ShimmyMob changes lives. We asked how. Here are some of the replies:
"As I move forward in my third ShimmyMob team, I reflect on the past 10 years and my involvement with the ShimmyMob movement. I have been inspired by each of the human beings who have surrounded me every year. I have learned so many lessons along the way that have contributed to my own personal growth.
Color me grateful to once again to be able-bodied to belly dance, to connect with my community, to partake in the joy of giving back, and to find a piece of myself I never knew was missing before I found the ShimmyMob.
"One of my very first memories which, more than 50 years later, I can still see clear as day, is of my mother sitting in an armchair in our living room. I don’t know why my father was so upset, but he kicked her square in the face with his steel-toe, cement-encrusted boot. My older brother, my younger sister, and I were sitting on the sofa across from them. We all witnessed it.
My stepmother, who raised me from the age of five, suffered the same horrific abuse from my father. He was evil, he was sadistic and neither of my Moms had a voice. I am their voice now, and I want to let everyone know that physical and verbal abuse are not acceptable, and that women in these situations can get away safely. It’s difficult but it can be done.
Today, I dance for my beautiful selfless Moms who, back in those days, couldn’t do much of anything because the culture was that they were property, less than and undeserving. Especially a Black/Hispanic woman married to a white man.
Today, I am their voice trying to educate the younger generations of the red flags. I am their voice giving strength to those of them who are afraid to leave. I dance to be their voice."
"ShimmyMob shines a bright light on the issue of domestic violence and has created an incredible amount of awareness for the local resources available to survivors. Some residents never even knew there was help for them in our county until we started doing ShimmyMob. Each year, our community welcomes us and supports our awareness and fundraising goals. We're now to the point where people contact ME and ask if it's time to donate!
But more importantly, when this team of amazing, beautiful, committed women (and men) hits the streets, when we dance as one, when we CELEBRATE the power of togetherness, I get to witness how we inspire others to hope for, believe in and achieve change. That's the whole reason I continue to lead a ShimmyMob team, year after year. And I could not do it without my local and my global ShimmyMob community."
"As a survivor of domestic violence and afraid/embarrassed to speak out about it, I slowly found my voice through participating in ShimmyMob over the years. It was instrumental in my healing process. With a loving, supportive team, I feel that we have made an impact in our community in the last 10 years through public outreach, news and social media and just spreading the message to people with whom we meet at events.
If we can help even one other human in a similar situation, we have done a good job. Our hope is to reach hundreds or even thousands."
"Being part of ShimmyMob has affected my life in so many ways. The relationships that we have built are lifelong, priceless gifts to each other. The health benefits are endless. The chosen, non-profit in your local area has gained partners in the community that make a difference in so many lives.
Being part of ShimmyMob connects you globally and brings people from everywhere TOGETHER doing something with a shared vision to make a very powerful movement. Being part of such a caring group creates more kindness in the world because it encourages us to connect with others and share positive experiences. It is a safe place to grow and allow ourselves to be beautiful works in progress.
I have learned to love myself more through the love from others in the team. And another big highlight is that there is influence from amazing people in leadership roles. You learn so many new things just by being exposed to so many different walks of life and by being part of something together. ShimmyMob creates a sense of belonging and expectation like no other. I'm truly grateful, honored and proud to be a ShimmyMobster!"
"Domestic abuse and emotional abuse are topics that resonate with me. When I was a teen, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship but I was too naive to really understand. I was lucky because he moved away and there were no physical altercations but I want other people who don’t understand emotional abuse to learn what relationships should be like.
In ShimmyMob, I love being able to dance with like-minded friends to spread the word and to create positive change. I have to say that the greatest, kindest, sweetest people I’ve met in dance are involved in ShimmyMob. It’s a win-win: dancing with great people, having fun but also making a difference."
I was so happy to be a part of ShimmyMob again this year! Our leaders were amazing with all of their organization and teaching skills.Karen C.
Today I danced with a group ShimmyMob. It was Amazing!Shirla W.
It felt so good to dance for such a worthy cause and I made some new dance friends along the way.Barbara B.