Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.
For some time now, I have been wanting to write a hello. The step back from social media I have been practicing since the New Year has continued to feel exactly right, but the intention to transfer that extra energy to our Jai-Dee blog and newsletter has been short circuited. Week after week, life has reshuffled my plans. And as I write today, life has reshuffled reality for all of us. I’m holding each of you in my heart as we navigate the unknown together with creativity and community in mind.
The past months
I am DELIGHTED to share we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring more accessible pricing to you all. Please browse our site for our new, artist-friendly prices. This was something that early supporters made possible and we can’t thank you enough!
What I have been meaning to write since January is that being an adoptive mother has required nearly all of my current time and energy. This is the season I am in and no amount of planning or plowing makes space for more. There have been updates to share, blog posts to write and ideas to nurture, but I have moved all of these things to a nearby shelf in order to make myself fully available to my family. The ability to make such a shift is a reflection of my privilege and a responsibility I take seriously.
It’s both ironic and beautiful that the very person that sparked Jai-Dee to life has also been the person needing me to take a half-step away from it. Beyond keeping our online shop fully stocked and running smoothly, my Jai-Dee plans, ideas and collaborations have learned to wait. Thank you for continuing to support our launch collection and for sharing sustainability with your community.
The present moment
I homeschooled my daughter in her early months with our family. It was during that time that ideas for Jai-Dee Dancewear took shape. We recently moved back towards homeschooling (though not entirely) and it’s the strangest experience to witness the rest of the country briefly (or not so briefly depending on how things unfold) joining us in this experience. If you are a mother of school-age children or have dancing mothers in need of homeschooling resources, please reach out to me for some favorites.
We are all feeling the uncertainty of this moment. It is up to each of us to take the next right step for not only ourselves but for everyone around us. Beyond all the important must-dos in terms of hygiene and social distancing, here are a few ways I am thinking our creative community can contribute in the days ahead.
Share your work (in the ways that you can) Mentor a young dancer online. Share your self-care practices on Instagram. Write your childhood dance studio a handwritten love note.
Amplify the work of others (in the ways that you can) I’m loving Isabella Boylston’s Book Club. It’s a beautiful example of how to integrate skills and practices beyond ballet training.
Remotely support the people, events, organizations and stores you visit during a normal week. For our family, that has meant buying gift cards, shopping online and making donations to the local places we normally frequent. We are intentionally buying from stores that we know proactively closed and are supporting business we value who have closed doors for public safety. For Boston locals, Olives and Grace, Minni.Space, Boston Ballet and Barre3 (offering excellent online classes!) are just a few of the organizations that made hard decisions and deserve support.
Check your street. Let’s all commit to reaching out at least to our nearby neighbors. Let’s make sure everyone has the food and supplies they need and that they know that even in isolation, they are not alone.
Buy what you need. Leave the rest for others. Seriously – don’t overbuy. We must all confront the privileges we hold and stop ourselves from causing unnecessary harm. There is simply NO reason that shelves should be empty. We must consider our personal circumstances AND the circumstances of others.
If you have a creative offering that supports you and/or your community, let us know so that we can share it!
The future is uncertain, but we will be here, breathing through it with you.
If you are an artist looking to make a little income due to changes in work this season, please reach out to us about writing for our blog. We are open to all ideas and voices.
For now, tomorrow and always
From Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer:
“…there are no soloists. Not one tree in a grove, but the whole grove; not one grove in the forest, but every grove; all across the county and all across the state. The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know. But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together. All flourishing is mutual…”
“Never take the first. Never take the last. Take only what you need. Take only that which is given. Never take more than half. Leave some for others. Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken. Share. Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.”
Keep taking care and keep taking the next right step.