I have previously written a post in which I interviewed a current student, Chelsea Hill, about the global movement One Billion Rising. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the event Chelsea hosted in partnership with Vday. Through my participation in this event, I was able to see first hand the empowering impression that dance can make on a personal, local, and international level.
During the course of the event, I had the opportunity to listen to women from all around the country discuss their personal reasons for rising. The program included speakers, musicians, and dancers rising up to support the efforts of One Billion Rising through their voices, songs, and dance. Speakers who have been abroad raised awareness of the global issue that surrounds violence against women.[flickr id=”8494443972″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
Prior to the start of the event, we had talked about activism in our Dance/Movement Therapy Theory II class and the role that a dance movement therapist plays advocating for human rights. I am very honored to be a part of a program that supports students in taking a stand against these issues, especially since DMT has been shown to be a powerful tool for women who have been affected by violence of any kind. Dance is a beautiful way in which one can take a stand to reclaim their body. To show our support for those effected by this global issue, our department learned the “Break the Chain” dance choreographed by Debbie Allen and performed it at the event.
It was amazing to see dance, a common language, unite all of us in the room as we joined together in support of the same cause. Whenever there was a break in the entertainment, everyone could be seen rising up and dancing to demand an end to the violence. The crowd gave off a resounding energy, and a sense of solidarity and togetherness was formed as we all joined in song and dance to fight for a cause that has been recognized as the largest global effort against violence ever.[flickr id=”8494418520″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
A common motto that has circulated with this event is that, “one billion women violated is an atrocity; one billion women dancing is a revolution.” Present at the event were not only women and girls but also men and children of all ages and ethnicities. We came together to demand an end to the violence that is currently estimated to effect one in three women in their lifetime. However, this was not just true of the event that I attended on Vday; this was happening nationwide. Below are videos of women rising in Africa, South America, and even in front of the Colosseum in Rome!
Overall, One Billion Rising was an inspiring and empowering event. Check out the Victories page listed on One Billion Rising’s website to see the goals that were accomplished throughout the globe.