Thanks Lynda! I got a job two weeks ago...I am on the path to fixing all mortgage debt and by the end of summer should be all taken care of. This whole 3 year ordeal has worn me out, but, there is light at the end of the tunnel now. Thank you everyone who has supported this effort. If you have contributed towards an incentive - PLEASE - cash in! I am available weekends for private lessons and dinners owed. Thank you all friends!
First of all a big Thank you to Naree! Your continuing contribution still makes a difference!
We are still under 3 months behind on our mortgage and are in the process of getting stabilized via my 2 other jobs. There is still more to do to get 100% on track. We are hanging in there.
December is typically a really dry time financially in the dance business. Please consider coming to our last classes, workshops and events to help support us during this phase. Go to our website to see what's just ahead for the end of 2013! www.salsawithjuan.com
Juan and I hope you will join us soon!
Looking back on this grand fundraising effort that we all participated in, I can't say that I would have ever imagined such an outpouring of money, time, effort and thought going towards us. Juan and I are so very very grateful to all the contributors and all our friends and family who could not donate directly but kept us in their prayers. We are ever mindful of all of you and continue to pray for our community to keep growing and enjoying dancing and all life has to offer. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
It has been way too long since I wrote an update for you. My sincerest apologies.
After the push to take care of our house and so many wonderful people donated and helped I was literally exhausted. I think the stress finally got to me. Shortly after that, Juan and I were obligated to teach for the Alaska Salsa cruise (again, we don't get paid, we get our trip and transportation paid for only). We were the only teachers and worked our butts off to keep everyone happy and having fun and busy with dancing! It was a great trip but I just have not gotten my full energy back.
In addition, I started my two part-time jobs to help ensure we have a regular paycheck that will cover the mortgage. I am working for the City of Oakland teaching computer art to kids both 8-11 and middle school. Also I am teaching adults Salsa and Bachata (on Friday nights @ 6:30pm @ Studio One in Oakland). I have never taught kids so this is a whole new experience and so far it's been OK!
My other job is working with a student, Therese Lahaie, who is an artist dealing with LED lighting technology. She gives seminars to architechs, engineers and designers and I am her new Administrative Assistant. It's been going well and I am getting faster at knowing all the tasks. I hope to help her with more marketing soon. I am very grateful to her for the job!
Our renter has not fully committed to the garage space (for storage) so I'll still be lacking about $400-$500 a month to make the mortgage. Plus, I really won't get a regular income until October when all my classes will have started. But I am determined to keep going and even though I know I am not 100% there yet it feels good to be trying new things and keep my brain working in a different way. Of course, the money I am bringing in is not overwhelming amount, but it is something towards the bills!
Juan has started teaching and DJing at Neck of the Woods in SF on Monday nights. We don't know if it will continue, but the gig has been very helpful towards getting stabilized financially. Thank you Evan Margolin!
We are still accepting donations as we did not reach our entire goal and are still a bit behind with the mortgage. I am encouraged by the new work and opportunities though. We have started to see what we can do to repair some things needed on the old house. I am researching grants, funding, low income programs, etc. to help get some repairs done - the house is 113 years old!
So again, if you cannot donate but have the time, resources or energy to help us with those projects, let us know.
Thank you from my deepest heart. I have not stopped thinking about how amazing the help you have given has been and how much it's meant to us! We will organize a get together soon and award the special donations with their prizes too. It's not over yet!!
I guess the stress finally got to me....A cold? Check! A breakout? Check! Exhaustion? Check! But of course I am not letting that stop my intentions and goal of making it to $15,000 with this fundraiser.
Though I am bit less energetic at the moment, I have some good news to relay. We are safe for the time being! Our home has been de-listed from immediate foreclosure status! We have gotten to a neutral point with the bank and staved off lawyers, foreclosure notices and all the untold mayhem that might have ensued. The three month behind status did prove to be the mark that would help get our home off the foreclosure list.
However, we are still not 100% there yet and need to keep pushing for the total amount to be free and clear of the problem. If everyone who has not contributed yet were able to put in $3 then we would make our goal! I know no one wants to appear 'cheap' by donating three dollars. I'm saying, if you can spare the $3 instead of a Starbucks today, please support us in this final push towards our fundraising goal of just less than 5K more. Thank you!
On a side note, CNN called to interview me about my fundraiser and why it has been the most successful one dealing with foreclosures that they have seen. I can only point to my community - YOU - who have helped Juan and me through this hard time and continue to support us whether by donating here, coming to class, cheering us on at our public gigs, giving us a nice review on Yelp, lending a hand around our house, sharing our link or praying for us. There is such a wide variety of people we touch wth our teaching and we have been blessed in so many ways by you...it is incredible! I am rewarded every day to see people smiling and dancing, moving and laughing...sometimes even witnessing complete transformations into more confident, more social people because of learning to dance. It's true... though I had a better paycheck and benefits working in computer graphics, I never heard people say "You changed my life". Now I hear it, see it and feel it on a consistent basis and it is an amazing feeling I never want to let go of. Thank you everyone and thanks to Juan Gil for bringing the world this unique gift and sharing it with me too.
