First Zoom Class FREE!

“It wasn’t perfect

and that’s ok!

Now more than ever,

imperfection is just fine.”

Tiffany Singer

Dear Friends,

Perfectly imperfect. Yesterday was March 28th… the day our 2nd Annual Dance-a-thon would have taken place. I thought of all of you who were there last year. I thought of all of you who bought a ticket and had planned to attend this year. It didn’t happen yesterday, but it’s ok. October 24th is our new date, and now we have more time to make it even better =). We already have 7 confirmed tickets! If you are interested in purchasing yours now, click here: Dance-A-Thon Tickets.

Shelter-in-place for sure is drastic and a complete change from what we know.

I would love to visit my parents and have a sleepover with my sister’s family like we do each month. I would love to see my 100-year-old grandmother. I would love to hang out with my girlfriends and chat while eating our favorite desserts. I would love to teach yoga and be able to give hands-on-adjustments. I would love to teach Stop Drop And Dance without worrying about the audio and visual freezing on me. I would love to have gone to our cancelled Hawaii trip next week. I would love to go to the movie theater. I would love to send my girls to school so they could see their friends. I would love to stop reading sad news. I would love to stop having that sickening feeling in my stomach, all the time.

At the same time, the shelter-in-place has brought about many blessings.

I love being home wearing my cozy robe and slippers. I love that extra hour of sleep in the morning that would normally be for commuting. I love the free time my girls and I have everyday to play board games or video games. I love that my husband has a slightly shorter day from work. I love that my dog is totally confused why her long daily naps are gone now. I love that I get to slowly tend to some household chores that were on my to-do list 5 years ago. I love that last night, I had a 2-hour Zoom call with my old dance ministry Eight Count, and today I had a 3-hour Zoom call with my girlfriends and their daughters. I love that among the stories of tragedy, there are stories of hope, laughter, kindness, and gratitude. I love that our world is united for the first time, and that I get messages from old students or friends in different continents checking in. I love that my parents, sister, nieces, and best friend have been dancing with me on Zoom.

I love that I am still connected to all of you.

I appreciate all the feedback from my Stop Drop And Dance Zoom classes. I am trying to listen to your suggestions and keep improving. It’s very much 2 steps forward, 1 step back, each time I teach. I tried a new HD Logitech Webcam today which drastically improved the lighting of the video, but then in the middle of class, it threw off my audio/visual synchronization. The quote at the beginning of this post was a response from one of my students, Tiffany, who took class this morning and was so loving in her email afterwards. Thank you, Tiffany. And thank you Sararose for sharing the picture of your Zoom class on your windowsill =)

Here are some of the changes for this week:

  • Classes will be on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday 9:30am and I changed Wednesday/Sunday to 4:30pm (vs. 4pm). Classes are still 75 minutes with 60 minutes dance and an optional 15 minutes abs/core.
  • I am lowering the price for a ONE WEEK PASS to $30 which covers THREE classes during the week, and an optional TWO FREE classes (must be used in a 7-day period).
  • Instagram/Facebook Live: Several of you have mentioned that the audio/visual quality is so much better on IG or FB Live. I will try to play with Livestreaming this week, perhaps the first few songs of class, but unfortunately it will not be the whole class as of now due to my fear of copyright issues on those platforms.
  • FIRST CLASS FREE! Many of you expressed that you would like to invite friends to join our Zoom class to try it out… so now they can for free! *Offer for someone who has never taken any Stop Drop And Dance classes*. Please forward this email to them and make it a Zoom Date!

To register for a class, go to www.stopdropanddance.com/classes and select the date you want to take class in the calendar. A box with an eventbrite link will pop up, which is where you can buy General Admission ($10), Weekly Pass ($30), or First Class Free tickets. Any questions, email info@thepowerwithgrace.com.

Perfectly Imperfect.

