Embracing Love and Opportunity – that’s Real Stockton

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When I first saw the promotional materials for these workshops at Arc my thoughts arranged themselves in this order:

  1. What a gorgeous idea
  2. How brilliantly inclusive– no cost involved for participation and so many different creative styles offered
  3. This will be absolutely amazing for EVERYONE ELSE in Stockton to join in.

The capitals are not just for dramatic affect.  Its a fair representation.

I loved the idea and immediately decided to encourage everyone I knew to take part.  I love to live vicariously when it comes to the stage.  Martin has his photography and music and all the children are relentlessly coerced to creative participation.  I hold a Class I Degree in Mam Cheerleading.

My role is to seek and find opportunities for other McEwans and then to hold the coats and the bags with smiles, encouragement and clapping.  Maybe even throwing in a whoop.  I’m fairly great at this supporting role if I do say so myself.

I was most attracted to the dance workshop as I love dance.  I don’t of course (well not unless its very very dark then I like to think I can bust out a shape or two still but that doesn’t count).  I particularly like to encourage the youngest of the McEwans to dance as she is still the freest.  The least inhibited of all McEwans.  So this was definitely the one for us, by which of course I meant her.

The thing that kept coming back to me though was the timing and the point- the love.  Isn’t this what I have been talking about and writing about and considering for the last few months with Real Stockton?  Sharing love; talking about it, expressing it, showing it, not being afraid to be vulnerable and embrace it?

Words are powerful but we can all easily say ‘I Love You’.  I have been a top ten worst offender for rolling out the ‘someone should do something about that’ classic when I’ve had all the means at my disposal to be that someone.  So, if I was going to talk about these workshops here in this blog, if I was going to type with congruence about how love is all we need, love is the answer, love is something we all hold in common, that thing we can share to make us better… then I had better put my money where my mouth is and join youngest child up on the stage.

I bought the tickets at the last minute.  I changed my mind again about whether I really needed to take part about 5 times in the half an hour between that and the workshop starting.  As our lovely host Jen, Movement Director for Encounter, invited me to join a stage already populated with brave participants limbering up I very nearly explained the terrible mistake that appeared to have been made.  My mouth was going to clear up for us all that I was just the one that held the coats and cheered, but, I swallowed that protest and climbed up into the space to which I had been graciously invited.

We had to strike a pose after warming up to show how we felt that day, our over-ridding emotion.  Mine was arms in the air, winner through the line celebrating.  I had been so close to not taking part in something that I will now always remember.  I’m not a natural artist.  It could, and will most likely be, my one opportunity to grace a stage.  I am then incredibly pleased with myself that I did it and to Arc and Encounter for facilitating it.

Yes a few times I was still embarrassed and I totally felt a little gawky, but Jen’s enthusiasm and warmth dismissed that awkwardness away to the wings.  The changes up in our pairings, in our stage positions and in the differing activities meant we quickly flowed through the workshop.  Very subtly yet distinctly we grew in confidence, something which genuinely showed in our engagement with each other and in our movements.

A group of mixed abilities in terms of age, ability and needs we came together and formed a supportive whole.  Sharing encouragement and ideas.  I’m totally chuffed I was there and have had the opportunity to be part of something so wonderfully creative.

The workshops are a genuine gift to Stockton- they’ve just started and there are still loads of opportunities to get involved and I can promise you it is just that a huge opportunity so embrace it and join inyou can click here to link to the workshops still to go and for details of the final performance (not obligatory).

If you have an event, person, space, idea or dream you’d like to share with us for our annual of love to Stockton please contact Katy you can find all my contact details by clicking here. Thanks!!

The chance to express love in fulfill dreams for everyone – that’s Real Stockton to us.