I am off to the bank with our earned money and donations...Tomorrow is our deadline, August 3rd. We still need a few thousand, and according to the bank we should not be in jeopardy if we are only 3 payments behind, but, I don't want to incur those lawyer fees! Again, I am grateful and overwhelmed by all the support and donations - thank you to everyone who even sent a good thought our way.
However, it is frustrating and would like to explain why. Through this whole process I have heard of so many people suffering with these banks' bad behaviour...from giving me a modification that did not lower my payments (only lowered interest rate and tack on all past payments to the end of a new 30 year loan) to not granting people modifications, to having lied or processing incorrect paperwork. Believe me I have had over 20 'customer relationship' managers assigned to me over the past 2 years so it's hard to keep retelling your story. Bottom line is the banks are screwed up. Plus, they got a bail out...where is mine? and everyone else's who needs it? In the words of my Dad, Gerard Caspary, "Why don't those banks work with people?...people don't have the same kind of money anymore." So true. On the one hand I am enlightened, inspired and strengthened by my community, on the other hand, dismayed, frustrated and angry at what has become a country that rewards bad behaviour.
What do you think?
What a day yesterday...like a rollercoaster! The CBS article on my Fundraiser came out (see below), stressed calls to the bank, intervention from angels, a barage of Zen moments, fun Casino Rueda special class for our students and birthday fun for 'Z' (who is also helping us by creating a promo video for Salsa with Juan).
I wanted to add that anyone who cannot donate monetary funds could perhaps help us with these things:
1) Teach us how to use eBay really well. We want to sell what we don't use and get super organized.
2) Let your friends, coworkers, company, etc. know about SWJ as we are available for parties, weddings, quinceneras, coaching, judging and performing!
3) Keep an eye out for PT work for us. Ruth in Marketing, Computer Graphics and of course Dance! Juan for Dance ;) Sports Coaching and Public Speaking.
4) Help us with repairs to the 113 year old home! I have applied recently to an organization that helps with this so I am hoping for some assistance. But we have a couple of bigger projects that are critical for the timely health and safety of our property. The needs: laborers, landscape expert, foundation expert, electrical expert, contractor, use of tools and construction machinery, project manager and moving/light building workers.
5) Pray for us, in your own way! So many of you have us in your minds now because of this...we actually do FEEL the energy from you. I am grateful we have renewed our connections with everyone, even in this difficult time!
Just learned that if foreclosure proceedings start, (and they no doubt will at some point unless we make our total goal), we'd have to pay additional lawyers fees of 2K or more to stop it. :(
If you have even thought about helping us in any small or large way, please do so now, so we can make it to our goal faster without incurring any more fees.
I really need an ANGEL today. I am nervous, stressed and am pushing myself to keep going...putting resumes out there, going through a huge online process at naca.com for help, answering calls about classes, posting about SWJ on Facebook...Really trying to stay strong for myself, Juan, my pets, my students and for the long run. Thank you all for your help and support.
Hi everyone - a quick update. More donation by supporters have been most welcome - THANK YOU! Possible media coverage of my story via CBS Moneywatch this week - YAY! The bank sent an intent to foreclose letter - NOT YAY! But we are about to get close to being 3 payments behind. THE BIG SECRET - If you get to 3 payments behind with BofA in California at least, they will consider it to be partial reinstatement. Then, though we will continue ALL our efforts - PT work, selling stuff - THIS WEEK, more efforts on SWJ business, etc. we should be out of imminent danger. I am keeping the faith but feel a bit shaken today, as we have a week to get to the goal. Basically I need $3,000. more! I am hoping to earn 1/3 to 1/2 of that very soon with regular student support to the business. Any suggestions, jobs, more network options, to help us raise more funds soon - Please - Let me know! As I will follow up on that information.
Take care everyone and I'll send more news as it becomes available. Thank you ALL once again!