Sending you so much love during this time. Some of us are struggling with homeschooling our kids. Some of us can’t stop eating junk food from the pantry (me). Some of us are barely making ends meet. Wherever you are. First and foremost, stay-at-home to stay healthy. Secondly, stay connected because you are not alone. Finally, stay grateful and find the perfectly imperfect moments all around you.

Love,

Grace

5 Chances to Dance

Dear Friends,

I almost cried mid-class yesterday. Those of you who joined in on my Stop Drop And Dance Zoom class Saturday morning know exactly what I’m talking about. I made it a special charity class for World Down Syndrome Day, in honor of my friend Stephanie’s son, Toshi, and was so grateful for everyone who bought a ticket to donate to The 321 Pledge, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adult students with Down syndrome by helping them achieve their dreams of higher education.

My internet connection was SO bad. SO bad. I had already taught 3 classes this week and I did not have connection problems. Not like this. Frozen screens. Completely frozen. I could see at times people just holding their hands up like “WHAT???” and not move for way too long.

I didn’t know what to do.
I felt helpless.
I felt responsible.
I felt like a disappointment.
I felt awful.

Finally, over halfway through the class when the screen froze for like 20 seconds, it was so bad I had to stop. Coincidentally, it was in the middle of the song, “Broken and Beautiful,” by Kelly Clarkson. It was a humbling moment. Do I stop class? Do I restart my computer and unplug everything? What do I do…

And then thank goodness I realized that I had JUST downloaded a new streaming application for a class I was teaching live later on Twitch for Marin Power Yoga (FREE yoga and fitness classes BTW!). That had to be what was stealing all my bandwidth!!! I turned it off. And thank GOD that was the reason.

Oh my goodness. A huge sigh of relief. Back to Zoom’s normal stream, which is far from perfect, but is at least acceptable.

We raised $160 for the 321 Pledge, and I gave everyone who was there this morning a free class as a make-up. If you were there yesterday, THANK YOU for your patience, understanding, compassion, and love. The last thing I want is to deliver a poor experience. We got through it, and hopefully next week will be better.

Lessons learned on Zoom:

✔️ Mute everyone when class starts.
✔️ Spotlight myself in the video.
✔️ Use chat to communicate.
✔️ Close other applications running on the computer.
✔️ Offer an optional Spotify playlist for those who want to sync together at the start of class.
✔️ Use external speaker that can capture audio of the entire room.
(A big thank you to Mary and Brian for going out of their way to drop off one and test it out!)
✔️ Most of all, cherish and love the experience and the opportunity for connection. We might all be at our own homes, but I am absolutely needing this face to face interaction with all of you. Human connection.

A big favor: for the first time ever, anyone in the world can experience a #StopDropAndDance live class. Our furthest dancer this week was Andrea who joined from London! If you know of someone who loves music and dancing, please forward them this email and invite them to join one of our upcoming ZOOM classes.

With so much gratitude,

Grace

5 Chances to

#StopDropAndDance!

– Sunday 4pm

– Tuesday 9:30am

– Wednesday 4pm

– Thursday 9:30am

– Saturday 9:30am

Tickets: https://www.stopdropanddance.com/classes

Let’s ZOOM and Dance Live!

“We must think differently,

look at things in a different way.

Peace requires a world

of new concepts,

new definitions.”

Yitzhak Rabin

Dear Friends,

Peace. Really that’s the goal, right?

It’s been an incredibly unusual and uncomfortable few weeks and months, for the entire world. What started out in January as something that felt distant and unrelatable in China, has crept its way right into our neighborhoods and into our own homes. I know we all feel this same mixture of disbelief, confusion, worry, and fear. When have schools been shut down? When have people been asked to work from home? When have we cancelled major events, conferences, sports? Even the Happiest Place on Earth, is not open for business.

This whole situation is bizarre.

But let’s take a moment and look at the other side of things. For once, our world is sharing the same fears, the same challenges, the same compassion, the same heart. For once, our world is united on a common wish: to find a vaccine for the coronavirus and be rid of it.

Maybe, we can try to get on the same page.

