Shake It So uses the power of music and dance to create connections between people all over the world, and then leverage those connections to make positive change in our world. We do that by having regular events, some just for fun, and some to raise money for public health and development aid organizations.
We have dance parties, on person and on Zoom, every single weekday, usually in the morning (US Eastern Time). And every few months or so, we host larger fundraising events. These are in-person and virtual dance parties and also concerts with live music and dancing. We have worked with a number of organizations to host such events. We also produce video content related to our events and the organizations we support.
My name is Jonathan Slate and I am the founder of Shake It So. During the isolation of the early pandemic I needed something to recharge me and help me feel connected to other people.
That is when I started what eventually became Shake It So in October of 2020, it was just me dancing on Zoom and trying to convince my friends on Facebook to join me. It grew, very slowly at first, but then later, slightly less slowly. But having even just a few friends was enough to get me out of bed and into my basement “dance studio” (using the term quite broadly). And I was having a blast dancing. And that might have been enough.
After the 2020 election, I felt it was important to be engaged some kind of social action. So I asked someone for whom I have a lot of respect, “What should I do?” He recalled a quote from Howard Thurman:
That was easy, I knew what made me come alive, the music I loved, and dancing to it! So I started planning my first International Dance Celebration. I asked around for ideas to name for this potential force for change, and my church choir director sent me an email: “My husband just looked me square in the face and said ‘Shake it.’” As it turns out “.so” in the world of website naming is a lot cheaper than “.com,” so there you have it. Plus I like the double entendre.
Some people think it’s weird. Some people get it right away. A few have to warm up to the idea. But everyone who joins in seems to have a great time. I hope you’ll consider joining us, too!