Dance of Intimacy: People We Know We Don’t Know

I joke in my thruster way to InterPlayers, “Don’t wait to tell me that you tap dance or play trumpet! I wanna know NOW, not in seven years.” I say this because I learn incredible things about InterPlayers seven years after mentoring them in the life practice program. I thought I knew them.

Intimacy is funny. I do a one hand dance or share a few babbles and it feels like I’ve gotten closer to you than to my own child. Bonding in InterPlay is profound, gluey stuff. Yet, the longer I know someone the more I discover incredible things about which I am clueless. Being partnered with my husband Stephen for 30 years and with my colleague Phil for 30 years this fall, I watch the adventure of “I know you more and more, less and less” continue to unfold in scary, sublime ways. Intimacy both preserves distance and creates connection. InterPlay helps with both of these things. You get to push pull, dance solo, and meet me in the depths and height of this full, embodied life as I get to meet you. It only gets hard when I expect you to behave the way I want you to. Wheeeeee…let that go.

But hey, if you play cello, have twenty years of training in snake-handling, or have a life time of dancing with diabetes lemme know…you are a treasure trove of body wisdom. I’ll never have what you have and I am greedy to have it all.

Speaking of treasure troves we are lucky to have two new staff and two “older” ones. Meet them below. In the meantime get thee to InterPlay where people who know and don’t know each other are ‘coming for the fun and staying for the wisdom.’ Check out InterPlay in your area. Traveling? Bi-locating? You can get emails from other regions. (Enter your email address to either sign up for InterPlay’s email list or modify your subscription to receive emails from additional regions.)

Dorothy Finnigan, Administrative Assistant, was born into an intercultural, interability, interstate household. (Explanation: Her mom is from a small island in the Philippines, her brother has cerebral palsy, and because her father is a professional juggling teacher they lived in a motorhome traveling the country from state to state and school to school facilitating interdisciplinary intergenerational workshops until she was 18 years old.) After she traveled solo around the world paying her way by busking on the street, she attended Yale University where she studied the intersection of Religion and Ecology. She decided to walk-out of Yale in 2008 in order to live her beliefs in the interrelation of personal health and planetary health through the little-understood mechanism of community health. As soon as she leapt out of the Ivory Tower she landed in a pile of InterPlay and has been joyously falling in love with members of the community ever since.

Theron Shaw, Development Director, has a Master’s of Public Affairs from the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. He has worked in non-profit administration and fundraising since 1995, with wide-ranging experience in the fields of arts, education, environment and social services. Before moving to the Bay Area in 2005, Theron helped to found and manage the Recovery Café, a recovery-focused community café in downtown Seattle, Washington. He is also an avid sailor, musician and performer, known in Wing It! Performance Ensemble for flute, percussion, and electric movement. He teaches the Men’s InterPlay class at InterPlayce in Oakland. In September he will marry Elizabeth Mendana!

Elizabeth Mendana, Publicity Administrator, is all dance all the time! After earning her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah, she made her way to San Francisco and into the heart of InterPlay. She is in the InterPlay based company WING IT! She dances for Kim Epifano/Epiphany Productions and Sue Li-Jue/Facing East Dance as well as running her own dance theatre company, Mendana Productions. She designs theatrical lighting and is the production manager for several Bay Area dance companies.  She teaches InterPlay classes, leads Untensives, and works as the Publicity Administrator in the InterPlay office. Her big creative project in the moment is planning her wedding with Theron Shaw for September in Colorado.

Stephanie Pile, Administrator, has been with Body Wisdom for two years, supporting InterPlay leaders organizing events throughout the country, maintaining the organization’s finances and helping the office run smoothly.  She received her Master’s degrees in Social Work and Pastoral Ministry from Boston College in 1996 and has worked in a variety of social service, ministry and nonprofit management roles since.  Stephanie also teaches piano, serves as a substitute accompanist and cantor in a variety of churches and continues to explore ways music can contribute to individual and community healing.  Having completed the Life Practice program she is thrilled to be part of the embodied and artistic community of InterPlay!


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