Vancouver Island headphone dance parties promote peace and joy

Baby Olaia Mock and her barefooted mom Jamie move and groove on Chesterman Beach during a March 4 headphone community dance party. (Nora O’Malley photo)Baby Olaia Mock and her barefooted mom Jamie move and groove on Chesterman Beach during a March 4 headphone community dance party. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Bryce Stetchman performs a feat of strength to good tunes.Bryce Stetchman performs a feat of strength to good tunes.
Kerry Harwood and Kat Brenn pose with the Dance with Love Tour mascots Watermelon and Pineapple as DJ Tyler Carpenter flashes a peace sign.Kerry Harwood and Kat Brenn pose with the Dance with Love Tour mascots Watermelon and Pineapple as DJ Tyler Carpenter flashes a peace sign.
Randi McCabe free dances with ribbons on Chesterman Beach.Randi McCabe free dances with ribbons on Chesterman Beach.
Jenna Anderson connecting to the music and people.Jenna Anderson connecting to the music and people.

Dance With Love founders Kerry Harwood and Kat Brenn are gearing up to take their headphone community dances across Canada.

They plan on travelling from Tofino all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland, touting 110 headsets, groovy tunes and an uplifting message.

“We’re focused on healing. We’re focused on compassion. We’re focused on community. We’re focused on peace and love. We’re focused on taking care of one another. We’re focused on fun, laughter, joy. All these high vibrational words ring true for me. Strength, integrity, passion, purpose. We just want to bring all of this to our dances,” said Harwood after their fifth successful community dance on March 4 at Chesterman Beach.

Harwood’s investment in the Dance With Love Tour came about organically after hosting an inaugural silent disco in the Comox Valley.

“One of the woman (at the headphone dance) said to me that she hadn’t experienced joy in over seven months and not only that, she had tears of joy during that dance. Kat and I pretty much looked at each other and decided that we needed to keep doing this,” said Harwood.

Newcomers to a Dance With Love gathering don’t necessarily even have to join the dancing. Harwood’s headphones come with a multi-channel set-up so people can flick between vibes, depending on their mood. Channel 1 is for the community dance and transmits audio from a DJ while Channel 2 plays a compilation of folk music for relaxing and walking.

“Our number one priority is to get people moving, connecting and smiling again. We’re just doing our best and learning as we go,” he said.

Ucluelet resident Jenna Anderson joined the Dance With Love event at Chesterman Beach.

“I felt very free and careless dancing barefoot on the beach. I haven’t danced in ages other than my kitchen. I was nervous and a little shy at first, but once that music got going I wanted to join with everyone. It just looked like everyone was having too much fun not to join in,” said Anderson.

She really liked the headphone experience.

“I think the headphones makes you and everyone else involved feel connected in a really special way. You are all there to enjoy the music and let go for while. And it being outside on the beach just made it next level,” she said.

Dance With Love events are family-friendly and drug/alcohol free. Harwood and Brenn plan on taking a hybrid vehicle on their cross-country journey, complete with a trailer, collapsible outhouse, and plenty of legroom for their mascots ‘Pineapple’ and ‘Watermelon’.

The theme song for the tour is Whitney Houston’s “Higher Love” and “Let’s dance and be friends around the world” is the motto. Can you dig it?

Visit the Facebook Page @dancewithlovetour or email dancewithlove@mailbox.org for upcoming events.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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