Welcome, Dec 2013

By Wayne Hazzard

December 1, 2013, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

THERE IS AN ADAGE you’ve likely heard, the one that there is nothing more important than your health. This clear, simple statement carries with it the complexity that often comes with attempting to remain simple. There are many other adages—you might have your favorite—reflecting a variety of viewpoints that express ways to take care of, and appreciate our bodies. I have found a saying that resonates for me because of how enormous are the terms, “health” and “healthy body;” it speaks to a unique conversation, based on our circumstances, that each of us has with our corporal form. Terri Guillemets, a quotation anthologist— who knew there was such a job—says that “health is a relationship between you and your body.”

As someone currently struggling with a deteriorating right hip that needs to be replaced—thank goodness for modern technologies—I am adjusting to a new relationship with my body, and frankly I am not enjoying how diminished I feel as I work to keep the symptoms of my aging body at bay. People, and especially dancers, go through life working on health issues. Some of which, like mine, will have been set off by our movement careers, while others can spring from a seemingly endless list of afflictions and illnesses—diseases that are ancient and those that have been discovered in the last 30 years.

Therefore, this month’s issue is dedicated to the care of the body and even attempts to address the question: what is a healthy body? A topic that is supremely complex, and depending on your personal health knowledge and/or well-being experiences, you will have your own perspective on what it means.

Having the resources to manage a body’s needs is crucial, and this certainly includes securing health insurance. While the Affordable Care Act continues to provoke political divisiveness—is there any other kind these days—the program is also here to stay and therefore, there are questions on how to access the resources and information of this new system. Dancers’ Group staff has worked with The Actors Fund to provide a general overview of the ACA.

To provide a break from the health(y) matters, we are delighted to feature a commentary on Ralph Lemon’s recently published book, Come home Charley Patton. Reviewer Lou Fancher describes the tone of Lemon’s tome as “…a journey through personal and Civil Rights history like a migrant worker.”

My final thoughts circle back to how resilient the body and spirit can be when it comes to an injury or illness. Dudley Flores presents the ultimate life lesson story by sharing his personal journey of discovering a life-threatening pulmonary embolism just before starting to teach a class. He learned that listening to what his body was telling him saved his life—now that’s good theater and there’s probably some wisdom in there too.

Enjoy all the festivities this time of year provides, and of course, take good care of that body. Wishing you all much good cheer. See you in the new year.

—Wayne Hazzard

This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of In Dance.

Wayne Hazzard is a native Californian and as a co-founder is proud to continue his work with the Bay Area dance community as the executive director of Dancers’ Group. Hazzard is a leader in the service field who is known for his work with fiscal sponsorship and on new program development. Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing the works of many notable choreographers including Ed Mock, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne, Joe Goode and Margaret Jenkins. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance.