As I reflect on the past 25 years of my professional career I have noticed some patterns and habits- some that have been productive and others self-sabotaging. The pattern that has inspired this work is around my ability to stay resilient and tenacious in this field of dance and in life in general...I have noticed that I have been able to bounce back, get knocked on my ass and get back up, show up in the face of defeat and rejection...until recently...The past few years I have noticed it has become increasingly difficult to get back up...if I were to be completely honest, in the past 5 years there has been a marked increase in the times when I just want to lie down not seeing the point in getting up anymore. As difficult and perhaps inappropriate it is to admit-I am in one of those moments right now...But in doing so it allows me to notice other habits. When I can't stand up for myself, I will stand up for others. When I can't stand up for myself, I will see the remarkable generosity and courage of those around me. When I can't stand up for myself, I will get up for dance. In this I am not unique- it is the human spirit. It is the experience of Black folks.
So, as I continue work on (Re)current Unrest (check that out on www.charlesoanderson.me), I am going to begin this new project as an act of self-preservation and an attempt to dust myself off once more. More specifically, I am going to explore. Specifically I am raising funds to travel to Cartagena, Colombia one of the largest Spanish slave ports in the Americas. I am also applying for funds to finally visit Salvador, Bahia Brazil and for my long overdue James Baldwin pilgrimage to France and Turkey. I am on leave this fall from UT and I am hoping to book my first trip by my birthday of August 4.
I am asking for your support as part of my process to stand up for myself. I am struggling and I need your help. I am feeling stuck and I need to change, I need to dance. I realize that after 25 years there are many who I have taught, engaged, mentored and supported. I hope I can count of you to help me to meet my August 4 deadline to start finding a reason to stand up again...to start moving again. Thank you.
- Courtney Mazeika
- Tina Curran
- Ms. Wilhemina
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