As inconvenient and surprising as it may be to change our routines and self-quarantine ourselves, maybe the universe is telling you to slow down. To spend more meaningful time with your kids as you find ways to homeschool them. To clean your house. To finally tackle some unfinished projects. To learn to cook some new dishes. Time is a commodity that is limited, and maybe now that you are not commuting to work or driving your kids to all their after school activities, you have gained extra time in your day.

Maybe, time is your gift.

As awful and devastating as it must be for many businesses and individuals who no longer have work, we have to stay hopeful and positive. We have to be flexible. We have to adjust. We have to get creative. We have to try new ways of doing business and notice that technology is still on our side. We have the internet. We have the cloud. We have endless possibilities.

Maybe, this is the time to take career risks because we have nothing to lose.

Cancelling dance after my Thursday class this past week was heartbreaking. Not only do I just love exercising and almost need to move everyday, but also dance is my happy place. I get to be silly, I get to be sassy, I get to be strong, and it’s a pretty indescribable feeling when I’m in a room full of people who feel the same way as I do. And no one cares what they look like. No one compares. No one shows off. No one judges. That’s Stop Drop And Dance.

Let’s keep dancing.

Who wants to join me? Today at 4pm-5:15pm is my first trial ZOOM Livestream class – 60 minutes of dancing followed by an optional 15 minutes of core and stretch. In your home. In your pajamas if you’d like. Looking into MY home with my girls’ toys everywhere, and me possibly in my pajamas too =).

Get your tickets below and after you checkout, you will get a unique ZOOM link that you can log into before class. Please give yourself at least 15 minutes if you are unfamiliar with Zoom. Preferably you use a desktop computer, but phone is fine as long as you download the app first. You might very likely need to troubleshoot. You might fail to login at all and miss the class – in which case, I am happy to refund you if you let me know.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/99872503346

Depending on how today’s class goes, then I hope to hold more ZOOM Live classes this week, ideally Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday at 9:30am. Check the class schedule daily to stay updated: https://www.stopdropanddance.com/classes.

Yes, this might be a terrible idea. Then I’ll know, and be happy that I at least tried something. But hopefully, it will work, and you’ll have an option to keep dancing with me beyond our YouTube Channel (which has tutorials and dances broken down for you to learn, but isn’t the LIVE experience).

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay sane.

See you on ZOOM!

Love,

Grace

My Birthday Wish

Dear Friends,

I’m not going to lie. This “Rona” virus, as the kids call it, is getting out of hand. The fact is, it is spreading, and yes, it is scary! I don’t like reading the news, but I can’t help reading the news. And at first, it’s just news. And numbers. And statistics. And then… I have a moment when I pause to remember that ONE number, ONE death, is ONE person that is no longer around and that person’s poor family… I cannot, CANNOT imagine. When I have THOSE moments, I am truly devastated reading the news.

My birthday wish this year? GO AWAY CORONAVIRUS.

I wish it was that easy. But I know it’s not. So my second wish is that YOU and your loved ones will stay safe and healthy. The nice part about being married to a physician is that my husband is very level-headed and calm, and we just have to try to keep on living our normal lives knowing the FACTS, versus being paranoid and frantic.

The fact is, coronavirus is high-risk mainly for the elderly population or those with pre-existing conditions. The fact is, it is spread from direct contact to your eyes, nose and mouth. The fact is, we can do things to help prevent spreading coronavirus:

  • If you are sick or have a cough/sneeze, please stay home and away from crowds until you are better.
  • When you do accidentally cough/sneeze, use the crook of your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, or you can do what my girls do and sing the “Happy Birthday” song while washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Sanitize and use disinfectant wipes when touching things like shopping cart handles.

Now for the dreaded question…..

Are we still dancing?

YES! YES!!! We are still dancing! Songs with high-fives and hand to hand contact have been intentionally removed, and now we are limiting interaction except for the socially appropriate elbow pumps and maybe we will test out some foot taps. =) This past week, we did not see a decrease in attendance at dance classes. Then again, my dance classes are fortunately located in an unaffected county and we might be living in a little bubble compared to the rest of the world. I don’t know. But I am showing up. And many others are showing up too. Just please don’t come if you are sick. Thank you.

