As I type this post, I’m enjoying my first ever hour long lunch break in…well let’s not say how long. My life tends to feature a lot of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, occasionally done while carrying a guitar or wearing a hip scarf. It also features lots of eating in my car. So, during this one hour of not having to eat in my car or chase the minute hand around the clock, I thought I’d reflect back on a little something I did this month that merged my two worlds of Bellydance and Music Therapy into one cosmic day of Awesome.
At last year’s American Music Therapy Association Conference, the Music Therapy “Frundraiser” group that I’m a part of was featured in a little video depicting all the ways in which they had raised money for the Association, including running marathons, hosting 31 Bag parties, and even a cooking contest. I had been part of the group on Facebook forever, since back when I started running.
But I didn’t feel like running a marathon.
And I sure as heck haven’t ever been that big of a cook.
I did buy a 31 Bag though. Cause those things are awesome.
When it came to how to host a fundraiser of my own, though, I was stumped. I wanted to do something that was meaningful to me, but inclusive to others. But I didn’t really know how to start, until, while surfing the internet for local Bellydance conferences, I stumbled upon the concept of the Shimmython, and the Lovely Dozen Bellydance Troupe that I’m part of (we became an LLC last year, woot! Check out our website agreed to help me put one together.
So what did we do, you may ask? Well, first we put together an event on FB announcing we were going to be doing something awesome (details TBA, but date Feb 8th, we’ll keep you posted, that kinda thing), and then I hit the web googling more Shimmythons to see what their rules were, asking friends on the Frundraiser page how they went about getting sponsors for their events, and what came out in the end was:
An event where members of the Lovely Dozen Troupe competed in teams and as soloists to see who could Shimmy (essentially wiggling your hips as fast as you can) for the longest time, or raise the most money while doing it.
Something that sponsors everywhere from my parents and inlaws to coworkers and total strangers felt they could contribute to financially, or with “Swag” donations like free memberships to our local YMCA, or hair flowers from an online costuming store.
An occasion where Drummers and Dancers were able to commune together for a great cause, helping to raise money and awareness for an organization that has been responsible in large part for the passing of Licensure Laws like the one in North Dakota, and providing fact sheets that do things like help Board Certified MT’s across the country get Music Therapy on their clients’ IEPS (Individualized Education Plans). There’s no way I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for AMTA. And it was my pleasure to give back.
Attendance was small, but all in all with 4 dancers on the floor over the span of 2 hours (I personally shimmied for an hour and 1 minute as a solo competitor), we raised $627 for AMTA. I collected the last of the conditional sponsorship checks Monday (I had one guy bet me I couldn’t shimmy more than an hour – 61 minutes later, we earned an extra $100 from winning that bet :-), and will be making a donation in the Lovely Dozen’s name as soon as I’m able to get to the bank with them. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who helped make this fantastic event happen!