Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bellport Flash/Cash Mob...

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My first dance lesson was when I was 18 years old and I signed myself up for Ballet as a freshman in college.  Following that I took tap lessons and then, as a junior at UCLA I started Square Dancing with the Bachelors and Bachelorettes in Santa Monica, CA.  That experience (I graduated from the 9 month course of study) led to Clog Dancing every Monday night and many weekends with various groups around Southern California.  I loved learning Ballet and Tap.  I had a great time and met great people square dancing.  But, it was the clog dancing experience that made my heart smile. 
Believe it or not, clog dancing was HUGE in the early 1980’s in Southern California.  There were weekly gatherings of cloggers, weekend clog dancing workshops everywhere, all the time.  There is just something amazingly inspirational when you are part of a huge room full of people dancing in unison.  Being a small part of the greater whole was empowering as well as humbling. 

On Friday, August 17, 2012 @ 7 pm, for me that feeling returned.  I once again had the opportunity to dance and be a part of something much greater than me, alone.

The Bellport Cash Mob has accomplished some pretty amazing things in the 7 months we have been in existence.  The Cash Mob concept was perfect for Bellport’s Main Street.  As we Cash Mobbed local business, we provided an infusion of HOPE for business owners.  We each have done a little and together have accomplished a lot.  We have given nice cash infusions to local businesses at times when income was lagging.  We brought awareness to local businesses and reminded people the importance of shopping local. 

However, one of the most incredible results was only realized following the first Cash Mob experience.  The experience of coming together, combining our efforts and making a difference…community building occurred.  The Bellport Cash Mob reminded us of the power of individual citizens coming together for one common purpose; without agenda, personal belief or opinion, the citizens of our little community could unite for the common good and truly make a difference.  That, as they say, is priceless.
Last Friday’s Bellport Flash/Cash Mob took this concept to a different level.  It was clear from the beginning of this venture that we would be appealing to a smaller group of citizens.  It took dedication to the greater cause to motivate some to participate in this event.  It took some of us out of our comfort zones, pushing us to break the barriers of conventionality.  For others, it gave us an opportunity to truly show who we were and what we were capable of doing.  We have extraordinary people in our community. 

Equally impressive was the support we received when we performed our Flash Mob.  Our numbers were tripled as many people came to watch and support the Flash Mobbers.  It was a sight to behold…and you can!  On YouTube!  We have the official Bellport Cash Mob video posted in the near future. 

The purpose of this Cash Mob was to support a business that has been instrumental in creating memories for the members of this community for many, many years.  The Brookhaven School of Dance and Barbara Mordente have played major roles in our lives.  Perhaps your children learned the basics of Ballet, Tap or Jazz at 10 Bell Street, Studio B.  If your child participated in the theatrical events at Bellport Middle School or Bellport High School, they were most likely guided by the very capable and brilliant hands of Barbara Mordente, her staff or experienced students.  She has caused many of our youngsters to realize their lifelong ambition.  She has provided us, the families with many lasting experiences. 

Personally, there has not been one event in which the Brookhaven School of Dance has played a role that I have not been moved.  Friday’s Flash/Cash Mob was no exception.  As I participated in the workshops and the performance at the Marina, I was moved by the excitement, dedication and accomplishment of each dancer/cash mobber.  We all bought in to the idea of supporting this Bellport institution and we were given so much more in return. 

50 years from now, when most of the Flash/Cash mobbers have passed, I hope the Long Island Advance will feature us in an August, 2062 issue:  “50 years ago today Barbara Mordente, the Brookhaven School of Dance and her Flash Mob surprised the Bellport Village Marina…”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crabbing for the fun of it...

This is a sight most Bellportians are excited to see;
a stretch of open area at the dock offering one a choice of crabbing spots

After a great start last night (2 keepers in the first 5 minutes,) enthusiasm waned as the "too small" crabs began showing up, 2 at a time on each line, stealing chicken legs and leading to our disappointment.  No wonder there was space at the dock.

Then we met 2 great kids, Emilio and Antonio, summer visitors, crabbing with their family for the first time and anxious to master the skill. For me, this is the best part of crabbing. They were so excited to learn something new. They watched, listened and learned from the experienced old crabbers (not me...I am still learning;) politely asked questions and enthusiastically participated. Emilio worked on mastering the string, Antonio the net. The best part? They were never discouraged when the only thing emerging from the murky water was a partially consumed chicken leg. They joyously celebrated every success, even if the catch had to be tossed back. They truly just enjoyed the journey, not really motivated by a goal. They were living for the moment. Another life reminder from the younger ones among us.

We left our lines in their now rather capable hands, donated our meager catch to their bucket and went home quite satisfied.

This is the first of the two feisty guys lured by our fresh chicken legs.
Read the anger in his really can...those are eyes, right

Sure, we lost our initial investment, but we, along with Emilio and Antonio, decided we were feeding the babies so they would be ready for future crabbers to snare and enjoy.  From my perspective, my kitchen was spared the odoriferous creatures and I was reminded why I enjoy crabbing...just for the fun of it.