One Billion Rising

It’s been a while and not so sure where to start back up again, so I’ll just start here.

I’m sitting, bundled up in blankets, drinking chai, watching the winter wonderland that is, falling down outside the window.

ImageQuite the shock I received flying into a snowstorm in Denver, when I’ve spent the past six weeks surfing in Costa Rica, hiking volcanoes in Nicaragua, scuba diving in Honduras, swimming in waterfalls in El Salvador, and relaxing at an avocado farm in Guatemala that overlooks the Antigua valley, between two volcanoes (one active, and erupted on my last morning there).

I wanted to tell you about a really special event that I got involved with last week in Antigua, Guatemala, called Un Billon de pie. It’s actually a world event that took place last February 14, One Billion Rising, in over 200 countries around the world.

Eve Ensler (also creator of The Vagina Monologues), has been organizing this event for over a year. I first heard about it last year, when I performed in a version of The Vagina Monologues last year in South Korea.

ImageIt is said that one billion women/girls on this planet will be raped, mutilated, violated, or a victim of abuse in her lifetime. The slogan of this event is “One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.” Therefore, last February 14, Eve Ensler called for one billion women (and men who support women) to RISE and DANCE in the public streets to call attention to, and raise awareness for violence against women.

On February 14, 48 straight hours (because of time zones) of street dancing ensued in multiple cities and  200 countries across the globe. By checking the website, one could see the live streaming of events from Manila, to Berlin, to Pittsburgh, to Hawaii etc.

I was in Antigua, Guatemala.

ImageMy friend Erin and I dedicated our day to this event and to raise awareness for a topic that is so personal and so important to us. We made shirts. We passed out stickers. We talked to the people in the plazas. We invited everyone to dance. We filmed (video here) women and men with their reasons for why they rise. And then, at 5:30, we danced.

We danced with young girls. We danced with teenagers. We danced with babies. We danced with women. We danced with men. We (Erin and I) didn’t dance very well to the choreography, but most importantly, we all danced together.