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Re-shaping the future: a common purpose, a shared intention

Reviewed By: Open Floor Blog Editor

My Review:

On September 14th, Jo Woods & Sarah Winter, Open Floor teachers from Melbourne, Australia, held a special event at the IFTI Community Hub dedicated to raising funds and awareness about the climate crisis with their ‘Dance in the Hills’ extended community.

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Open Floor Blog Editor

Author: Jo Woods & Sarah Winter

Language availability: English

Description:

On September 14th, Jo Woods & Sarah Winter, Open Floor teachers from Melbourne, Australia, held a special event at the IFTI Community Hub dedicated to raising funds and awareness about the climate crisis with their ‘Dance in the Hills’ extended community.

I met up with them online to find out more. I started by asking them what prompted them to organise this event.

“Why the hell wouldn’t we?” exclaims Jo, “it’s so important! I want to be an advocate for change. Everything that I’m doing is about our shared communities. We have this precious gift of people, with integrity, coming together each week. They come for the music, for the dance, to socialise… and big questions around core values like equality, boundaries and social justice come up. I like to blow a little breath on those flames.” she grins.

“Yeah, there’s a shift in thinking,” Sarah adds, “In the past people thought “It’s overwhelming to make all these changes and I don’t know what to do”. Nowadays, more and more people are realising that they can make a difference, however small, when they join communities and come together… not necessarily to do everything together but to have that support from belonging to a group of people who are doing their bit as well. We don’t feel so alone, so disillusioned, so disempowered. Gathering people in community to share all the little ideas and to offer them that sense of resolve rather than overwhelm.. every bit matters, no matter how tiny. It feels like there might be a chance to make a change.”

Sarah and Jo gathered with their ‘Dance in the Hills’ community the Saturday before the global ‘School Strike for Climate Change’ to create a large, shared art banner which was then taken to the rally, where an estimated 150,000 people marched, peacefully together in downtown Melbourne. 

The Banner making was followed by a dance with “Get up off your ass energy!”, says Jo, “We practiced moving together as a group to learn how to show up united. We moved with the core movement resources of Ground and Vector… exploring how we have our goals in mind and follow them with gusto? Sticking with something, having the impetus and then seeing things through. We are teaching our community how to work together as a group, how to speak up, how to have clear boundaries, how to stand their ground, how to be respectful – to have integrity, to have a conscience… These are important skills for an activist to work with.” she says.

The ‘Dance in the Hills’ community banner reads “System Change NOT Climate Change”. I asked them what this means.

“Climate change isn’t just about sustainability, it’s about looking at the systems that have created this situation we’re in. Capitalism and blind consumerism isn’t working. We are at a global tipping point… What if we rise up together and change those systems? I’m curious…what will come after that? How can we help reshape our children’s future together?”

All profits from this community dance were donated to the ‘Great Forest National Park’ scheme www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au 

*Photo credit, John Howard Photography.

Dance with Jo & Sarah

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