If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution that includes stepping outside of your comfort zone, the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre might be able to help.
The non-profit organization has teamed up with Show Case Dance Studio to organize a flash mob in support of One Billion Rising – the largest mass action to end violence against women in human history.
Suzette Cameron is the events co-ordinator at the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre. She says the goal of the flash mob, which will take place February 14, is to bring as many people together as possible – dancers or not.
“We’d love to have at least 100 people participating in this and we’re not just talking about women,” said Cameron. “We’re looking for everyone and anyone. We’d love to have a true representation of our community. So we’ve put the call out to anyone who wants to get involved.”
When plans were in the very early stages, Cameron bumped into Deborah Mitton of Show Case Dance Studio. She shared details of the flash mob with Mitton who was excited about the idea. That led to a meeting with the studio’s artistic director, Neil Prokop.
Now, they’re ready to kick things into high gear. But first, they need people to sign up.
“This is a chance for our community to take a stand against the exploitation of women,” said Cameron. “The reason they call it One Billion Rising is because one in three women around the world will be raped or beaten. That translates into one billion women. But this is happening in our community as well. We know it’s happening here and this is an opportunity to show, collectively, that it won’t be tolerated.”
At this point, work continues on securing a location. Cameron hinted at the fact they could try and keep the location a secret in an effort to increase the surprise factor. In addition to having a large participation rate, the resource centre is looking at having a large audience as well.
Rehearsals, offered free to participants by Show Case Dance Studio, began on January 4 and will run on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for six weeks. For those who still want to sign up, there’s time.
“They don’t have to be with us right from the beginning,” said Prokop. “People can join in even if we’re a few weeks into rehearsals. If the seed is planted, it’s not a matter of timing. Yes, they might be a bit behind but that’s nothing they should worry about. We’re going to make it work. We want to get as many people involved as possible.”
Mitton understands choosing to dance in something like a flash mob can be a difficult decision for some people. However, she says dancing with a group can make things a lot easier.
“Whether you even dance or not is irrelevant when it comes to this,” she said. “The question is, do you want to participate in something important? Do you want to take a stand for women in our communities and around the world by participating in this event? This is a united, very loud stand against the exploitation of women.
“We also want this to be a lot of fun for participants,” added Mitton. “It is a lot of work but people are definitely going to see just how fun it was to be a part of this.”
The dance will be choreographed to the song, ‘This is my Body’ which is the theme for One Billion Rising. According to Cameron, it’s an upbeat song that focuses on women and the fact their bodies belong to them.
“We want to do this in a fun, energetic way while at the same time, giving our audience and participants the visual that the exploitation of women isn’t going to be tolerated in our community,” said Cameron. “Raping or beating anyone should be an unthinkable act.”
She adds education is a big component of the Valentine’s Day event.
“We see it as a great way to share some information with people, especially the younger members of our community,” Cameron said. “We need to protect our future generations through education. This is what this is all about. It’s about knowledge and educating people. This is a problem. We all know it’s a problem. But it takes more than just recognition of a problem to solve it. That’s the first step but this will continue to be a problem until we take a stand and demonstrate that this type of behaviour, it’s not accepted in our community or any other community for that matter.”
In addition to the dance, the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre is planning to have a few brief talks but Cameron says everything should be wrapped up within 30 to 45 minutes.
Anyone interested in getting involved can contact the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre by calling 902-895-4295 or visiting www.cnwrc.ca.