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JoAnna Ursal's Fundraiser:

Dance Empowers

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EVENT DATE: Jun 03, 2012

JoAnna Ursal


Dance heals . It brings people together. It cuts across cultural and economic barriers. It develops self esteem, self- awareness and self-determination. It is a portal to understand your own humanity and that of others. It keeps you healthy and balanced. It transforms your body, your mind and your spirit. It empowers the individual and the community.  It is a gift that I want to offer my community.

I am a dancer, emerging choreographer, dance educator, researcher and single mother of three divine children. My mission is to continue to develop professionally as an artist, researcher and educator in the field of dance; raise my children with the integrity, commitment and attention they deserve, and inspire other single mothers to follow their creative paths & successfully reach their career goals.

As a mother who studies, performs, creates and researches contemporary and world dance forms, my work demands that I continue to enhance my skills and knowledge of dance and pursue opportunities that is valuable and important in my research and artistic endeavors. Traveling to conferences, festivals, and creating projects with other artists around the world is part of what I do. With three degrees under my belt: a BA in sociology, MA in dance education, and most recently (and miraculously) an MFA in Choreography, and 20 years experience as student, performer and researcher of dance I feel pretty well armored with great education and training. But needless to say, as a single mother the logistical issues that arise when I am trying to pursue my professional and artistic goals can be very challenging: how do I fund traveling expenses and pay for conference/festival fees? Can I take my children? If not, who can take care of them and how do i pay for that?

With your help however, I will be able overcome these challenges and hope to raise money for three events:

1. Port-of -Spain Trinidad/New Waves Festival (July to August 1, 2012) ~ I have been accepted and given partial scholarship to join 50+ dance artists from around the world and a generous discounted tuition for childcare by the director who. as a mother herself,  believes in making it economically feasible for other mothers to attend this amazing conference.  However, I still have to raise funds for airline tickets, food and half of the tuition by June 30th 2012. Participating in this international dance conference will help me understand  my work and those of other choreographers within a global context. The rich exchange of information and networking I will gain from this experience will undoubtedly help me develop as an artist, educator and researcher of dance.  

2. New York/ Gaga Summer Intensive (August 2012): With the money I raise I will also be able to go to New York in August and participate in one week Gaga workshop-a cutting edge dance technique that many also consider an effective form of dance therapy. Gaga has been sweeping the international community of dancers and non-dancers, created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin after suffering from a back injury. My goal is to eventually get certified so that I can share the healing benefits of dance to the public community as well its cutting edge technique to serious students of dance.

3. New Mexico/Congress on Research of Dance Conference: to meet with other dance artists, choreographer, performers and educators of World Dance, and participate in workshops and panel discussions focusing on the role, status and value of World Dance forms in the 21st century.

I believe dance can have a positive impact on people's lives.  As a way to give back to my supporters and my community, and because I feel passionate that everyone, regardless of their economic background and social status should have an opportunity to experience the health benefits and artistry of dance, I will offer free monthly dance workshops to children, students and mothers who are not able to afford dance classes in my community.  During these workshops I not only want to teach dance but provide a safe and nurturing place for children, mothers, and students to express themselves through dance, choreography, and performance and will provide opportunities for them to tell their stories and create original choreography based on their personal history and share it with family and friends in performances throughout the year.

I have had a blessed and privileged life with some struggles and challenges to keep me humble and driven, and through it all DANCE has always provided me a sacred haven for me to get through life's tough times as well as celebrate its joy and beauty. And it is time for me to give back to other mothers, parents, children, and anyone who wants to learn about themselves and each other better through the art of dance. I am excited to begin this journey and share the art and beauty of dance.   With your help I will be able to not only raise funds for traveling and educational costs, but pay rent for studio space throughout the year, so that I can offer  free dance workshops in my area.

Thank you!



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