when plans don’t go as planned, will you dance through it?

We’re back to regular Creative Fridays notes! To those of you new here from our Dance-A-Day challenge or other outlets… welcome! This is your weekly love note from me, in service of your self-invention and creative expression. I share personal stories from my own messy journey with the intention that it provides some insight into yours. Always feel free to comment or reply back if you feel compelled to share! 

And now, this week’s note… 

Last week, 10 days before this Sunday’s YCDA pop-up show, I found out that the event space we were supposed to use had double-booked, and we were left with no space.

Also found out on the same day that my books would not be printed in time for the event, the – ahem – “pop-up show and BOOK party” event.


I had a few choices:

Raise hell at the space and demand they make it happen for us.
Scramble to find a new space.
Cancel it.

At least those were the choices I felt from my thinking mind.

When I dropped into my body, I knew that none of them really felt right. I was stuck between being worried about disappointing my dancers and the people who were coming to see us, and also not wanting to put added stress on me and my team in the week before the show.

At the sage advice of my book editor who was really able to mirror back to me the message that I keep sharing, I took a pause from thinking and I took a dance break.

Let me just insert here that it really wasn’t easy to do this. It all felt shitty and uncomfortable and what I really wanted to do was stay curled up in bed and avoid doing anything.

But alas, I got up.

Through dancing for a few minutes, right there in my bedroom, I got myself grounded again. Did the answers pop up right away? Nope.  But what shifted was how I felt — instead of staying stuck in the endless cycle of worries and thoughts, I felt more in my body, more open, and more ready to take action.

So I got on a video call with Cate and Michelle, my YCDA team leaders, and through the process of talking things through with them and sharing what was coming up, we envisioned a new and even better solution, together:

We were gonna move this baby to the PARK. Outdoor dance party, free for all.

The idea of taking our performances and dance breaks to a more public setting felt really exciting, a way to foster more community and connection through dance.

Plus, as serendipity would have it, the very park we are planning on going to is the exact same location where I made the first “Dance A Day in the month of May” video 3 years ago. On the heels of closing out this event, it felt even more right.

So there we have it.

We’re dancing in the park this Sunday!


And I share this along with a couple of invitations:

  1. The invitation to take a dance break next time you’re stuck in your head, or next time plans don’t go as planned. Move things through your body AND talk to other humans to get to the next step. Just thinking about it is not going to get you anywhere. Dance into your answers!

  1. The invitation to join us in Fort Greene Park (Brooklyn) this Sunday June 11th. It’s free and will be a really fun afternoon. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/YCDApopup

 Other than that, I’m happy to be on a more regular schedule again with Creative Fridays and am looking forward to dancing into the summer and beyond together.

 What are your summer plans? Tell me! I miss you.

to making dance lemonade,

p.s. There are still a couple of spots open in the You Can Dance Again summer performance series, which starts Monday. Want to dance with a fantastic group of people, unlock more of your creativity, and perform on a stage in July?  Get all the details and sign up here.

p.p.s. Want to hang out in August? Check out Soul Camp. I’m so thrilled to be facilitating dance there for the fourth year in a row. It would be amazing to dance with YOU at this life-changing summer camp for the soul. Click here to check it out.

One comment on “when plans don’t go as planned, will you dance through it?

  1. Julie B on said:

    Sorry your original plans got messed up, Jess, but it’s so cool you’re winding up at the park you made your first dance-a-day video in 3 years ago! :) My summer plans are to enjoy the “right now” as best as I can, stay in the moment and not worry about the future!! The month of May was intense, indeed, and this month hasn’t been much easier either, but I know I need to stay focused on all the positives, and of course paint, write, read, and dance through it all! Thanks for your inspiration to just get up and dance! Have fun on Sunday! <3

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