At this point, the Dance-A-THON on March 28th in San Francisco is ON.

It got worse, and we are officially postponing the event until Fall – stay tuned!

I will keep you updated if situations worsen in the Bay Area, but I am planning on dancing the night away. My final birthday wish is that I hope you still plan on joining me. Of course, do what makes you most comfortable and I will understand.

Growing up, I have fond memories of singing Karaoke oldies with my dad all the time. I loved it. He loved it. Gosh, I wish I could sing again, but ever since I started teaching more dance/fitness/yoga 6 years ago, I grew a throat nodule and it’s given me an on and off raspy voice, plus taken away all of my singing abilities. I can hear the pitch, but I just can’t sing it out.

One of the songs that we sang often was, “Que Sera, Sera,” which translates perfectly to, “Whatever will be, will be.”

Music lives in me. In my heart. In my soul. And maybe I can’t sing anymore, but I can feel the music, and I express it through dance. I hope I will see you in class this week. Or at the Dance-a-thon in 3 weeks. Or maybe YouTube will be how we dance together over the next few weeks while the world fights and heals from the coronavirus.

In the meantime, stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay grateful. Stay joyful. Que sera, sera.

Love,

Grace

Get a FREE Tank Top!

Dear Friends,

ONE MONTH COUNTDOWN!!!

Our 2nd Annual Stop Drop And Dance-A-THON in San Francisco at the Folsom Street Foundry is one month away on March 28th from 4pm-10pm.

What is a danceathon? Well, in a normal one hour Stop Drop And Dance class, we dance about 15 easy-to-follow songs. Our danceathon is going to be 41 songs which will be about 3 hours of sweaty, heart-pumping, ridiculous fun that is going to be a serious accomplishment!

Afterwards will be an optional dinner catered by Town Square Eats, DJ Trust spinning your favorite music, a cash bar on-site, and time to hang out in our community of dancers. Organize a girls night out or make it a date night, and go out to the city for a totally unique, healthy, joyful experience.

Ticket prices go up in two weeks on March 15th – buy now: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/82047088049

Also starting today, if you get 3 people to sign up to our Dance-a-thon, then you will get a FREE tank top (for you, or you can gift it to someone else).  At the checkout, there is now a field that asks if someone referred them. Please make sure to tell your friends to write your name!  Every 3 referrals = 1 free tank top! 

Those of you that bought tank tops already, they arrived this weekend!!!  Yippee!  You can pick them up Tu/Th 9:30am at class at Marin Power Yoga, or Saturday Noon at NOW Power Yoga for the next 3 weeks.  If you ordered shipping, I will get them out this week and you should receive them the week of March 9th.  Final pick up option is at the actual Dance-a-thon. And if you haven’t bought a tank top, but want one, go to www.stopdropanddance.com/shop – buy one for $30 or both for $50!

It’s an exciting month, friends.

With so much gratitude and love,

Grace

Dance on Stage

“#StopDropandDance lets me be the back up dancer of my dreams!”

Stephanie Byers

Dear Friends,

It’s time to share my deep dark secret… are you ready?

Exactly 10 years ago, I was 30 years old and at the maximum age to audition for my dream show, So You Think You Can Dance.  The show was “relatively” new at the time, and back then, there hadn’t been a hip hop girl on it yet.  

I thought… maybe I could be the first one.

I prepared a solo that showed my heart, my passion, and some of my retired breakdancing moves, and practiced it for hours and hours in my Kindergarten classroom.  The only person that knew about my audition at the time besides my husband, was my supportive and loving next door classroom teacher, Ms. Stephanie Byers, who is quoted above from her own testimonial of #StopDropAndDance.  Steph even flew with my husband and I to UTAH for the audition, and stood in line with me IN THE COLD at 4am that morning.  

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I had to take it.

