Monday, March 8, 2010

The Mall; Westlake Center

Today was an active day...!( Sunday) I danced in front of the Westlake mall... where Christian evangelists of  all kinds were ranting, the home less youths were hanging out, the shoppers and perhaps tourists.. just all kinds of people comming from diffrent direction, walking around. As I started, pretty much immediately, the youths came charging at me, from across the fountain park, and asked" can we dance with you, please?" and I was shocked and excited, "SURE!" I said, and all of a sudden there was more than one, two, and then three, four started dancing with me, and they even started the"wave" holding hands, and I danced weaving among the arms in and out. I was overwhelmed how positive and welcomming they were, with big smiles, and huge enthusiasm. When Rex lifted the camera towards them, they got so excited! One of the boy and I danced a sweet duet.

Rex Hohlbein, was shooting with his camera to take these photos of the youths who danced with me......

There was some cute group of shopping girls who were watching for a while got a courage to take photos and ran over next to me so I posed... and then more people taking photos, couple of old ladies staring intensely, I saw some family with little kids stopping and watching intrigued.Someone hiding in the bushes video taping  too.... all kinds, all kinds of people stopping, smiling,gawking, and looking confused, too! The youths that danced with me thanked me so sweetly I was stunned and confused myself. Something blurrted out of my mouth because I thought I must say something to respond, and I acidentally bit my tongue..( I was still dancing, feeling  all of a sudden nervous and shy ,I looked over to Rex who has stood pretty far away, trying so hard not to be in the way of the interactions, he was grinning VERY BIG.Joshua came this time too, I can see him in the corner of my eye..and has gave me moral support, it was so nice:) I saw an intense man walk  slowly by, also homeless, he even stopped to stare. The guards who wore bright yellow ( my friend Colin calls them copsycles because they are on bikes) came over, and ofcourse first I tensed up ready to be warned or to be yelled at, but they seem to be so caring and gentle, I couldnt tell what they were saying to the homeless folks, but later Joshua told me that they even knew every single person's name and they seem to all know each other and were almost councelling them... One of the guard in a dark uniform walked over to me and kindly told me that the police would not give me hell if I stayed in a certain area.While I was dancing, Rex seemed to made many friends with the community down here! He has such a warm and welcomming energy, and always give encouraging words,always seemd to give everyone an equal respect. he was telling the youths that he will bring the photos next sunday and meet them, perhaps to do a session with them also. I later went to the movement jam at the Velocity Dance Center.I got to dance with some new people there...ofcourse it felt surreal to be there after the earlier encounters....but I felt encouraged , got more courage to ask people to dance with me there.Ok, thankyou for today....everyone, everyone.


Julia Hensley said...

Haruko, I love this - thank you for your boldness to dance at Westlake and shake up the scene, and also for your openness with the kids who wanted to dance with you. What a great story.

Anonymous said...

Dear Julia,
whoa, I did not see this. Thanks for your words. I hope to carry these experiences into my work in May! -Haruko