What do you want?

Five months ago I consulted with a life coach about asking a boss for a raise.  I was terrified of this necessary conversation with my boss and had no idea how to do it.  It turns out that I did not know how to ask for what I want.  So, I practiced asking for what I want – big things or little things, material things, non-material things, people’s time, communication, and money.  I intended for this to be a daily practice and now can’t remember the last time I asked for what I want.  This week, I am asking my students to ask themselves what they want out of class.  In an Intro to Modern Class on Monday night, I asked the students what they wanted.  I was expecting someone to ask me how to do a move or define a dance word. The response I got was, “What is modern dance?” I was so happy that I had asked a question so that they could ask their’s.  Our five minute chat about modern dance built a trust and connection that felt great to me and hopefully to them too.

Now, I want to apply this concept of asking for what I want to fundraising for Tia Nina.  What would I say?  Something like, I want $25,000 to produce Juiced, a full-production rock show, in Fall, 2015.  Funds would be used to perform a rock show over two nights.  This amount would cover costs for artist fees, technical personnel, designer fees, studio rehearsal space, music recording space, materials, props, equipment rental, marketing, documentation, and project administration.

This project promotes our gender-equality messaging and how important the work is for future generations.  We expose the function of gender in music performance promoting gender equality. Tia Nina illuminates how rock ‘n roll is a highly gendered form that idealizes masculine activity, feminine passivity and compulsory heterosexuality. In our dances, we consider how such gender norms are communicated through performance.  Donors who give to Tia Nina can feel good about their dollars going directly toward educating their children and making the world a better place for their children’s children.

I would say that now is the time to support art in D.C.  Creative forces, including Tia Nina, are about to explode and make our city the place for provocative, avant garde art.  Donors want to be at the forefront of this explosion and backing a rock show by Tia Nina is exactly where they should be.

Dance moves you.  Dance moves me.  Dance has so much potential and so many more people to reach.  Because of it’s abstract and undefinable nature, funding can be challenging.  Our dance project is worthy of funds because we deliver a different kind of dance experience.  As an audience member, you are involved in an interactive, communicative relationship.  Rather than sit passively, you can hoot, holler and move.

Our work is making a difference.  We invented a new model for performing, the feminist punk rock dance band, and we are sparking dialogue with each show.  Yes, our shows expose serious themes, but they are fun, funny, and theatrical.  Baltimore based Glen Ricci drives this point home when he writes, “In the most entertaining way imaginable, they manage to take decades of faux masculinity and heteronormativity that we know as The Rock Show and totally eviscerate it.”

Focus: Ask for what you want.

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