Graell Corsini is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. Too unique to describe here, she’s someone who lives her leadership in a wild and wonderful way. I’m not even sure if she considers herself a “leader,” though in the community of Mt. Shasta, CA, she has played (yes, she loves to play!) a major role in bringing people together and opening doors of possibility.
Graell created The Flying Lotus Movement Center (along with her incredible husband Tony Corsini), which became more than a dance and performance space, more than a space for learning and connecting. It became an everyday temple. This month, Grael and her family are moving to Ashland, OR. It’s true, she’ll be only an hour away. But now, rather than going to actual Flying Lotus “activation center” she birthed, we will go to the mind’s sanctuary of what we experienced there over the years.
Recently, I found a journal entry I had written one of the first times I met her, when I took a dance class with her in 2007. It was a jazz technique class (my favorite), but it wasn’t a class based on perfection like the one’s I had taken as a pre-teen. I know there are millions of stories others can share, so I offer this as a small tribute to Graell Corsini and the light she emanates in to the world . . . Thank you for being who you are!
Great dance class today with Graell; most inspiring was what she told the class before we began.
Grael lost her voice totally – quieter than a whisper. She had us all huddle together in a 6 foot circle on the floor to hear her. There were 8 or 9 others, mostly teenagers in high school and a few young college students.
She told everyone that two adults disrespected her on Friday, and that instead of being herself and saying something, she resorted to old patterns of fear and made small talk so they’d like her. She didn’t speak up either time, and then three hours later, she lost her voice. She told everyone she went inside to ask why, and the images of the two situations came. She just didn’t live up to her true self, Graell, and speak her truth. That was the lesson.
(She went on to talk about the important of being aware of your intentions and how you live. All of this was the beginning of a jazz technique dance class! As we sat in that tight circle on the wood floor, she asked each of us to say our names and share one thing we really love. She has an amazing way of creating community and calling out people’s passions).
I thought all of this was amazing. I was already impressed, and then Graell whispered in her almost silent voice, “Today, you each have to listen to the teacher within.” and she held her hands over her heart. “You can all go inside and pay attention to your own teacher, instead of having me correct your technique. Critique yourself, don’t be critical of yourself. Teach yourself.“ It was beautiful. She had apparently almost canceled this teen jazz class as she had previous ones. But she decided to share her lessons. She was so eloquent, so compelling. A true mentor and truth-speaker. I feel honored to have been there for that intimate lesson among people half my age.”