April 4, 2018
Happy New Year 2017
Here it is, the end of January 2017, and there’s a lot I could be writing. However, I just want to offer these thoughts:
If you are reading this now, then you must be an educator–someone connected to music and/or dance and/or cultures, and surely involved in communal types of activities with schools, children, families, and community organizations.
Please remember and believe that in spite of or because of whatever happens in our society, you are doing vital and desperately needed work. I appreciate and admire you, and am here to help you continue doing it.
Here are some thoughts that I didn’t write, but also appreciate and admire:
— Look for John Pavlovitz’s “Let the Record Show”:
— Two signs from the January 21 marches:
“We Shall Overcomb” and “We’ve Seen Better Cabinets at IKEA”
— (from Bettina Gruber’s Facebook page):
“IF YOU STUMBLE, MAKE IT PART OF THE DANCE”
I wish for you a year of health, enjoyment, and love.
As many of you know, my life changed shockingly and devastatingly when I suddenly and unexpectedly lost Mars, my dear husband and partner (in dance, business, and life) on October 4, 2014.
What has gotten me through each long day is the loving and supportive community of family and friends that I am so lucky to have around me. Two of them are Chris and Iris Derfler, whom I would like to introduce here as my new partners in FolkStyle Productions (FSP), the company Mars and I created in 1990 to develop and sell CDs and DVDs to support my world dance workshops for teachers and students. (In the early ‘90s, we were producing audio cassettes and videotapes!)
Chris and Iris are not only close, longtime friends, but it is Chris who has been at schools and dance events with me to tape, and then produce, every FolkStyle video/DVD, except the first one. He has also continued to work with us, recording and taping most of the products, so it is natural and comfortable that he should carry on our business.
Also, during the past decade, Susan Bencomo assisted Mars in much of the day-to-day work of FolkStyle Productions, while I traveled to teach. I am grateful that Susan has been with us this past difficult year to continue her loyal and intelligent support, and still comes part-time to help us carry on.
“Us” is me and my wonderful son, Mick Hans, who lives in Chicago and to whom I am profoundly grateful for managing my life in so many ways. My wonderful daughter, Jessica Lawless, who lives in Oakland, California, has also given me important and sensitive long-distance support.
And many, many thanks to Dusan Vukosinovic of Virtus Group, who designed and managed our former FolkStyle Productions website and brought us into the e-commerce era. It has been a pleasure to work all these years with this smart, kind man who appreciates ethnic dance.
Now Mick and Susan are working with Chris and Iris to make a smooth transition for FSP, and helping me in other vital ways. We look forward to answering your questions, hearing your comments, and sending you our FolkStyle Productions CDs and DVDs.