I felt alot of LOVE last night at our Fundraiser Social. So many of the Bay Area teachers, performers and students came out to support us! It was a magical night and wonderful feeling. The performances were amazing! I'll post a video as soon as I see one come through (I was running around making sure everyone was having fun!) THANK YOU to all the recent contributers who have pushed us past the 50% mark! More contributions were given last night at the Social and Juan and I are so grateful! We will continue to fundraise and even today I will be applying to jobs. There really is no 'day of rest' for us! However, tomorrow a student has invited us to "Church in the Park", so we will take some time to gather with strangers and pray for Peace, Freedom and Happiness. And then, back to work helping a couple with their wedding dance. One more thing: I will be working for the City of Oakland in late August! It is only about 6 hours a week but I will be teaching Middle School and Afterschool programs in Computer Art. This job won't cover the mortgage but will help with about 1/4 - 1/3 of it, so that's a start. Our garage storage renter won't be able to fully move things in until September, but we got a deposit to hold the space. So, things are moving along, but slowly - so you can FEEL the PROGRESS, right? ;) Thank you, everyone, for helping us stay in our home...We are getting there!
Today, I write to you to say thank you so very much for helping us try and save our home. It has not been easy. Aside from the stressful dealings with the bank, we are constantly working at trying to create more opportunities whenever we can: by improving our classes and workshops, looking for part time work and making the most of what we already have at home. Above all, I am floored by how wonderful all of you have been!
Many of you who have known me for a long time know I have hardly ever asked for help. I have kept my feelings, good times and bad times, to myself. But, there comes a time when you have to put aside your pride, ego, and anything else that can keep you from getting what you really need. Well as you can see, now we have asked for help, and you, our friends, family, and students, have responded kindly to our plead.
Ruth and I are searching daily with friends, websites, contacts and brainstorming with each other to create more opportunities for us. We both have even considered going back to school and seeing what we can do to to make things better for us. Friends are giving us leads and we have acted on them. On that note, if you have any leads for dance teachers or other opportunities you think we might be well suited for, let us know - we would sure appreciate it!
Salsa with Juan is open to feedback for our classes and we encourage our students to let us know of any ideas they might have to help us make things better. Some students may not know that we do choreography, stage management, judging and coaching and are available for private events and private lessons as well.
Ruth and I have taken all opportunities recently to explore part time jobs that don't interfere with our teaching schedule. In addition, we are cleaning out and organizing our home to see what we can donate, sell or give to people who need it more than us. We are also hoping to rent our garage for storage next month. I know that some of you are wanting to know that this money will be used responsibly and not for our travels or for just going out and spending it in any way other than what it is intended for. Trust me, we are putting our pennies away, and we have made a lot of cuts to our everyday expenses. Ruth has a calendar with what we spend and how. We think long and hard about how and where and when to spend our money. We have made a payment to the bank and we are checking in regularly with them on our situation.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. Facebook is one way, or, email@example.com. I stay up late usually working late and scouring the web for ways to help ourselves with our business and our lives.
Once again, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! In time our dilema is likely to improve and we do hope you shall all come to our home, have some more good times and Dance!
Friends, THANK YOU!
Hello Supporters of SWJ "Stay in our Home" Fundraiser!
For those of you into math, I have some interesting numbers for you. So far, 56 people have made donations and raised a total of $6,850! Incredible!
Of our remaining network we email or post to via Facebook there are 1,692 people. To reach our goal of $15,000 by August 3rd each of those people need only contribute $5 each! So please, don't be shy about donating ANY amount. We really appreciate it all!
Juan and I know we can do it with a 'little' help from everyone - well, that's how most things are created - the pyramids, Dubai, and Salsa with Juan. We know that without our students Salsa with Juan would not exist. Juan always says it's not just about students coming in to take a class and leave. It's about our community and our shared experience of learning to dance. Personally I always keep in mind that I grow as a teacher because of my students. Thus, we are all Salsa with Juan - anyone who has come through our studio door, taken a class from us on the high seas of the Carribean, or seen us up on stage at a summer Festival. We feel positive about what we do and it's far reaching effects and hope that you have had a chance to join us and feel that joy too.
Please share this message and help us today. Thank you everyone!
Supporters have been asking for more video of what we do. Funny you should ask! ...Right now we are in the process of doing our first official promo video with the help of a creative student, Zeid Muhammad. We will post it very soon. But in the meantime, let's take a stroll down memory lane with this fantastic choreography and performance from our 2011 Salsa with Juan Training Team.
Juan and I secretly called it the "Dare to Dance" team because we took intermediate students who had never performed before and gave them the skills and technique to learn a routine and then go beyond that and perform a routine! Through much repetition, practice and mind tricks (LOL) the students gained the confidence to get out in front of other students, dancers and club goers to show off what they accomplished. I enjoyed this choreography alot and Juan made sure the team really stood out by accenting the music with the stops, looks and tricks or dips that you see in this video. The team is a great outlet for me as a teacher because it is a mixture of creative movement, musicality and a unique kind of focus dancers develop to perform. This is just one aspect of what Salsa with Juan has done over the years to create memories for people who would have never thought it possible to get up in front of an audience and dance! Our students know we always have their back and though we do always work hard on our routines we also love to see the fantastic results both in the performances and in the dancers. Thank you all former SWJ Team members for your faith in us! We hope to start up teams again in 2014. Enjoy!
