOPE as a result of my dance. Each is a direct experience I had or a telling of how the dance served as a catalyst for positivity and empowerment in others!
This blog is a preview of the BOOK ‘HOPE DANCES’ which will include many other tidbits related to my experience of dancing.
The idea of writing out these stories began when the bank wanted to re-possess my home, as a result of not getting 1 stick of work for 6 months in 2008 and getting in serious arrears in all my bills. I decided I would try and raise the money via publishing of the stories which have so inspired my life.
Since the initial idea in March over 100 people have donated a total of £2531.17 towards the arrears and my parents very generously took a loan out for the remainder which I will pay back to them.
The act of dancing and the exceptional support I have had towards this project and my life serve as reminders of what simple acts can do, and that we must keep on, to shift and empower ourselves, our communities, our world!
Hence, ‘Hope Dancing’!
How we came to here…
1 March 2010: I had just returned from the former war zone of Sri Lanka where I had facilitated dance workshops with children. It was a grey day, and I felt it, like a cloak of lead upon my soul. Memories of the girls at Anbu Illam orphanage, and of the young people in Batticaloa were fresh inside of me. Children with an uncertain future and yet such beauty, and generosity. Thoughts as to what could happen to them removed my lung capacity. And I was missing them as echoes of their laughter and images of dancing filtered through my brain. For two years I had returned there, and I felt that this time it was an ending. I was bereft.
I decided to go for a run, a culturally acceptable physical practice for outdoor spaces. And having operated in a largely voluntary capacity, a free one, which was all I could afford.
I arrived at the River Clyde that day, a space that once had been the bastion of Glasgow life in shipbuilding, newly developed without a trace of it’s past, with wide open walkways and benches, and office blocks flanking the sides. It was empty save the random commuter – head down, cloaked in black, hustling into workplace covertly, invisible.
And inspiration came, ‘Dance!’, it beckoned.
I looked about me, big open spaces, empty. And I replied, ‘ok’.
I felt so enlightened and liberated by the experience, and the place, I returned the next day, and the next… in my heart I was dancing for those children, and for all the kids I had ever worked with. The disenfranchised, the forgotten, the lost…. Sending celebrations for all they are and could be…
But what transpired ended up being much greater than that.
The downturned faces, the hunched shoulders, the hustle of ‘non-activity’ that previously had occupied that ‘passing through’ space transformed as people began to seek the dance.
Smiles, waves, eye-contact, honks… and that section of earth was made sweeter. Youtube videos began to spring up, and then the BBC did a story and STV and many other media channels…
For me having witnessed the aftermath of war in Sri Lanka, not to mention my previous experience of engaging with poverty and violence in the US, UK, Europe, Canada and India, the shift proved vital. In the shadow of world events – wars, greed, destruction, my dances seemed to generate HOPE.
Interestingly and unsurprisingly the words HOPE and HOP share the same etymological root. We can imagine the physical act of “hopping” also serves as a metaphor to take us from our suffering and pain into something joyful and beautiful.
And, unsurprisingly, I felt compelled to continue, to find new and better ways to expand this practice. And through doing so, I have received hundreds of stories back of positive change, of celebrations of life, of personal transformation.
I am now in the process of working on the book, I shall keep you apprised of the progress!
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