2011 Year in Review


My brother in-law, Tim Pratt, recently wrote a 2011 retrospective article on his blog and not only was I blown away by his productivity and dedication to his craft (the dude is super-inspiration), but I was also inspired to write my own retrospective. If I may quote my fabulouse and prolific brother in-law: “A year is a good unit of time: short enough to be measurable and memorable, but long enough to get a sense of trends and developments. It’s a time to make course-corrections, and to see if my life is where I’d like it to be — and, if not, to figure out what actions are within my power to bring my dream life into line with my real life.”  So here is a look back at my trends, developments, trials, and achievements. Since I am not the professional writer that Tim is I have supported my sparse writings with some large pictures. heee

In 2011:

I started writing this blog. I’ve made 121 dances, or rather, 121 of what I like to call “sketches.” I’ve made 81 videos of these sketches, filmed in 29 different locations around SF, Oakland and greater CA, 21 of which are posted here. I’ve posted 36 blog entries (not so good:). My blog has been viewed 1600 times by people from all over the world including Egypt, Latin America, Australia, Sweden, and Czech Republic (lots of fans in these last two for some reason hmmm, old travel friends perhaps?)


My family grew double in size. . . well, technically anyway.  Aleister and I adopted two guinea pigs over Christmas: Sophie and Miss Suzie.  They are ginger-haired Absynnians and I am surprised how much I love them.

2011 was a year in which I let go of a lot of relationships because I was like, huh, this person makes me feel really awful when I’m around them. I let go of “the love of my life,” and a “best friend,” to name a few.  My close friend list is much smaller, but I am happier than ever with myself and with my life.

I’ve been salsa dancing more this year than in all the other years of my life combined. (Thank you Kirah, Bernadette, and Eliseo) I’ve become enamored with the combination of surrender and present awareness that salsa demands.

In 2011, my son’s father moved back to the Bay Area, and also moved away – Again. 

I’ve begun to allow more into my life by focusing more on what I want and less on what I don’t want.

I began to really like myself better without any make-up.

In 2011, my son started taking Ballet lessons, played two more seasons of soccer, gained a belt in Taekwondo, grew 5.3 inches, and went from being someone who I could pick up while he was sleeping to someone who, not only can I not pick up anymore, but writes full length short stories now, knows more science than I do, and actually makes decent and challenging arguements when he wants things. Drat!

This morning he told me, “I don’t know why mom, but I just feel good inside.” Watching his inner freedom and joy, I am in many ways, his student.

To read Tim’s retrospective article, click here.


About Holly Shaw

Holly Shaw is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer and choreographer who has performed as a soloist with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos off and on for several years. Shaw is the creator of the Eve’s Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms, and has produced several shows in San Francisco. Her flow between contemporary modern dance, flamenco and Middle-eastern styles makes her a unique choreographer. Shaw has spent years training Bay Area dancers in technique and improvisation, challenging them to dance from a deeper level and uncover their unique style.

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