I'm often asked how RSVP 33 came about. Sometimes I lie.
As anyone who's dealt with grief knows, sometimes you can handle the topic and sometimes you can't. In the times I can't address the truth, I skim over it. I give a different version of the beginning and say we wanted to foster community and because of our own interests in dance, we used it as a platform to do so. And who doesn't love Beyoncé?
The truth however, is dance was healing for me. And then the momentum built. I was two months into the grieving process of losing my seventeen-year-old sister, Chantal (great rugby player, terrible dancer), and I was motivated by a video I saw on Instagram. Ralph posted a routine he made to 7-11 so I called my friend and I stepped into a dance studio I hadn't been at for years and took his class.
It was weird. Despite having above-average experience in dance and movement, everything was so foreign. I loved it. My mind, which was still mostly filled with worried and sad thoughts, had a break. My body, which was use to a bag of BBQ kettle chips for dinner, was off the couch and challenged. Dance was an all consuming experience. What a fun distraction. So I went back.
The music and routine transported me somewhere else. It made me someone else. It was an hour I could escape from my reality. This is why it really started. I think in one way or another we're all healing from something and I'm happy to see RSVP 33 play a small role in that for others.