When it was finally time, the mob of dancers began to enter the auditorium in groups. We filled out forms, signed waivers, and took some photos. Then it was time to get on stage. Except… it wasn’t a solo audition as they show on TV. Instead, they had 10 dancers at a time go on stage, and then they turned on any genre of music, and guess what? You FREESTYLE. For a trained monkey like myself (meaning I grew up playing piano and can learn to play any song, but improvising like Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder is a whole different skill), freestyle dancing was not just unexpected, but a total whammy.

I was completely out of my comfort zone.

Somehow, miraculously, I made it to the second round. Now the real judges came out including Mr. Nigel Lythgoe himself, co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance. Alright. I was ready to do my solo that I prepared and show what I came here for. But to my dismay, round two turned out to be the same format: Freestyle. DOUBLE UGH. Right away I was in my head. Instead of trusting my body and moving with the music, I tried to think of some old routine or sequence to do, desperate to impress, but 100% a fish out of water. And this time, whatever I did wasn’t enough, because Nigel cut me. Ouch.

My pride and ego were destroyed and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone.

I am quite a perfectionist in all areas and I don’t like to fail. In fact, I usually avoid failure by not even engaging in things I know I am not good at. Therefore, auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance was a huge leap. So huge, that it’s taken me 10 years to finally forgive myself and be able to share about my audition experience with all of you.

“It’s ok to try something and fail. It’s ok to share your imperfections with others. It’s ok to love yourself just the way you are.”

#StopDropAndDance

Stop Drop And Dance was created as a SAFE way for anyone to dance. You don’t have to compete or compare with others. You don’t have to get all the moves right. You don’t need to be perfect.

You DO have to have an open mind. You DO have to have an open heart. You DO have to think less, and feel more. You DO have to try. You DO have to trust.

Will you dance on stage with me?

In just over a month, on March 28th, 2020, we will hold our 2nd Annual Stop Drop And Dance-A-THON in San Francisco, CA. Some of us will dance all 41 songs in a span of 3 hours. Some of us will hop in and out of dancing while grabbing a drink or socializing. This evening is meant to be an experience for you and your friends: a unique, healthier, entertaining way of hanging out on a Saturday night!

If you attend live classes or have danced online and know some of the routines, I invite you to get out of your comfort zone and consider dancing on stage with me for 1-2 songs. Deadline to sign up as a backup dancer is by next Sunday, March 1st, so don’t hesitate, just click the button below!

I truly believe that all of our life experiences are lessons. Lessons that help us grow and help us become stronger. I am grateful for So You Think You Can Dance because it celebrates all styles of dancers and choreographers, and it has been a huge source of inspiration to me. I am grateful I had the opportunity to witness first-hand raw talent all around me in that audition auditorium 10 years ago. I am grateful I had the courage to try for something that meant a lot to me, and I am grateful I now see what that experience led me to: Stop Drop And Dance.

Love,

Grace

PS. If you haven’t bought your Dance-A-THON tickets yet, General Admission prices go up on March 15th. Plenty of time still to gather a group of friends and Stop Drop And Dance together! Buy your tickets here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-drop-and-dance-a-thon-2020-tickets-82047088049

Free 30-Minute Dance Class!

“Living the dream isn’t about amassing wealth or going on fancy trips – it’s about sharing what’s alive in your heart with the world.”

Molly Hahn

Dear Friends,

I always feel bad when I go on vacations. With my yoga and fitness classes, at least someone else can be my substitute. However, with my Stop Drop And Dance classes, they get cancelled. I appreciate that my students are so loyal and understanding, but I definitely feel guilty!

Now that I started a Stop Drop And Dance YouTube channel (please subscribe!) in the beginning of 2020, I am happy to offer a glimpse of my dance class 24/7 to not only my regular students, but also the rest of you who aren’t in Marin. I say a glimpse because I really do believe Stop Drop And Dance is most impactful as a live experience, but dancing online is better than nothing.

