Aloha from Kihei, Maui, Hawaii!
I'm thrilled to share Beach Dance here on Kickstarter and I'm excited to promote a form of conscious dance this way. Before I tell you what The BIG Ask is and make a request for your support, I'd like to share a short story of Beach Dance with you.
What exactly is Beach Dance?
Beach Dance is a free-form dance experience where movement, music and nature merge together. With the use of modern technology (Apple iPod shuffles), a one hour playlist of evocative music is pre-synched before each event to the iPods so that every participant can listen and dance to the same music at relatively the same time.
I created Beach Dance seven years ago out of my love of the ocean and passion for conscious (also known as ecstatic) dance. Combining the two seemed like a sweet idea. After wondering (it was really more like procrastinating) whether anyone else besides myself would think dancing on the beach with others would be fun, I purchased fifteen iPods and invited fifteen friends to test it it out. It was a rather cool and gray day along the Oregon coast, but they all showed up.
Their enthusiastic feedback convinced me to launch my creative baby into the world and on June 21, 2008, I held the first public Beach Dance. For the next four years, approximately twenty-five events were held every summer in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It grew in popularity over time and then...a rather sweet surprise happened while I was vacationing and participating in a dance retreat on Maui in February 2011. I had the opportunity to facilitate a Beach Dance with 25 people and it was during that particular event when a certain photo was taken that led to an even bigger surprise.
Beach Dance got some BIG press.
This was quite an honor and gave Beach Dance national exposure. While this recognition made me feel incredibly proud, what has given me the most satisfaction over the past seven years (and it's truly the best kind of reward for what I do) is hearing the feedback from people who have participated in the events. Far and above any other compliment, the most frequent one that's given happens to be my favorite and it's also one of the reasons why I've created this campaign.
"I feel so free."
It's a compliment I never tire of hearing. It always puts a smile on my face and it makes me wonder what it is about this experience that helps people feel this way. Perhaps it's the music. Perhaps it's dancing outdoors with nature. Perhaps it's moving one's body in such a way that the spirit is moved as well. I suspect it's a combination of these factors, but it really doesn't matter. What matters is having the freedom to creatively and authentically express ourselves without fear of being judged, criticized or excluded. And so it is with Beach Dance.
I said this was going to be a short story, didn't I?
Fast forward to January 2012 and Beach Dance begins in Maui, Hawaii. Having moved to the island four months prior from Oregon, I was excited to begin offering events in the middle of winter! With blue skies, sunshine and average temperatures in the low 80's year-round, Beach Dance could now be offered all the time. And so for the past 2 1/2 years, I've been hosting weekly dances and have made it a free offering. I use to charge $15-20 per event while it was based in Oregon, but when I moved to Hawaii, there were a few reasons why I made the change. (You can read more about those reasons here if you'd like.)
There was another change that happened when Beach Dance moved to Maui that was unexpected. Unlike the Pacific Northwest where the ocean temperature is an instantaneous toe-numbing one that the bravest of Beach Dancers would cautiously venture into with their feet, here in Maui the water's always bathtub-warm and people want to jump right in.
There's just one little problem with that...the iPod shuffles we use are not waterproof. Despite my reminders to participants of that fact, it's easy to get lost in your own dance and forget about that or anything else I've said until a wave takes you down.
And how I started buying used iPods off of Craigslist and EBay to replace the ones that died. It's also how I came to learn about waterproof iPods. And when a friend gifted one to me for my birthday last December, it profoundly changed the experience of my own dance. It also got me thinking that everyone else who came to Beach Dance should have the opportunity to experience dancing in and underwater if they'd like to without having to worry about ruining the iPod they're wearing. It's time to take Beach Dance to the next level of freedom.
What's the BIG Ask?
I would love your financial support to purchase a minimum of 25 waterproof iPods and waterproof headphones and to produce an epic underwater ecstatic dance event on 12/13/14. The more money that's raised, the bigger the event will be. More iPods will be purchased. More people can attend the event. More delicious pu-pus (Hawaiian appetizers) at the after event party. Most importantly...more opportunities for more people to dance and feel more free during the regular events that are held on Maui every week.
I'd love to see Beach Dance become one of the premier land and water activities that people want to participate in when they visit the island. With your help financially and socially-media wise, I believe it could happen. I also believe dance is one of the most fun, creative and beautiful ways we can connect to ourselves and with each other. Beach Dance is my creative outlet, my spiritual practice, my work, but it's also my contribution to infusing the world with more goodness and glee.
I've crafted some unique and sweet rewards for you to choose from. Personalized music playlists (delivered to you in a totally fun way!), fun(ny) t-shirts, private Beach Dance events, photo sessions with the amazing Richard Marks, beautiful accommodations when you come to Maui and of course, opportunities to be a part of the epic underwater ecstatic dance event on 12/13/14.
I thought you might enjoy seeing a few photos of our home if you choose one of the rewards to come to Maui and stay with us..
I would love your support and so would all the people who will have the chance to experience Beach Dance in the water in the near future. I hope to dance with you someday on Maui. If not on 12/13/14, some other time perhaps. Beach Dance is a sure thing for me. I'll be dancing until the very end.
Risks and challenges
There are minimal risks and challenges to this project.
The greatest challenge I can foresee is if the weather is overcast and rainy on the day of the event, some participants will frown on being on the beach and in the water and won't show up. The likelihood of the weather doing something completely extraordinary on the south side of the island is rare, but it could happen. If the rain was ridiculously coming down and/or the wind was fierce and either made the ocean unsafe or reduced the water's visibility,we'd need to postpone the event to a different day. My hope would be that we could hold the event the very next day so those folks who were on the island visiting could still participate.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)