I really enjoyed attending the State CAHPERD Conference in Oakland. I flew up there on Thursday February 22 with my husband (he came as my helper; thanks Rich); of course, I had a passion for the subject matter I spoke on: Children’s Dance: Educational or Sexualized (the topic on my website from DA:NCE-dance awareness: no child exploited). And of course,  I like to learn, and I like to meet people. But there were two added extras: I got to see the Olympic women’s long ice-skating program (I wouldn’t miss it) on TV Thursday evening, and Rich and I were able to meet for dinner (after the conference was over)on Saturday evening with my sister-in-law Sally. BTW, Sally has been a great encouragement to me in DA:NCE. Always interested, always kind, and always pressing a ‘like’ on my facebook page. Thanks Sally! It means a lot to have family support!

‘Feel the Change’ was the conference theme which is a road sign into my heart. I drank in every session and furthered some personal connections. A special shout-out to Carrie Woodsen who gathered dance educators together for some special conversations. Along with her welcoming heart, she gave a gift to all the conference teachers (I got a new theraband). We also took a group picture.

The classes and sessions were invigorating. Here are just a few of the main points:

  1. Adapt and evolve or dissolve.
  2. We have a perception problem; movement is a precursor to learning.
  3. Have courageous conversations-move the profession forward.
  4. Stand, make straight, bend over ½ the body. Teach the agency of the body.
  5. Overcome fear based decisions.

In a melodramatic moment, we had one of the main speakers talk about Spiderman, a character who was weak and afraid prior to the spider-bite that transformed him into a strong, courageous man championing truth. Keynote speaker Dr. Amanda Stanec exhorted us to morph into courageous educators. A great message.

I loved the pulse of the conference-lots of energy. And my session?

It went well (because of God’s grace) but there was drama. I tried to meet early with the IT people but they were busy (ie many sessions and many problems). On the other hand, you know that I am an IT nerd. I need help (and not just on the internet). After a flurry of emails before the conference, it was time for my class. And I was not able to schedule a time to check out my equipment. As an aside, I tried to set up the equipment the night before but the equipment was gone after 5pm on Thursday eve. Friday arrived. I went to my assigned teaching room early. There, I worked to meet some IT techs who I nailed down with requests for help. They came 15 minutes before my class with reassurance. No problem. They were the experts.

But there was a problem. The powerpoint was not connected. Eventually, it was connected. But the video was not working. A disaster. The video I show shows the problem clearly. After the 2 techs worked and worked, they could not solve the problem; I started anyway. But I had peace. As I began my session, something happened in back of me. A click and then a noise. The 2 IT techs had gone to get help from their supervisor. The hero came to the rescue. He knew what to do. Suddenly, the video and the powerpoint came alive. Everything worked for my session. And it went well. Relief.

But a word to all of you. I need help with IT; I’m trusting God to help me with or without assistance from conference staff.