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Daughters of Rhea Mission Statement
by Melina/Melinda Marsh Heywood.

Melina & Daughters of Rhea Dancers Sara, Panayiota & Troupe
Dance with Wild Abandon at Karoun Restaurant

I was prompted to craft a Mission Statement for Daughters of Rhea when I read Elaine Scarry's treatise "On Beauty and Being Just." Her elegant discussion of Beauty and her citation of Simone Weil ("The truly precious things are those forming ladders reaching toward the beauty of the world, openings onto it") inspired me to think a little more deeply about what my mother Rhea, my sister Piper and myself want to bring into the world with our dancing and teaching of dance.  We see Oriental Dance as one way to reach toward  and perpetuate the beauty of the world.  These are some of our goals:

...To encourage women’s unique expression of their wild, most ecstatic selves through the ancient art of oriental dance.


To celebrate life, creativity & community. 


To couple technique and precision with enthusiasm and passion.  To be industrious in practice so we can be Dionysian in performance.   


To be in our bodies with pride, awareness and open hearts.  To recognize and respect the power of feet, breath, knees, hips, bones, sinews, right & left brain, yin & yang, sky & earth, flesh & divinity.


To be, in just measure: relevant and irreverent, playful and profound. 


To be thoughtful and wise in our self-presentation, dance choices & performance contexts.


To celebrate somatic diversity and salute individual strengths. 


To flaunt convention & fearlessly innovate.  To subvert stereotypes and transcend pre/mis-conceptions. 


To be open to transformation and revelation at every stage of our dance career.


To be spontaneous, authentic, energetic, encouraging, limber, sexy, smart, precise, serious, trancelike, sinewy, professional, ecstatic, trembling, fully present, intelligently daring, proud, creative, brave.


To leave a trace, cause a ripple… to rip open new spaces to beauty. 


Daughters of Rhea: an international, multi-generational, life of dance experiment. CARPE BELLY-UM!