No one cares what you wear. What matters is that you’re there.
ABunDance. Yes, a witty play on the word ‘abundance.’ The name of a little/big gathering at the Globe Theatre in downtown LA last weekend.
This past Saturday was a kick-off to festival season for many festi-goers around the Los Angeles area.
For me, it was the kick-off to my first taste of how good a festival could be.
And I liked it.
For the first three hours I was helping out with the box office, trading my volunteer services for a ticket into the show. Standing by the front door, practicing my grand, left handed, sweeping arm gesture that wordlessly said, “Welcome, enter this door. The party is waiting for you.”
Some people look down, avoiding eye contact, and enter shyly. Some people give you great eye contact and an honest thank you (because sometimes I would even hold the door open for groups.) Some people wanted to shower you with loving words, complimenting smiles and eyes and such.
If the crowd was a crayon box, every color in the 120 color set was in attendance. Plus the extra kit of glitter crayons.
Casually dressed, jeans and t-shirts.
Full zip, hooded, tye-dye onesies.
Glittery costumes trailing sparkles as they pass.
A man wearing stilettos better than most women.
Face tattoos and piercings.
And a few elegantly dressed, as if they were seeing an opera. Those one’s stood out to me for the reason that they did not seem ready to dance for fear of breaking a heel or disturbing their perfectly placed hair.
But you know what? It didn’t matter. Because ultimately, people are there for one reason. For the love of it.
For the love of music, the love of dance, the love of freedom of expression, the love of the connection to everyone else. Be yourself, be someone else, as long as you’re kind and respectful, you can even be a giraffe if you fancy.
1 am – my volunteer shift was over. Anjeique, my good friend from our ballet days, the reason I was even there, swooped me from the front. She still had half an hour of her volunteer shift assisting the main stage manager. So I followed her around back stage and all over, being granted access to the passage ways and secret rooms reserved for artists and work crews.
There was so much to see!
Main stage up top. Most of the crowd was there. Gogo dancers on high, side stages twirling fans with long fabric or prancing around in their poofy fox tails. Elevated boxes on the middle-sides of the dance floor for any brave flow artist to twirl around their LED hoops. Visuals on the stage screen that would make you question if you really were sober or if you just got secretly dosed a few hits of acid in your drink.
Live artists filled the outer edges surrounding the main dance floor. Euphoric painting of people and nature. Beautifully blended colors and heart provoking imagery.
Second stage was underground. Black lights and trippy paintings. Couches in the corners. A low ceiling and support beams, dressed up in artsy tree moss. A smaller crowd and lots of happy dancing people.
Upstairs balcony room. Tables of local crafters, selling their trade. Beaded jewelry. Sage wraps. Sequin pants.
There was the secret room behind the basement stage. A special wrist band to get you in there. Dancers in costume stretching and posing for the photographer. Musicians talking and laughing, taking a break. Those two kind people serving the drinks next to the small red couch.
Then, there was the dance floors. Everyone, swaying small or throwing big. Just dancing.
The most beautiful aspect of it all is the unification of many people through music, through this event, through dancing together to the same beat. It does create community. And any kind of dancing is a celebration of life. When you celebrate with others you honor the shared love between you. It strengthens bonds and evokes something deep and primal and fulfilling.
When I danced I felt like I was honoring my body and it’s ability to dance. By dancing I was showing my appreciation of all the artists and all the people who worked so hard to put this event together.
By being there, meeting who I did, roaming around with Angelique, and allowing myself to let my guard down and have fun, opened my heart up. At least, just a little. Just a taste.
This might sound too gushy to some and I won’t deny that it probably sounds extremely ‘hippie’ to say, but I can feel the change in the way I am able to hug people.
Like I am able to give more love because I am opening up to receive more love. Instead of deflecting away deep emotion with a steel wall because I am scared to touch it, or have it touch me, I am softening that wall because I want to connect more deeply with others and with myself.
It is amazing to be witness to a shift within ones self.
It was amazing to be there, at this concert.
I am looking forward for more amazing, heart opening, life celebrating, times to come.
There is so much more I could tell you about this night- the details of walking around and the people I met. Or the one person in particular I met that made a huge impact on me, and they probably do not even know. There is more I could write just about that kind of a special connection you can have with someone you have just met.
Though for now, this is enough.
And I hope someone gives you a loving and heartfelt hug today. Or that maybe, you will be the one to give that hug…