The Michigan Hoop Dance Retreat will celebrate its 5th anniversary this August. The goal of the first MHDR was to help build a more connected hoop dance community in Michigan. At the time, many hoopers were dancing alone in their living rooms, and none of them knew each other.
As we have continued to meet annually, the retreat has grown into something bigger and more meaningful than any of us ever anticipated. Each year we join together to learn, share our vulnerabilities, and experience massive growth – not just in our flow, but in ourselves.
Our community has grown in love because there are no prerequisites for joining us. Our purpose is to bring Michigan hoopers together and shed light on our individuality, as well as what we have in common…but some of us don’t even hoop, and we’re not even all from Michigan.
MHDR is, and will continue to be, accepting of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.
As we continue to learn and listen, we recognize that we have not done as much as we can to make sure every hooper feels welcome, included, and celebrated. It is not enough to simply state we are an open community who does not tolerate hate or violence. It is not enough to state everyone is welcome.
True inclusivity requires acknowledgement that we do not know all the answers, or the right ways to accept our part in racial prejudice, but committing to learning, getting better, and removing the visible and hidden offenses that are made against Black and other People of Color daily.
When we practice empathy and acceptance for all, especially those who are under and misrepresented, we build a place where every person feels seen, heard, and supported, regardless of identity. It is important that we take time to listen to the needs of these communities and implement changes that are meaningful and effective.
In order to do this, we are in the process of adding an diversity ambassador to our team and expect this to be finalized before the end of this month. We have begun reaching out to leaders from marginalized communities to learn what else we can do to help them feel welcome. In addition, we are adding an inclusion and diversity discussion to the workshop panel at this year’s retreat. This will be an opportunity to discuss our current process with our community and how we plan to improve, and what suggestions you have for supporting a truly diverse and inclusive community.
We hope you will join us for the 5th Annual Michigan Hoop Dance Retreat, and help us celebrate the uniqueness and diversity that makes up our Michigan Hoop Family.
See you in August.
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Join Us Aug 14, 15, 16 2020
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