If you have 30-minutes this week and want to get a little workout in, I have put together a free 30-minute playlist for you to try at home. If you prefer to learn the choreography first without music, each dance has a tutorial you can watch. For those of you coming to our Stop Drop and Dance-A-THON party on March 28th in San Francisco, think of this as training – this playlist has 8 of the 40 songs we’ll be dancing to, and more dances will be posted from now until the event to help you become familiar with the choreography.

Thank you for your love and support. Choreographing is my passion and dancing is what makes me feel alive. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share my heart with all of you.

Love,

Grace

Click below to start your 30-minute dance workout!

5 Ways To Love Yourself More

“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Fall in love with the path of deep healing. Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself but with patience, with compassion, and respect to your own journey.”

Sylvester McNutt III

Dear Friends,

Teaching is humbling. Back when I was an elementary school teacher, I poured my heart out for my students for 180 days of the year. However, looking back now, they were assigned to me and really didn’t have a choice to not be in my class. I had 180 6-hour days to build a relationship with these children and teach them, gain their trust, and watch them grow.

As a fitness-related instructor, we get one hour to build that trust, and then we might gain a new follower, or we might never see that person again. Being a self-critical, sensitive, and over-analytical person, I sometimes wonder if I am in the right occupation. It definitely hurts when I know students choose another class over mine. Or I’ve had classes in the past get cancelled due to low enrollment. Or in these recent weeks, I have been teaching a new Pop Up Saturday class and one week I had a surprising 50 people and the next I had a disappointing 9.

But what is most harmful is if I take it personal and let it define me. I can’t let that happen. In the end, I am running a business and I will have peaks and valleys just like anybody else.

So this week, I wanted to share 5 techniques I use (or try to), to remind myself that “Hey, I am enough.”

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

Zen Shin

1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

I love the quote above. Seriously, a flower blooms and it is beautiful. The flowers around it bloom and they are equally beautiful. I do my thing. You do your thing. We can all grow together, right? When I catch myself comparing to someone else, I make a choice to praise something that they do well and then tell myself something that I do well too. It is not a competition.

“You’re so mean when you talk about yourself. You are wrong. Change the voices in your head. Make them like you instead.”

P!nk

2. Speak Kindly To Yourself

Oh the inside voices are so mean! When I find that I am criticizing myself, I try to visualize that I am another person. Then it automatically changes the tone of the conversation, as well as the actual words spoken to myself. It is hard, but it works!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”

Melody Beattie

3. Remember What You Are Grateful For

Gratitude is the foundation of my life. No matter how upset or sad or down I feel, I can always pull out of the darkness by listing out, literally listing out, each and every person I am grateful for, my home, my safety, my health, my freedom… the more I list, the happier I become.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Buddha

4. Treat Yourself

How do you shower someone else with love? A card, a gift, a favor? This is a hard one, but you have to make time for yourself. Maybe that looks like saying “no” to a social obligation and gaining some “me” time at home. Maybe that is getting a massage, or watching a movie. Maybe that is having that yummy dessert without giving yourself any guilt trip. That’s what I love.

“Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic.”

Brene Brown

5. Stay True and Just Be You

Finally, I think self-love really stems from knowing who we are. Our core values, our truth, our passion… and living that from the inside out. I know I care about helping people be happier. I know I care about helping people become healthier. I know I care about people feeling accepted and loved.

So even though it is terrifying and humbling to do what I do, and put myself out there as a dance, fitness, and yoga teacher everyday to potentially be judged or rejected, I know I am meant to be here, sharing all these thoughts with you right now.

I am enough. You are enough. Let’s love ourselves more.

Love,

Grace

Dancing in the Rain

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

Vivian Greene

Dear Friends,

It has been a heavy week for all of us.

*big exhale*

One of my #StopDropAndDance students, Laura, gave me daffodils and a card with the quote above, and it was my theme of the week. Hello thunderstorm, and yes we were 100% dancing in the rain all week long. If your emotions have been completely unstable this week too, then maybe you found yourself crying like I was during the “OK, Google” commercial that just aired in the Superbowl. The fact is, that life is hard, and how we navigate through the hard times, is what matters most.

