Saturday, December 28, 2019

Dad, "do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth."

These words. 
This moment 
moved me. 
I too was born
in the Soviet Union
where I know
- like in many other countries around the word -
it would not have been
to speak up
or to speak out;
where it would not 
have been safe 
to speak the truth.
Perhaps it is the absence of,
knowing what it means to go without,
that makes one treasure 
liberty and savor it
- that makes one yearn so audaciously
to preserve it,
to uphold it,
to defend it.
I am #grateful
for the #freedom of speech.
#freedomofspeech #USA

Lt. Col. Vindman spoke these words on Nov 19, 2019 in his opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee. The Pentagon "has protections for whistleblowers -- they're guaranteed in law," said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

#speakup #speakout

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Steps are Just the Beginning...

I had a curious conversation with someone who has been dancing many years in our Pacific Northwest tango community about my upcoming Intermediate-Level Close-Embrace Tango Bootcamp May 4, 2019. The question they posed to me was, What will you cover? 

Fair question. 

I explained that the point of these bootcamps is to improve posture and close-embrace technique -- the quality of the dance, and that we will also focus specifically on the cross (different qualities of movement, variations, shapes, etc.) of this so very "tango" movement. 

This person immediately went to: "Oh, I already know how to do the cross."

Yes, this is an Intermediate-Level workshop. Participants should "know" the cross. The point isn't to learn how to do the cross from scratch; the point is to amplify the nuance and possibilities within a movement that one already knows -- for both leads and follows. Tango isn't about "learning" the steps. That is just the beginning. 

I was grateful for the question and happy to expand on this for this person and others.

Saturday, January 12, 2019


There are times
when you just need to be sad,
even if you know better,
even if it’s not worth it
even if it makes you feel vulnerable
even if it makes you question your worth
even if it makes you sad to feel sad.

There are times when you can’t get around the sadness,

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Do you believe in Synergy?

In November of 2015, I left Seattle for Buenos Aires and was concerned about leaving my students, especially Tho Nguyen (who I had been working with for 1.5 years at that point) hanging without being able to practice his walking for 6 weeks. I suggested that he get back with a PT to keep working on his walking while I was away, but it took until January to set up. Since I was already back, he asked me to come to Valley Medical Center in Renton to show his new PT how we walked. The PT & OT linked me up with Stroke Nurse Sarah Devine to see about setting up our first group class at the hospital.

In the meantime, also in January 2016, I met Jon Rowley at one of Traca Savadogo's Cook the Book gatherings at Archis Gore's place. That meeting was a catalyst.

Seattle Spoke

This Jewish girl watched the Neo-Nazi rally in Seattle get supplanted by counter-protestors. Freedom of Speech means you can say what you want, and so can everyone else. Seattle spoke. (2017)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Close Embrace

Photo by Adrienne Yvr, Seattle Tango Marathon 2017.
The sweetness
of holding someone
and being held,
knowing that,
no matter what happens 
during the journey of the dance,
that journey
you will walk together.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let the song carry you

I had always loved to play the piano, Keith told me, but then life's circumstances split us apart. I longed to play again, so someone suggested I go to the open mic event -- they have a piano. Now, I hadn't played for people before and it had been so long since I had played at all, when I got up there -- I had given myself permission to decide not to, even at the last minute -- but when I made my way up to that piano bench, I sat down and faced the smooth ivory keys. My fingers pressed one note after another and soon the music was in motion. But I noticed my hand trembling. An internal dialogue ensured: I could focus on containing the nerves manifesting themselves through my fingers, but I knew I would lose the song. Or, I could let the song carry me.

I chose the latter. And I share this story, he told me, because I think it can help you, too: When you find yourself in a place of uncertainty, anxiety and stress taking over, let your mission carry you.