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18 • February 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. We Speak Dance!


Musical Notes in Sonoma County by Shekeyna Black • Shekeyna@AMiracleProductionAMP.com Speaking on the Health and


legendary dancers in New York. “I was pretty lucky to have that combination of both classical training as well as the culture training at street festivals and nightclubs,” she rem- inisces. Hart reflects that she


could have chosen to travel to places that are known for dance, like Russia, India or Mexico; however, she explains, “Part of my motivation with, We Speak Dance, was to break


stereotypes and perceptions we have


about vari-


SONOMA COUNTY, CA. ~ We Speak Dance, the creative project by Vandana Hart(leſt in photo above) premiered on Netflix on January 1, 2018. Te five part series features Ms. Hart traveling to Paris, Vietnam, Beirut, Lagos and Bali to learn about the diverse, exciting dance styles. Starting out at the age of 3 with formal dance training, Hart studied ballet and as she got older she was steeped in various


styles including Afro-Caribbean, modern and Jazz. She trained as a Jefferson Dancer, at the presti- gious high school in Oregon with a deep tradition in dance. Born in Russia and raised in Califor- nia, Ms. Hart was blessed with a multi-cultural awareness. Her name, Vandana, means Prayer in Sanskrit. She trained as an Alvin Ailey


dancer by day and learned Hip- Hop at night with some of the


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ous parts of the world and I think one of the most beautiful ways to do that is through music and dance.” Hart worked for the United Na- tions as a Global Coordinator. She was living and working in Kenya when the idea for We Speak Dance was born. “I really wanted sure


to make that Africa


was in my Season 1 because African dance and culture inspired me to do the show, A, and B, it inspired me to be an entrepre- neur and C, be- cause dance cul- ture goes back…it is our first language. Te way we connect before we have words is through music and dance.”


Community-Building aspects of dance, “Something like dance that is so


sacred,


you have to be care- ful in the ways that we organize it and institutionalize it,“ Hart cautions. “Re- membering why you dance, is really why I am doing this show. Why do we dance? Or, why do we for- get to dance?,” she emphasizes. “I think


that dance is really important for most of the people of the world. People have forgotten that we are all made [created] to dance! We are all born on this earth to walk, to eat, to speak, to sing and to dance!” Hart invites


the Upbeat Times readers to participate in the We Speak Dance Insta- gram Campaign that explores dance around the world as a catalyst for so- cial change. And asks the ques- tion, “What are you dancing for?” Te cam- paign highlights brief clips of


people from around the world dancing for the benefit of hu- manity.


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When vegetables want to converse with petunias, they use a cell phone and cauli- flower.


In veterinary school we stud- ied the brain of the hippo- potamus. At that time most students stayed on the main campus, while I stayed on the hippocampus.


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They say it’s easy to get your mind around introspection.


U R 2 Sweet


2 B 4 Got 10! ... continued from page 16


opinion that for the first ten years of a child’s life they should be al-


lowed to be outdoors and learn from nature and not be cooped up in a classroom. And, Burbank is most eloquent when he writes of surrounding children with the same sustaining love that you must give plants because without love both children and plants suf- fer and do not thrive. Ah, the loving care my class-


mates had at P.S. 6. I still recall with laughter, the bright red scrawl on the big Valentine card a 9 yr old boy made for me—and threw on my desk,--with love, of course: “Hey! Roses is red and Violets is green. My face is funny but yours is a scream! O.K. I love you! –Guess who!” Have some February fun! ~Ellie


18 • February 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. ~ Dale Carnegie





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