September 22nd, 2005
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and so yesterday our dancing on the streetcorner brought the cops out. don’t worry, we were not arrested. but what transpired was a brief explanation followed by a philosophical debate. the conversation went something like this (keep in mind there were three or four cars called to the scene)…
cop: So what’s going on here?
me: We are dancing. My husband and his friend made a film about dancing in public which is showing at the festival this week. The film addresses the concept that when we dance in certain contexts (at a club, or a wedding) it is perfectly acceptable and viable but when we are moved to dance in public (on the streetcorner for example) we are then labled as crazy, drunk or on drugs.
cop: (with a disapproving look, stern tone, eyebrows raised) Yes, everyone does think that. That’s why I was called.
me: Is it illegal to dance in public?
cop: No. But you cannot go against the lights, or infringe on the rights of others.
me: We just enjoy dancing. We don’t wish to cause any harm. In fact quite the opposite. I think people enjoy watching us.
cop: (eyebrows raised) Well someone was upset by it, that’s why I was called.
me: I’m sorry about that.
cop: (still not happy) Well, I can’t stop you. Just obey the law.
me: Yes, we will.
this process is fascinating. the response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive. we almost can’t believe it. actually we can’t believe it. all because of the dance. after the screening last night we were swarmed with people. this film was shot on a regular, tiny digital camera (canon digital elph) in film clip mode. when we show other filmakers the camera they audibly gasp and stare in disbelief. Most of the films in this festival were done with large crews, good budgets, big actors, studio backing. it is amazing that we are here.
it just goes to show that if you are passionate about what you are doing, tell your story as directly as you can, the world will respond to it.
it also brings up my favorite saying, “Use what you got.” don’t wait until your situation is perfect (until you have the right space, the right equipment, enough money.) Begin now.
don’t worry if people tell you you are crazy.
“We are fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” -Japanese proverb
added note: the woman who called the cops (we believe) has approached us every day single day and made a point to tell us that we are ‘making fools of ourselves in Palm Springs’. we think she really wants to join us deep down.

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