It’s official. The G&R camp season has begun with the first session of the Go Girls! Summer Theater Workshop. These girls, ages 6-11, make up the first 30 of 135 Go Girls! this summer. And what an incredible bunch of girls they are.
Yesterday, we worked. Hard. These girls have 5 classes throughout the day. Drama. Music. Visual Art. Drumming. Dance. They are learning from esteemed teaching artists who have performed and taught all over the world. We celebrated all of the brand new things we did yesterday. The new things that we said YES to:
- Meeting new friends
- Playing drums for the first time
- Having a drama class for the first time
- Singing new songs
Sure, we take breaks. We play and have lots of fun. Take a walk around the neighborhood for exercise and vitamin D. But, at the end of the day, most of us wind up going home looking like this…
Our overall theme for this summer is “I am not a Mean Girl. I am not a Good Girl. I am a Go Girl!” What does that mean? It means that I want all 135 Go Girls! this summer to accept every part of themselves and to feel comfortable and excited to share this self with the world. As Masankho Banda, our dance specialist said to the girls yesterday, “Creativity is being able to know who you are. Express yourself. And have people join you in your expression.” I want 135 Go Girls! to take on a new identity. One that is uniquely theirs. An identity that recognizes all of their gift. An identity that helps them feel deeply, connect to each other, and make art that matters in the world.
So, today, we have been practicing Saying Yes! This is the number 1 important rule for any performer. Any creator. Anyone who wants to express themselves in the world. We started today with this Saying Yes Meditation…
Saying Yes means Trying Your Best. Even when you are afraid. Even when you think you can’t. Even when you think it’s impossible. Even when you think you’ll look weird or dumb or wrong. Some call it – go with the flow. I say, it’s stronger than that. It’s braver than that. It’s bolder than that. Saying Yes is about making a commitment. ¬Making a commitment to yourself…Read the rest of the Say Yes Meditation>>>
In music class, with Kelly, the girls were SAYING YES by learning and dancing to calypso music and writing a song about relaxing on a tropical beach. Girls are singing songs about greeting each other, looking each other in the eye, and Saying Yes to the community of artists that we are creating.
In drama class, with me, the girls were SAYING YES by taking on an impossible acting challenge. I gave the girls, all ages, 2 minutes to read, memorize, and prepare to perform a short scene with a partner. The goal was to not to get the lines “right” but to practice feeling comfortable with saying “YES” even though they knew they were going to make a mistake.
In art class, with Lisa, the girls were SAYING YES to themselves by declaring and creating art based on their favorite qualities about themselves.
In dance class, with Masankho, the girls were SAYING YES by honoring their place in the bigger picture – learning a song/dance from African traditions that honors the ancestors.
And, in drumming class, with Tacuma, the girls were SAYING YES by just…well…drumming. Using their power to make beautiful rhythms. And these rhythms are not easy. They are challenged to “work as one…like sisterhood.” Take a look…