Orcas Island - YES!
We had an amazing Caravan on Orcas Island. We were so impressed with the island vibe, the trust that is present on the island, and the good will people had for one another. We were welcomed into a great space for the week, the Funhouse Commons. The facility had amazing spaces for us to work in and they were happy to let us take over the whole building! We danced and sang to our hearts content, creating dances and infusing the space with the joy and laughter of the students we worked with all week.
All the students we worked with were receptive and courageous as they followed our guidance
to move and sing, to create masks and to share about themselves. We worked with students at
Salmonberry School who were so creative and open. The Otters (1 st grade) made the most
amazing mural together, drawing sea creatures happily together. Their teacher remarked that
they hadn’t done that type of communal drawing before. The Eagles (4 th – 7 th ) made remarkable
masks creating amazing works of art. They were stunning! The Cedars (2 nd & 3 rd ) created
complex dances that reflected their joy and playfulness. We held an afterschool program at the
Funhouse with students from the wider community. At the end of a busy day, we had to gear
up for their abundant energy and creativity!
The performances were over the top! The students showed up on stage ready to be seen and to
show what they had worked on all week. Our performance is not a traditional one where
students are taught a dance or learn a script. What they do is show up and improvise in the
moment and show dances that they all created in collaboration. It is a celebration of what we
have built over our time together, new friends, knowledge of songs and rhythms we have
learned together, and the joy we have experienced as a group. We had an amazing turn out
from parents! The response from the audience let us know that they really saw what we were
up to – saying yes to all the kids. We had especially meaningful praise from the head of school at Salmonberry who shares our vision of all the children on the earth having a place where they are seen and celebrated as whole and beautiful just as they are. Where their contributions are valued, and they get to experience the power of yes! Yes, that’s a great idea; yes, you are an amazing leader; yes, you can do that; yes, let’s do that too! Do we want to return to Orcas? Yes, indeed we do!