“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood.” ~Rumi This photo was taken at CORE Theatrics: The Art of Being Human, during rehearsal for their 2014 production of “All Shook Up.” Uylber Mangune plays the lead with passion, enthusiasm and grace. Laura Duncan’s total commitment to every dance step she takes makes her performance riveting. The phrase, “Live to Dance,” is taken from Laura’s t-shirt, and is so apt for these two dancers. I have been enthralled by dance ever since I spent hours of my pre-kindergarten years in a very special dance class. My mother, who was a ballroom dancer, had decided early on to introduce me to the joys of the world of dance. She took me to a house with a wooden floor, a large window with floating white curtains to the floor, and a piano. I was there just to BE with the music, the art materials available on the floor, and the piano. I vividly remember the feeling of elation and freedom in my bodyheartmind as I twisted and turned as the music beckoned. Under the wing of this teacher in her magic studio, nothing I did was wrong, and I could fly. My aliveness was celebrated. What I now know, is that my mother had a deep appreciation for Isadora Duncan and her methods of teaching young girls. Throughout my childhood, I looked forward to the day we changed the sheets of all the beds in the house. She would pile the sheets in the middle of the living room, and I got to play at being a Queen with my cool, white train following behind me as I frolicked barefooted in the small circle of our hot, tiny home in Altadena, CA. When I tired of being Queen, I built tents and crawled in, or wrapped myself in the white cloth like a Vestal Virgin, and lounged on our brown leather sofa, a remnant of my mother’s marriage and home in the Los Feliz Hills of Hollywood. As I got a little older, my mother encouraged me to pretend I was Marilyn Monroe, an act I replicated at Blue Bird Camp, Singing Pines. Somehow, out of context, I did not get the warm reception I was expecting and felt embarrassed and confused. I think that is when I stopped “play acting,” and became an audience member, a witness. And, oh, the hours of deep joy this has brought me. Carl Jung said, “A dream wants a dream.” I believe that art wants art. By that I mean that the natural response to art in any form, is to continue the flow of creativity with art in response, not unlike a conversation. And now, I feel as if I am responding, and grateful for the dialogue.