Do you know what was beautiful this week?

Kobe.

The fans that gathered around Staples Center.

The murals painted of Kobe and Gigi.

The tributes paid to him on all levels from his own wife Vanessa to a friend of yours on your Facebook feed.

The opening of the Lakers game on Friday night and the video montage that brought even my husband to tears.

The legacy that he left behind.

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”

Kobe Bryant

Lisa.

The courage she showed coming to dance all week long even though she had just lost her son, Shayne.

The community that came to class to lift up Lisa and send her their love and energy.

The GoFundMe that raised over $60,000 when the goal was $10,000, thanks to donors like you who may not have even known Lisa or her family.

The Saturday morning Dance for Shayne class that no one could have ever imagined to take place as part of a funeral, but it did, and it was strangely healing as a way to release all our emotion.

The church that was so full that people stood in the hallways outside just to try and hear the service because they wanted to celebrate Shayne’s life.

“I’m broken and it’s beautiful.”

Kelly Clarkson

We don’t need to have it all together. We don’t need to pretend that everything is happy and cheerful. We just need to keep showing up. Keep reaching out. Keep dancing in the rain.

Love,

Grace

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

“This world may bring deep darkness.

But we are the bearers of light.

We’ll join our flames together.

And shine in the blackest of nights.”

John Mark Green

Dear Friends,

I had a whole other newsletter and blog prepared for today. But this is what is on my heart right now.

This weekend was filled with tragedy.

Unexplainable, unpredictable, unacceptable tragedy that hit all the members of our family hard.

First, was the memorial yesterday for Alex, a first-grade boy that attended my daughter’s school, and had tragically been killed during recess when a rolling gate became dislodged and fell. You can imagine how traumatizing it has been for all the students at our school and in our community. I am still anxiously waiting for my daughter to process what happened and to talk about it. But at this time, she has only expressed sadness and she did not want to attend the funeral so I respected her wishes.

Next, was hearing the news of Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, in the helicopter crash this morning. Kobe was a year older than us, so when my husband and I went to college in San Diego, Kobe was just starting his career in the NBA. My husband was an especially die-hard Kobe fan, along with the entire world, and he continued to stay loyal and support Kobe until his last game 4 years ago. We think celebrities and legends are untouchable, but this is a tough reminder that no one is invincible.

Third, and hopefully last, was receiving an email today from one of my regular #StopDropAndDance students, Catherine, who shared that another student, Lisa, lost her 16-year-old son Shayne this weekend from a tragic accidental fall from a higher deck at their house. Lisa comes every week to my class at Marin Power Yoga and stands in the front right behind me, always with a smile on her face.

Lisa, I am so extremely heartbroken to hear about your son and cannot imagine how much you are hurting right now.

I share all this because I am feeling a little numb and helpless.

There are no answers. There is no reason. All that we are left with is confusion and pain. When we find ourselves drowning in sadness or hurt, what do we do? What can we do?

We search for healing.

Maybe that means holding on tightly to our loved ones right now. Not holding back our words and emotions, and sharing what we feel. Maybe that means taking some quiet, uninterrupted time for yourself to just reflect and breathe. It is enough to just get through the day. Maybe that means seeking professional help and talking through the hurt. Allowing someone to guide you towards healing.

I have no idea. I only know that we have to find healing. No matter how hard it may be, we have to keep going.

Click here to donate to Lisa’s family on GoFundMe.

If you are feeling helpless and would like to do something that can actually make a difference, please consider contributing to the funeral fund for Shayne. Even though you may not know Lisa and her family, the amazing thing about being humans, is connection. I feel what you feel. You feel what I feel. And I wish no one had to go through this type of pain.

Thank you for being part of my extended #StopDropAndDance family. I want you to know how deeply I appreciate you, and I hope that dance can be your healing place when you need it. It is for me.

Love,

Grace