Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dancing: Inspirational Themes To Our Lives

Dancing is a beautiful art form that I have fallen in love with. I watch MTV every morning just to see dancing. 
I don't have access to music on demand or the internet, MTV is my only source of watching it. Usually I look forward to So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. This year I am not watching because it is children. Just not into that. I know how emotional dance is for adult dancers and have watched year after year. Men and women pouring out their life experiences on that wooden platform. Something a child can imitate, and well, but for me it takes away the intent of emotional connections. So MTV is my source...
One of my goals is to establish a dance program here in prison. Not ballroom dancing where couples are needed. I mean contemporary or jazz or street/ hip hop. Something where we can express ourselves emotionally but in art form. 
What I need to make this happen is a sponsor from the outside, a teacher. Someone willing to come in and teach. Patience and love will be required. Other then that, its an administrative issue. I have to set minds at ease that this is safe and will result in lowering recidivism.
My end game is to watch as this prison becomes a college campus, not a prison. We need education. Is the goal of incarceration to make miserable? No, its to make sure we don't do anything bad again. If it was just to lock us away and throw away the key then we need to go back to dungeons. Chaining us to the wall and public executions as entertainment for the masses. Sounds like it might work until its your husband up there. Or you son. Or your mother. Then that person deserves mercy because you know who they really are. You've seen their gentle soul. Spare them, they deserve it. That's exactly what I mean, we need to be corrected, not treated inhuman. What does any of this have to do with dance in prisons?
Glad you asked! It is the basis for what kinds of things are needed to inspire men to change. Some guys come through here and learn to be gang related, they learn to be segregated, they learn to be racial. Things they never knew before firsthand. This inspires the gang mentality and the need for social acceptance. Which leads to assaults and territorial wars. This leads to drugs sales and use this leads to easy cash schemes and ranking amid peers. 
Which leads to those men getting out, teaching their children those values and perpetuating this cycle of hate and criminal lifestyles. 
We must rethink our approach to prison. Maybe dance can save the world? Who knows, no harm can come from trying.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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