Flash Mobs Protest Violence Against Women

A view of the One Billion Rising event in New Dehli

Flash mobs broke out across several continents yesterday, Valentine's Day, to raise awareness of the altogether too-frequent acts of violence against women. Sponsored by the campaign "One Billion Rising" (named for a recent horrifying United Nations statement that roughly 1 billion women—approximately 1 in 3—will be subject to a rape or beating in their lifetime), hundreds upon thousands of women (and men) took to the streets of cities worldwide including Chicago, San Francisco, London, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Hawaii, Dehli and Steubenville, Ohio. In fact, flash mobs in 203 countries were scheduled to rise up and demand an end to the violence. Visit the One Billion Rising site to see footage of the protests and dances—they're really powerful.

Although it's February 15, the action isn't over. You can still get involved. One Billion Rising was created by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, who, in 1998 founded V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Many V-Day events occur throughout the year at various locales (called V-Spots), and you can even organize your own. See http://www.vday.org/take-action to learn more.

 

photo by Anindito Mukherjee/European Pressphoto Agency; via india.blogs.nytimes.com

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

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But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

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