Here is another update...we are at 40% of our goal and that is just amazing! Here is a video of Juan Gil in his organic garden which he is very proud of!
We are doing a workshop today at the studio on Leading and Following and hope we have a big turnout! Both Juan and I have been working hard with new students on their wedding choreography and private lessons and I got a callback to interview at a school nearby to teach computer graphics and dance! We are hoping to rent our garage starting in August to provide another income stream as well. Things are in motion and we feel energized and hopeful.
In addition I have spoken with the bank and know that if we can get to 2/3 of our goal that an acceleration towards foreclosure may not be immediate. Obviously they are behind with all the mortgage crisis going on, but we don't want to stop pushing towards our goal. There are no days off for us, but we do have some moments of stopping to smell the roses. In fact, last night two of our students got married and performed a Salsa routine at their wedding. There were other students there that we have known for years and it is so wonderful to see how we have touched their lives with dance. Enjoy your weekend and hope to connect with all of you very soon!
Hi everyone! We had quite a weekend with 14 of Juan's family members staying with us at our home. For some, it was there first time to the Bay Area ever! I must say, I learned something about people coming together and making it work! Juan's brother and sisters and their families helped us so much with moving furniture, cleaning, cooking, food (and thank you to students Linda and JC for bringing us a special dinner and sauces). Juan's family really made it seem simple to be together with limited space and one bathroom. We all had fun catching up, playing outside with the kids and going to see some sights like the Bay Bridge lights, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Lake Merritt area. Thank you Gil / Robles / Ortega families for showing me how wonderful it is to accept help and not worry! I hope you enjoyed your stay and will be back again soon. Abrazos!
We are floored...like Burn the Floor! We have made 25% of our goal already with more donations coming from near and far, family, friends and students - both past and present. What a great opportunity this has been to connect with everyone and write you back personally. I feel like it gives me energy and that I am able to try harder with the struggles that still lie ahead. Thank you so much everyone. It's true you can never know what an impact you have made. I want you to know this is making a huge impact in so many ways!
More updates tomorrow...and another video from us from the house. We have Juan's relatives here now from southern California, so give me just another day to write more. Thank you for your patience and continued support. May your gifts to us bring you back all the blessings you need to stay happy, healthy and free!
We are thrilled, awed, ecouraged and energized by the generous contributions of all! Juan and I are very grateful to everyone. I read every one's comments too...they remind me we are all people with needs as we have right now. Thank you.
A few donors so far will receive the incentives! Juan says he is happy that we have the opportunity to fulfill them. From Juan's special cooking, to learning a month of dancing through an intensive, to touring Bay Area with us, we are offering returns on your investment in our cause. Check them out to see if you are excited about any of them!
In the meantime, I am splitting up my day looking for work and focusing on SWJ business. I have gotten some requests for my resume and I am returning them! Even one in Montreal for computer graphics work as a texture painter (my past career).
I've gotten some good information from lawyers today. It's good to feel positive in this department- I"ll make the most out of it I can tell you that!
In good faith about an outcome, that feels peaceful...
and that is what we all want isn't it -
Thank you friends, family, students, pets and amazed onlookers. We are blessed to have you in our lives!
Looking back on our images of all we have done here and abroad to spread the love of Salsa and Bachata to people everywhere...It is amazing! Please help us keep our home in Oakland so we can continue to bring you great instruction, fun times and lasting memories. We have had several first donations and we are so grateful!
Ruth Caspary was partner to Juan Gil for over 14 years. In late August 2014 that relationship ended on many levels.
Ruth worked on many aspects of the business including performances with Juan Gil, dance instruction from group lessons to private lessons to workshops, choreography for the teams and individuals, scheduling, website, flyers, community outreach, public relations, events and much more. As many of you know, Ruth was dedicated to Salsa with Juan and Juan Gil and taught with her whole heart and soul. She even learned to tell a few jokes despite her focus on technicality and body movement for everyone who walked through the door. Her students loved her and continue to seek her out.
There is misinformation about Ruth's departure from Salsa with Juan and Trilliant Studios. Ruth did not want to leave the business or studio but was eventually told they could not afford to keep her as the classes were waning. The fallout from the business split has been very difficult. Ruth Caspary had help from Juan Gil and was guided by him but ultimately made the most of her natural talent to teach, perform and run that dance business out of her own initiative and efforts in pursuing growth and knowledge as a leader in the dance community. Ruth is the creator of the Bridge class and gave the name and inspiration for the new Pattern Junkie class as well as developed many of the syllabi for workshops like Lead and Follow. All of these programs will be continued in her new business model.
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