Sawaddee ka!! Happy Tuesday!!!
My name is Pattaya Hart, what’s yours?!?!?? --- I think I’m keeping this tagline
Hope everyone had a spook-tacular Halloween season! Welcome back to my MGA newsletter, here’s the second one:
This month is the start of the Holiday Season, the season of giving. Many people take long vacations or go home and spend holidays with family and their loved ones; like they say in the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
‘Tis the season, I would like to take the opportunity in my second newsletter to tell you about my experiences living in New York City during the holidays for the past 10 years. As a foreign dance student on a budget, like many other aspiring artists who might not have the luxury of going home that often, we come together and do something wonderful for the people.
Back in 2009 when I first moved to the city, one of my favorite Theater Dance teachers, Mr. Jeff Shade, organized a group of dancers from his classes who happened to be in the city during the holiday season to go perform a fun dance concert and serve food to the homeless at a church in the Bronx three times a year; Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
We would all get together and rehearse a week or two before the holidays, choreographed by Mr. Shade himself along with fabulous volunteer choreographers including musical theater, hip-hop, lyrical, tap and also some amazing singers. We called our dancing-singing family, “Dance It Forward” or “Dancing for the People Troupe.”
From my very first time joining the troupe in November of 2009, I have to tell you, it is one of the most life-changing experiences. Not to be cliché, but how often do you get up at 4AM in the morning and leave your house in the freezing cold weather for something that is completely not about you or for yourself? It is so fulfilling to share the joy of dance and help those who are less fortunate than us.
I became good friends with so many wonderful and talented people throughout this entire experience. One time, I met Hugh Jackman and his wife as they were volunteering; serving food as well. The feeling from interacting and spending time with those who are shunned by society in their everyday lives is so rewarding. I do believe whole-“HARTedly” that this is what shaped me into the person/teacher I am today, and I’m very grateful to have been a part of this experience.
Unfortunately, with the church’s new mother superior’s policy in 2016, we weren’t invited to come help spread the joy of dance and help out there anymore.
With this being said, it was one of the promises I made to myself and Jeff Shade that if I win Miss Gay America, I would do anything in my power to get our “Dancing for the People Troupe” back up and running again. And I did win!!! --- so this newsletter is kind of a low key proposal from me, your reigning Miss Gay America 2020 to those who have connections or know of any institutions or venues that would host soup kitchen during the holiday season (or any time of the year), whether you are in New York City or other cities (all you wonderful MGA promoters and patrons, I’m talking to you!). I would love to take an opportunity when I come out to your prelims, to host a free dance class for all levels -- for LBGTQ youth, and anyone that would want to join in on the fun. All I ask in return, if the time & arrangement is possible, is that we all head over to perform and volunteer community service at any institute that would allow us to participate; homeless shelters, churches that host soup kitchens, food outreach, senior home, etc.
I hope this outreach sparks consideration. All I want to take from this is to help spread the joy of dance around the country and to inspire, educate and create an outlet and safe space for the LGBTQ youth or adults, where they can express and explore themselves without being judged.
For those who have read this newsletter thus far and would love to further the conversation regarding this community outreach proposal, please contact me at PattayaHartMGA2020@gmail.com
I’m really grateful for the opportunity and the possibilities that the Miss Gay America community has shown me and can’t wait to give back in my own special way. For that, I THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my HART!!
See you on my next newsletter..
Miss Gay America 2020